While watching the daily, nonstop and justifiable media frenzy of the young children that were massacred at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a deranged gunman using semi-automatic assault rifle equipped with “numerous” high-capacity magazines, I could not help but wonder what thoughts were going through the minds of Tina Cornell whose 1-year-old son, Jaliyah Allen, was shot in the head as he lay down next to her in Chicago or Diamond Salter whose 9-month-old son, Delric Waymon Miller IV, was sprayed with dozens of bullets from an AK47 at their Detroit's west side home.
Dr. Robert Sampson, a Harvard University sociologist who studies crime and its effects on cities and neighborhoods said it best on CNN, when he said, “This is a country riddled with multiple gun tragedies.” “There is the sudden and concentrated tragedy of Newtown, but there is also this ongoing, steady slow drip of tragedies in so many communities that don’t share the spotlight. America’s gun violence problem, as I see it, is a problem of both steady violence and mass shootings,” he added.
As I reflected on the “steady slow drip of tragedies” in the African-American communities and the lack of national spotlight, I couldn't help but be reminded of the song, 'Jesus Loves the Little Children'.
The tune for the song was written by George Frederick Root as an 1864 Civil War tune titled “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching.” Later the words of “Jesus Loves the Little Children” were written for the tune by one of Root’s favorite lyricists, Clare Herbert Woolston.
The song Jesus Loves the Little Children has been listed as a hymn, a prayer, and a nursery rhyme. In most churches, it is one of the first songs children learn, perhaps second only to Jesus Loves Me. I am tempted to assume that you already know the words to the chorus; anyway, here it is.:
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight.
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
As we pray for the Newtown Connecticut tragedy's victims and their families: Let's also remember those insignificant and invisible African-American children who are not worthy of a CNN or presidential visit probably because they live in low-income communities faced with the norm of a grim reality of daily shooting.
Through no fault of their own, children from low-income communities end-up becoming victims to high level of poverty, close proximity to a so-called drug corridor or short-sighted politicians closing mental-health facilities to balance their budgets.
As we pray for Newtown's victims and their families, let us remember to pray for all the children of the world. The red, yellow, black and white for they are all precious in His sight.
Let's be reminded also that about 90 percent of all gun deaths victims are African-American children under 15 living in cities such as Birmingham, Alabama; Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; Flint, Michigan; Little Rock, Arkansas; Memphis, Tennessee; New York; New York; Oakland, California; St. Louis, Missouri; and Stockton, California.