Cincinnati is on pace to break the all-time high record of homicides in one year. Crime is out of control and has been for some time. There's a great opportunity for someone, or some people, to step up and distinguish themselves as leaders in the fight to bring peace to our city.
I can't get past the fact that the bombing of the Islamic Association of Cincinnati's Mosque, which resulted in a little property damage, generated so much condemnation but the
deaths MURDERS of dozens of Black Cincinnatians hasn't caused a collective eyebrow to be raised.
Aside from being politically correct, what is it about the Mosque bombing that sparked a reaction from Ohio Gov. Bob Taft, Cincinnati Mayor Mark Mallory, U.S. Senators George Voinovich and Mike DeWine, Congressman Steve Chabot, State Senator Eric Kearney, Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, Cincinnati Police Chief Thomas Streicher, Cincinnati Fire Department Chief Robert Wright, NAACP Cincinnati Chapter President Edith Thrower, National Conference for Community and Justice President and CEO Robert "Chip" Harrod, National Underground Railroad and Freedom Center President Spencer Crew, and Cincinnati Human Relations Commission Interim Executive Director Leslie E. Jones, and more than a dozen other so-called leaders? How can these leaders remain silent as Black men and women get moved down on the dangerous streets of Cincinnati?
Ah, but here's the challenge. There are lots of people with leadership skills in Cincinnati who say to themselves, "I should be considered a leader ... I'd lead if I only had an opportunity." Well, the devastation plaguing Cincinnati is an opportunity for someone, anyone, to come up with a solution. We can't wait on the "old guard" to lead us, we need leadership NOW. Where are the young ministers of God? How about the young politicians? Young activists?
Perhaps people are afraid to step up and lead because they know that once you become engaged in working for change, there's a group of negative people who sit back and criticize everything you do. They want to take your place without doing any work or working on their skills. (It's happened to me dozens of times.) But a leader can't let fear stop you from doing the right thing.
Cincinnati is suffering from a lack of leadership across all spectrums -- religion, business, government, grassroots. If we don't figure things out, 2006 will be worse than ever. If you are one of the people who don't like the City's current leadership and think you can do better, I challenge you to step up, get involved, and for God's sake ... lead.