Peace Be Still

52 years ago the Westside of Chicago went up in flames after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

At that time I was young, angry, and didn’t give a damn (excuse my language) much like the looters today.

Most of my crew felt the same way I did. We met in a school playground to discuss our plans to riot after the assassination.

The civic and religious leaders, along with “good” police on the Southside met with gang leaders and partnered to quell any plans of us destroying our neighborhoods. Read the below account of those meetings.

“On the South Side, it was a different story. Out of the public eye, police relied on South Side gangs to keep the peace, according to retired police Lt. Bob Angone. The Blackstone Rangers held up their end of the bargain, stopping a mob of people from rocking busses of students at Mount Carmel High School, Angone remembers. The gang also told businesses to whitewash their windows with messages like “The King is Dead” or “Long Live the King” for protection.

“The overwhelming majority of the South Side was spared because of those ’Stones,” Angone said. “I don't know if history will ever give them credit.”

Our neighborhood on the Southside didn’t suffer any or very minor damage. And it was because someone had the sense to bring EVERYONE to the table.

My message to today’s looters.

1.) Don’t allow outside agitators to trick you into destroying your city. When this is over they are returning to their neighborhoods which they didn’t destroy.

2.) Change the system from the inside. Negotiate yourself a place at the table where the decisions are made that affect our lives. You ARE leaders with the creative energy to make change. “If you aren’t at the table you’re on the menu”.

3.) Learn from history. Some neighborhoods that were destroyed over 50 years ago are still trying to recover. “You can’t drink poison to hurt someone else”

4.) Recognize those who are “throwing rocks and hiding their hand”. In other words they are using your pain and anger to promote themselves.

5.) Allow Jesus to transform your hate into love. Only the power of God can overcome the evil in this world.

I’m praying for peace!

(Romans 12:21)

“Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”.