NOPD names 19-year-old Akein Scott suspect in Mother's Day shooting
There was a time when I would have looked at this young man's face and felt nothing but anger and hate. The truth is, now, I just feel hopeless. It's a forlorn inevitability that a tragedy such as this will happen again in this city...I don't know what to do about it or how we can bring it to an end. I know the problem starts with adolescence and education but I don't have specific answers and I don't think anyone in this city is coming up with effective answers. Maybe it's because we're not listening, maybe we're not seeing the issues for what they really are. I truly don't know.
I feel beaten, lost and even worse, I'm afraid I'm becoming numb.
Maybe there are people out there, smarter than I, smarter than the leaders in this city, that do have answers. If they are out there, I wish they would help us because we're obviously not capable of helping ourselves. Yes..that is a desperate plea.
Mayor Landrieu stated today that "This is not who we are as a community". That may be true in the sense that the majority of this city abhors this epidemic of violence from which we suffer but the truth is, this is exactly who we are. We built this...through sins of omission or sins of commission...we are responsible for what we've become. Preaching the gospel of peace to the choir is going to have little effect on the lost souls outside the chapel walls.
We are a community living in fear of our own children, our own young men. That's your fault, that's my fault, that's our fault....and of course it's the individual's fault, but not solely. We are all products of our culture, when children are brought up in a culture that doesn't value human life the adults in that community must share the blame of the child's future actions. We, as a community, are obviously not getting through to our children. Truth be told, we are failing...miserably.
As a student of anthropology, I believe this problem, at it's core, is cultural. And I want to stress, vehemently...I don't mean race when I say culture...I mean the culture and environment inside this city, New Orleans, that has honed these young men into violent sociopaths.
Children aren't born murderers (with possible clinical exceptions), the environment they grow up in shapes them as such.
I don't think we can legislate ourselves out of this. I don't think we can police our way out of this. I don't think we can imprison our way out of this. I don't think we can pray our way out of this. I don't think we can publicize our way out of this.
I think, perhaps, the best way to address our problem is to change how we are approaching it. Perhaps we need to understand the culture that is creating the violence, first. Perhaps we should start by listening...as painful as it may be...perhaps we should start by listening to these individuals who are perpetuating this cycle of violence. If we don't understand what the mindset is, what the circumstances are...I think we will have little to no chance of changing it.
As much as I am sickened by this young man, Akein Scott's, actions right now, more than anything, I want to listen to him....I want to know why. Until I understand why, I know I can't help.