Thursday, July 30, 2009

A challenge for commenters to respect and step up to help

Summer is a wonderful time to live in Duluth. We have so many things to do and mostly nice weather. We have great events all over the place. For the last two years, summer has also been a difficult time to live in Duluth, especially in the Central Hillside.

Last year, we had a shooting on Third Street and another at the Hillside Laundry. This year, while we are still coping with one loss, another is dead. This time for 60 cents and a bus pass.
Now we have two men who are no longer with us and there was no reason. We have a community in fear and shock again. The day after the shooting, I put on a press conference at the community center. I was happy to see the other community leaders with me at this conference. Every television channel picked up was my quote “Today, we are mourning.” It was the start of my message that was a call to action while also a remembrance of the life we just lost.

...maybe you will learn a little bit of the truth,
a little hint of compassion.

-Scott Yeazle

I had in my hand eight pages of comments from the Internet about the shooting. These were racist and hate driven comments about the Hillside. Community leaders know the drill; we know the myths and the truth. That day we were mourning and a few days later we were mourning another loss. We are still working for the community that we love, for the city that we love. Just like the military, we are looking for a few good people to help the community.

I challenge anyone who makes the comments to step up and help the community. Maybe you will learn a little bit of the truth, a little hint of compassion. As a community we will never forget the lives lost. We will carry on; we have to carry on.

Scott Yeazle