On Wednesday, the CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of East Mississippi, Ricky Hood, told Twin States News that part of the problem is silence in the community. In part two of that interview, the respected community leader shared his ideas that he believes could end the violence.
Creating a plan to attack crime may be a start, but Ricky Hood believes there is more that must be done to stop the violence.
“I think our plan, and this is very personal to me, and this is my opinion. I think it starts in the black community because it’s not just black-on-black crime but that is what’s happening”, stated Hood. “All of these young men that are getting killed here recently have been black. Nobody in the black community is willing to say that but I’m willing to say it because I knew them. I know their families. I know their connections. So, it starts I think personally, the black community has to have a conversation within itself, and then it broadens out for a solution to include the entire community.”
Bringing in a professional who has experience in reducing crime is an idea that Hood believes could be beneficial to the city.
“Am I the guy to put that together? Absolutely not. There are professionals out there that can do that. We spend all this money on all these other things. We get consultants for everything, for everything. The city of Meridian has consultants for everything. Where is the consultant on crime?”, asked Ricky Hood.
Hood believes that the city of Meridian and Lauderdale County has what it takes to turn this plague of violence around, but it’s going to take a lot of tough conversations to get there.
“What we have right now is what me and you are having. A conversation. This is my first time really speaking out on it. It’s because I’m at the point now where everybody should be. Enough is enough. Does it sound like I’m angry? Yes. Does it sound like I’m passionate? Absolutely. Does it sound like it’s a solution out there? Yes. But Ricky Hood doesn't have it by himself. He never has and he never will. It takes a community to make it happen.”
Ricky Hood wants to make it clear that it is time for the black community to speak up, get involved with the youth, and start those tough conversations.
It is what he believes is needed to gain control and end the violence that has been plaguing our community.