Letters to the Editor
... input from forum participants

Stop neighborhood violence ... what I’m willing to give is myself

May 31st

Hello, my name is Rodney Brown.

I’m the Executive Director of the Kaamilah (KAH-MY-LAH) Foundation, and I’m looking for those who are serious about addressing the issue of violence in our neighborhoods.

I’m not interested in organizations that like to meet every week just to be seen, but real people confronting real issues that produce real (functioning) solutions.

I am sick and tired of hearing people marching and chanting "stop the violence" with no plan in place to relieve these children and adults by giving them somewhere else to direct their energy, hopes and dreams.

We have no right to ask those on the street corner to stop selling drugs and killing one another while we turn our backs and direct our time, energy, and resources to happy hour, all day beauty salon treatments and nightclubs.

We should expect the inexperienced to need some direction on locating career training, jobs, housing and food programs, and most of all a sense of spiritual growth, by demonstrating to them that there is a creator who is serious about blessing their efforts.

After all, if they are smart enough to count bags of dope, audit daily sales and control areas of distribution with little or no formal education, what might happen if they had the opportunity to participate in legitimate companies, or to start their own with support and supervision from those who are willing to invest?

I can’t do it all by myself, but I'll offer as much of my own personal resources as I can to assist in finding jobs, housing and food, for those who are willing to help themselves. We all have something to give, even if just a bologna sandwich or the phone number of someone with a job who’s company might be hiring.

The main focus should be put up, or shut up!

Can we start throwing dollars at scholarship funds like we do strippers at the strip joint?

Can we make Defray Institute so full they have open more classes instead of the state opening more prison cells?

Can we start going to local restaurants and taking leftover food to those we know are hungry?

Can we make some of these abandoned buildings inhabitable to give the homeless at least some shelter overnight until we help them find boot straps to pull themselves up by?

Are we really interested in curbing the violence ... or do we just like to blow our own horns about what march we participated in or what meeting we attended?

My name is Rodney Brown, and what I’m willing to give is myself.

Rodney Brown
West Covina

310 / 351-4631