Time to take a stand against crime
Many Yazooans look back on their days on the city’s little league baseball fields as some of the happiest days of their lives.
My own memories are filled with kids chasing foul balls for free snowcones, the sound of aluminum bats making contact and the thrill of stepping up to the plate with your family cheering you on from the stands. These were innocent times when the only thing disturbing the peace might be an overzealous father occasionally make a fool of himself and embarrassing his son by throwing a temper tantrum over a bad call.
Times like these are one of the greatest attractions of life in a small town like Yazoo, but there are two ladies in our community who will probably never feel that way again. On Thursday two women were attacked at the Wardell Leach Recreation Complex by three cowards while one shielded an infant from the assault with her own body.
This incident must serve as a wake up call for this community. It has to be the last straw.
When a young mother can’t feel safe watching her children play in a city park, none of us can feel safe. These young criminals seem to have picked their victims at random. It could have just have easily been your wife, your sister or your mother.
The suspects of this terrible crime likely picked their victims because they looked like easy targets.
Two women and an infant don’t appear to have much of a chance against three young men. But what if the whole community rose up behind them? What if all of us took a stand and said this kind of atrocity is not going to be tolerated in our town? What if we stopped reminiscing about times when you didn’t have to worry about something like this happening and started taking action to make sure it never happens again.
It might not seem like there’s much the average person can do, but there’s plenty. What happened Thursday was an isolated incident, but it’s a sign of what happens when people stick their heads in the sand as crime takes a stronger hold in the community. There is something that all of us can do.
A good start would be for every one of us to pray for the future of this city. Then each of us can do our part.
We can make it clear to our elected officials that crime prevention must be a top priority. All other efforts will suffer if crime isn’t addressed. Our police officers deserve every bit of support that we can afford to give them.
We can start putting more pressure on our district attorney when it comes to prosecuting serious crimes. Take a look at just about any circuit court record, and you’ll find no shortage of easy deals for felony offenders. Often we see the same people in trouble again and again because they have no fear of the consequences. It’s time for law-abiding citizens to demand more.
School officials can start getting more serious about violence in our schools. I have had several recent incidents where teachers told me about fights at school where the students suffered little consequences. These teachers didn’t want to speak on the record for fear that they would be the ones punished.
Parents can stop coddling their children when they get into serious trouble. Tough love is in order. There are too many parents in our community who don’t get involved in their children’s lives until they get in trouble.
All of us can start looking out for each other. The incident Thursday opened up a lot of eyes. One isolated incident is no reason to panic, but it shows the need for all of us to stand together.