September 30, 2023

Credible messengers

No prizes for predicting rain, only building arks.

The numbers for Harris County amount to 2.5 million and the City of Houston is working with 500,000 as random and senseless acts of violence continue to spike.  This bank for violence interruption is our taxpayer money.

Judge Lina Hidalgo and the Commissioners have approved building of this ark in Sunnyside and the Mayor and Council have approved the near Northside.

These communities face a disproportionate share of violence. Credible messengers do not have an enforcement authority as they shift and rebalance the tightrope walk.  Messengers are tasked with intercepting violence before it begins, at the first sign of risk and after the pain of violence.

The communities are brittle because they often have strong social tensions. Think of social tensions as beefs. With beefs, slight provocations among irrational actors can ignite a prairie fire. Sunnyside, a growing and prospering community experienced 50 young people murders over eight years, primarily because of gang-related violence.

Interrupting violence is broader than youth violence. There is sexual violence, elder abuse and bullying. The mandate given to messengers will be multi-focused. The policy makers will make decisions about the specific targets, but the decisions will not be based on black pepper magic.

Our problems are confounded by colliding mega-trends. Vance Packard, author of a Nation of Strangers spoke of weakening community cohesion, splitting asunder. Our neighbors don’t feel that they are wrapped in a single garment of destiny. Weaker communities and families are becoming fortresses.

The children of strong and resilient families never have to observe what Oscar winning actor Will Smith endured. That is, feeling like a wimp because of his inability to intervene when his father was beating his mother.

Robinson is right. Accountability begins at home. Win the confidence of your family, your students and treat them well. Then apply “tough love” and don’t feel guilty about responsibly disciplining those in your charge.

Cred means that strong men treat women well, respect all women as they you respect their mothers. Strong men and women get a grip, interrupt violence at home, model peacemaking at home, school and community. In their creed, non-retaliation is a mainstay. In their creed boys can be boys without being soft. Girls can be assertive without being loud and threatening. Credible messengers can defend their person and loved ones and still be gentle.

Yes, the new arena of struggle beckons us to act without waiting on government dollars to change our reality. After we understand and get the command, we take up our bed and walk. Hopefully, messengers will link with local citizens and leaders and win their buy-in for this life support program.

All of us are credible messengers, helping the weak and vulnerable because tomorrow we will be weak and vulnerable. Due to HR 1927 Permit less carry, unchecked access to guns is dangerous for public health because everyone in the village is not well. Seasoned criminals use “useful idiots” to achieve their evil ends. Some politicians “gin” up the False Evidence Appearing Real temperature to panic the people to Vote for their Ball of Confusion.

CRED starts with Treating women and mothers well – never slap, hit, verbally abuse a woman. Respect women as you respect your mother. Model Peaceful Conflict Resolution to get a grip. Interrupt violence in your home. Foster peacemaking and peacekeeping as article of faith.

To the guardians of our communities, Noah gets a prize, but we don’t give prizes for predicting rain, only building arks.



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