After 11 are shot in 24 hours, Philly’s homicides aren’t someone else’s problem. They’re ours

Eleven people were shot in less than 24 hours in Philly this weekend, and if we continue at this pace, we’ll have 600 homicides in Philadelphia by year’s end.

That’s 600 funerals, 600 grieving families, 600 futures erased—600 lives lost in a cycle that is vicious in more ways than one. This is not someone else’s problem. It is your problem, and his problem, and her problem, and if, like me, you have grown up in Philadelphia and know these neighborhoods intimately, it is our problem.

To those who don’t live in our neighborhoods, the Saturday evening shooting of a 34-year-old man in West Oak Lane is a news item about a nameless and faceless victim. But for me it’s about a shooting taking place two blocks from where I spent most of my childhood. It’s about danger one block from a house I currently own. It’s about a community that I care about deeply.

When three young men were shot Saturday on the 2100 block of Ridge Avenue, that wasn’t about a neighborhood that doesn’t matter. That was about men being shot just blocks from Oxford Street, where I spent my teen years, where my grandmother was the block captain, where my parents met. It was, quite simply, personal to me.

When a man was shot on the 2000 block of West Dauphin, that was just blocks from Lambert Street, where I lived for a time in my late teens.

We know these streets, we know these people, so, for me, for you, for all of us, these shootings should be calls to action. I’m acting through a non-profit called ManUpPHL—bringing young men together to craft solutions. Helping to put young brothers to work. You can help with that, or you can help another organization. But do something, because if you don’t, the next shooting might be closer than you think.

Photo: A police line keeps the public out of the scene By. Tony Webster

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