• The Big O

We should be ashamed that youth gun violence is generational in Seattle. Time to break the curse.

It was nearly 30 years ago when my mom tried her best to help me make sense of the separate murders of two classmates who attended Garfield High School. Both June Walker and Marek Murray had their lives cut short by gun violence at the hands of another teen. Both murders were as tragic and incomprehensible then as they are now two decades later. My mom struggled to help me understand but there is no understanding of the illogical.

Fast forward nearly 30 years and exactly one generation later and I now find myself in my mother’s shoes as I am trying my best to help my son Omari make sense of the murder of his friend, Connor Dassa-Holland who was killed on Sunday, Mother’s Day, outside of his home.

(Willard Jimerson and I discuss the senseless murder of Conner Dassa-Holland and so many other Seattle area youth)

I do know this, that we should be ashamed that wiping the tears and consoling the hearts of our children who have lost their friends due to gun violence has become a generational occurrence in Seattle.

We are failing our youth and in doing so failing our community. I know the factors are many but not too many to overcome. COVID-19 has shown us that nothing is impossible when all of societies stakeholders come together in an effort for the common good. Ending gun violence is not impossible, we just need to want to make it happen bad enough.

It can’t be 30 years from now and my son is wiping my grandson or grandaughters tears.

Let’s end this generational curse now.

Peace, Love, and Respect to the Dassa-Holland family.

Big O

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