The Black Leadership Development Insitute, BLDI
449 East 35th Street, 1st Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60616
Mark S. Allen, Founder/President
FRIDAY, MAY 28th, 2010
"We Tried Not To Let You Down"
Thomas, you were committed to your Chatham community in terms of crime intervention and prevention, and you had your ears to the ground, you sounded the alarm, we tried not to let you down. Two weeks before you died, community leaders, elected officials, along with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr stood outside your family home in the park and we responded to your call that the community was part of a state of emergency and needed immediate intervention, and it absolutely hurts to have to come to your funeral service today and see the local and national team media coverage now that you are gone, but did not provide the same coverage that could have helped change the environment and maybe have actially saved your life. They will act as if they care about you and the environment that killed you, when they brushed you and our desperate calls for intervention that could have saved your in life, in addition to the offenders who like other at-risk youth let the desperate economic conditions and lack of intervention get them caught in the illegal street economies.
We tried not to let you down. The community activists thought sure that once we got the national attention that Rev. Jackson would bring, would get us the response that we needed to help provide the resources to intervene in an area that you sounded the alarm was about to explode and needed immediate attention, but again my friend, the media team coverage we sought to respond to our State of Emergency declaration basically came and went as just another Jesse Jackson press event, and just another day in the life of how we have just adjusted to violence, so again, its going to be a hard time to watch the local and national media coverage now that you have gone as if they really gave damn!
We tried not to let you down. I spoke speficically about how these desperate acts of violence was increasing around your house and other areas by at-risk young people who have lost their sense of community conscioussness, no respect for their lives, and even nor respect for law enforcement as was proven by these young people still attemtping to carry through with their robbery of you even after your father clearly identified you both as Police officers. What would have happened if the security that is being dispatched around your house and park today was responded to two weeks ago prior to your death as Rev. Jackson and others stood right outside your family home publicly calling for desperate immediate intervention?
We tried not to let you down. Your Alderman Fredrynna Lyle also stood there outside your family home at Cole Park and strongly stated to the media there that despite her emergency appeals for security for the park area that officials repeatedly told her that there were just no funds available while you were alive, but I suspect that with your death and the request to respond proactively versus reactively, that the ability to provide increased security will now come, but why not in life versus death?
We tried not to let you down. There is a quote that says "its when you are hardest hit is when you must not quit," and that my friend is what so many of will making public commitments to you today as we say goodbye, that while we are hard hit by your uneccessary death, that we are committed to seeing that your life and work will not be in vain, and we will certainly support the efforts announced today by Congressman Bobby Rush to find the resources to build a fitting state of the art fieldhouse in your name that will be used in the future to continue the work that you were so committed to at the historic Nat King Cole Park and Chatham community.
Rest In Peace my friend and you can rest knowing that we did respond to your call, and we tried not to let you down.
Mark S. Allen
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