This past Sunday, an event to celebrate non-violence was interrupted by violence. Everywhere we turn; it seems that violence is smacking us in the face here in a town that still calls itself The Goodlife City.
Clearly, something needs to be done. What isn’t clear is what we should do about it.
Some out there expect me to advise everyone to start packing and blow away anyone who threatens them. Frankly, that’s a ridiculous notion. While I do think people should be free to exercise their Second Amendment rights, I also know that not everyone is really up for the responsibility of carrying a firearm.
Instead, the answer needs to be something far deeper.
As a society, we need to comprehend that much of the violence is cultural in origin. There are subcultures that celebrate violence. They don’t embrace just violence in entertainment, something which most Americans seem to embrace. Instead, they embrace a culture where violence against their fellow man is not just accepted, but encouraged.
We, the citizens of Albany, need to reach across ethnic, cultural, religious, and socioeconomic lines and unite. We need to join together to begin to roll back the effects of those cultures.
Some who are reading these words now are already thinking about a particular ethnic group. Give it up. It’s not just one group. There are multiple subcultures that embrace the idea of violence. They are from various races, and they are just as messed up.
We’ve got to get past the idea of color mattering. It doesn’t. We are all Americans. We are all Georgians. We are all Albanians or Southwest Georgians. Why do we need to keep using other categories that do nothing but divide?
Maybe, if we can get past the other bull, we can then start addressing other problems our community faces. Maybe then we can start to fight the poverty that infects every nook and cranny in Albany. Maybe we can fight the corruption that lurks in every corner one can possibly imagine.
Maybe if we can pull that off, then we can accomplish great things and make Albany become The Good Life City once again.