I know, I know, y’all are expecting me to provide commentary on last night’s first presidential debate. I was able to tune in after speaking to the Care and Mercy Foundation gala event — they support our military, veterans, and their families.
What I did notice was the incredible amount of spin. Actually, neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump lit any fires last night in my opinion.
However, I found it interesting when Lester Holt asked about race relations and referred to the situations in Tulsa and Charlotte — local issues where local municipal leadership should be trusted to investigate and make the right decisions. It’s very interesting to me how the issue of police shootings of black males has become such a prevalent item for the media and drawn so much attention. Sadly, the decimation of the black family, lack of quality education opportunities, and growth of small business entrepreneurship in the black community did not come up last night in the debate.
I’m just sick of the politicized rhetoric and the fact that no one wants to tackle the root causes and issues plaguing the black community. Things are not well, and this isn’t about race relations and law enforcement officers.
And there was no serious discussion about something that just hit home for us in the West family.
As reported by South Florida’s Local 10 ABC, “For years, Tyshawn Marshall had dreamed of a life of service in the military, a relative said in tears. The 20-year-old was at the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Hollywood [Florida] when he was killed on [last] Saturday.
U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps Lt. j.g. Nelson Rose said Marshall was part of the Cadet program two years ago. He was a member of the Spruance division in Fort Lauderdale. “He was very well liked,” Rose said. “He had a good heart and loved his shipmates.”
About 20 minutes after midnight, a man driving a newer model black Ford Mustang shot him in the parking lot of a Checkers, 6171 Hollywood Blvd., police said. His death remained under investigation Saturday afternoon. “Detectives are looking for anyone who was in the area at the time,” Hollywood Police Department spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said.
About 20 minutes after midnight, a man driving a newer model black Ford Mustang shot him in the parking lot of a Checkers, 6171 Hollywood Blvd., police said. His death remained under investigation Saturday afternoon. “Detectives are looking for anyone who was in the area at the time,” Hollywood Police Department spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said.Marshall was sad when he couldn’t go to the Hollywood Hills Military Academy because of his grades, a relative said. He was a student at Apollo Middle School, South Broward High School and later at Miramar High School. “His passing weighs heavy on our hearts,” Rose said. “And we wish to extend our deepest sympathies to his family.”
Our youngest daughter Austen was a member of the U.S Navy Sea Cadets, the Spruance Division, and knew Tyshawn. And I remember when, as a Member of Congress, I addressed the Sea Cadets of the Spruance Division.
Our family sends the most solemn condolences for the unnecessary passing of this young man. But I doubt anyone will recall Tyshawn’s name.
You see, there will be no protests, certainly no riots. Black Lives Matter will not be taking to the streets chanting “no justice, no peace.” And Lester Holt wasn’t aware of this young man’s name. Chances are, Tyshawn’s name will never make national news. And that’s why I am writing about this tragic loss of life.
In the black community there is a blatant disregard for life. Somehow, over the years, a terrible disease has overtaken the black community resulting in a pestilence that is being dismissed — young black men have a black hate within them.
I truly believe this is the manifestation of the lack of paternal direction in the black community. When we have such a dearth of positive male role models who are taking responsibility for the children they create, it leads to an angst that evidences itself in what can only be termed as savagery.
The decision to take the life of another is not something to be taken lightly. We are so focused on the tree of “police involved shootings” we fail to see the greater forest of black-on-black shootings and murders. And even within the midst of what happened in Charlotte, does anyone know the name of the young black man who was shot in the head during the second night of the protesting? Why of course not.
There is a major sucking chest wound in the black community, yet we’re trying to place a band-aid over the wound. We simply want to deny this problem, and I will say that Donald Trump did try and address the issue last night.
However, he didn’t consider the root problem; he only recognized the end result, especially in Chicago.
Hillary Clinton gave her very scripted response that was just a well rehearsed talking point about better community relations. The problem is the black community has been broken down. The issue is how does it get restored? What is troubling is that at least one, perhaps two generations have been lost in the black community — that is disturbing.
The fact that Tyshawn Marshall was shot to death in a fast food parking lot should anger us all, as it reflects a complete breakdown of law and order, social order, and regard for life. The assailant made a choice to end the life of another human being.
What in God’s name could have created such a hatred, manifested such a violence? That’s the question we need to answer, and stop looking for the fall guy, the stray man, the easy target to blame — our law enforcement officers.
Just imagine if all police were to say they won’t patrol and keep order in black neighborhoods — does that mean young black men are safer? Black Lives Matter says that’s what they want!
I hear all this chatter about black people fearing for the lives of black men — even New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio made that assertion regarding his son, because of police. Actually, young black men have more to fear from each other, than from law enforcement officers — and the facts support that assessment. But, for whatever reason — political correctness I presume — we refuse to focus and deal with that self-evident truth.
Tyshawn, I am so sorry your life was cut short because we have failed you. We get distracted by sports figures disrespecting our flag and our National Anthem.
You dreamed of being a Sailor one day and honoring this Nation with your service. You could have been the kid that raised that flag at reveille and rendered a snappy salute. Instead Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Time Magazine, and you will soon be laid to rest.
Requiem in pace young man, and may you find peace in God’s arms. Maybe one day America will find leadership that will remember your name, and the tragedy that cut your life way too short. Austen will turn twenty years of age in November, and I cannot fathom the hurt of your family…of all the black families that have buried their children unnecessarily.