Filed Under:  Letter to the Editor

The mass shootings have got to stop

20th May 2013   ·   0 Comments

The Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club community is deeply saddened by the mass shooting that took place during our annual Mother’s Day’s Parade. Our hearts and prayers go out to all of the victims of this tragedy and their families. We are with you in your struggle for health, wellness, and justice.

Crime and violence in New Orleans is a systemic problem and we strongly believe that safeguarding our cultural heritage helps to address the roots of violence. We are a cross-generational organization, ages 5 to 7. Our young people grow up in this culture, are fed by it, and feel loved, supported and connected in ways that build neighborhood security. That’s real crime prevention.

From Sandy Hook to the sacred second-lining streets of New Orleans, these mass shootings have got to stop. Our city has suffered too many mass shootings—remember the seven people shot on St. Charles during Mardi Gras in 2009, and the 2011 Halloween Bourbon Street shooting that wounded 16 and left two dead? There is no one solution, but a functioning school system, opportunities for formerly incarcerated people, and dismantling the cradle-to-prison pipeline are good places to start. Our young people need dignified work and a path out of poverty. The street violence will stop when the economic violence stops.

We salute Mayor Lan­drieu, Scott Hutcheson in the City’s Office of Cultural Economy and Chief Serpas for understanding that second-lining is a sacred community ritual that has nothing to do with trauma and violence. We support a thorough investigation and pray the perpetrators will be brought to justice—not just with a criminal conviction, but with a restorative justice process to more deeply repair the harm.

We host our parade on Mother’s Day to give something back to the women of the world. We are a family, a second-lining family, and we will not let this foolish act disrupt the positive work we are doing in our community.

– Edward Buckner

This article originally published in the May 20, 2013 print edition of The Louisiana Weekly newspaper.

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