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nighttimer
04-21-2010, 06:59 PM
When "keeping it real" goes wrong:

Police: Even while dying, teen won't talk

Cop asks: Do you know who shot you? He replies: 'I know. But I ain't telling you. . .'


April 20, 2010


<!-- Article By Line --> BY FRANK MAIN (fmain@suntimes.com) Staff Reporter/fmain@suntimes.com


<!-- Article's First Paragraph --> <!-- BlogBurst ContentStart --> Robert Tate wasn't ever going to snitch -- not even when it came to his own murder, according to the Chicago Police.

Tate, 17, was shot in the chest as someone approached him on a West Side sidewalk on the evening of April 12, police say. Seeing that Tate was wounded badly and probably wouldn't make it, an officer asked: Do you know who shot you?


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<!-- BlogBurst ContentStart --> "I know," Tate told him. "But I ain't telling you s---."

That's according to Harrison Area Police Cmdr. Anthony Riccio, who said the murder investigation is focusing on a possible shooter -- even though Tate took his secret to the grave.

"Unfortunately it's almost a culture among the drug dealers and gang members, that code of silence, that 'don't snitch' mentality that they not only have when they're witnesses, but also when they're the victims," Riccio said.

But Tate's mother Cynthia Washington doesn't buy it.

She doesn't know how her son -- a "very respectful child" -- could have told police anything as he lay dying on the scene in the 900 block of North Avers.

"Why wouldn't he tell them who shot him?" Washington wondered.

Riccio responded that Tate was lucid as he spoke to the officer, then died as paramedics tried to save him.

Riccio said it's commonplace for shooting victims whose wounds aren't life-threatening to refuse to cooperate. Just last week, a 22-year-old gang member was on a bicycle in the 500 block of East 88th when he was shot in the thigh. He didn't even want to report the shooting after he was taken to Stroger Hospital.

"But I have never seen anyone take it to the grave," Riccio said.

Police think Tate was killed because of his involvement in the drug trade in Humboldt Park.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/24-7/2176618,CST-NWS-snitch20.article

As far as another young man suffering a early and unnecessary death on the streets, that's hardly an unusual occurrence, I'm sad to say. What elevates the store beyond the everyday tragedy/monotony of Black-on-Black crime is this kid's pathetic adherence to the "stop snitchin'" code even as his life dribbles away.

This sort of appalling ignorance can't be fought by ignoring or covering it up. All these little punk gangsta wannabees who think they're so hard should know there's nothing hard about watching your life end at 17 because bullets don't care how tough you think you are.

If the Klan or neo-Nazis were shooting down Black kids at the rate they kill each other daily, all the usual suspects would be marching down the streets of Washington chanting the same old tired-ass slogans and demanding the federal government mobilize to stop the slaughter.

But when it's just one more dead nigger killed by another nigger likely to end up the same damn way, nobody gives a shit. It's like a self-cleaning oven. Call the cops, tape off the area, load 'em up in the meat wagon and another clueless mommy can wail and cry about how this couldn't have happened to her good boy.

Change the name. The scenario remains the same.

Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat. Wash, rinse, repeat...

icerose
04-21-2010, 07:40 PM
That is insane. As I read this story I stare out my side window at the open fields and houses and listen to the quiet and my kids getting ready for school without any of those fears or burdens. I can't help but think "Thank goodness we don't live there." I am so far removed from the violence and grime it almost seems like it's on a different world. It's too bad I can't share that with people who think violence and crime are the only ways to live. 17. That's way too young to be bleeding out on the street.

Plot Device
04-21-2010, 07:45 PM
Out of curiosity ... is Frank Main African American?

Gretad08
04-21-2010, 08:39 PM
another clueless mommy can wail and cry about how this couldn't have happened to her good boy.



That struck me when I read the story...the fact that she called him a "very respectful child." Maybe he was, I don't know, but he was the victim of a murder due to his involvement with drug dealers...hardly upstanding behavior. Where has she been?

Don
04-22-2010, 01:02 AM
I'm with nighttimer on this one, solidly. I'd add that if White-on-White crime approached anything near the rates in some inner cities, the marches would be going too.

But here goes Don, thinking outside the box again.

I consider the War on Drugs as racist an activity as FedGov has ever been involved in. The incarceration rates show simply unbelievable disparities among the races, and the War is in general fought in poorer ethnic neighborhoods. Not a lot of SWAT-served warrants in Beverly Hills , although there are plenty of pot smokers.

As long as the largest dependable income stream for some entire neighborhoods is illegal drugs, there's no solving this one. More cops just means the drug lords buy bigger guns.

Ok, back in my box.

robeiae
04-22-2010, 01:04 AM
Ok, back in my box.
If only...

William Haskins
04-22-2010, 01:24 AM
i agree with don that the war on drugs is a travesty and is a direct cause of not only the trafficking of drugs in poorer neighborhoods, but also the ferocity with which turf is protected.

refusing to cooperate with the police is not unique to black inner-city neighborhoods; italians, jews and many other minorities at one time or another have absorbed the insular attitude that things are best handled outside the purview of the authorities.

certainly the mistrust is based in a history of police abuses, but it is also sometimes unfairly perpetuated by so-called leaders and pundits, and often at the expense of the people in whose interests they claim to be acting.

and to the extent that such attitudes have been exploited by commercial tv, music and film companies, such hardcore "street" attitudes potentially have the reach to extend into suburbia and across racial lines.

a tragedy all the way around. a dead kid on one hand, and a murderer who will almost certainly walk free, thanks to the g-code.

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Motherfuckers just follow a nigga around dude
That's real
Some shit though, fuck these feds
redneck, racist motherfuckers, man!


[Scarface]
I don't wanna run no more, but I know that if I stop
I'll be another nigga headed to heaven hangin wit Pac
These motherfuckers look at me like I'm a slanger
Makin threats to my family, dawg I'm in danger
Who do you call when these agents want you dead
and they hit these penitentiaries and niggaz make a pledge
So I dip and dock the feds
all my homie caught out on indictments
Caught up on the phone talkin prices
25-to-life's the mandatory minimal
My whole community gets treated like they criminals
Why are them bitches gettin' motherfuckers hung
Got a C.I. on the inside and everybody's sung
Mothers and fathers seperated from they sons
Households are broken, you couldn't hold your tongue
If it's yours, say it's yours, take the case, do your time
When you was out here gettin' money from it everything was fine
Now you cryin' in your jail cell, stressin' on the case
And the D.A. is at a nigga every other day
I can see it in your face, in the middle of your soul
You in question of your manhood homey - keep the code

[Chorus]
We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We don't trust in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We ain't trustin in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood.
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

[Scarface]
See I be on some street shit, don't talk to police
I won't accept a visit from agents who wanna see
if I got shit to say about a nigga case
I'm a motherfuckin' nigga through and through, I ain't gay
Know a nigga caught a case and he took his 25
Sat it out on appeal, and gave him back that time
A soldier in his mind and his actions said the same
Told a cracker tell your mammy suck his dick and see Rick James
Ain't no motherfuckin' game, we been livin' this for real
When the government is workin', real niggas never squeal
Right here the truth revealed, Troy you a mouse
Yeah you rappin' but the homey Lil' Pots can't get out
Niggaz they hit the pen, they get charged, then get out
On a rule, 35, he a bought it for the cops
You can hear it in his voice, I done listened to the tapes
Now you showin' up in court, testifyin' for the state

[Chorus]
We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We don't trust in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We ain't trustin in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood.
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

