The death of Jameil Shaw has really affected me. Maybe, it was the fact that I love coaching football, and Jameil Shaw reminds me of the hundreds of kids I have coached throughout my lifetime. Maybe, it is the fact that as a parent the thought of losing a child cripples me and I truly believe and pray that children are supposed to bury their parents; parents should never bury their children.
By the time you have read this week’s “Talk to Danny” you have already seen the banner picture of Jameil Shaw in the casket with his parents viewing the body. This picture spurred a lot of debate within our office. We argued about whether we should or should not run this picture, we contemplated the pros and cons of this picture, and we prayed that we were making the right decision.
This picture took a lot out of me and at one point I had decided not to run the picture, but Willis Edwards, Malcolm Ali and several other staffers convinced me that we should. The ironic thing was in two separate conversations I was told the same thing. I was reminded that when Emmit Till was murdered everyone wanted to leave the casket closed, but his mother said NO, let the world see what these people did to my child. Let them see the pain, let them see the tragedy. That point is what led me to run this photo.
The tragedy of gang violence is plaguing and devastating our community. It is nothing more than domestic terrorism. If the federal government would put half the resources that we spend fighting terrorism in Iraq, Iran, North Korea (or South Korea, I can never really remember…. And I really don’t care… North, South, East or West ….. whatever).
We have to come together and find ways to help our community, our people and protect our children. The Shaw Family did all the right things, the parents gave their child guidance, love and taught him to respect all people and still this tragedy occurred. Think about this, Jameil Shaw’s mother was in Iraq protecting and defending this country and this country really has not done anything to help protect her child.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor