Philadelphia Mayor Nutter makes several valids points about the missing fundamentals to reduce violence among young black men. (“Stopping the Slaughter,” July 29, 2013.) However, he omitted a key fundamental that is too often overlooked. While education, economic investment, and job retraining are all important, we must teach all people to respect human life and its intrinsic value. I agree with the Mayor’s “it takes a village” approach to addressing the cycle of violence in cities. Yet, I find it odd that one key stakeholder — the family— was excluded from those entities he feels should be involved in this partnership. Respect is a learned behavior typically gained from the relationships one has with the family. No holistic approach to solving anything can exclude the foundation on which we are built.
Chad Gilmer, Washington, DC