[Scarface]
I'm knowin' all the scams, all the tricks to the trade
Know a nigga tryin' to get clean, and you get in the way
Know a nigga tryin' to get green, and you stick out the bait
Cause a nigga like a dopefiend, can't rehabilitate
Still we stickin' to the G Code, we playin' by the rules
We don't fuck around with new niggas, cause new niggas is fools
We don't photograph the homies, that'll catch a nigga up
On a picture you a victim, bottom line nigga fucked
Only connect the real, stayin' down with the truth
I got love for you Ant, you a real nigga Spook
My nigga Spoonie Gee, I can only name a few
But there's a thousand motherfuckers in the pen bulletproof
So this one here for you, I'm a rep it 'til I die
Fuck a 5-K-1, check his P-S-I
Send his ass to the top if he say he sit at home
He a motherfuckin' snitch, snitchin' niggas need it sewn

[Chorus]
We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We don't trust in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

We don't talk to police, we don't make a peace bond
We ain't trustin in the judicial system, we shoot guns
We rely on the streets, we do battle in the hood.
I was born in the G Code, embedded in my blood

MattW
04-22-2010, 02:01 AM
If the Klan or neo-Nazis were shooting down Black kids at the rate they kill each other daily, all the usual suspects would be marching down the streets of Washington chanting the same old tired-ass slogans and demanding the federal government mobilize to stop the slaughter.

But when it's just one more dead nigger killed by another nigger likely to end up the same damn way, nobody gives a shit.
I'm not clear on your meaning here.

Do you mean people like Sharpton and Jackson who whore themselves out on inter-racial issues, but are somewhat less vocal (if not silent) when it comes to more severe intra-racial problems?

nighttimer
04-22-2010, 02:37 AM
I'm not clear on your meaning here.

Do you mean people like Sharpton and Jackson who whore themselves out on inter-racial issues, but are somewhat less vocal (if not silent) when it comes to more severe intra-racial problems?

Absolutely. They operate on a paradigm that White racism is somehow more insidious and threatening to African-Americans than our own pathological inability and refusal to attack the root causes of our own self-destructive behavior. It's easier to scream "racism" at a corporation for the lack of dark faces in the boardroom than it is to demand police and government action against a drug dealer or a gang terrorizing a housing project.

The War on Drugs might as well be called a War On Black People. All it does is funnel dope into the worst neighborhoods, destroy families, turn Black men into convicts and locks them away in rural areas to be guarded by White men who have no other employment available. It's a great big racket and nobody gives a damn about it until it spills over and touches them or someone they know and care about.

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I hate "thug culture" like God hates sin. This self-hatred will do what slavery, the Klan, the Tuskegee Experiment and COINTELPRO couldn't do: make Black people extinct.

One day you will have to go to a museum to find out who we even were.

Monkey
04-22-2010, 03:29 AM
Nighttimer's video reminds me of a speaker I once heard...he was a young black man, and he said that he and his friends used to use the "N" word all the time. They considered it "taking the word back from our oppressors", and "turning that word from something derogatory to a symbol of brotherhood." But anytime his mother would hear them, she'd very quickly and angrily say, "We don't use that word here. There are no niggers in this house, and there never will be." He tried to explain to his mom, but she never understood; wouldn't even listen to it. She just repeated, "There are no niggers at my house."

Then, one day he was out with his mother, and a white man called her a nigger. He said that the rage that welled up in him was like nothing he'd ever experienced. He wanted to kill that man. But his mother put a hand on his shoulder and said, "Son, that man ain't talking to us. There ain't no niggers here," then calmly led him away. And then he understood where she'd been coming from the whole time; no amount of calling each other the "N" word or trying to assign it new meaning meant a damn thing when he'd heard his mother called that. He never used that word casually again.

I think about that story every time I hear that word used casually, or in a "friendly" way.

I also think about a pit bull I rescued from my neighbors when I lived in Austin (I bought the dog, I didn't steal him). They heaped abuse on the poor thing, figuring that was how you made a dog mean; I hated them for what they did to that dog. I'm pretty sure, judging by the scars, the reaction he had to other dogs, and the extremely docked ears and tail (below what would be "cosmetic"), that they fought him for money. They were black, and the dog's name was Nigger...presumably the most hateful thing they knew to call it.

Perks
04-22-2010, 04:15 AM
I hate "thug culture" like God hates sin. This self-hatred will do what slavery, the Klan, the Tuskegee Experiment and COINTELPRO couldn't do: make Black people extinct.

One day you will have to go to a museum to find out who we even were.

I don't know what the hell to do with this feeling, but these couple of lines, after reading all I have from you, hit me in the head like a hammer.

It doesn't feel like "white guilt" or any sort of construct. It feels like a fulcrum of evolution, but one we have a hand a hand in, one that we could bend one way or another. I want to understand better what helps and what doesn't.

kuwisdelu
04-22-2010, 04:29 AM
I really don't want to turn this into a victim competition, but I just think it's prudent to keep in mind that other minorities and demographics suffer from the War on Drugs as well.

Fran
04-22-2010, 04:32 AM
Maybe the victim feared for his family's safety if he gave the police a name, although how much one would consider that in the last moments I don't know.

Even so, what a waste.

AMCrenshaw
04-22-2010, 04:38 AM
Additionally, I believe most criminal organizations tend toward codes of silence with the police.

Williebee
04-22-2010, 04:45 AM
Additionally, I believe most criminal organizations tend toward codes of silence with the police. Perhaps, but that only begs the question, is this about a "criminal organization" or a larger community dynamic?

Bird of Prey
04-22-2010, 05:02 AM
I want to open this discussion to the very edge of behavioral boundaries, but of course that means transcending race and poverty and talking terribly frankly about what is and isn't excusable in what is inherited in the human condition. I want to know what makes "making" death acceptable, and life a burden or a joy. I'm going to start by saying that this punk - shot in the chest - was probably a ruthless shit. But I also sadly think that his life may have been worth more than his sacrifice. . . .

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 05:41 AM
Absolutely. They operate on a paradigm that White racism is somehow more insidious and threatening to African-Americans than our own pathological inability and refusal to attack the root causes of our own self-destructive behavior. It's easier to scream "racism" at a corporation for the lack of dark faces in the boardroom than it is to demand police and government action against a drug dealer or a gang terrorizing a housing project.

THis has a lot of truth to it but I think the problem is more insidious. There is a core of the black populace, old timers and young up-and-comers who have linked 'being black' to 'being oppressed'.

First off, yes, it is true, blacks have always been oppressed, however how we dealt with that oppression has undergone a fundamental shift resulting in the self perpetuation of negative behaviors that keep us down.

Back in the old days 60s, 50s, 40s, etc, blacks lived with the adage that you just had to be better. That the world wasn't fair but tough shit be twice as good if need be. Do what you have to do. This was how I was raised.

And so, as opportunities came, blacks worked hard and were grateful for those opportunities.

But as the opportunities started to come, it seems that some blacks (especially those like Al Sharpton and Jessie Jackson) could not evolve and move their constituents in a positive direction. They couldn't embrace the positive momentum and roll with it. Instead, they just kept/keep focusing on the negative.

True, America is not completely free of racism, but for the most part, blacks have more opportunity now than we have had at any point in history. Most whites are not racist and the majority of whites don't condone outright racism which is a far cry from the 50s and 60s.

But as a community (and with the help of those like Sharpton and Jackson) we are moving backwards because we refuse to acknowlede and fix our internal problems and instead only point the finger at external wrongs.


