Connect with us

#NNPA BlackPress

Pro-Active vs. Reactive Approaches to Oakland’s Violence Crisis, Part 2



While columnist Richard Johnson (right) was meeting with various formerly incarcerated group leaders to develop an outreach plan in response to the rash of recent killings in Oakland, he bumped into Chicago Rapper Common who was also going door-to-door urging the residents to get registered and vote for Pamela Price, his D.A. candidate. Richard said, “We both share something in common, we want to help stop the violence and we want to increase voting as a part of helping to solve problems.” Photo courtesy of Richard Johnson and Jonathan “Fitness” Jones.

By Richard Johnson

Violence in of itself is a reaction to various triggers that gives it life.

In other words, it is a manifestation of situations that prove to be unmanageable in that moment. In order to stem it, we, as a community must recognize it before it becomes the act itself and provide a conduit that allows the cause to be redirected into positivity rather than negativity.

The level of violence today is a culmination of causes over periods of time. Some instances are random, however, most stem from long-standing feuds, “beefs” and generational conflicts that lay dormant until something brings it to the surface.

As members of the Formerly Incarcerated Giving Back (FIGB), we do understand and recognize some of these root causes and what is truly needed to address them with resolve in mind.

These challenges aren’t new! However, in order to confront them, the approach has to be innovative and indicative of the problem.

We know that violence crosses all boundaries, races and cultures. Our plan is based on what we did in prison that proved to be quite successful at most times. Presently, we are in conference with several influential individuals who are highly respected both inside and outside of prison walls. They also see the destructive nature of mindless violence and are seeking to stop it.

With the understanding that there is no magic wand to wave and that some street formations won’t be receptive to our peace plan, we have started a dialogue to cease hostilities as we did inside of prison.

This approach has a proven history of being effective and we believe our approach can work because prison is a microcosm of society.

Time is of essence because lives are being destroyed each day. Meaningless talk needs to stop, and real action must begin. Since FIGB members aren’t politicians, we see things through different lens.

We desire immediate action via dialogue rather than promises. Quite naturally, there will be some CORE demands on both sides.

As previously mentioned, the Oakland Post News Group and AASEG has signed on to assist in this endeavor. This is a war on violence and must be seen as such. We need others to pledge to engage in this war on violence with us.

The Post staff called Pamela Price about Common’s appearance. She said “I was pleasantly surprised and deeply honored that Common would show up in the fight for justice in Alameda County. We need the voters to show up on November 8th to finish this race!”

The post Pro-Active vs. Reactive Approaches to Oakland’s Violence Crisis, Part 2 first appeared on Post News Group. This article originally appeared in Post News Group.


Sign up to receive the latest news in your inbox

* indicates required

Like BlackPressUSA on Facebook


Advertise on BlackPressUSA

advertise with