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article imageOp-Ed: A baby died yesterday in Chicago

By KJ Mullins     Mar 13, 2013 in Crime
Yesterday morning a six-month-old died in Chicago. In Toronto this year three 15-year-olds have died. Pick a city in North America and there are stories of the young who no longer live.
Each death has four things in common; poverty, bullets, gangs and silence.
In North America, the land of freedom and abundance more and more children are dying because of the misery of poverty. They aren't starving to death, instead they are being picked off one by one while no one says a thing.
This is a land of undeclared war. Where soldiers take the form of young men and women armed with guns that rule the streets. The elders hide inside quiet, praying that the pop, pop, pop hasn't been aimed at one of their own. The children stay inside, their parents hoping that if they don't swing on the playgrounds they will survive the killing fields.
Outside the armed soldiers hold court. They deal in drugs, sex and trading guns to continue their reign. They build their numbers promising protection from the night. They know they are winning the war through fear. It's the unspoken pact, if you don't talk or see what's going on then you just may survive another day.
Or you may not.
Jonylah Watkins may have been giggling as her father changed her diaper inside his minivan. She wouldn't have known that death was coming for her in the form of a gunman on a Chicago street. It was the second time in her young life that bullets threatened her life. She was not yet born when her mother, Judy Watkins, was shot in the knee while pregnant. There will be no third time. Jonylah died Tuesday morning after five bullets ripped through her tiny body.
The mayors in the towns where the young die shout out that these acts are despicable. Men of the cloth cry out for the killings to stop. Cops just cry, they have witnessed death but when it's a child they can't block out the tears. Mothers, fathers, siblings walk around numb.
And the streets remain silent. There's the rules you know. If you talk you die. If you talk your children die. If you talk they'll shoot.
News flash.
They will shoot if you talk, or if you remain silent. They will laugh as they take over the playgrounds where children should be. They will boast on Social Media that they are KING. They have won by being the most visible invisible people in town.
Shouldn't it be time that they have a name? That they are not the ones who win? If you know who killed a child and don't say the name to those who can stop them aren't you just as responsible?
One call, one whispered name at a time can help to end a war. No one has to know. There's groups like CrimeStoppers that let you be a quiet hero. Isn't it time?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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