The War on Drugs might as well be called a War On Black People. All it does is funnel dope into the worst neighborhoods, destroy families, turn Black men into convicts and locks them away in rural areas to be guarded by White men who have no other employment available. It's a great big racket and nobody gives a damn about it until it spills over and touches them or someone they know and care about.

MSNBC did a special on a white community in Mondecito California that for the most part grows pot in the open and the powers that be let it happen. If this were a black community, there is no way in hell this would happen.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/54312/cnbc-originals-marijuana-inc (http://www.hulu.com/watch/54312/cnbc-originals-marijuana-inc)


I hate "thug culture" like God hates sin. This self-hatred will do what slavery, the Klan, the Tuskegee Experiment and COINTELPRO couldn't do: make Black people extinct.

The current embrace of 'thug culture' is the single most harmful thing to ever happen to blacks.

I tutored a few teenagers who took pride in misspelling words and using embonics in their schoolwork.

A couple of them thought my help was a waste of time because they didn't need school. They were going to be millionaire rappers. :e2smack:

I've had more luck arguing with brick walls.

Mel...

AMCrenshaw
04-22-2010, 06:55 AM
Perhaps, but that only begs the question, is this about a "criminal organization" or a larger community dynamic?

I don't know about that...

But to answer your question, I'd read a sociological take on the situation that discussed this phenomena in poorer parts of post-industrial cities, but its conclusion was an urban-nomad life, not living in a stable home, as is sometimes necessary to avoid being constantly hounded by police for information (because most who live near each other know stuff about each other, but I suspect the average person cares about his or her neighbor more than an outsider), is essentially alienating at the same time it protects one from the police.

TerzaRima
04-22-2010, 07:10 AM
Perhaps, but that only begs the question, is this about a "criminal organization" or a larger community dynamic?


Or both, perhaps? Other cultures besides the urban black community have had an ethos which tends to suppress achievement.

clintl
04-22-2010, 08:45 AM
Nighttimer's video reminds me of a speaker I once heard...he was a young black man, and he said that he and his friends used to use the "N" word all the time. They considered it "taking the word back from our oppressors", and "turning that word from something derogatory to a symbol of brotherhood."

Damn, I think I understand that now - that's an explanation that makes sense.

benbradley
04-22-2010, 08:53 AM
I've seen/experienced the "no snitch" thing when I was in high school. I think it develops as the "safest" path of conduct to protect ongoing activities that "the authorities" (school teachers and administrators, parents, police) strongly disapprove of. I've got a bit of a longish story about it (and me being naive, and doing something that prompted the 'underground' rules to be spelled out for me) at a virtually all-white private "prep" school I went to one year. Let me see if I can write it and post it later.

His mother surely had some "denial" about his being bad and in the gang (I've so OFTEN seen the mother of some arrested or killed kid say how good he was, when the situation strongly indicates otherwise*), but might have had what she saw as legitimate reasons for thinking he was doing okay, perhaps he got dressed up and went to Church every Sunday (There's a saying, going into a church doesn't make one a Christian any more than going into a garage makes one a car). I saw many kids in high school doing things they were "supposed" to do solely to make their parent think they were "doing okay."

One of my first thoughts was that the reason he didn't tell was to keep from prompting retaliation against his fellow gang members, NOT against his family. In a real way the gang IS his (ugh, I've heard THIS before, too) "new family."

kdnxdr
04-22-2010, 09:16 AM
Perhaps, but that only begs the question, is this about a "criminal organization" or a larger community dynamic?

Maybe, the-community-at-large is the whole of society and, if so, maybe we, the United States of America, or even, the worldwide society of mankind, is, in fact, predominantly "a community of criminals" and those that aren't YET experiencing the affect of universal criminality are the fringe or sub-culture of the dominant culture.

kuwisdelu
04-22-2010, 09:20 AM
Is there something wrong with me for having respect for the kid?

Williebee
04-22-2010, 09:23 AM
Maybe, the-community-at-large is the whole of society and, if so, maybe we, the United States of America, or even, the worldwide society of mankind, is, in fact, predominantly "a community of criminals" and those that aren't YET experiencing the affect of universal criminality are the fringe or sub-culture of the dominant culture.

Neighborhood, town, maybe. "whole of society"? That's more than a bit of a reach.

rugcat
04-22-2010, 10:09 AM
Is there something wrong with me for having respect for the kid?I wouldn't phrase it that way exactly, but you might want to reflect on the truth that your sentiment, shared by many in that community, is what helps perpetuate the killing fields those communities have become.

LOG
04-22-2010, 10:43 AM
Is there something wrong with me for having respect for the kid?

I respect him for holding true to his beliefs, even if I might disagree with them.

TerzaRima
04-22-2010, 10:52 AM
I wonder if we've all seen too many bad movies.

nighttimer
04-22-2010, 11:39 AM
I don't know what the hell to do with this feeling, but these couple of lines, after reading all I have from you, hit me in the head like a hammer.

It doesn't feel like "white guilt" or any sort of construct. It feels like a fulcrum of evolution, but one we have a hand a hand in, one that we could bend one way or another. I want to understand better what helps and what doesn't.

Malcolm X said, "We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves."

White people cannot give Black people dignity, self-respect, or hope for a brighter tomorrow. Barack Obama can't do it and no government program can do it. Only Black people can pull their pants up, clean themselves up and pull themselves up.

Additionally, I believe most criminal organizations tend toward codes of silence with the police.

Yes, criminal organizations do believe in a code of silence. Don't be a rat. Don't talk to the po-po. Don't trust the man. Don't squeal. Don't snitch.

But this is different. You didn't have a crooner like Frank Sinatra telling other Italians not to snitch on the Mafia. But Cam'ron (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTwipn-Fp_U) said he wouldn't snitch on a serial killer if he knew one lived next door--plus, it's just bad for business in his view.

"Stop snitchin'" goes beyond just honor among thieves. It's a form of forced silence and mass cowardice passed off a perverse code of "ethics." There's nothing "ethical" about protecting the people who make your neighborhood a hellhole.

Is there something wrong with me for having respect for the kid?

I respect him for holding true to his beliefs, even if I might disagree with them.

WHAT FUCKING BELIEF? Did his belief stop those bullets that blew holes in his 17-year-old body? Did his belief help him from being just another cold piece of dead meat on a slab?

What kind of belief system is "live by the gun and die by the gun." Seventeen year old boys don't have any goddamn belief system. They have barely lived any life. What the hell did Robert Tate believe in?

Respect? Are you going to chip in for Tate's funeral expenses LOG and Kuwisdelu? Are you goint to go to Chicago and find "C-Murder's" killer so you can shake his hand and tell him how much "respect" Tate showed him for not ratting him out?

Are you going to go to Tate's mother and tell her how much you "respect" her murdered son?

Read this urban horror story (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/20/BAR71D1FS3.DTL) because of people came forward so the suspects could be taken off the street before they could take another innocent man's life.

What would have happened if concerned citizens had not come forward? Would you "respect" the two thugs who murdered Tian Sheng Yu?

I have nothing but contempt and utter disbelief that anyone could find anything they could "respect" about a pathological street code that leaves young Black kids dead and families destroyed.

benbradley
04-22-2010, 11:46 AM
I respect him for holding true to his beliefs, even if I might disagree with them.
I don't see it that way. The way I see it, he was programmed by his gang membership (and also by the culture he grew up in) to "not snitch" even when he was dying and had nothing to lose by telling.

I should write my high school story tomorrow.

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 11:51 AM
Is there something wrong with me for having respect for the kid?

I respect him for holding true to his beliefs, even if I might disagree with them.

I have zero respect for him. He was a fool.

I've always realized how many of those commonly held beliefs are just plain bullshit.

Letting a murderer walk the streets is like knowing the location of a bomb and failing to tell authorities.

Only a matter of time before both explode and kill innocents.

I take this personally since i've had childhood friends killed by stray bullets fired from two blocks away by gang members shooting at each other.

Of course, no one 'snitched' and the cases remained unsolved.

Where is the honor in that? How many more innocents will be killed because of the code of the streets?

It's all bullshit. And like my grandfather said, "Prisons and graveyards are full of fools who ain't no punk."

I just have zero tolerance for this type of bullshit. I grew up around it...

Given that i'm shaking because i'm so pissed and can barely type, I think I better just stop.

Mel...

Bird of Prey
04-22-2010, 05:01 PM
It's a question of which society a young man wants to be honored in. His immediate community was the priority, and that community - by that I mean his social network - was obviously violent, Also, the kid might have thought he was going to survive or thought there was a chance of it.

I don't have any defense for this young man, quite the contrary. The guy that killed my Dad had a long, long juvenile record, and is still, a young man. So, I guess I'm not too sorry that a guy that protected a murderer isn't around anymore. Nevertheless, the dilemma imo is his age.

Something happens to these kids. People imho aren't born with dna that gives them a tendency toward street violence. There is some mechanism that kicks in when young directionless males in poverty get together, and sometimes poverty isn't even in play. But a subculture develops, and it's the only society that counts for them. And the violence spills over into society at large.

I don't know the answer but I know that breaking that bond is important much the way that - for example - the army depends on forming a bond between its fighting men and women. . . .

Perks
04-22-2010, 05:26 PM
White people cannot give Black people dignity, self-respect, or hope for a brighter tomorrow. Barack Obama can't do it and no government program can do it. Only Black people can pull their pants up, clean themselves up and pull themselves up.

Nighttimer, I want to be sure you know what I meant, because I think maybe I wasn't as clear as I wanted to be. When I said there was a fulcrum situation that "we" could maybe have a hand on, I didn't mean "we" white people. I only meant people in general; people who could help derail the disaster course that you were describing.

I reread what I wrote and definitely want to be clear on that, because what you're talking about is powerfully sad. I don't want to appear to be treading on it it any way. I wasn't so good with my words on that one.

icerose
04-22-2010, 07:58 PM
So I have a question. Since it has been referred in this thread that the war on drugs might as well be called war on blacks.

There is mass violence in Mexico going on due to drugs. Last time I looked none or very few of them were black. They are not the minority in that country either so I don't really see how it can be pinned as a war against minorities either. Drugs are a global problem with global violence.

Okay, so now that that is out of the way, I do have a question.

The war on drugs exists in my community too. We have a problem with Meth labs especially but other drugs too. Basically when I was in highschool I could have gotten anything I wanted. Didn't have any desire, but could have. I had friends who were shooting up heroin, doing meth, coke, and many other drugs. However, we have no gangs whatsoever. We do have a presence of the Mexican Mafia but the violence and turf wars aren't out in the streets. We are also a small community. The cops main revenue stream are drug busts. They call the main highway through here cocain highway.

Why is it that we don't have the violence associated with drugs? Is it simply because we are small? Gangs are forming in the bigger parts of the states but they haven't really formed here. Is it a culture thing? Do we simply not support the no snitch vibe so we those problems simply don't get too big?

Next question and I realize no one may be able to answer any of them, I'm more or less just throwing them out there. What can be done to fix the broken communities? As I said in a much earlier post I am far removed from the problem, so I don't see it day to day. What would it take to get the youth to stop joining gangs? What would it take to end the unrepentant bloodshed?

kdnxdr
04-22-2010, 08:04 PM
Neighborhood, town, maybe. "whole of society"? That's more than a bit of a reach.


Maybe that's what I personally believe about humanity in general. I've got my opinion just like everyone else. My motto is : People, in general, are not pleasant to be around.

kuwisdelu
04-22-2010, 08:09 PM
I have some degree of respect for anyone who'll die to protect someone, regardless of how despicable or how vehemently I disagree with their ideology or way of life.

TerzaRima
04-22-2010, 08:55 PM
I disagree that he thought he was protecting anyone. Again, I blame the movies for this train of thought.

kuwisdelu
04-22-2010, 08:57 PM
I disagree that he thought he was protecting anyone. Again, I blame the movies for this train of thought.

Fair enough. Unfortunately, it's impossible to ever really know what he was thinking.

Williebee
04-22-2010, 09:04 PM
THIS
Malcolm X said, "We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves."

White people cannot give Black people dignity, self-respect, or hope for a brighter tomorrow. Barack Obama can't do it and no government program can do it. Only Black people can pull their pants up, clean themselves up and pull themselves up.

I think it is worth personalizing it, and internalizing this truth however -- understanding how true the statement is for each of us, regardless of our race, class, money, or place in any chain of authority.

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 10:16 PM
So I have a question. Since it has been referred in this thread that the war on drugs might as well be called war on blacks.

There is mass violence in Mexico going on due to drugs. Last time I looked none or very few of them were black. They are not the minority in that country either so I don't really see how it can be pinned as a war against minorities either. Drugs are a global problem with global violence.


Not to speak for Nighttimer, but she was probably referring to the US's war on drugs.

If you look at the laws and the statistics, they are disproportionately applied to blacks (and hispanics). Blacks are far more likely to be convicted than their white counterparts and when they are, they get more prison time for possessing the same amount of drugs as whites.

Same with enforcement. All things being equal, police are more likely to stop and search blacks for drugs than they are whites. When I was younger, I used to get stopped for so-called traffic violations all the time just so they could search me and my friends for drugs.


The war on drugs exists in my community too...

Why is it that we don't have the violence associated with drugs? Is it simply because we are small? Gangs are forming in the bigger parts of the states but they haven't really formed here. Is it a culture thing? Do we simply not support the no snitch vibe so we those problems simply don't get too big?

SIze is the main reason for violence with drugs. If there is not a lot of competition then their will be less conflict and thus less violence. Once you get rival gangs vying for the same turf THEN you get violence.

Next question and I realize no one may be able to answer any of them, I'm more or less just throwing them out there. What can be done to fix the broken communities?

This is a hard answer. Poor communities simply don't have the same opportunities as wealthier communities. The amount of businesses and jobs per square mile are so much lower than the wealthier communities that many within the poorer communities turn to crime.

To fix a broken community you need a combination of strict law enforcement, socio-economic opportunity, and education. But this is a bit of a paradox becuase how in the hell are you going to attract businesses in an area that is low in economic development and economic opportunity? So you have a bit of the chicken <=> egg problem here.

In my opinion, it can be done. It must be a grassroots effort. If we were willing to spend what we spend on prisons and foriegn wars we could solve this internal problem. But we just aren't.

Also, America needs to revamp our economy as a whole, too many jobs are being outsourced... but that is another argument.

Mel...

AMCrenshaw
04-22-2010, 10:18 PM
Yes, criminal organizations do believe in a code of silence. Don't be a rat. Don't talk to the po-po. Don't trust the man. Don't squeal. Don't snitch.

