Let’s live up to King’s words
To the editor:
I am 32 years old, live in Steubenville and graduated in 2006. I have a degree in criminal justice from Eastern Gateway Community College, and I also attended Kent State University.
Growing up, I lived on Lawson Avenue in the Pleasant Heights area of the city. While growing up, my best friend was an African-American named Ryant Creech. He was murdered when we were only 20 years old. Nobody ever was charged.
Now, I am going to give my educated guess on why this is the case. Had my best friend been white, they would have found out who murdered him. When I was studying criminal justice in college, I took a class called Biases in the Criminal Justice System. In this class, we studied a region of the city that the police department calls hot spots. Those are areas of a city where crime rates, according to the Uniform Crime Report, are the highest.
These also are areas that are low on the socio-economic scale (the poor areas.) They also are areas where you will see more African-Americans and other minority groups. For Steubenville, the Pleasant Heights area is considered to be a hot spot, so you will find a greater police presence in that area.
Growing up, I can remember plenty of times where my African-American friends would ask, “Hey, can you grab something in there for me, because, you know, they don’t like ‘Black dudes.'” Or if I could go into a store and buy us a pop because they were afraid that if they came out with a pop the cop would think he had stolen it.
This kind of stuff needs to stop now, folks. Black Lives Matter, too, is all we are trying to say.
Like Martin Luther King Jr. said while quoting the Declaration of Independence, “We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.”
People, let’s live up to these words.