Saturday, August 11, 2007

Cattleprod, rather than a wake-up call

I woke from a nap with my tee shirt sopping and my head on fire: "Yeah, that's what we need. "Wake up call" sounds so wimpy. And haven't we had enough of those? No more symposia or panels, no more "outreach" or "positivity" concerts arranged by self-aggrandizing pols and celebs. Look at what happened to Chauncey Bailey, editor and chief investigative reporter at the Oakland Post. Look at the schoolyard murders in Newark. Look at the USDOJs recent report on African Americans and murder (as victim and perpetrator) and then look at what happens in the parking lots of suburban malls close to Section 8 housing, or a corner in Baltimore or a row of shotgun shacks on the southside of Atlanta or the northside of Charlotte and any given weekend and tell me (1) the white man's utterly to blame and (2) our leaders, our clergy, our educators...and our own families haven't utterly dropped the ball. Shame on all of us.

Bailey was a true muckracker--white or black, ignorant politician, greedy corporate leader, corrupt pastor or silly rapper--all were in his crosshairs. Yet it was a member of a black Muslim cult-gang that used to be about something positive who gunned him down in cold blood because he was exposing their drug dealing, murder and racketeering and financial mismanagement of their "legitimate"/cover business and social programs. Your Black Muslim Bakery was the cover indeed, and in the 1960s they were at the forefront of community self help. But of course like many black institutions, it became about the cadre or single HNIC who ran the ting, and not the thing itself. Slowly they descended in crime, and a couple of the pseudo intellectuals whose usual tack is to support every gold-toothed fool in Hip Hop, have actually stated that this murder was a "fatwa" against "bourgeois" blacks. WTF? But these are the idiots who our young people look up to for some reason.

In Newark, a group of college bound young folks, the kind of folks we dream about rising from difficult circumstances, are murdered on a playground by yet another illegal alien--out on bail for sex offenses? And he had teenag help--other illegals and another kid who should have been locked up long ago. Thank God Corey Booker's been out in front on this but like most urban black mayors and other pols (be they in the lame Congressional Black Caucus right down to the local city councilman or district attorney), he refuses to go the extra mile. We have kids who are bound and determined to act like gangs of animals. Thus they should be hunted down like wild animals. No excuses, no kowtowing to the community because the community refuses to "snitch." If the neighbors want a decent life then must it come at the cost of a their sons, nephews, grandsons etc who are committing these acts against their own people? Yes. Jesus Lord, it already IS? The strategy: we don't let the buzz-clipped steroid white cops do it. We must clean up our own backyards, take care of this in the "family" as if we were Rudi G, unfortunately. Black cops, black sheriffs, black judges, black prosecutors dealing with the knuckleheads and thugs; black teachers and social workers locating the kids we can save. Help the parents of the kids who are salvageable; flush the others. No doubt. Some people just plain have got to GO. What else can we do? What else CAN WE DO? God, tell me...

In the suburbs we now have our own hoods. Many are near clusters of Section 8 housing, but some have middle class families. The trouble is, the kids think they have to emulate the same thugs and thugettes their parents labored to escape with an overburdening mortgage. Gangs of pre-teens roam the streets, the strip malls, the McDonald's parking lots in communities all over this country...bored, nothing to anchor them, nihilistic as their cousins in the cities or Dirty South shotgun shack clusters. The result? Oh no, not multiple murders but hundreds of armed assaults, burglaries, sexual assaults. Our black pols like the arrangement because the population plus gerrymandering assures them safe districts even far out into the ex-burbs that were once either rural or lily-white. Surburban police forces are ill equipped for this type of law enforcement, and usually just show up after the fact. if it's an illegal immigrant enclave, forget about it. So what do they do? They restrict their cruising (God forbid they walk a beat or get on a bike) to protecting the affluent white suburban areas. Interesting, for as we all know, if you're white, it's your spouse who's more likely to cap your ass in the driveway or as you're jogging, not a black person. We are our own victims.

Please, please people--tell me I'm wrong or ranting misguidedly. Tell me that this isn't the reality we've created. I want to see some glimmer. However, you can't have patchworks of mentoring programs and this and that, blah blah and say "here's the hope, just pump more money into it." That's not going to work. There must be something twisted going on. Either in the people out here destroying their own lives and communities, or we who exuse it, look the other way, deflect or displace. People, help me. My heart's so heavy. I'm afraid even a cattleprod won't be enough to jumpstart my spirit..."


Lisa said...

First, I read your new story in Alfred Hitchcock's MM and it was scary-good!

Second, I feel your pain and frustration but once you let that Giuliani fascist genie out of the bottle you cannot stuff him back or control him.

Anonymous said...

I'm puzzled over the Newark murders and the suspect's status. He was let out on bail yet he was an illegal alien and accused of assault, sexual assault? Wasn't this the responsibility of the DA who stands behind Corey Booker in all of those press conferences?

Anonymous said...

First of all, it's bourgeois (damn, and I'm a high school dropout). Secondly, are you going to get out there yourself, hunt down, and murder these people? Because that's what we're talking about, right? If you are not going to do it personally, then who do you expect to do it?

Hathor said...

Sometimes it is about policing, but the money for more police is supporting the war and local pork projects.

When the murderers are caught they have to get the same punishment as if they have killed a white person. No plea bargain to get the bigger drug dealers. It never goes high enough to the corporate kingpins.

