Light 'Em Up

The Mindless Menace of Violence: 53 Years Later, Will We Ever Listen? Can America Ever Lose its Obsession with Violence?

October 29, 2021 Phillip Rizzo Season 2 Episode 16
Light 'Em Up
The Mindless Menace of Violence: 53 Years Later, Will We Ever Listen? Can America Ever Lose its Obsession with Violence?
Show Notes

Welcome to this special episode of Light ‘Em Up!

We want to also welcome our new sponsor “Innisfree beauty solutions”.

We are excited to announce that we are now broadcasting in 79 countries.

On this edition of Light ‘Em Up we’re going to discuss the mindless menace of violence.

Akron, Ohio has set a record each consecutive year recently for murders. It is clear that the city and police department have no clear way forward to remedy this problem.

Taken as a single category (including homicides, suicides and accidents) about 40,000 Americans die each year as a result of gunshots. No one knows for sure why this is, but we do know quite a bit. 

We know that:
♦ Every other high-income country in the world has many fewer guns and many fewer gun deaths than the U.S.
♦ States with fewer guns (like California, Illinois and Iowa) have fewer gun deaths, and
♦ States with more gun restrictions (like California, Massachusetts, New York) do, too.

On April 4, 1968 Robert F. Kennedy was in Indiana campaigning for the Democratic nomination for President when news reached him that civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.

A crowd that had gathered for his last stop in a mostly black neighborhood had not heard the news. The Chief of Police had wanted Kennedy to call off his speech, fearing a riot. But Kennedy stood up on the back of a flatbed truck, with no police in sight, and broke the tragic news to his supporters.

A leader leads at all times – even in, or especially in -- times of tragedy and despair.

He spoke for just 5 minutes, making a plea to those listening not to allow the assassination to be an excuse for hatred or racial division.
There would be no riots in Indianapolis that night, unlike in numerous other U.S. cities such as Washington, New York and Detroit.

The following day, Kennedy made just one public appearance, at the City Club in Cleveland, Ohio. The remarks he delivered were powerful and impassioned. He spoke for just about 10 minutes, but 53 years later, the words he spoke remain just as relevant, just as necessary for every American to hear and contemplate, as they were back then.

The speech he gave came to be known as the “Mindless Menace of Violence” Speech and as America continues to struggle with violence every minute since April 5, 1968, we offer it to you here to think about when next you hear a news report of another American’s life being ended violently, as you are most like to hear if not today, then soon.

We’ve come to accept violence in our streets as natural, as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west or water flowing downstream. But must it be this way?

Here at Light ‘Em Up and Justice Rolls Down, we don’t think so.

Like Robert Kennedy told the audience in Cleveland, there’s no program or resolution that will instantly cure our society of this sickness. 

If every problem has a solution, so too does this one.

We want to hear from you, our listeners -- we ask you directly.
♦ What needs to be done to start to chip away at the steady drumbeat of violent incidents in this country of ours?
♦ How do we begin the process of reducing violence in our streets and in our homes, schools, places of worship, business and entertainment?

Send us your thoughts and we’ll devote a future episode to explore the wisdom you’ve shared.
You don’t have to live in America to express your thoughts.   Just being a human being qualifies you to know that each victim of the mindless menace of violence is a human being, “whom other human beings loved and needed”.

Don’t shrug it off for someone else to do. ACT!  Respond today! 

I hope this episode makes you think! 
Executive Producer
Phil Rizzo