Memphis, Tennessee is known as the home of the blues, but the city is also known as the murder center of the country, per capital. The city’s promoters and political leaders are quick to point out the city’s great and glorious musical past, Home of Blues, its heyday during the STAX revolution, Beale Street and Elvis Presley’s estate, along with the National Civil Rights Museum as international tourist attractions. The city took another big historical leap when the black population elected their first black mayor in a racial divided and one-sided election.
Money making ventures like tourism, bringing to the city national franchises, and new business startups can’t cover these forthcoming fact and reality: Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis April 4, 1968 by James Earl Ray, known as the lone assassin. On January 12, 1983 another horrible event shocked the city and nation: the Shannon Street massacre, a police officer was tortured and killed, later 7 accused black men faced their deaths by police with gunshots to their heads in what the F.B.I. concluded as justified. These killings and murders might seem as shocking, but the truth is: Memphis has a long history of killings and what could be summed up as the city’s bloodletting.
Memphis has turned another grim page in her history; the local newspaper tracks the homicides and is reporting some terrifying statistics: 227 people, since January 1, 2016 to current, have lost their lives to senseless murders. Those homicides doubled that of Chicago, Illinois, per capital. Memphis is the county seat of Shelby, population of 938,069 is reporting 114,512 crimes, but as reported by M.P.D., Memphis population is 655,770 and is reporting 97,655 crimes, a difference between Memphis and the County of Shelby of 16,857 crimes.
Memphis is home of Commission Against Senseless Killings, Inc. a non-organization that’s working on the ground to turn around those distasteful and ugly stats. They’ve held 9 street corner demonstrations highlighting their “Don’t Kill, Think” campaign. Their main message is: one must think through the consequences before he or she is committed to retaliations because of some wrong done unto him or her or before one takes the law into one’s own hands. The Commission Against Senseless Killings has made history again. They’ve produced a movie about their fine works and commitment: you can view it here. C.A.S.K. Chairman, Talut El-Amin stated, “Our plan is to give 10,000 DVD copies, in 2017, to the public or anyone who ask, absolutely free”! In addition, they plan to give 25,000 DVD copies in 2018 and in 2019 up to 50,000. Once you view the YouTube link you’d see why. The message is crystal clear; imagine tens of thousands of Memphis citizens having in their possession “Don’t Kill, Think”: The Movie. Visit C.A.S.K. at: www.facebook.com/groups/CASKgrp/ and www.CommissionAgainstSenselessKillings.com
In February 2016, Mr. El-Amin and his family also lost a family member to Memphis’s deadliest year, Muhammad Ibn Talut El-Amin, a father of 4 children. His family is now a member of a class whose lives have suffered and are shattered.
A strange thing about Memphis is: the city seems to have lost its footing in comprehending what’s actually going on. They seem to be mostly confused and having very few solutions. The silence is haunting; many have said that since Dr. King’s assassination the city is cursed. C.A.S.K. is working to left the curse if that’s true but, they can’t do it alone. It’s time for everyone to pitch in a few dollars to make the DVD giveaway a reality.