Do it for Ivan

Published 11:32 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

A promising young life was stamped out by senseless violence.

While the details are still sketchy, or at least still unknown to the public at large, what we do know is that a young man who had his entire life in front of him is gone too soon.

We lost Ivan Coultan last weekend and too many such promising young lives have been lost before him. It’s a tragedy and it’s something that we as a region have to deal with.

We can stand around and point the fingers of blame at the police. We can argue with each other about who is at fault be it society or some other part of life.

It’s easy to be angry. It’s okay to be sad and even to be disheartened.

What we need, however, is to take action. We need to clean up our own streets. We need to help the police by making sure our neighborhoods don’t tolerate bad elements.

We need to work together – black and white, male and female, religious and secular – to make sure we rid ourselves of this type of violence.

Other communities have seen it start slowly as we have. Those who have sat back and complained but done nothing have seen that violence take over their homes, their towns and their communities. Those who have fought back have made a difference.

We need to be a region that fights back. We need to work together to make sure we remember Coultan and those like him whose lives ended too soon. We need to make sure we help the police bring those responsible for his death to justice.

When we’ve done those things, we need to come together as a community and talk frankly about what we need to make things better. We need to develop a plan to help those in our community who need it. We need to win the battle for our homes and our community.

Ivan Coultan’s memory deserves no less.