Sixteen year old Derrion Albert was beaten to death last week at the hands of his peers. I heard about the incident through the grapevine but researched the news story myself and cringed as I watched the video of the incident at length. I was heartbroken and watched in disbelief as an innocent honor roll student was caught up in the middle of senseless fighting.
Gang violence amongst teenagers and consenting adults has gone too far. The lack of value for another human being’s life is an abomination and unacceptable. The laughter and jeering that was heard on the videotape of what turned out to be this young man’s last few breaths was an indication that this level of fighting has become the norm in our neighborhoods. It means that these type of brawls are just as common as watching a reality show or sitcom or as amusing as recording an event in real time and uploading it to YouTube for everyone to see. However, this time the rolling credits at the end of the video indicated that if viewers could “identify anyone in the video allegedly involved in the death of Derrion Albert, please call Chicago Police Dept. at 312-747-8272.” Unfortunately, that’s how the story of Derrion’s life ended.
Our nation needs serious prayer and there needs to be a rallying of communties to win back our children. Our children need structure and guidance and if they can’t get it at home they need structure and guidance at church, school, community centers, the neighborhood grocery store, the post office, wherever they go.
Prov 22:6 says, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” If parents would dedicate their lives to training their children and sowing into their children as opposed to working constantly, spending excessive amounts of time glued to the cell phone, or out with friends, a huge percentage of behavioral problems amongst our youth would be resolved. We need parents that are guilty of slacking in their duties to stand up and be parents. It’s not an easy task but there are support groups and tons of literature to help in the process.
There’s also an old African proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child.” It’s up to everyone to help our youth. If you are not already involved in a child’s life I encourage you to ask yourself, “What About The Children?” The children like Derrion, the children like those who took Derrion’s precious life for granted, the children like those who stood around laughing. Make sure you are imparting your wisdom and love into a young child’s life. If you know a parent struggling to raise a son or daughter, pour into that parent and help raise that child. Seek out organizations like the Boys & Girls Club, Youth Villages, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Girls Inc., local schools, the youth ministry at your place of worship, community centers, etc. to volunteer your time throughout the year! Our future generation of leaders need guidance.
Let’s be in prayer for our youth, the parents of our youth and most importantly for the family of 16 year old Derrion Albert. May He Rest In Peace & May His Death Cause People To Stand Up For What’s Right Everywhere.