But this is different. You didn't have a crooner like Frank Sinatra telling other Italians not to snitch on the Mafia. But Cam'ron (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTwipn-Fp_U) said he wouldn't snitch on a serial killer if he knew one lived next door--plus, it's just bad for business in his view.


I do think these codes of silence are learned somewhere. I suspect gangstas and gangsters aren't from wholly different cultural cloths.
Just for instance, a general distrust of the government has been around since immigration.

"Stop snitchin'" goes beyond just honor among thieves. It's a form of forced silence and mass cowardice passed off a perverse code of "ethics." There's nothing "ethical" about protecting the people who make your neighborhood a hellhole.


It wasn't ever really about honor among thieves; that's just a story mafia-men told themselves. Same as now; there's nothing romantic about not cooperating with the police, especially when it's life and death.

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 10:21 PM
I have some degree of respect for anyone who'll die to protect someone, regardless of how despicable or how vehemently I disagree with their ideology or way of life.

I'm not sure 'respect' is the right word.

There are people who blow up abortion clinics and kill abortion doctors

there are exes who kill their signficant others rather than suffer a break up

there are psychos that stalk and kill the objects of their desires

Just because these people are willing to kill and die for their 'beliefs' does not make them worthy of respect.

The word respect has a positive connotation. What word has a similar semantic yet a negative connotation? I think that is the word that should be applied here.

If such a word does not exist, we need to create one.

Mel...

Perks
04-22-2010, 10:25 PM
I'm not sure 'respect' is the right word.

...

The word respect has a positive connotation. What word has a similar semantic yet a negative connotation? I think that is the word that should be applied here.

The more neutral 'impressed' could work. I would have to be impressed that, in extremis, someone could grit his teeth and refuse a chance for redress.

But impressed is as far as I'm willing to go with that sort of thing.

robeiae
04-22-2010, 10:32 PM
"Dumbfounded."

icerose
04-22-2010, 10:38 PM
Thanks Mel for answering my post, I'll be back with more but I'm making lunch, I just wanted to thank you really quick.

icerose
04-22-2010, 11:09 PM
Not to speak for Nighttimer, but she was probably referring to the US's war on drugs.

If you look at the laws and the statistics, they are disproportionately applied to blacks (and hispanics). Blacks are far more likely to be convicted than their white counterparts and when they are, they get more prison time for possessing the same amount of drugs as whites.

Same with enforcement. All things being equal, police are more likely to stop and search blacks for drugs than they are whites. When I was younger, I used to get stopped for so-called traffic violations all the time just so they could search me and my friends for drugs.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up, I was confused there with that previous statement. The war on drugs in the US is probably sided heavily that way. (I add in probably because I am away from the problem so I can't quantify it myself).



SIze is the main reason for violence with drugs. If there is not a lot of competition then their will be less conflict and thus less violence. Once you get rival gangs vying for the same turf THEN you get violence.
That makes sense. I do wonder though why some cities of comparable size will have such vast differences in gang rates, violent crimes, and such. Does that go back to the socio-economics of the area? If so that would make sense. Like why Beverly Hills and gated communities don't have the same problems as the slums even if they have equal numbers.



This is a hard answer. Poor communities simply don't have the same opportunities as wealthier communities. The amount of businesses and jobs per square mile are so much lower than the wealthier communities that many within the poorer communities turn to crime.

To fix a broken community you need a combination of strict law enforcement, socio-economic opportunity, and education. But this is a bit of a paradox becuase how in the hell are you going to attract businesses in an area that is low in economic development and economic opportunity? So you have a bit of the chicken <=> egg problem here.

In my opinion, it can be done. It must be a grassroots effort. If we were willing to spend what we spend on prisons and foriegn wars we could solve this internal problem. But we just aren't.

Also, America needs to revamp our economy as a whole, too many jobs are being outsourced... but that is another argument.

Mel...

Seems like the ultimate cycle of self destruction. It seems like we're losing whole generations to this though. I feel so helpless against it all. It seems like everything is failing all at once (or has been for a long time) and this is the result. There are no easy fixes, no bandaids to cover the span anymore. Perhaps that's been our problem as a society? Rather than fixing the problems at the source and really fixing them, we've just been turning a blind eye and handing out bandaids?

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 11:32 PM
That makes sense. I do wonder though why some cities of comparable size will have such vast differences in gang rates, violent crimes, and such. Does that go back to the socio-economics of the area? If so that would make sense. Like why Beverly Hills and gated communities don't have the same problems as the slums even if they have equal numbers.
The main reason is simply economics.

Firstly, the laws of America are biased and favor those with money/resources. The rich break the law all the time. They just have the resources to get away with it (namely lawyers and gaming the system). Instead of drug dealers the rich usually just find a doctor to write them a prescription. And even with drugs, police aren't going to harrass the rich anywhere near the amount they harrass those who can't afford lawyers.

Lastly, it is a matter of need. Usually, crimes are committed based on need. By definition the rich have an excess of resources and have less need to break the law to get what they want. And in case of wanting illegal things, their resources enable them to game the system, hide behind lawyers, bribe politicians, use their clout, etc. etc.


Seems like the ultimate cycle of self destruction. It seems like we're losing whole generations to this though. I feel so helpless against it all. It seems like everything is failing all at once (or has been for a long time) and this is the result. There are no easy fixes, no bandaids to cover the span anymore. Perhaps that's been our problem as a society? Rather than fixing the problems at the source and really fixing them, we've just been turning a blind eye and handing out bandaids?

This is true. Look at growth of our prison population. It is almost geometric. Eventually, we will reach a breaking point and suffer an entire socio-economic collapse. You can only build so many prisons and have so much lower class before it collapses the entire system. I would predict that when Prison population reaches 2% of the total population + 12% unemployment our entire system will collapse and throw us into another Great Depression.

http://i524.photobucket.com/albums/cc326/dgiharris/prisonstatistics.jpg

Incidentally, that big rise in prison population correlates almost perfectly with the 'war on drugs'

We've got to do something. Look at that graph. The math does not lie.

Think about it. With all the turmoil and political unrest of the 50s and 60s, that period still had less incarcerated than what we have now.

But somehow, as a society, we've learned to ignore the 800 lb gorilla in the room. It's really amazing when you think about it.

Its like ignoring a big pile of shit that is plopped square on your dining room table.

Mel...

icerose
04-22-2010, 11:34 PM
That graph is outright scary. So outside of watching the train wreck, what can we do as private citizens?

robeiae
04-22-2010, 11:41 PM
The main reason is simply economics.

Firstly, the laws of America are biased and favor those with money/resources. The rich break the law all the time. They just have the resources to get away with it (namely lawyers and gaming the system). Instead of drug dealers the rich usually just find a doctor to write them a prescription. And even with drugs, police aren't going to harrass the rich anywhere near the amount they harrass those who can't afford lawyers.

Lastly, it is a matter of need. Usually, crimes are committed based on need. By definition the rich have an excess of resources and have less need to break the law to get what they want. And in case of wanting illegal things, their resources enable them to game the system, hide behind lawyers, bribe politicians, use their clout, etc. etc.



This is true. Look at growth of our prison population. It is almost geometric. Eventually, we will reach a breaking point and suffer an entire socio-economic collapse. You can only build so many prisons and have so much lower class before it collapses the entire system.
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with anything you are saying, Mel. But I would caution you from assuming too much, with regard to that graph. Remember, increased incarceration can be a consequence of more than one thing. For example, something like superior forensics: for all the clamor over using DNA evidence to help identify the wrongly convicted, I think the advancement of that and similar technologies--starting in the 80's, I think--actually led to more convictions.

