Archive for January, 2009

Yes we Can! (Can’t we?)
January 25, 2009

Quentin is 14 and ready to take on the world.

That’s what he told me, anyway, last Tuesday.

Last Tuesday, I and a few thousand of my new soul-mates-in-hope-and-American-optimism emerged from watching the Inauguration at the performing arts center. We shared the moment and the movement, and now it was time to document it for the 6pm news.

“So, Quentin,” I ask, “What does President Obama’s call to personal responsibility mean to you?”

Quentin did not even have to think about that.

“His call to responsibility means to me… improve not just the city or the country, but improve world peace, hunger and everything else.”

Wow, Quentin. “That’s a tall order! Are you ready to do that?”

“Yes I am,” he said.  And I believe he is.  Yes we can.

We, the people, spent the rest of the week on a high. Among all else, we have a leader who is a national role model for too many young people who didn’t have one.  Life was looking up this week.

Until Friday night.

On a street in Miami’s Liberty City neighborhood, the same old horrors converged: poverty, despair, injustice, neglect, anger, hardened souls and easy access to weapons. This time it was an AK-47.

Young black men, old Russian assault rifle.

The barrage of gunfire ended any chances for two teens, not even a week into what could be the most hopeful era in a young Black American’s existence.

Tuesday’s party is over.  And there is work to do.