Ronald Moon Jr. was attempting to improve his run-down Cincinnati neighborhood when he was beaten up by the very people he was trying to help, creating a sense of futility among those who hope to make a difference.
Moon seems to understand the violence that plagues his community, saying in a video online that the men who beat him up “don’t know why” they did it. They just did.
“I kept asking them ‘why?’ They couldn’t say. They don’t know,” he said in an emotional video posted on Live Leaks. A sense of hopelessness was palpable as he explained the senselessness of crime throughout the area.
“I didn’t know for years. I didn’t know why,” he added, alluding to memories of growing up in the community.
Moon quit his job so he could dedicate himself to building a community center for the neighborhood, and he knew the project was going to be an uphill battle from the start. His property was burglarized a number of times, and funding was already hard to come by.
But when he ran into the criminals who were burgling the property, he saw the dark side of a neighborhood that has been plagued by violence. Now he wants the world to know that there is a real sense of pain in the black community, saying “don’t doubt what you hear” about the trouble in urban America.
Moon expressed a sense of hopelessness for impoverished urban communities, where crime and violence appear to exist as an embedded aspect of the culture.
“I’m just trying to do some good for my people,” Moon said with tears in his eyes, “but I’m tired of struggling.”
With his fundraising efforts underway, and no plans to abandon the project, his community center might someday become a reality. Peace and prosperity in his Cincinnati neighborhood, however, will likely be an entirely different struggle.