Crime and things related to it--from an historical perspective--is a tricky thing. We can never really know comparative absolutes, since there is always a dark figure in play.

benbradley
04-22-2010, 11:49 PM
I have some degree of respect for anyone who'll die to protect someone, regardless of how despicable or how vehemently I disagree with their ideology or way of life.
I suppose I can "see" that, but what he was protecting is even worse than his own murderer. He was protecting a subculture where he knows he wouldn't be snitched on if HE shot and killed someone else, a subculture that is outside the law, and maintains itself as separate from the larger culture. When one of these guys "has a problem" with someone threatening violence against him or his family, he doesn't go to the police for help, he goes to other members in his gang.

There are other types of groups where illegal acts have been handled internally rather than notifying police, but naming them might be be a major derail. My point is that even with the problems with police, whenever I've heard of a group handling illegal activity "internally," it has always turned out MUCH worse than if the police were involved from the start. And there's no honor or respect in that.

dgiharris
04-22-2010, 11:57 PM
I'm not necessarily disagreeing with anything you are saying, Mel. But I would caution you from assuming too much, with regard to that graph. Remember, increased incarceration can be a consequence of more than one thing. For example, something like superior forensics: for all the clamor over using DNA evidence to help identify the wrongly convicted, I think the advancement of that and similar technologies--starting in the 80's, I think--actually led to more convictions..

No, the only thing superior forensics has done is just ensure the 'right' person is locked away.

When a crime is committed (especially in the days before superior forensics) the police arrest a suspect and in the absence of a better suspect, whomever is/was arrested ends up taking the fall. And this goes triply so if you cannot afford a defense attorney and have to go with a public defender.

If anything, superior forensics should result in a DECREASE of incarceration since mathematically speaking, the police are not always going to find the guilty person and the forensics will end up acquitting the innocent person and thus the crime goes unsolved.

Also, the correlation between the war on drugs and the increase in prison population is well documented

http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm

Mel...

dgiharris
04-23-2010, 12:04 AM
That graph is outright scary. So outside of watching the train wreck, what can we do as private citizens?

The biggest take away from that graph is that the war on drugs needs to be overhauled.

Again, it is well documented that the war on drugs is the biggest factor resulting in the increase in our prison population.

I'm not saying we legalize all drugs, but we've got to do something. Again, the math doesn't lie.

Also, our prison system needs to be overhauled. It needs to be rehabilitative and we've got to get over our puritan obsession with punishment.

Being in prison is punishment enough. But the fact is, if someone is unemployable, they will just resort to crime when they get out. So unless you reeducate them, you really aren't giving them much choice and they will be stuck in the system forever.

Those two things: overhaul the war on drugs, make prisons rehabilitative, will do a lot to reverse the graph.

And of course, there is also preventative measures such as education and after school programs. Sounds cheesy, but afterschool programs do keep kids on the straight and narrow and out of trouble and thus out of jail.

Mel...

robeiae
04-23-2010, 12:27 AM
No, the only thing superior forensics has done is just ensure the 'right' person is locked away.

When a crime is committed (especially in the days before superior forensics) the police arrest a suspect and in the absence of a better suspect, whomever is/was arrested ends up taking the fall. And this goes triply so if you cannot afford a defense attorney and have to go with a public defender.

If anything, superior forensics should result in a DECREASE of incarceration since mathematically speaking, the police are not always going to find the guilty person and the forensics will end up acquitting the innocent person and thus the crime goes unsolved.Well, I think it depends on some other factors, as well, Mel. If the DA has you dead to rights with DNA evidence, you're less likely to be able to cut a deal for a lesser sentence, something you might have done when there was no such evidence. If the police are able to get fingerprints in situations where they couldn't in the past, they might be able to find suspects and eventually get a conviction, for a crime that might have just gone unsolved.

But look, I'm not wanting an argument, here.

I'm just suggesting that there's a bit more to consider, with regard to changes in incarceration rates. It's not my thing, really, but I know there are plenty of factors involved.

I can't find any good data on conviction rates, but maybe you know. Have they been trending up or down? Also, there's the issue of reporting. Take rape, for instance. I think more rapes are now reported than thirty years ago. This means--by and large--more people in jail.
Also, the correlation between the war on drugs and the increase in prison population is well documented

http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm

Mel...
Yes, I know.

But that doesn't mean we're facing continued geometric increases in the incarceration rate, does it? And that seemed to be what you were suggesting.

robeiae
04-23-2010, 12:30 AM
Those two things: overhaul the war on drugs, make prisons rehabilitative, will do a lot to reverse the graph.I agree with the first, but I think the second is a pipe dream.

And of course, there is also preventative measures such as education and after school programs. Sounds cheesy, but afterschool programs do keep kids on the straight and narrow and out of trouble and thus out of jail.

Mel...And I agree with this, completely.

MacAllister
04-23-2010, 12:44 AM
We also need to pushback (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/554396/nightline_asks_why_black_women_can_t_get_a_man) a lot harder when there's cultural pressure to reinforce (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/nightline-black-women-single-marriage/story?id=10424979) this appalling status quo.

In the 1960s, the Moynihan Report blamed black women heads of household for social deterioration in black communities. In the 1980s single black mothers were vilified as welfare cheats responsible for the nation's economic decline. In the 1990s black women were blamed for birthing a generation of "crack babies" that were predicted to burden the nation's health and educational systems. The Nightline conversation was suspiciously reminiscent of this prior reasoning. As the nation copes with its anxieties about a black president, a shifting economy and a new global position, black women suddenly reemerge as a problem to be solved.

icerose
04-23-2010, 12:50 AM
We also need to pushback (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/554396/nightline_asks_why_black_women_can_t_get_a_man) a lot harder when there's cultural pressure to reinforce (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/nightline-black-women-single-marriage/story?id=10424979) this appalling status quo.

I don't see single mothers and fathers as a problem to be solved per say but rather a group in need of support. Not only do they have to take on all of the financial responsbilities but all the parental responsibilities as well. Either one is a pretty big job, together that's a lot to do. Which can be done, and has been done rather successfully, but that much needed support of help, education, and so forth just isn't there imo.

nighttimer
04-23-2010, 12:57 AM
Allow me to apologize to LOG and kuwisdelu for usage of the word "contempt" in my previous post. That was an emotional response on my part and upon further reflection I could have and should have phrased it better.

So I have a question. Since it has been referred in this thread that the war on drugs might as well be called war on blacks.

There is mass violence in Mexico going on due to drugs. Last time I looked none or very few of them were black. They are not the minority in that country either so I don't really see how it can be pinned as a war against minorities either. Drugs are a global problem with global violence.

dgiharris has already done yeoman's work in clarifying my position, but permit me to expand upon why I called The War on Drugs a War on Blacks.

How are communities of color affected by drug law enforcement?


