Growing up, certain relatives weren’t allowed at my parents’ house because of the criminal activities they were involved in. My sisters and I were directed not to enter a vehicle with these relatives if they encountered us on the streets nor were we to open the door for them if my parents weren’t home. Needless to say, certain family gatherings were also off limits. We were always taught to be respectful of our relatives regardless of their backgrounds but my parents made it clear our safety was more of a priority than association.
The reality, you are only as good as the company you keep may be cliché but is still true. Associates, friends, extended relatives involved in criminal activities may pose a significant risk to you or your family. Keep taking this risk just to be “down”, empathetic to a fault or to have the approval of others and the question won’t be if something is going to happen but when.
This brings me to the story of Shavon Randle, a 13-year old black teenager from Texas, recently kidnapped, held for ransom and murdered over drugs stolen by her cousin’s boyfriend.
Our children have and are still becoming victims of our criminal complacence. No one has been charged in Ms. Randle’s murder but all of the people arrested in this incident have a reputation within their community as bad people.
There is a segment of the black community which has a vested interested in making sure crime continues to thrive in our communities. This is why I just can’t believe some when they say they don’t report crime because they weren’t aware or feared reprisal. With all the anonymous tools available to report crime in most places, it’s apparent one of the main reasons people don’t report crime in our communities is because they either directly or indirectly benefit from it. Whether a son deals dope to help his mother pay rent, or a boyfriend steals to help his live-in girlfriend buy groceries, this is largely why crime is not reported until it’s to the point of no return , such as death.
As a black woman whom herself grew up in the inner city, when it comes to the senseless, violent death of an innocent child, I’m simply not here for the sob story which may have led the adult perpetrator/s to murder. We must value and respect our children who didn’t ask to be here by being mindful and select about the company we keep-even if it offends family members.