This is the hard part. We somehow to convince the young ones that murder is not power. Every adult has to stand up to all children. I have seen adults fear six year olds, we think these young children are born to be thugs and react to them as such.

I think there is jealousy or feelings of inferiority, sometime involve in the shootings. I don't know what happened to "I'm black and I'm proud."

nabila J said...

Being against this internecine violence and "nihilistic" behavior is bourgeois? Man that is more far out there than anything on the other side that Mr. Chambers said. I think he's put there before solutions--community policing, curfews, temporary fast track courts and holding parents accountable, cameras and anti-loitering, pursuing open warrents, protecting witnesses and such, and electing public servants who don't merely pay lip service to public safety.

Ten years ago I would have bristled at his statements about Section 8-assisted housing and crime correlation indeed when it come to juvenile offenders. But honestly the everyday reality might be different. I'm open minded enough to admit that.

Ross said...

Good post! The killing must stop. We are blowing each other away.

Pebbles Flintstone said...

I feel your heavy heart. My heart is heavy too as I read these stories and imagine the fear on both sides. These kids commit crimes because they are missing something crucial in their own lives -- no mater what their backgrounds are. The victims are lambs for the slaughter. Our government officials and police are ill- equipped to handle it and it is just a mess. Yes -- we are all to blame and we should all have shame that this is going on. But, where do we start? Where are our leaders? How do we fix this?
Now, with that illegal alien, I don't know what is going on there. Our country is way to lenient on illegals. We need to change our policy on how we handle them. We need a system in place to get them to the point of being legal, or send them back. I am all for helping, but damn -- it makes me sick to see that a man who is in this country illegally has killed a citizen, rapes our citizens and is out running around. WTF is right! I know there are plenty of people who are here illegally who are trying to make a better life for their families, but these other folks I have no sympathy for. How dare you come into my country where I pay taxes and work hard, and then take advantage? Kill my brothers and sisters? What is going on? Get rid of this guy. Let him do that crap is in own country and they can deal with it. We have enough problems here.
Both of my parents came to this country legally from the Caribbean, worked hard, went to school, bought property and became citizens. I have no sympathy for these other folks.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

I don't even know where to begin. I used to work in Newark in a senator's office and spent alot of time in that city. Yes there are alot of problems there but there are also some very strong, talented people who are trying to make a change.

When I heard about these shootings it broke my heart. WTF is going on in our society? Then I heard it was an illegal alien from Peru? Like Pepples my parents came to America legally (and it was a long ass process).

Many of our "leaders" have been very quiet on this issue. Those days are over. People want answers. Why was this man with this rap sheet still in the country? I do feel for people who come here against great odds to look for a better life and to take advantage of the things many of us American take for granted. However, once you break the law, your ass needs to be deported. If you are caught trying to enter the country you will go to jail since you are breaking the law again by the simple fact you are trying to enter the country illegally.

Omega8 said...

I apologize for the changing the subject, but a friend sent me this link. This is by far one of the most outrageous things I have ever heard of. Only in Texas, I guess.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. The link is:

Anonymous said...

It troubles me that the solutions put forward are limited to mentoring, summer jobs and community policing. This suggests that as a community, not only are the least among us struggling but also there is a dire lapse in leadership. If those who have been presented with every opportunity in life and taken advantage of them are at a loss, what is the likelihood that someone who hasn’t had any breaks supposed to do.

That being said, there are things that can be done to stem the tide of violence ravaging our community.

1)Folk will start snitching when police offer protection. In my opinion, drug dealers are a lot like the Klan. Surely, no group has done more to hinder the progress of African Americans. During the civil rights movement, our grandparents started to testify against the Klan (and become mobilized) when they realized they had some measure of protection. I’m sure there are people in the hood ready to testify and take criminals off the street but won’t because they have a legitimate fear for their lives.

2)As stated earlier, as black people we have to treat black on black crime the same as white on black crime or in the case of Newark, brown on black crime. We have to be as outraged when Dante is murdered by Terrell as we are when he is killed by Fred Siposki.

3)Prevent concentrated poverty. I know this ruffles the feathers of black folks who have “arrived” in the suburbs but Section * isn’t an automatic indication of criminality. Yes there are some people who receive housing supplements and don’t work but there are others who work everyday but don’t make enough for adequate housing. Besides how else are young people supposed to know they don't have to be dealers or in the system, if that's all they she. Mentoring is one thing, living next to someone is another.

4)We have to stop equating material prosperity with moral superiority and treating poor people (regardless of color) as if poverty is a result of a deficiency in character. First, if that’s the case, Kenneth Lay is headed towards sainthood. Second, expectations equal results. If you continue to tell someone that something is wrong with them and treat someone like there is something is wrong with them, guess what? They begin to believe it.

Let me stop, I’m all worked up, my pressure is rising, I need to go for a walk.

LaJane Galt said...

"couple of the pseudointellectuals whose usual tack is to support every gold-toothed fool in Hip Hop, have actually stated that this murder was a "fatwa" against "bourgeois" blacks"

please link this. Against my better judgment, I have to see it to believe it.

cuzzin george said...

Well, you said it somewhere in there. The ONLY solution is parental control. Problem is, too many of our parents are children themselves. What's scary in the Newark case though is that a 28-year old man was involved. How do we deal with that? The only lesson we get from that situation is that we can't let our loved ones hang out in the street that late, because there's some crazy MF'ers out here.