While African-Americans constitute 13% of the nation's monthly drug users, they represent 35% of those persons arrested for drug possession, 55% of drug possession convictions, and 74% of those sentenced to prison for drug possession.(7) (http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm#notes) According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, in no state are black men incarcerated at rates even close to those of white men. In fact, nationwide, black men are incarcerated at 9.6 times the rate of white men.(8) (http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm#notes)
Under federal legislation enacted in 1986, it takes 1/100 as much crack cocaine as powder cocaine to trigger equal mandatory minimum sentences. In 1995, although American crack users were 52% white and 38% African American, blacks accounted for 88% of those sentenced for crack offenses and whites just 4.1%.(9) (http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm#notes)
Almost 1.4 million African-American males, or 14% of the adult black male population, are currently disenfranchised as a result of felony convictions. Black men represent more than 36% of the total disenfranchised male population in the U.S., although they make up less than 15% of American males.(10) (http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm#notes)

http://www.drugpolicy.org/library/factsheets/effectivenes/index.cfm

The influx of drugs into the neighborhoods least able to resist them have created a prison-industrial complex where one of the most lucrative fields is the building and incarceration of Black males. Additionally, many of those who go in for minor or non-violent drug offenses are permanently disenfranchised when they come out. Jobs are already hard to come by. It gets no easier when you're a convicted felon.

Why is it that we don't have the violence associated with drugs? Is it simply because we are small? Gangs are forming in the bigger parts of the states but they haven't really formed here. Is it a culture thing? Do we simply not support the no snitch vibe so we those problems simply don't get too big?

Where drugs are, turf wars will follow when one dealer encroaches upon the territory of another. Drug pushers and organization are predisposed to use violence to defend and hold onto what is theirs. That is one reason why Robert Tate is no longer among the living.

Next question and I realize no one may be able to answer any of them, I'm more or less just throwing them out there. What can be done to fix the broken communities? As I said in a much earlier post I am far removed from the problem, so I don't see it day to day. What would it take to get the youth to stop joining gangs? What would it take to end the unrepentant bloodshed?

That's a complicated question with no single good answer. It would take a combination of both legal, social and medical approaches. More emphasis should be placed upon taking down major dealers, distributors and financiers of drugs. I'd rather build better schools than prisons. Drug treatment programs are overcrowded and lack the resources to cope with the needs of addicts trying to kick their habit. Mandatory minimum sentencing ties the hands of judges and prosecutors and they need more leeway to decide who really deserves the harshest penalties.

As far as gangs go, they've always been around and always will be especially when they provide the structure, discipline and relationships of a surrogate "family." Where the law is weak and inefficient, where families are broken, where communities are alienated from the authorities and feel they are disenfranchised, where there are no jobs and no education, gangs will step in to fill the void and BE that authority figure.

Like I said, it's complicated without any magic bullets or quick fixes. That doesn't mean though we should throw up our hands and give up trying. There are too many Robert Tates killing and dying on the mean streets.

rugcat
04-23-2010, 01:13 AM
And of course, there is also preventative measures such as education and after school programs. Sounds cheesy, but afterschool programs do keep kids on the straight and narrow and out of trouble and thus out of jail.

Mel... But these things cost money. Education is taking huge cuts, and things like afterschool programs and "non essential" classes -- like music classes are the first to go. (Those music classes (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/BA0O1D1LFK.DTL) not only have spawned generations of musicians, but often help keep kids in school who might otherwise drop out)

We can't raise taxes for the money -- well , we could, but that's not going to happen in today's political climate.

And these programs are also a casualty of the "government is bad" movement -- when people talk about government wasting money and rail against government sponsored social programs, these are some of the things they are talking about.

kuwisdelu
04-23-2010, 01:17 AM
Maybe some of the tax money from legalizing marijuana could...

No, no, that's crazy talk.

robeiae
04-23-2010, 01:19 AM
We also need to pushback (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion/554396/nightline_asks_why_black_women_can_t_get_a_man) a lot harder when there's cultural pressure to reinforce (http://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/FaceOff/nightline-black-women-single-marriage/story?id=10424979) this appalling status quo.
Yeah. It's tough thing to come to terms with, though. Marriage rates started dropping in the sixties for black Americans and have pretty much continued to drop. And I think divorce rates might even be a bit higher for this group, in comparison to the population, at large. But I think it's a consequence of other factors, one that feeds on itself, unfortunately.

robeiae
04-23-2010, 01:24 AM
But these things cost money. Education is taking huge cuts, and things like afterschool programs and "non essential" classes -- like music classes are the first to go. (Those music classes (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/BA0O1D1LFK.DTL) not only have spawned generations of musicians, but often help keep kids in school who might otherwise drop out)

We can't raise taxes for the money -- well , we could, but that's not going to happen in today's political climate.

And these programs are also a casualty of the "government is bad" movement -- when people talk about government wasting money and rail against government sponsored social programs, these are some of the things they are talking about.
Maybe.

But I was talking with my dad today and the subject of the conversation was the new Marlins baseball stadium. Now, that's getting funded with local money and some state money, by and large. I'd much rather see those monies go to the education system. And--I think--so would many other people. But (to channel Don for a moment) we can't seem to get any politicians to back the f*** off of this thing, no matter the party. And it's justified by "it will bring jobs," and the like.

There's money to be had--from local, state, and federal coffers--for education, imo.

Gretad08
04-23-2010, 01:27 AM
But these things cost money. Education is taking huge cuts, and things like afterschool programs and "non essential" classes -- like music classes are the first to go. (Those music classes (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/BA0O1D1LFK.DTL) not only have spawned generations of musicians, but often help keep kids in school who might otherwise drop out)

We can't raise taxes for the money -- well , we could, but that's not going to happen in today's political climate.

And these programs are also a casualty of the "government is bad" movement -- when people talk about government wasting money and rail against government sponsored social programs, these are some of the things they are talking about.

Typically I side with the "stop spending so much money" group when it comes to government, but not when it comes to things like after school programs and extracurricular activities. That's just not logical.

If you have kids engaged and involved, they're far less likely to use other, more expensive resources. They won't be committing crimes b/c they'll be learning to play the piano or, hey, even working on becoming a writer :). It could have a positive snowball effect on this child, who will, later in life, involve his own kids in extracurricular activities, and maybe he'll even pay for it himself instead of the government.

It's a perfect plan!!

icerose
04-23-2010, 01:51 AM
So something along the lines of:

1. An all minority (to match whatever area and demograph) police force to help cultivate a bond with the community. Programs with the police being involved with the community to put positive images out there along with reinforcement of postive actions.

2. Rebuilding the school system to have positive secondary programs starting in elementary school, especially after school programs for those in hard hit areas that are free to attend, to give the children a save and warm environment to go to.

3. Health clinics available at low or no cost to hard hit areas so proper health and dental care can be available for everyone, especially young women to avoid early pregnancies among many other things.

4. Celebrities (rappers, atheletes, so on) using their status to reach out to the communities they are selling their images to and actually putting in positive images and postive role models as well as making a difference. I see a lot of bling and attitude that greatly outweighs the more positive role models like Morgan Freeman, Obama ect.

5. Education outreach to everyone, but especially parents who are in charge of raising the current generation. Covering cleanliness, nutrition, education needs and so forth.

6. Return of the jobs and training for those jobs made available.

7. Nutritious food made available at reasonable prices at a reasonably close proximity.

8. End of the war on drugs. Decriminalization on posession and bigger busts on the higher ups.

And those are just the ones I can think of. Problems with most of these are as Mel said though with the chicken and the egg. Which ones have to come first? Definitely a complicated problem.

dgiharris
04-23-2010, 02:34 AM
But look, I'm not wanting an argument, here.

I'm just suggesting that there's a bit more to consider, with regard to changes in incarceration rates. It's not my thing, really, but I know there are plenty of factors involved.

I can't find any good data on conviction rates, but maybe you know. Have they been trending up or down? Also, there's the issue of reporting. Take rape, for instance. I think more rapes are now reported than thirty years ago. This means--by and large--more people in jail.


