Action — not more outrage — needed in wake of Newark murders

Three college students are lined up in a Newark, N.J., schoolyard, shot in the back of the head, and the best we get out of the community is outrage?

Frankly, I'm sick of our people spending time on being outraged and not coming up with answers. We don't need any town hall meetings, summits or commissions. We know WHY this happens. We often know WHO did it. What is lacking often is an answer to the question: WHAT are YOU prepared to do?

Three families in Newark are mourning the loss of their loved ones, who were set on getting out of the ghetto. They were students at Delaware State University. They were working hard to make a difference. Now they're dead. Three more young black lives snuffed out by these urban terrorists that wreak havoc in our communities.

And let me go ahead and say: Don't bother writing me about how the white man has led brothers to commit these heinous crimes. I used to stand on my front porch and watch the Houston Police Department, the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency take down crack houses. Guys I went to school with are now spending 20 to life in the state pen because instead of turning right, they chose to go left.

People make mistakes, of course. But lining three college students against a wall, putting a gun to the back of their heads and pulling the trigger has nothing to do with white folks. Racism is alive and well in America, but there isn't a white person who has ever made me sell drugs, rape a young girl or point a gun at another black person and snuff his or her life out. This is about the lack of self-respect and utter self-hatred that permeates our communities. These thugs are doing to black folks what the Ku Klux Klan could never do: continually rob us of the best and the brightest.

Yet this isn't limited to Newark. This year, 32 students from Chicago Public Schools died. Not a single one in the classroom, but most because of gunfire.

But do you know what's going to be the saddest part of all this? The odds are that in two to three weeks, we will return to regularly scheduled programming.

What do I want to see? The people who live in the communities affected by all of this mayhem stand up and say, "I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired."

Fannie Lou Hamer uttered that line.

She was a Mississippi mother who went toe-to-toe with white supremacists and won. We need to have some modern-day Fannie Lou Hamers stare these punk thugs in the eye and say, "You ain't taking my baby."

It's time to see black residents in Newark &

and folks in Chicago, Oakland, Calif., St. Louis, New Orleans, Houston, Dallas and any other predominantly black city &

organize citizen patrols. Partner with the police by turning in those who are doing wrong. They should be organizing block clubs and handing out clipboards so folks can record the license plates of drug dealers &

and users &

who destroy the fabric of our communities. It's time to see residents end this nonsense about not snitching and collectively say, "We're telling who did it, and we don't care who is listening!"

Black churches in Newark and elsewhere that believe in the power of God should do what the Rev. James Meeks is doing in Chicago's Roseland community and put prayer teams on EVERY block in the area and pray with residents. But also, offer them drug counseling. Put your money and your actions where your God is.

Every single mother who has had to bear the burden of raising a young black boy alone should look him in the eye and say, "I know you didn't know your daddy. I know he wasn't here. But you better not do to some other girl what he did to me! If you get her pregnant, you better get a job and raise that child to the best of your abilities!"

The active participation of a man &

not a sperm donor &

in the lives of these young boys is the best deterrent to the streets swallowing them up.

Civil rights activists should forget the marches and candlelight vigils and go to Newark, call a men's meeting and tell them, "Most of the crime is being committed by men, mostly young black men. The cops can't solve this. The elected officials can't solve this. Only WE can solve this!"

Tough love must be mixed with tough talk and tough action. Enough with news conferences. Enough with spreading the blame. Black communities nationwide are in a crisis, and all we are responding with is righteous indignation. Turning your head isn't the answer. Only getting off your butt and committing yourself to action will do.

So, what are YOU prepared to do?

Roland S. Martin is a CNN contributor and a talk show host for WVON-AM in Chicago. Please visit his Web site at . To find out more about Roland S. Martin and read his past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at .

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