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From a Grieving Father to his Fallen Son
Violence: A Tool For Criminals
NOTE: Highly respected Social Worker Marlon Mayorga was gunned down in the streets of Oakland one April night in 2009 while he was out walking his dog. His killers are still unknown to the police and remain outside of custody.
Six months later, his father, Dr. Jose Mayorga, asked me to edit and translate the following essay, which I did for him, all the while choking back the tears. As a father myself, I can only imagine the heart-tearing emotions of loss that only he and Marlon's mother can feel.
Here are his words:
Violence: A Tool for Criminals
It does not escape the attention of the general public that the escalating level of violence in the City of Oakland, California, continues to be the cause of countless crimes against the peaceful and honest citizens of this city. It is they who have been the main innocent victims of these attacks and it is they who have suffered the most.
On April 28, 2009, my son, Marlon del Cid Mayorga was murdered. Marlon wasa widely loved and respected counselor who dedicated his life to rescuing troubled youth through the excellent program that he himself directed at the University of California.
At around 11pm in the evening, while walking his handsome dog Leo in the streets near his home, Marlon was unjustly killed by local street hoodlums, the same ones that have been keeping the peace-loving people of this city terrorized for years.
Seven months after this despicable and unjust crime that left his wife a widow and made fatherless his little three year old daughter, the perpetrator(s) of this horrific crime have not been captured or even identified.
Coincidentally, on the very next day, on April 29th, at around four in the afternoon, a 27 year old man (whose name I could not find) was also killed by gunshots. Two young children were left fatherless by this other crime.
I ask myself: What is the cause of all of these crimes? Without a doubt the answer to this question lies in the shocking and senseless violence that has taken over the minds of the mostly youthful thugs belonging to these street gangs. These very same street gangs that attack the innocent citizens of Oakland without provocation have also attacked and stymied police patrols, causing lamentable losses and forcing the police to admit that they cannot stem the tide of these disturbing criminal elements that are rapidly destroying the city.
We must all reflect upon this anti-social conduct. We need to remember the great Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi, architect of India’s independence, who led this revolution not through the use of force that was so common in those days, but by preaching that the axiom of “an eye for an eye” would eventually leave his country sightless. Gandhi proposed that though there were causes for which a man was prepared to lose his life, there were no causes or motives strong enough to make a man kill another human being for the sheer pleasure of killing.
Gandhi insisted through his continued call for peace throughout the world, saying that “Non-violence is perhaps the strongest single force that humanity has”, stronger perhaps even than the weapons that can be wielded to attack innocent persons without respect or consideration.
A violent man almost always manifests himself with hatred and intolerance, or blatant racism, or as a way to become initiated and accepted as a member of a violent street gang. Many times this violence will occur because of petty vengeance or as a way of collecting money from an enemy, perceived or real.
The use of Gandhi’s tactic of non-violence does not mean that a person has to be weak and passive, nor does it mean that the person will not do all within their power to bring the evil doers to justice.
In the case of my beloved son Marlon who now resides in a far better world, I need to understand the reasons why the authorities in Oakland have been gradually dismantling anti-crime programs and why they have not continued with programs that would halt or at least restrain the widespread vagrancy, drug traffic, drug use, and street crime that permeates the city.
It seems likely now that in the case of my son, the murderers have slipped out of their hands. This is of great concern to my family, and to many families, as every day that passes without law enforcement and social programs brings the specter of ever-larger and more violent street gangs.
These gangs will continue to become more brazen and harder to bring under control and this makes it even more frustrating to those of us that have been left broken-hearted without the least hope of being able to rescue the lives of our children, lives that have been lost forever.
God bless and protect the police that comply with their duty in order to guarantee public order and social peace.
God protect those that guard our cities at night that they may earn their honest living in order to provide for their families.
God watch over the worried and fearful young people that travel these very dangerous streets on a daily basis, coming and going from school, church, business, sports, and other peaceful activities.
Our family will continue to have faith in divine law and pray that at any moment the criminals who killed my son Marlon will fall into the hands of justice so that they can be tried fairly and, if found guilty, punished correspondingly.
Dr. Jose Wenceslaus Mayorga D.
December 1, 2009