POSTED: Saturday, February 26, 2011 - 2:04pm
UPDATED: Sunday, February 27, 2011 - 3:31pm
BATON ROUGE, La (NBC33) -- A Baton Rouge minister states that the youth of today are missing the point of Black History Month, and that violence is tearing the community apart.
"We're celebrating black history, but we're not creating any history other than our children killing themselves", states Derrick Thomas, a minister in the area. "I mean, anybody would be afraid. People are shooting in public in the daytime. You don't know if they'll be a shooting where you're at."
Thomas says that Black History Month should be a time for people to come together and set aside their differences.
"We need to show the criminal element that we're united, not that we're afraid. See, going into your house and being quiet - that's fear. Coming outside your house and marching and coming together - that shows that we're tired; that shows that we're united."
Thomas blames a job shortage, saying that it drives good people to do things they otherwise would not.
He also thinks that even though progress is being seen in the Baton Rouge business sector, people aren't seeing the same progress in their neighborhoods.
"The mayor said the other day that they were going to tear down old houses and old things; they're tearing down, but they're not building anything," stated Thomas. "They're making progress downtown. Progress - it can't move in the Mississippi River. The only way it can move is through black neighborhoods."