A Soccer Game in June

6.10.16 By Jesse Solomon

On my way home yesterday, I had the chance to stop by Ceylon Field on Columbia Road to catch the last ten minutes of the Dearborn vs. Frederick middle school boys championship soccer game. It was a blast: really high level soccer, cheering fans, sun shining, good sportsmanship, ice cream and trophies and medals afterwards.

You would have been hard-pressed to know that just a few hours before, the students had been in lock down in their school because of a quadruple shooting outside. A 17-year-old boy was murdered, and three other people were shot.

The fact that the students were able to keep going, to walk down the street a few blocks and cheerfully play a soccer game, is amazing.  It is a testament to their strength, their relationships, their ability to keep moving in the face of adversity few of us have had to face.

But the fact that the rest of us will just keep moving on is fucked up.

As it stands, we shake our heads, bemoan the senselessness of it all, and go on to the next thing.

What if we didn’t do that? What if we said, as a city, as a community, that this wasn’t OK?  That we were not going to let our city to be one in which a 17-year-old boy can be gunned down.

Imagine, as hard as it is, that this event had happened 15 miles west in one of our suburbs. You can be sure that the town would shut down, and the whole region would come together to make sure this never happened again.

I hate to write this without a clear sense of a call to action.  Fact is—I don’t know what that call should be.  I don’t know how we’re supposed to solve this.

I do know that I, and all of my friends and colleagues, want our city to be one in which the murder of a 17-year-old boy is not OK. If we are not able to stop this kind of thing from happening, I do not think history will not look favorably on us.  What kind of society stands by while its young people are killed in the street in broad daylight?

And while it was amazing to see those young people have the wherewithal to play soccer yesterday—they shouldn’t have to do that. They are kids: 12, 13, 14 years old. They should be able to cry and fall apart and talk. Remember, they had to get up this morning and walk to school past the site of the murder—they shouldn’t have to do that. We should be taking care of them. 

They shouldn’t have to be the bravest among us.

more from Jesse Solomon on the blog

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