My Turn, Scott Maddox: Adults sitting around a table won’t work

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 4, 2022

By Scott Maddox

The headline in Sunday’s Post said, “Education and community leaders discuss solutions to local violence.” How many times has a headline like this run in the Salisbury Post?

I’m not criticizing the desire to have change; it’s commendable. But a group of community leaders who are predominantly older and white sitting around a table is going to do little to anything to solve the problem.

Unless it is the catalyst that gets feet on the street, feet of people whom the communities they are going into can identify with.

You want answers to why the basketball tournament shootings happened? The answers lie at the juvenile detention center where the shooters are and with the other children who were involved with the two groups. I’m not talking about the shooting itself. I’m talking about the years leading up to it — the things that happened and didn’t happen that led up to the moment.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. A group of adults sitting around talking about programs they can implement to facilitate change will not work.

The people causing the problems, the people who are potential future problem causers have to have input. The courage to put feet to the street in the areas where problems exists and ask questions, listen and have an open mind while doing so is where it needs to start.

It also seems as if every time something like this happens one of the first things someone says is the parents need to be parents. That just goes to show how out of touch we are when we say something like this. Do you know the parents?

Life is hard for everyone, but those facing economic challenges are forced to make very difficult decisions daily about family, time and priorities. I know there are people in every community who aren’t parenting their children but before we jump to conclusions, shouldn’t we be seeking the answers why?

The first thing every person and community needs to do is a little self-reflection.

Instead of blaming those who are different from us for our problems, shouldn’t we ask ourselves where we are culpable? It’s easy to blame others and a lot of times others are to blame. But fixing what we can with ourselves and our community should always be the first step.

We were lucky this time, no one had to die to get our attention. Next time we might not be so lucky. Instead of talking, let’s hope this time meaningful change will occur. Action in the right areas is a great start.

Scott Maddox lives in Salisbury.

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