07/11/07 — March with goals: Dealing with truth and facts a must to really stop funerals

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March with goals: Dealing with truth and facts a must to really stop funerals

More than 300 people gathered this weekend to show those who live in some of the neighborhoods in the downtown area that they are serious about a plan to clean up the city’s streets.

The Stop the Funeral march included local residents, parents, ministers and others who are tired of hearing about the violence and drugs that are stealing the lives of the community’s young people.

And while the march made a statement, there is more that will have to be done to stop the recent rash of bad news coming from downtown Goldsboro — and really, other areas of the county as well.

The ministers and other local leaders who have joined forces to help make a difference in those crime statistics have pledged to do more than preach from the pulpit and organize marches.

They are determined to address the issue where it lives — with the perpetrators who are the reason there is crime in Goldsboro and Wayne County and with the struggling families who are trying to keep their children out of that life.

And that is what this group, as well as city and county leaders, must do if they are serious about making a difference.

And they will not be able to do it alone, either.

Giving young people alternatives to joining gangs, aggressively stamping out the drug culture and dealers in the region and keeping more children in school to get diplomas and jobs is the responsibility of everyone in this community.

And what should go along with those goals are increasing parental involvement and responsibility as well as programs that direct children to education and futures instead of crime and hopelessness.

For some, the work will be directly in the problem areas, while for the rest of us, changing the look and statistics associated with Goldsboro begins with making sure local leaders know it is a priority.

One of the toughest tasks in fighting crime and violence is acknowledging in the first place that there is a problem. No one wants to think that their community has real issues — or that there might be more required to solving the problem than more police and jail cells.

The first order of business is to get together to talk about the facts, figures and possibilities. The talk has to be straight — no fudging on the concerns or what is really causing the problem. It is only from a position of truth that there can be real, productive work.

And then, if we get that, we can move forward to the next step — finding a long-term solution.

Published in Editorials on July 11, 2007 11:22 AM