My heart aches for Memphis….
I have lived in Memphis, TN my entire life. I have so many memories that a collection of books couldn’t contain them all. From childhood memories to memories of historical events that only a Native Memphian could truly embrace. I remember being a little girl and going down to The National Civil Rights Museum on Martin Luther King Jr. Day to march. I remember going to Libertyland during the summers with my classmates because for Memphis City Schools it was an annual field trip that ALL of the schools participated in. I remember the big ice storm of 1994. It was something we had never experienced before. The entire city was frozen.
Memphis is the place I was born, raised and decided to get married and have children in. Memphis is where the majority of my family resides. I hold it so dear to my heart and that is why Memphis at its current state breaks my heart. The violence leaves me speechless.
Memphis currently stands at a staggering 220 homicides as of today. From January 1, 2016 to December 18, 2016 220 people have been murdered in my city. It is not only disturbing but it is also frightening. Every day faces of victims flash across the news screen. Teenagers being gunned down in cold blood. Elderly people being robbed and shot to death. Innocent working people being preyed upon and murdered in their own homes. From family members to familiar faces of former classmates and notable people throughout the city, hearing of violent crimes daily has become the norm for the citizens of Memphis. The majority of the cases result in arrest of the suspects, however the fact that people are being murdered almost daily in the city is still breathtaking.
Along with a high volume of murders are a high volume of robberies, home invasions, domestic assaults and other violent crimes. This city is dangerous and I as a citizen am alarmed and disappointed. Might I add that daily I am also scared of what might happen to myself and my family. I am raising children in this city and it is a terrible feeling to know that shots are being fired, people are being killed and my children could be an innocent victim of someone elses’ recklessness.
I remember a city where neighbors knew each other, families helped to raise the children, teachers and public officials provided assistance and mentoring and the VILLAGE was strong. Children could play without fear, elderly people sat on their porches enjoying the weather and working people could safely make a living. But something happened. Now the children have developed a natural instinct to get on the floor when you hear gunshots, the elderly people peep from their blinds, they dare not sit outside and working people lock their doors immediately upon entering their vehicles, they set their alarms at home and dash from the car into what used to be the safety of their homes.
Love. respect and the desire to live as decent citizens has left the city of Memphis. So many parents are living loose, drug-filled, careless lives themselves that they are unable to acknowledge that their children are the robbers, murderers, carjackers and rapist that we see on the news. The desire to have good children who know right from wrong is no longer a desire for many parents of this city. They no longer care to teach their children to stay away from drugs because they do drugs themselves! They cannot tell their children not to act out violently because they themselves act out violently and are proud of it! Respect for authority has been tossed out of the window. No one feels the need to respect anyone other than themselves and unknowingly they don’t realize that the lack of respect that they have for their neighbors, authority, friends and family members reflects directly back to the respect or lack of respect they have for themselves.