Rick, I agree without you, Pam and Plato totally. However, we shouldn't insult the old West by comparing it to today's gun freaks. The old West was actually more tamed and civilized when compared with today's gun crackpots, although the land hadn't yet been totally settled which led to the term Wild Wild West.
In the old West whenever newcomers arrived in any town they actually had to check their guns in and leave them at the locally sheriff or constable's office. Only upon leaving the town were they allowed to get their guns back.
I grew up in a world much different from the one we live in today. A world where people were friendly and kind. One where people who got to know one another. Even people who weren't suppose to mingle and know one another.
Today we've been taught to live in a world of suspicion, fear and wariness. Where neighbors are told to spy on one another and to report any suspicious activity. The first thing I learned at those neighborhood meetings was not to reach out to my neighbor and get to know them before making false judgments or accusations, but to be fearful, suspicious and wary of them. That it could be dangerous to interact with them. That's why I shucked the senselessness of those neighborhood meetings and went about on my own befriending and mingling with my neighbors. Especially those who don't look like me. The world is far too big and humankind is much too diverse for us to limit ourselves to schoolyard clicks.
It's unfortunate that we have people in the city who have lived next door to one another for decades and they don't even know one another. Are suspicious of inviting them over for a cup of tea and chat. That all the things we've been told and led to believe about them are untrue. The things we've misled to believe we should have never been told in the first place, and the things we should know we never set out to learn on our own. sad place in America today. A world much different from the one I grew up in.
Re:__* Berke's new program will include a "come-to-Jesus" meeting *
The black community is more secular than it's willing to admit. Why it fears admitting to that is beyond me. Of all the people who don't have a clue in what takes place in the black community and why, black clergy can be the most clueless. It's not like back in the days of Martin Luther King, Jr. where black clergy lived among the people they preached to and got to experience first hand what the problems and why. Many of today's black preachers come down to the quarters and preach then return to their own gated communities, far away from the issues at hand. This is why all efforts have failed, and the High Point initiative will produce dire results and a troubling outcome that will cause greater chaos.
This initiative is nothing more than a dressed up version of other great ideas that, instead of improving these communities, caused more problems, hostitilies and division.
Solution?: Get real people in and onboard. Coming to Jesus is a mockery and insult, even to Jesus. It's sounds more like a sordid game being played.
Plus, you'll find many of these clergy involved in this are struggling with their own issues, and fighting their own demons. While others are just and down out and right joke, catering to their puppet masters (big bulks) to line their own pockets. And the only group many in these communities trust even less or equally less than they trust the cops, are the preachers who exploit them for their own selfish gain.
*GOP will ulitimately accept ACA reforms *
Especially true since the idea originated from them in the first place.
Can others understand what minority communities have been ringing the alarm bells about for decades now? These type military style tactics have been going on in primarily minority and poor minority communities for quite a number of years now. And often with deadly outcomes. In 2010 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones of Detroit was killed during a police raid where a flash-bang grenade was used and the couch she was sleeping on caught fire, catching her on fire and Detroit police shot her in the neck. They were filming a segment for the First 48. A show police allow to tag along and film actual raids and arrest LIVE.
Around that same time or perhaps a year or so later, at a local public housing site police are said to have raided a two story apartment when a housing authority cop claimed to have seen a "suspect" at the back door of the apartment. That apartment also caught fire and the children were trapped upstairs. Two of the children immediately were able to get out. One lone child panicked and froze. If not for someone climbing through the upstairs window from a ledge and rescuing her Chattanooga would have had a Detroit style tragedy on their hands too. Instead the incident was covered up. Not a mention from the police or media. Now you know why minorities mistrust police? the mistrust runs deep and for very good reasons.
Far too often the media has either been complicit or has gone along with these cover-ups, but these communities are very much aware of these tragedies and near tragedies.
And finally, not to mention the cost in dollars everytime a SWAT goes out, and when that SWAT f**ks up and gets the wrong house or kills a child, the cost to the city is even higher.
Pam, you and TFP just don't GET IT! This is not a movie script where a few apologies here and there and all will go well. Yes, the piece was well written, and TFP and someone will likely win some national writers award and everyone will pat them on their backs for a job well done, but the problem is far more deeper and darker than people in the black community refusing to snitch for fear of reprisal from criminals. What about law enforcement maybe having played an indirect, or even direct role, in the escalation of crime in these communities? A few name drops here and there. A whisper that so-in-so is a snitch. These are reality issues for the black community. The mistrust goes far more deeper than police abuse, abuse of power and the use of excessive force.
There really are two America's. The one that feels privileged and protected by authority and the other where monsters are real. They sometimes wear a badge and they have the authority and power to forever alter and change your destiny and even end your life, and there's a helpless and hopeless feeling that not a damN thing can or will be done about it.
