Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Al Sharpton on Lester Street - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Joe Birch

Taking Back Our Neighborhoods: Al Sharpton on Lester Street

Rev. Al Sharpton took up an invitation recently to visit Lester Street, where four adults and two children were murdered nearly one month ago.

"With all this tragedy and trauma, God knows this family will probably take a lifetime to get over it...if then," Sharpton said.  "If we don't learn from it and say 'wait a minute, this is the result of all that...the result of our ignoring mental illness, the result of our glorifying thuggery, the result of our no-snitch-stuff.' If we don't use that, we're going to be back at this place again."

Sharpton is a leading voice in Black America, willing to take on not only the war in Iraq, but also the bloody madness that occurred on Lester.

"Dr. King was against all violence -whether it was ruthless, mindless violence that was demonstrated in a family dispute here, or whether it was on the shores of Vietnam or racial bigotry. And I think some of us are ready to denounce violence when others do it to us, but shy away from it when we do it to each other," Sharpton said.    

Sharpton also expressed a deep concern about the glorification of violence in some quarters of the black community, where Scarface - a bloody Al Pacino film - has become something to emulate.
"I think we've got to attack it, even if it means we've got to fight some of our own," Sharpton said. "I've come to Memphis to fight Confederate images. I've also got to fight thug images. Both of them hurt our people."

Sharpton believe America can help take back our neighborhoods from criminals and violence by supporting those working to help people who suffer from poverty and injustice - ideals of Dr. King.

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