I will acknowledge that there are other factors in the incarceration statistics and increases. My argument would be simply that the war on drugs is the principle one, but I will hunt down the answers to your questions about conviction rates. Off the top of my head, I would think that conviction rates are more or less the same and isn't likely to be responsible for a 500% increase in incarcerations since the Justice System hasn't undergone any significant major change. Yes, we have better forensics, but the legal process is the same legal process more or less.

As for rapes, you are right, more rapes are reported now than 30 years ago but I don't know exactly how they impact the proportion of those incarcerated. I'll get a break down later.

But these things cost money. Education is taking huge cuts, and things like afterschool programs and "non essential" classes -- like music classes are the first to go. (Those music classes (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/04/22/BA0O1D1LFK.DTL) not only have spawned generations of musicians, but often help keep kids in school who might otherwise drop out)

We can't raise taxes for the money -- well , we could, but that's not going to happen in today's political climate.

And these programs are also a casualty of the "government is bad" movement -- when people talk about government wasting money and rail against government sponsored social programs, these are some of the things they are talking about.

What is the adage? An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure???

I guess I just don't see it as a waste of money, especially when compared to the alternative..

Fact is, it costs around $30K per year per prisoner + the cost of the crime to society (manhours of law enforcement, trail costs, property damage, human loss/tradegy/injury, etc). It costs a fraction of that for these After School Programs (ASP).

A simple cost benefit analysis would show that spending money on preventative measures would more than pays for itself ten times over by keeping the kids out of the system in the first place.

Unfortunately, the problem is almost impossible to quantify. On one hand, I could show mathematically how this would save money. BUt on the other hand, I cannot prove mathematically how this will save money. I know, bit of a paradox. Unless I could compare and contrast two identical schools with identical kids and one school has the ASPs and the other didn't, that would be the only way to prove it. Unfortunately, I don't have access to my quantum flux parallel world access mirror.

But now we are derailing to the education debate and that is a whole other can of worms. :e2smack:

Mel...

benbradley
04-23-2010, 03:36 AM
Maybe.

But I was talking with my dad today and the subject of the conversation was the new Marlins baseball stadium. Now, that's getting funded with local money and some state money, by and large. I'd much rather see those monies go to the education system. And--I think--so would many other people. But (to channel Don for a moment) we can't seem to get any politicians to back the f*** off of this thing, no matter the party. And it's justified by "it will bring jobs," and the like.

There's money to be had--from local, state, and federal coffers--for education, imo.
Yeah, that's politics, and it's not just the politicians, the major teams play on the prestige of a new, big stadium as well to pressure the cities to build them. I've heard of at least one outright public pronouncement, I forget when or where, that "If this city doesn't build us a new stadium, we'll move somewhere where they will. We're already in talks with that other city." There's surely been a lot of such behind-the-scenes discussions in virtually every city big enough to support a major league sports team.

TerzaRima
04-23-2010, 04:13 AM
The Obama administration has been interested in number 5 on Icerose's list for a while--specifically in programs that shape parenting from the beginning. (http://americancity.org/magazine/article/from-baby-college-to-adult-success/) They aren't cheap, and I'm sure that there are plenty of live-free-or-die types who think that the gubmint has no place in telling people how to raise children.

Re 3 and 4--it's not just a matter of availability of birth control. Planned Parenthood affiliates tend to be concentrated in urban areas. The thornier problem is the mindset that teen parenting is a cultural norm to be accepted, if not celebrated by peers, and that a girl's future holds nothing more meaningful or exciting than babies.

Celebrities (rappers, atheletes, so on) using their status to reach out to the communities they are selling their images to and actually putting in positive images and postive role models as well as making a difference. I see a lot of bling and attitude that greatly outweighs the more positive role models like Morgan Freeman, Obama ect.

I agree, and yet I'd like to see some different role models. The poorer kids I see--of all colors and stripes--idolize athletes, entertainment figures like rappers, and pseudoathletes--I don't even know what to call WWF wrestlers. They like that knob who snarls, "Get 'er done." They are bombarded with images of conspicuous consumption, but very often don't even know anyone who has a career. There has to be a way to role model careers in health, science, education, trades, etc as a way to improve your life.

Bird of Prey
04-23-2010, 05:50 AM
Maybe there are just more shitheads now.

But frankly, I think the violence in the media has more than a little to do with violence on the street as an acceptable means of solving problems. . . .

Zoombie
04-23-2010, 06:05 AM
So something along the lines of:

1. An all minority (to match whatever area and demograph) police force to help cultivate a bond with the community. Programs with the police being involved with the community to put positive images out there along with reinforcement of postive actions.

2. Rebuilding the school system to have positive secondary programs starting in elementary school, especially after school programs for those in hard hit areas that are free to attend, to give the children a save and warm environment to go to.

3. Health clinics available at low or no cost to hard hit areas so proper health and dental care can be available for everyone, especially young women to avoid early pregnancies among many other things.

4. Celebrities (rappers, atheletes, so on) using their status to reach out to the communities they are selling their images to and actually putting in positive images and postive role models as well as making a difference. I see a lot of bling and attitude that greatly outweighs the more positive role models like Morgan Freeman, Obama ect.

5. Education outreach to everyone, but especially parents who are in charge of raising the current generation. Covering cleanliness, nutrition, education needs and so forth.

6. Return of the jobs and training for those jobs made available.

7. Nutritious food made available at reasonable prices at a reasonably close proximity.

8. End of the war on drugs. Decriminalization on posession and bigger busts on the higher ups.


Yup, these are pretty much the ideas I was thinking of.

*stamps approval on this list*

I think doing any and all of these things would help...and with a big and thorny problem, you don't solve it with a single gesture or a huge big thing. You solve it with a lot of actions, a lot of effort, and a lot of sweat and tears.

icerose
04-23-2010, 07:21 AM
Yup, these are pretty much the ideas I was thinking of.

*stamps approval on this list*

I think doing any and all of these things would help...and with a big and thorny problem, you don't solve it with a single gesture or a huge big thing. You solve it with a lot of actions, a lot of effort, and a lot of sweat and tears.

Yeah it definitely wouldn't be a quick turnaround by any means. It could easily take two solid generations with all the above done to really make a big difference. Culture isn't something that's easy to sway, but it can be swayed. It can't be from one source either, it would have to come from all sides I think, everyone would have to roll up their sleeves and get involved.

Zoombie
04-23-2010, 09:00 AM
Well, there is the one quick fix to any and all race issues.

Alien invasion.

nighttimer
04-23-2010, 11:13 AM
Well, there is the one quick fix to any and all race issues.

Alien invasion.

Not necessarily.

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/vNNxB7IEGFU&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/vNNxB7IEGFU&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

The Space Traders by Derrick Bell (http://edweb.tusd.k12.az.us/uhs/APUSH/1st%20Sem/Articles%20Semester%201/Artiles%20Semester%201/Bell.htm)

Zoombie
04-23-2010, 11:29 AM
I'm willing to bet the twist ending is that by trading the blacks, the space traders refuse the goods. But if only we had refused, they would have given us the stuff.

And if that's not the twist ending, it should have been...

nighttimer
04-23-2010, 11:45 AM
Tell you what, Zoombie. Click on my link to The Space Traders by Derrick Bell and just scroll down to the last paragraph.

Zoombie
04-23-2010, 11:48 AM
That works too, even if I'd have written a different ending.

But that's because I'm a fan of heavy handed moralizing rather than heavy handed historical allegory.