Sometimes the bad guys wear uniforms. They hide behind a mask of only wanting to serve and protect, but they use their position of power as a cover for their hatred, bigotry. And a thousand apologies can't or want change that reality. Especially when there's no change within how the police have been allowed, even encouraged to go into the communities behaving as an invading/occupying force
The NRA and other gun lobbyists have created a paranoid class of people who are afraid of their own shadows
And don't fail to leave out local law enforcement around the country in many cities. Many helped to create, encourage and even inspire the George Zimmermans at those local neighborhood group meetings where they were in attendance. They helped to encourage and spread suspicion, fear, mistrust, paranoia and even hatred which led to division and hostility in many communities. Some of'em were even congratulating and applauding GZ for standing his ground; cuz, afterall, Trayvon Martin was nothing but a "thug" after all, who got suspended from school (which really ain't at all hard to do these days), smoked marijuana (which lots of young people have done, even some of them in their own youth, and even in their adulthood) and posted pics of himself on his facebook page some found offensive. But it was the medicated, boozing and violent GZ with a violent history long before he crossed paths with TM that got all the praise and was suppose to be the poster boy for the NRA, gun rights nuts, the SYG law and even some local law enforcement around the country. This is what taken your neighborhood back was suppose to be all about.
SYG is a most evil, wicked, barbaric, uncivilized and hideous law. These present Oops and screw-up and collateral damage are only dry runs for their real intentions. You'd have to travel back into darker periods in American history to understand how similar laws were changed, created, manipulated or totally done away with to allow such tragedies to take place with impunity. Like in that darker period, future generations will be left to deal with the shame, blame, and cleaning up the do do present generations are creating; long after we're all dead and gone. Give a 100 years or so.
footnote Addressing only the SYG law without including the Castle Doctrine law in many states will not help correct the mess. The wordings in the SYG and Castle Doctrine and other laws like them now on the books in a lot of states have become so interchangeable that wordings in those laws are eerily similar to the SYG law and the present rules written in them will still apply even if the SYG law is ruled totally unconstitutional. So someone needs to alert the people who are horrified by the tragic results of SYG law and advise them to take a closer look at the other laws, including long standing Castle Doc laws, that have been tweaked and created to compliment or even include SYG.
Lost in this discussion/debate is the fact that the feds frequently round up large numbers of white suspects charged with manufacturing methamphetamine or trafficking illegal prescription narcotics.
Only in recent times did they start arresting meth makers and users. Meth dates much farther back than crack. More than 60 years in fact, However, it was during the crack-cocaine craze of the 1980s that laws were changed and crack users received hefty fines and long prison sentences for getting caught with small amounts of crack on them. Not even when people started blowing up their homes and apartments from overcooking meth, and some severely burning their children and themselves, some resulting in deaths, did they seriously go after meth. Then when they did decide to go after meth, that's when drug courts were created to minimize the damage to families. They didn't like seeing so many little white kids ending up in foster care.
see: The NewYorker: Sept. 3 2013 titled Throwaways
See who, how and what's really behind the exploding drug problems in the U.S. Manufactured gangs, manufactured terrorists have become nothing more than job security for some professions.
RE/john3182: "Yet, you are comparing violent criminals that have murdered innocent victims"
So fishing without a license is now considered a violent crime? Only in America! A country with the highest population of prisoners in the world. That's including any developed, developing, under-developed and even rogue/corrupt countries.
When a person is incarcerated, even for minor offenses, it negatively affects and disrupts entire households, financially and emotionally. A criminal record for one family member not only has a negative affect on that lone individual, but can affect other family members and even their offspring well into and up to another generation.
All of this stems from the 1980s, when young black men were being arrested for having too many dollar bills on them during routine stops in primarily black communities. Some were even arrested for having car freshners hanging from their rearview mirror. The reason for both was: "It could be a sign of drugs." When did America start arresting people for a "could-be" or a "maybe?" But that's the way police were operating in primarily poor black communities. That set the stage for what has morphed into high incarceration rates for primarily poor black communities, the decline in those communities and the families left to heavily depend on those dreaded and hated social programs everyone wants done away with. Then laws and ordinances were created to take whatever little they had left away.
The United States has the highest documented incarceration rate in the world. At year-end 2009, it was 743 adults incarcerated per 100,000 population.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), 2,266,800 adults were incarcerated in U.S. federal and state prisons, and county jails at year-end 2011 – about 0.7% of adults in the U.S. resident population. Additionally, 4,814,200 adults at year-end 2011 were on probation or on parole. In total, 6,977,700 adults were under correctional supervision (probation, parole, jail, or prison) in 2011 – about 2.9% of adults in the U.S. resident population.
In addition, there were 70,792 juveniles in juvenile detention in 2010.
Although debtor's prisons no longer exist in the United States, residents of some U.S. states can still be incarcerated for debt as of 2011.
Ike, that's just Markert's sly way of attempting to bring back racially segregation in schools. The shocking parts are the people who are actually buying into this lie.