This piece was written after the Peace Zones and State of the Community discussions during Detroit 2012
Over the past four decades we’ve seen the dismantlement of our schools, neighborhoods and families. Loss of income and lack of commitment from government and the private sector which could have helped change conditions. We have experienced chemical warfare which has left our young people reaching for a community that they have yet to experience. We believe in this time in Detroit’s history that Detroit needs a people’s first mentality. It is now or never! We have to band together to not only protect each other, but to provide for each other, share with each other, feed each other, care for each other and more importantly love each other in these tough times Detroit, but we need efficient and effective action. We need to continue to be proactive in rebuilding and re-spiriting Detroit. We have to change the mindset and the culture of Detroit, because if we don’t, all the money in the world will not help in Detroit’s rebirth. The people of Detroit need a rebirth which will fuel Detroit’s rebirth.
Through this “Declaration of Hope and Love”, we are here to convey to all Detroiters that every life in our community is valuable, every life in our community deserves to be loved, and every life in our community needs to be invested in and by not doing our part we are helping to sustain the underdeveloped behavior that is contributing to the social mayhem in our neighborhoods. We need to develop and create liberated peace zones, which will breed hope amongst the people and instill high expectations within the people to treat each other like human beings and not like animals! We need every human being to join our ranks; white, black, brown and any other color. We need people to overstand that we have to restore the neighbor back to the hood, if not the hood will be the death of all of us. People survive in hoods through underdeveloped behavior, but people live in neighborhoods through love and care. Our greatest resource is our capacity love and care for each other and for our neighbors, which will bridge the gap between hope and desperation. We firmly believe that this is not a time for war, but for peace. It is not a time for acrimony, but for harmony. It is not a time for discord but for direction.
Ron Scott and Yusef Shakur