An old saying, which has its roots in biblical references states “Out of the mouths of babes comes the truth.”
A six-year-old St. Louis, Missouri boy named Jeffery Laney (pictured) spoke the truth in a home video that just went viral after it was shared online by his mother Leanndra Cheatham. In the video, Laney (also known as Lil’ J) is making pleas for people in his community to stop the violence that is plaguing his city.
Laney’s mother had a cousin lose her life to gun violence last month. According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Cheatham’s 17-year-old relative Taylor Simpson lost her life due to a drive-by shooting in University City, Missouri. Simpson’s murder has taken quite a toll on Cheatham and her family.
Cheatham told Fox News that she hopes her son’s video will register with the criminals who are out committing these acts of chaos.
“A lot of people, people need to stop killing each other around here because this is just making me feel bad.” Laney said in the video. The pint-sized kindergartner also said that he’s “scared to die” and wants to see people in his community doing better without living with the fear of dying by the gun.
“Be a grown man and just act good,” Laney also said.
Laney’s four-minute and twenty-second video has been viewed well over 70,000 times. His mother said she had to stop recording because she didn’t want her sobs to be audible in the video. Seeing her son at such a young age talk about being scared to die really hurt her.
What is even sadder is that really young, small, and adorable children like Laney are murdered in urban areas all across America. “[My son] listens to everything around him and watches the news and there’s not a lot of good things on there,” Cheatham told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
“I remind him every day that that is the one place he don’t want to be and that there are a lot of bad people out there,” Cheatham also said.
Cheatham is wise to teach her son about the ills of her community in the home at an early age. The earlier children realize what a bad lifestyle choice is, the better their chances are of avoiding crime-ridden lifestyles as they get older.