FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- With all the violence in Fort Wayne so far this year, the NAACP is calling the community to action to try to do something about it.
Rev. Dr. Saharra Bledsoe, the president of the NAACP, joined Corinne Rose from police headquarters in downtown Fort Wayne where the rally was being held.
She says the Rev. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X would be sadly disappointed in the state of affairs as they are today.
The NAACP's message: young African-American men are too wrapped up in their own egos, and need to not get so ready to shoot when they feel they've been disrespected.
"It's time for us as a people to pick up some of what was and lay it down in front of these children, to let them know that they have an honorable history. And they have a more magnanimous future if they would only, if they would only pick up a book instead of a gun," Bledsoe says.
Words of wisdom Roderick Parker could have used before he joined the Conservative Vice Lords in the early 80s.
Still bearing the gang's tattoo on his cheek, he says he is in the process of changing his life and now owns a cleaning business.
He wants to talk some sense into young people heading down the wrong path.
"I was part of the problem," Parker says.
And if you're a parent of a child headed down the wrong path, Rev. Bledsoe wants a call from you now, not when -- as she said -- authorities are scooping your child's body off the sidewalk.
"Don't call me then, call me before. These young folks need to know that they are loved," Bledsoe says.
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