Consider this CNN article about the Baltimore neighborhood that was the scene of recent riots (h/t Zenway). The writer says, about an older man–a blue-collar worker–who once lived in the neighborhood:
He sat like a sentry, watching not just the games but the neighborhood as well.
I knew Mr. Shields’ routine because I was his neighbor. I grew up in the West Baltimore community that was rocked this week by protests over the death of a young black man in police custody.
It’s surreal to see your old neighborhood go up in flames as commentators try to explain the rage with various complex racial and legal theories. But when I returned to my home this week, the rage made sense to me. There were no more Mr. Shields — the older black men were gone.
I asked 28-year-old Zachary Lewis about the absence of older men. …
“There ain’t no more ‘Old Heads’ anymore, where you been? They got big numbers or they in pine boxes.” In street syntax, that meant long prison sentences or death. …
As I walked through my old streets, it was filled with nothing but black young women, children and teenage boys. It was as if an alien spaceship had come in the night and spirited all the older black men away.
Read on and you will find that this writer seems to misidentify the main reason why there are few older men in his neighborhood. Is it because they’re all in prison? Doubtful. As likely, it’s because too many ghetto neighborhoods have become government-supported matriarchies. The welfare state has made adult males superfluous. Not needed. In fact, not wanted.
The women don’t want older men around (other than to procreate). The government makes it necessary to NOT HAVE men around, which is why they’re apparently absent. Without a father/husband in the home, the checks will keep rolling in.
The writer claims that there’s no “adult” presence in the neighborhood, which leads (inevitably?) to the type of violence, arson, and rioting that we witnessed recently. This also rings false.
The women, the mothers, are adults. If, like the fathers, they also choose to abdicate responsibility for rearing their own children, then it’s not society’s fault. Most especially, it’s not white society’s fault. It’s not the fault of the justice system, either.
The writer’s argument seems to be that there are no older men around to guide younger men because they’ve all been locked up (given “long prison sentences”) for “nonviolent” crimes.
I’ve read and written about big issues like the mass incarceration of black men for nonviolent drug offenses — what some call “The New Jim Crow.” To see it in person, though, is spooky. I felt like “The Lord of the Flies” had taken over my old neighborhood.
Watch for that phrase, mass incarceration. It’s a developing meme for Democrats and other progressives, especially black activists. Hillary Clinton has recently jumped on the bandwagon, decrying “mass incarceration,” which she says causes poverty.
Supposedly, something’s wrong with the criminal justice system because black males are disproportionately represented in prison. Seldom is it mentioned in the same breath, however, that black males disproportionately commit crimes, which is logically why they’re “overrepresented” in the prison system.
What is their solution? To turn black criminals loose until their numbers in prison match the proportion of blacks in the general population, no matter their crimes?
Conversely, should the system simply lock up more whites and men of other races until there’s a “balance” in the prison population?
Another thing to watch for: Obama wielding his pen as he leaves office. Would it surprise you to see mass pardons of black men to repair the alleged problem of the “mass incarceration” of black men?
What exactly is a “nonviolent drug offense,” anyway? Would it include drug dealing (which kills users and otherwise destroys many lives), drug use (which causes more crime as users need more and more money to get a fix), possession of a dangerous substance, or gang activity?
Does anyone get a long prison sentence for any truly nonviolent drug offense?
Is it likely that this supposed “mass incarceration of black men” is for minor crimes that have no negative impact on society at large?
The writer cites William Raspberry, who argued that
without the civilizing influence of older men to guide them, young black men never develop an internal moral compass.
Can’t their mothers be a “civilizing influence,” too? Can’t mothers also instill an “internal moral compass?” Or are these two writers simply sexist and paternalistic?
The CNN writer cites this presumed “civilizing influence of older men.” To which older men does he refer? The ones who are currently in prison? Imagine how the neighborhood would be if all those adult criminals who are now locked up were returned to the streets, to their families.
We’ve learned that Freddie Gray, the alleged “victim” of police “indifference”, was arrested at least 18 times over the past 8 years, spending time “in and out of prison.” If Freddie Gray had been given even one “long prison sentence,” then would he not be alive today?
