June 25, 2014
Stop Homicide in Our Community
This is the story of my son but it can happen to anyone child. We have to stop protecting the killers of our children and speak out.
Dear Clergyman of Churches from all Denominations:
I am as uncomfortable to writing this letter as you are to receive it. You’ve got quite an operation going, and I trust that your congregation loves the Lord and carries out the word; both competently and enthusiastically. Certainly offerings and fundraising are high priorities in order to keep the church running smoothly. I would hope that your congregation’s morale through your sermons is equally high. With all this in mind, maybe you can answer my question? How can a man of cloth preach the word of God in their Sunday sermons, but do nothing collectively to support one of the Ten Commandments “Thou shall not kill”; when it is happening right outside the church doors. My son Karleem was killed on November 29th 2009, the day before his 32 birthday on 131st and 7th avenue - right outside Shiloh Baptist Church. There have been several murders in Harem in the same neighborhood, including St. Nicholas Projects (were my son was born raised and murdered in). Though our children, as well as ourselves, are not without sin; we are all still God’s children. Where my son was shot was surrounded by churches and yet no church not even the church he was shoot in front of, felt a need to come out into the community and speak about his murder. I guess it was not a fundraising event, so it had no credence. I would like to correct that - St. Aloysius Church where his funeral took place, did come out the day of his vigil in support of his passing. People say prayer is the strongest force against evil - than I challenge all the churches in Harlem regardless of what faith, to come out and meet as one unit to pray, not just for our murdered children who are with their heavenly father; but for all the people in the community. Churches should encourage the community to speak out about what they have heard or know; and are afraid to come forward with - to end the unbearable pain we suffer as mothers who have lost our children to gun violence. Some of victims and their families and even murderers might be members of your churches, this leaving other members, carrying the burden of possibly knowing the individual who have committed these heinous crimes against one of God’s children. It has been 2 years and 7 months since my son was murdered, yet his murderer is allowed to walk free in the community after intentionally going against one of Ten Commandments “Thou shall not kill” to kill again if they so desire. Seems nothing is working to change these young people’s thinking about killing and understanding that no one has a right to take a life. It seems to me the devil is winning the battle against evil. I feel the only thing left is a strong chain of prayer, which requires the strength of all the churches in Harlem collectively - constructing a quilt bonded together by prayer. I am not asking for anything but prayer and prayer should be free to anyone in need. My pain is no less than that of our blessed mother whose son died on the cross for our sins. Though my pain is everlasting, I am still trying to hold on to my faith. I would like to thank you for reading this letter from a grieving mother whose pain of losing her son is so gut-wrenching; that every day is a struggle to just exist.
PS Please have the courtesy to respond thank you
sincerely—A Grieving Mother