BLOG: 'Silent majority' must unite to make communities safer - | WBTV Charlotte

BLOG: 'Silent majority' must unite to make communities safer

Nothing like a community being greeted on a holiday to their local newspaper headline reading, "24 hours, 11 shot, 5 dead," truly a record for Charlotte. Some will say it's a sign of our times. Many people are asking what went wrong. It's not what went wrong.  It's what is going wrong.  Just like a snowball rolling down a hill, all fine and good until it becomes dangerous for someone. 

Let me share with you my opinion of what's going on; the majority is remaining silent.
 
Through our relatively short history as a country, Americans have remained tolerant, to a degree, until we are pushed too far.  But what is “too far?”

Generations ahead of us will be able to look at history and tell what our breaking point was.  And we will reach that breaking point, sooner or later.  But our world is right now. Today. So what can we do?
 
We first must understand that crime is committed by a numerical minority of individuals in America,,, the 1% so to say, a small sector of our society bent on evil and wrongdoing.  A) This criminal minority is spread across our country.  B) The criminal minority I refer to is not based on race, it is based simply on numbers. 

How do I know this?  Because the other side, the silent majority, those honest, hard working, law abiding citizens in America, is made up of all races, comes from all across America, and works in all facets of life.  We are as broad-based as our nation reaches.  These are the folks I'm addressing here.  Yes, you.  The silent majority.
 
As long as we, the silent majority, allow for things to occur in our society that we do not approve of, then they will continue to occur.  But we must focus our efforts, as individuals, as neighborhoods, as cities and as a nation.  We have done it before, and we can do it again.  Our actions do not have to be inspired by national events like Pearl Harbor or 9/11.  Our actions can be inspired by a mere newspaper headline "24 hours, 11 shot, 5 dead." 

I applaud those who reach out overseas to help others, keep it up.  But folks, recognize that we need help here at home too.  In our own neighborhoods.  The silent majority has so much power!  I have seen it work on removing gang problems from neighborhoods. I have seen it work on cleaning up a community of trash and litter. I have seen it work to gentrify a city block. I have seen it uplift the elderly and provide care to those in need. I have seen it and I believe in it! It's the power of a few, focused on what is within their ability to manage.
 
Your neighborhood might be getting torn apart by crime.  "Why aren't the police doing anything about it?" you ask.  It is not the sole responsibility of the police department.  It is the responsibility of the community to correct itself.  The police, and many others, are there to assist. 
 
Your neighborhood might be getting overrun by transients. "Why isn't the city government doing anything about it?" you ask. It is not the sole responsibility of city government.  It is the responsibility of the community to correct itself.  The city, and many others, are there to assist.
 
Let me ask you something.  How many of you can name the people that live to the front and back, left and right of you?  When was the last time you sat down as a group with those folks and spoke?  The "community" I speak of here is not just a group of people residing in a geographic area, it is concerned citizens interacting to make a better world, one neighborhood at a time.  It is an attitude of, "I may not be able to fix the world, but I definitely can fix my own back yard."
 
I am a huge advocate of Neighborhood Watch/Block Watch.  People helping people, in association with their cities assistance, to stay safe.  But it only works if we come together and begin to talk, as a neighborhood.  We will never be able to get rid of crime, but through a neighborhood effort, we can push that crime to another area of the city, and now our neighborhood is safer.  And then, offer our assistance to that affected area of the city, empowering them.  It becomes a cycle.  We can create a cycle of safety within our community.
 
Hello, silent majority.  Things will get better in this world...when you have had enough.   
 

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Karl de la Guerra, PPS, CLSS

Don't let the bad guys win. Karl de la Guerra is WBTV's expert on personal security. He has spent the past 36 years in the protective services industry, with experience in the U.S. military, law enforcement, and international corporate security. For more information, visit teamKDI.com.
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