Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Oct. 11, 2006 / 19 Tishrei, 5767

Mentor in program to save young black men at risk is murdered by one: An open letter to an unknown killer

By Leonard Pitts, Jr.


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Good morning, gentlemen. I don't know your names yet, but I want to talk to you about the man you killed.


I read about it in The Miami Herald. How Lemroy Lawrence walked out of his house in Miami Gardens about 9 p.m. Tuesday to get some papers from his truck. How you approached him out of the darkness. How there was a struggle. How he was shot in the back.


Police put out a description of the suspects they're looking for, a description of you: young, black, and male. Maybe you'll be in custody by the time these words see print. Maybe it'll take longer. But you'll be caught. For some reason, I have no doubt.


Afterward, you'll show up in court and they'll have your picture on the news and you'll be wearing one of those jail jumpsuits and giving that scowl of hard-as-calculus and dead inside that young men like you like to show the world as a way of saying nothing matters to you and you can't be touched. Inside, you'll be puking your guts out.


They're going to give you life. Or maybe death. Either way, you'll have a long time to contemplate what you've done. You'll turn 30 in jail, 40 in jail, maybe grow old in jail, and the person you are now will be a distant memory, a stupid young punk you'll wish you could reach back in time to slap, scream at, shake by the shoulders and beg to turn his life around, not do this terrible thing. Maybe you'll find Jesus. Maybe you'll find remorse. Maybe you'll read books, become educated, change your life.


And all the while, Lemroy Lawrence will still be dead.


Moreover, the ironies of that death will still be sharp as razor blades. Lawrence was a husband, father, high school shop teacher, yes. He was also a mentor in the 5000 Role Models of Excellence program, a program that exists to save young black men at risk. Young black men like you.


I spoke at one of their assemblies years ago. They made me an honorary member. Somewhere in my closet, I still have the tie they gave me, the tie that is the uniform of the program: against a field of red, it shows hands reaching out.


It was all the brainchild of state Sen. Frederica Wilson. According to Role Models literature, 95 percent of the boys who graduate the program get in no further trouble with school officials or police. Point being, you destroyed a man who had dedicated his life to saving yours.


It's painful, but hardly coincidental to note that in May, Wilson herself was mugged — outside the Role Models office — by a young black man.


In a very real sense, of course, it's a waste of time talking to you. You stood in the endless moment before the awful act, the moment when all things were still possible, and you made your decision. You pulled the trigger. You crossed a sacred line, and there's no going back.


But I find myself thinking about the young black men for whom there is still time, the ones who stand at that line but haven't crossed it yet, the ones who still live in the moment before and thus, still have time to reclaim their futures, redeem their lives. With any luck, they will learn from this. With any luck, they will understand that they are both the hope and the despair of the African-American nation, and that we've known too little of the one and far too much of other. We are a people who are killing themselves, one heartbreak at a time. So maybe those young men will look at what you did and realize they need to be better than this. We all need to be better than this.


Better than drugs. Better than guns. Better than ignorance. Better than fear. Better than handcuffs. Better than poverty. And yes, Lord, better than death.


It's too late for you. But I think of all those other young brothers out there walking the edge of that sacred line, and I hope they step back before it's too late for them.


Before it's too late for us all.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Leonard Pitts, Jr.'s column by clicking here.

Leonard Pitts, Jr. Archives

© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles