It may not be scripture but it sure is true: “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.” People clearly haven’t enough on their minds to keep them busy when they are shooting and killing like it’s the Wild West. There used to be a time when these kinds of things took place primarily in the middle of the night in certain types of places and usually within groups of people who limited the violence to each other (not saying it is any better).

DC Police Tape

Nowadays they’re out in broad daylight in busy areas while residents are walking to and from school and work and going about their business. Why are these people not somewhere doing something productive in the middle of the day?

We’ve got much work to do to get our people to see the value of a human life. People have become so callous that they don’t have any concern for those they intend to shoot/kill or those who live and work nearby who may be collateral damage. Somehow D.C. is starting to feel like it did in the 80’s when it earned the moniker “Murder capital” of the nation. It’s deplorable that in the shadows of glorious National Monuments and the seat of the government of one of the most powerful nations in the free world and amid rampant gentrification that people are so underserved, disenfranchised and disconnected from the American Dream, services and the resources people right across the river benefit from daily.

We run all over the globe acting as “Team America: World Police” serving up democracy and a slice of the American pie to people who may or may not want or need our help. We continually deploy immeasurable resources (human and monetary) all over the world to ensure civility is enacted in the parts of the world that serve our interests and house desirable resources yet we leave citizens in our own backyard to fend for themselves. We leave women to be murdered while walking into their homes with hands full of groceries and children to be gunned down in the streets like animals.

The local authorities do little to make life better or safer and the Federal Government sits right across the river and does nothing to intervene (outside of determining how the city’s money is spent). Let some unrest like this happen in a place where the skin is fairer and the money is greener and longer and where natural resources abound, and they’d be rushing in like gangbusters organizing and bringing order and ensuring ample resources were provided to address the issues and serve the people.

We have got to demand more from each other, from our city officials and from our national officials. No longer can we sit idly by ignoring things that don’t directly affect us and pretendi ng it’s someone else’s problem. It’s everyone’s problem. Let’s do our part to help the young and old alike value themselves and others and create a climate of economic growth and financial solvency and eradicate the looming despair and generational poverty that exists east of the Anacostia River.

Racquelle Proctor is a third-generation native Washingtonian who loves her hometown and its residents.