Last lap of summer

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 8/2/2012, 4:38 p.m.

The party ran from 6 p.m. at night until 6 a.m. the next morning, and yes, while you could have purchased a ticket for this event, they raised almost $2 million for charity.

Speaking of charity, don't we have any in our heart? I was thinking, maybe I have been a little too harsh on our shooters, those responsible for the gun violence that continues to hover over us like the plague, making men, women and children alike so afraid to walk the streets that we can hardly breathe--those who senselessly take lives, douse dreams, destroy all that we as a culture try to uphold and are a disgrace to our ancestors who sacrificed more than the grains of sand.

I know Bob McCoullough must be spinning on his head, wherever he is, as the Rucker Basketball Tournament, which he ran for many summers, was his heart and soul. There are few words to describe yet another stupid, ignorant, senseless shooting that occurred at the games last week.

Meanwhile, in the news a little further downtown--out of Harlem, out of the South Bronx, out of Brooklyn--New York University just received approval to expand its campus, adding additional dormitories, classrooms and services for their students. What is wrong with this picture? Some people are busy living while we're busy dying?

Now, I like to think of myself as an equal opportunist, so instead of my usual answer to the problem (if you're a faithful reader of this column then you know what that is; if you're not, use your imagination), I thought, what if we gathered up all the young thugs--yes, I went there--and made it mandatory for them to attend sessions in groups of 20. At these sessions, they would be able to tell us what they are thinking. What are they feeling? Exactly what is on their minds when they pick up a gun and run out, in the street, in the middle of a crowd, the more young kids around the better, and start firing away?

Make them explain what makes them think they have to defend themselves, doing so by shooting at the ground, in the sky or showing how bad they are by taking direct aim. At this point, I'd really like to know. Does anybody know? If you do know, can you please tell me? I can be reached at

Coinciding with the International AIDS Conference, the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria hosted a dinner at the Reserve Officers Association in Washington, D.C. Among those in attendance were Gates Foundation Co-chair Bill Gates (you know him); Board Chair of Friends and Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein; Global Fund General Manager Gabriel Jaramillo; and numerous members of Congress and other key decision makers, including Nita Lowey, Eliot Engel, Charlie Dent and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

The Friends-Global Fund dinner was organized to engage and educate key lawmakers about the importance of continued U.S. leadership and support for the Global Fund. Can't we all just get along?

Until next week...kisses.