A sad day

It’s a sad day in Williamsport! It is hard to believe that our nice city is on its way to destruction. I believe that the citizens of Billtown close their eyes to what is really happening. For the last 25 years, we have watched crime increase in our city and citizens have not believed that crime was here, so nothing was done about it. If people recall, crack cocaine was a problem and gangs were on the rise. Unfortunately, a young man was shot down in Williamsport and the citizens were outraged. Committees were formed; however, they did not last. A few men have been shot and killed since then. People seemed unconcerned with the crime and drugs that are not a major problem in our city. We must move forward.

It is really amazing to think that with all the real problems we are facing, we believe it is just more important to fight about basketball hoops than to stand up and fight against the drugs and guns that are destroying our families and community.

Racism is evident in our city. I did not know that Memorial Park was considered a black park. The last time I looked, there were white children playing basketball there too. I am a black American that remembers when we fought for the rights of black Americans. We fought for equal rights, equal educations, equal wages and equal opportunities for employment. To think that so many young black men are going to prison every day, and to think that there is nowhere for them to learn how to grow up and be men is sad.

These are concerns that must be addressed. In Williamsport, it is more important to fight for the return of basketball hoops than it is to fight for jobs so these young men can support themselves and their families. We should fight for education and crime reduction. We must fight to keep our young black men out of prison. We must fight to teach them what the fight was all about.

For those who believe that fighting for basketball hoops for black people is a worthy cause, you are wrong. For black educators: We did not protest for basketball hoops. We protested so you could teach in any school in this country!

Rev. Ronald S. James