07/12/2013 03:33 pm ET Updated Sep 11, 2013

No Unity, No Peace in Chicago's African American Community

Everybody's searching for answers as it relates to the high level of homicides and shootings in Chicago's African American community. Over the Fourth of July weekend, 12 people were killed and 74 people shot or injured. The majority of victims were young African American men. There is way too much division in the African American community, which leads to major problems with African American youth. For example, back in the 1970s most of Chicago Street gangs began to organize and carve out their territory on the South and West sides of Chicago. You had the birth of the Gangster Disciples, Black Stones Rangers, Black Disciples, and the Vice Lord Nation. The seeds of division were planted in the minds of thousands of African American youth from year to year and from decade to decade. This type of division continues to exist and prevent young African American males from looking at one another as brothers instead of enemies or foes. There is no immediate solution in sight to help address the many decades of division in the African American community. The same division plays out with Republicans, Democrats, different religious institutions, and different socioeconomic groups. However, the Republicans and Democrats are not killing one another. Some religious groups attack one another in different countries but young African American males attack one another on a daily basis.

Some people blame the violence on drugs, unemployment, gangs, or a lack of resources. All of this is true as long as you include the generational division that exists amongst the youth in the African American community. How could someone just drive up in a car and shoot into a crowd of children with no regard? So many young African American males are mad at the world and very bitter because they feel like they have nothing to live for. We as leaders cannot continue to over look the fact that a great percentage of young African American males grow up in some communities in Chicago were violence is acceptable behavior or violence is observed as the norm. The spirit of revenge in some of the young African American men runs through their veins just like their blood.

There will be no peace in the African American community until the leaders find a way to unify the young African American males and help the young men identify positive ways to express their issues without the use of violence. Too many young African American males have been raised without their fathers and the levels of pain, stress, low self-esteem, peer pressure, wrong thinking, drug usage, and many more problems have taken a serious toll on young African American males. Therefore, unity is the only way out of this epidemic of violence that continues to destroy the lives of young African American males throughout the city of Chicago. Sometimes people could be sinking in quicksand and not realize that there is a way out by taking the hand of your brother and trusting that your brother is on your side. No unity, no peace in the African American community.