On the Violence in NOLA Today

Today was an awful day in New Orleans. There was a shooting at a Mothers Day Second Line. Nineteen shot is the current report.

Violence is everywhere. On the day of the bombing in Boston there were also bombing in Baghdad. Last week there were two car bombs in Turkey. Violence is an unfortunate part of life. But we can't be defeated by it. We can be sad and heartbroken and upset, but we don't give up on our city and we don't stop fighting for it.

The best way to fight the violence in our city is to testify, to get involved, to invest, and to create.

We have to get over this anti snitching attitude that prevails. If you know someone who committed violence, you have to report them. You have to turn them in. You have to testify against them. There is no honor in sitting back and letting someone who committed violence get away with it. There is no street cred to it. If one sites back and does nothing because he or she isn't a snitch, then one is just as guilty and just as much a part of the problem. And we as citizens need to support and protect those who testify against those who cause violence.

We have to get involved in any way we can. We have to work with youth whether in schools or parks or youth groups of any types from Scouts to sports. We have to get to know our neighbors and stop being afraid and distrustful of each other. Get to know the people who live on your block and who live in your city. Don't make judgements based on race or socioeconomics. Understand we are all New Orleanians. You can get involved by simply having a cookout and inviting everyone around over. Simply be nice to those around us.

We have to invest in out city and its people. We have to start helping each other to create local businesses of all types. If you know someone who is trying to  start a business out of their home or in the neighborhood, support them and encourage them. Shop and support local businesses. Show people we want them here and we want their money invested in our city. The city and the area has to invest in wireless and internet access across the city, from private homes and businesses to free public wifi in parks and monuments. And we have to invest and welcome new businesses, industries, and entrepreneurs to town.

We have to embrace the creativity of this city from our music and dance to our culture  to any new class of creatives coming in. This creativity is our greatest strength. It is one of the biggest things that attracts peoples to this city where you can hear great music on street corners or walk streets made famous in books and movies. We have to encourage multiple creative outlets for our youth and our city so everyone can tell their story and the story of our city.

It was an ugly day today NOLA. But we don't give up. We keep fighting for our city and our people. The best response to today's shooting is for EVERYONE to show up at the next Second Line and show these thugs we are not afraid and the city belongs to us. Thugs with guns don't get to win. You have to keep fighting for New Orleans.

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