by Shameka Muhammad
GREENWOOD, Miss.—The Nation of Islam’s Greenwood Study Circle, pastors, city officials, campaigners, and the community recently met to discuss the rash of shootings that have occurred in the city of Greenwood, Mississippi, in their “Stop the Killing Rally.”
The rally comes after a spree of shootings since the beginning of the year, and just 48 hours after four shootings within three days, leaving three hurt—one critically injured and one dead. Fourteen-year-old Robert Kentrell Anderson Jr., an innocent bystander who was standing in his yard, was fatally shot.
“My son was not the target. He was in his own yard. I still have a bullet in my wall where my 12-year-old daughter was sitting in front of the television. A bullet came through my television grazing her. My children are traumatized,” his mother Lakivia Lacy said.
The increase in violence could be tied to the lack of love in the community.
“We don’t have love for each other anymore,” said Pastor Vera Bass, of Christ Temple Church in Shaw, Mississippi. “We have these young people here with us today that we must show them love.”
Other speakers chimed in sharing their perspectives to the more than 100 people present. “The Honorable Elijah Muhammad tells us that our number one problem is a spiritual one,” said guest speaker Student Minister Abram Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 78 in Jackson, Mississippi. “Our problem is not only in Greenwood. The great state of Mississippi was started on murder.”
He continued: “But we say we are of Christ, but if we were more Christ-like, then what happened across the street last night would not have happened (referencing the shooting the night prior to the rally). The Jesus I know said ‘if you love me, feed my sheep.’ All these sheep goes astray, but we are so busy chasing after the 99, we forget the one. We don’t recognize the value in that one,” he said.
“I have no faith in our police or the mayor. There has been no talk on how we are going to solve these shootings, there is no care for us,” said Dorothy Glass, first lady of New Green Grove Church of Faith located in Greenwood.
Councilwoman Dorothy Glenn, a prominent figure and community activist, physically present but unable to speak and seated at the principle table, showed her solidarity and support with the clarion call.
“We should not look to others to do what we should already be doing,” said Student Minister Basil Muhammad of the Greenwood Study Circle. “That’s why the 10,000 Fearless is so important for us. Setting up the conflict resolution centers, food pantries and the training is a must. All these things represent things that we can do ourselves and with the unity of our great pastors and their churches, and our elected officials, who are tied to many resources, these are things, through hard work, we can unite!” he said.