No light shining in our Black community

Darkness has seemed to outshine light in Miami’s urban core over the past 12 months with the increasing incidents of senseless gun violence among our children and youth, incidents that involve mainly black males who are either victims or suspects in the murder and mayhem that has gripped an entire community.

And it was extremely difficult to find light on a breezy, sunny South Florida Sunday afternoon—one day after the senseless death of 6-year old King Carter.

I found only darkness, pain, sorrow and despair which found their way to Santonio Carter, the mother of his children, and countless family and friends as hundreds gathered in pain and outrage at the senseless killing of his 6-year old son, King Carter.

Steve Gallon III, Former School principal

I hadn’t seen Santonio in well over a decade—since I handed him his high school diploma—and at which time I knew him as “Blaze.” He had always shown himself to be a responsible student and likewise had grown into a responsible, dedicated young man and father who walked his son to school, involved him in sports, and purchased candy in the wee hours of the night because his love and adoration for King Carter made him unable to say no.

Sadly, there will be no more walks to school. No more looking forward to little league football. There will be no more late night runs for candy. This sweetness has now been replaced with a bitterness shared by an entire community, an outrage that should be examined by the whole nation that only hears, reads, or views news footage about the virtual genocide in which legions of young, predominantly Black males find themselves on either side of high-powered weapons that have no “eyes” and in the hands of shooters that have no hearts.

Young King Carter encountered the “heartless” and was felled by a blind hail of bullets in broad daylight on what seemed to be a quiet Saturday afternoon. Santonio’s vivid description and painful anguish over seeing his young son shot sent chills through the veins of each person that gathered at the complex.

Senseless violence and killing have no place in society. They rarely if ever visit the suburbs. When they do, they make headlines and are usually followed by swift, deliberate action and the capture of the perpetrators.

Bullets flying through the neighborhoods of our children in the urban core have become a common occurrence. Weekly, we serve witness to a frenzy of unchecked gun violence in the urban core that increasingly places mothers in the front pews of churches trying to bridge the irreconcilable gulf between what they had breathed and sweated and pushed into the world and what lied embalmed in hand-picked coffins before them—coffins that should never be made for a body the size of King Carter’s.

With each senseless loss of young life, we move from sorrow to anger; to despair and worry for the children and youth, and residents, who are trapped in terror and too often, because of their zip codes, are at best given a prescription for a life residing in terror, and at worst the nightmarish reality of an early, untimely, inexplicable death.

Dr. Gallon served as principal of Miami Northwestern Senior High School from 1998-2005. He is a candidate for School Board District 1.