r.i.p. donivan

October 24, 2008
By tanyka stone, Bixby, OK

I wrote this essay in retaliation to the death of my friend whose life was taken from this world by violence. “It doesn’t take much to know that in a society where violently ending a young person’s life is considered resolution, is a society that has no plan for the future.” This quote is my own. Now I realize by standards I’m not qualified to be quoted. But as I began to search for one to express the pain in my heart not one could be found. That is because those people we so famously quote made those statements in that time of crises. This is not those times and I feel it is my duty to make my own statement in our current crisis.

This crisis has nothing to do with the war or oil or the next president. It is so much broader and urgent. Our crisis is the future. In a time when teens are killing teens our senators and politicians should not be singularly concerned with the economy.

The spark of my passion for this matter is a tragedy that struck close to home with me. Donivan C. went to school with me at our small close knit home school. We had only known each other a little over a month but when I got the call that my friend was no longer going to join me at school my heart sank. It not only shook my world but those of my fellow classmates and teachers. All were just as shattered as me but couldn’t help remembering all that we loved about our friend Donivan.
He impacted each of our lives deeply with an unstoppable joy and brilliance, and it is hard to believe something took that smiling face of his out of our lives. What could have been said or done to cause someone to attack such violence? Donivan was viciously attacked and shot; his life was taken because another young person thought he could resolve a problem by murdering a teen with his whole life ahead of him.

I don’t know what circumstances lead to this out rage but frankly I don’t care. Absolutely nothing justifies Donivan not being here with us today. This mad violence must be put to an end! It never will though if the issue is never addressed.

Donivan was the 35th homicide this year in Tulsa. That is 35 people who won’t be here to celebrate Christmas, that is 35 families grieving. It is one less young man who could have changed the world.

People say after a tragedy has happened how things need to change but I’m waiting to hear something is being done. I want to hear that no one will ever have to go through what I and Donivan’s family and friends have gone through. For that is what gets me. What if everyone had to see the tidal wave affect the murderers cause? What if they had to be in the hospital room while a mother holds her son’s hand just hoping he makes it to tomorrow? What if they had to be in the classroom the day we were told Donivan would never be back to make us laugh? Maybe then something would be done.

This is not just a sad story it is a call to action. Cause if we keep avoiding the issue at hand who will be left? What great ideas and inventions and solutions have already been killed? Stop trying to solve all these world crisis’s when the solution is being murdered. There is hope for the future but we need to start planning on keeping it alive and breathing. Solutions to world hunger and gas prices do the world no good in the grave. I have already lost a friend who had the potential to be a world changer, lets work together to take something from his tragic ending. For if we save just one person he did not die for nothing and even in death he would have changed the world. I believe he would think that a pretty cool thing. I will miss you greatly Donivan; you were certainly a unique friend, but I know you are having fun kickin’ it with Jesus

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