Ja’neal Johnson Editorial on the Violence in Muskegon

From the Womb to the Tomb: Part One

Over the last several months, Muskegon has had violence. Our youth have turned on themselves. Parents, sisters, brothers, and the community as a whole have cried for the lives that have been lost to the ignorance of our people. Muskegon has experienced their own genocide. The question in hand is what we need to do next. How do we save our youth and regain our community? We have had several conversations about the curse that has control our community. We have prayed, walk, and had memorials. What is next? What can we do?

I’ve spoke with several citizens of our community. One lady said we need to teach the next generation. Another lady said just pray. What is next? Where will we be in the next year? How do we conquer our own demons? What happen to this generation?

This generation which includes the eighties, nineties, and the new decade babies has been swept with drugs. Some of our children were introduced to drugs while in the womb. Unfortunately, the outcome for them and our community would be highly affected. The behavior that has been shown could only be explained by how one was raised in the womb. The toxics intakes that the fetus endured have a negative affect on our community. Theses toxic drugs would have an everlasting effect our generation and the next that follow. I remember listening to a guy from the Nation of Islam. He stated that a woman who is pregnant is valuable and should be treated as something pure. Even the very fetus that she carries should be treated with delicacy, respect, and values as if he/she were a precious jewel. What the mother eats, how she sleeps, what she says or hears would affect her child. What she intakes would affect the future? And now this is where we are today. Our community is killing one another over senseless crimes.

My heart goes out to the families that have lost loved ones to violence. Whether it is the one who cause harm or the one who died, we all suffer. Being an offspring from someone who indulge in this type of behavior, I want to come to a solution. Let’s teach our youth how to take back our community. Protect themselves from the real enemy. Let’s educate our youth. Starting from home, and then school, we can make a difference in our community. Let’s help one another get off drugs. Let’s help one another with their addiction. Yes, it is a war on drugs, but not the war that Nancy Reagan was promoting. The war on drugs is the war that affects our young that has been and is in the womb. Let’s collaborate with our ex-convicts to put a stop to this.

Inclusion I can remember my dying fathers words one Sunday. “Red, If only I could have left a different legacy. If I could have taught my nephews what was really important. Protecting your own and teaching your own. Lord forgive me.” To all the ex- convicts or criminals let’s teach our youth. You have weathered the storm and lived in the belly of the beast. Help our leaders of our community restore its well-being. One should realize this: there will always be poverty, but never ignorance.

By Ja’Neal A. Johnson