My older brother and my nephew came to visit me the first week I was home.
After graduating from LSU, he immediately accepted a job in Georgia, and moved there days after his graduation ceremony. He has since settled there, and is living a comfortable life as he and his beautiful wife, a Georgia girl, are living very successfully as they are providing a wonderful quality of live for their child. I am very proud of all that he has accomplished, and so is the rest of my family.
His home is a six-hour drive away from my parents' house. And at one point during our visit, we were talking about New Orleans, and he said without batting an eye, "New Orleans is a cesspool." Although I completely disagreed, I remained silent.
As most of you know, last Sunday was Mother's day. And apparently, a second line was held in New Orleans. I am unable to properly explain in words exactly what a second line is in a way that would do it justice, so I posted a few videos that I found while searching through Youtube.
Second lines are one of the many unique things that make New Orleans one of America's greatest cities. And as many of you have already heard, there was a mass shooting at one being held on Mother's Day. And as I type this, the suspect is being brought into custody.
I have no idea what he was thinking in doing this. He obviously was not considering the children, because a ten-year-old boy was hit. Luckily, the bullet grazed his head, and he suffered only minor injuries. Just a year earlier, the same little boy survived a shooting at his birthday party where he watched his younger cousin die from a bullet wound.
It's sad that a boy has to be exposed to such violence and carnage at such a young age. He was shown on television via Fox 8 news here in New Orleans, and to say that he was visibly shaken would be an understatement. It was obvious that his innocence was taken from him. Even at such a young age, the boy was visibly angry.
Children are supposed to merely pretend to shoot and be shot as they play army, cops and robbers, or any other game involving good and bad guys. Or like the children that I teach in Korea, they are supposed to be learning, growing both physically and intellectually, and having fun. They shouldn't be exposed to real life gun violence, much less be shot by a barbarian who does something that is unfortunately no longer becoming "unthinkable."
I am going back to Korea to teach children who have no concept of anything such as that, who enjoy merely playing, and wish to not be required to study so much. The biggest concern of the children of Korea is being mentally overworked, and staying up too late to finish homework, a problem that children in inner-city New Orleans can only dream of having. The biggest concern of unfortunately too many of them is not watching a relative die violently in front of them, and maybe even surviving a night themselves.
It's been great to return to things like shrimp poboys, crawfish, being out on the boat on Lake Pontchartrain, and driving down St. Charles. At the same time, it's quite sobering to return home to such a reality as the murder problem in New Orleans.
I am not going to pretend to have all the answers, but something has to be done. If local and national governments were able to fix it, it would have been done a long time ago, so they have proven to be worthless.
It starts with prayer. Pray for New Orleans. It is not a cesspool. It is the most unique and beautiful city in America. And it is also a city with a major problem that has to be dealt with. It's not right for children to have their innocence taken from them.
Please pray for New Orleans.