What does a man have to do to earn a “long prison sentence” in Baltimore? It must be much more than a “nonviolent drug offense” because Gray himself had been arrested for that as well as for violent offenses (assault, e.g.), and yet he was still walking around, free to be profiled (allegedly) by the police.
Recently, the prosecutor in the City of St. Louis admitted that only 25% of those charged with gun crimes in her city were sent to prison by judges. Most got probation, even though most had also been in violation of parole or convicted of yet another crime. Gun crimes are not “nonviolent” offenses and yet, in St. Louis City, a convicted criminal has a 75% chance of getting out of prison free!
Would all of these adult male prisoners, if released, instantly provide excellent role models for their children? Would they instantly provide excellent guidance, seeing as how they already broke at least some law, which caused them to end up in prison? Would they, as Hillary Clinton seems to suggest, become breadwinners for their families? Pshaw!
Is it civilized to be absent from your sons’ lives either because you’ve been in prison for breaking the law or because you simply don’t care enough to stick around to rear the children that you sired, sometimes with multiple “baby mamas”? Is it civilized to expect society to support your children?
This CNN writer also blames “indifferent white people” for the problems in his old Baltimore neighborhood. Seriously? SERIOUSLY?
If the residents themselves are indifferent to their own children and to their own neighborhoods, then how can anyone expect “white people” to solve their problems? Rioting, arson, and looting would seem to indicate an especially high level of indifference for the welfare of one’s own community, and so would sanctioning, condoning, and/or excusing rioting, arson, and looting. In televised interviews, we watched resident after resident make excuses for these criminal thugs. If you’re not part of the solution, then you most definitely are part of the problem.
Should whites become totalitarian and paternalistic? Should whites go into these neighborhoods and tell autonomous human beings how to live their lives? If not, then how are whites to disprove their alleged “indifference”?
Let me guess: Show us your money! (Progressives love to argue that money is not “speech“. Neither, then, is money the equivalent of concern.)
What are whites, as a group, going to do to solve these problems for the black residents of Baltimore?
Many places in America (Appalachia, e.g.) have fewer jobs than in the past, places where factories closed and jobs disappeared. West Virginia coal mines are deliberately being put out of business by Obama’s policies. In many locations in America, whites and others who are not black are poor and without jobs or prospects.
Why, then, aren’t the same pathologies that we see in Baltimore and Ferguson as evident in those locations? Why are single mothers in those locations seemingly able to instill a “moral compass” in their children? Why are men in those locations not subject to “mass incarceration?” Could it be because they don’t commit crimes at the same rate as do black men from city ghettoes? Could it be cultural? Could it be that they have religious values? Could it be that parent(s) place more value on education? Could it be that they are more involved as parents?
While it’s true that many inner cities have disintegrated because manufacturing and other blue-collar jobs have disappeared, this writer is way off base when he blames the “mass incarceration of black men” and “white indifference” for the problems we see in Baltimore and, by extension, Ferguson.
The best way to solve problems is to first identify the correct causes.
Why are manufacturing jobs disappearing? (NAFTA? Globalization? Whose policies are those? How about modern technology?)
Why are inner city schools unable to prepare black children to read, much less to compete for jobs in the 21st century? (Teacher’s unions? Incompetent teachers and political correctness that prevents firing them? Disinterested or absent parents? A culture that disdains scholastic achievement?)
Why are so many illegitimate children of all races being born? (Welfare policies? Deliberate attempts to destroy the nuclear family, for political reasons? Increasing secularization and the concurrent demonization of religion?)
Why are so many men siring children that they have no interest in rearing? (Welfare policies? Changing cultural norms?)
Why are so many black men disproportionately committing nonviolent as well as violent crimes that lead to long incarcerations? As Mychal Massie wrote,
Baltimore, like every black-run city in America, suffers from a paternalistic “blame white conservatives” leadership that has succeeded in imprisoning them emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to the plantation of despair and inferiority.
Blacks blame police but they, like Muslims, conveniently avoid any discussion that focuses on the primary causal factors for their high incarceration rates and hostile relationships with law enforcement. Blacks refuse to acknowledge that anti-societal behavior, gangs, drugs, and (for all of the so-called black preachers) a lack of Christ-centered preaching and teaching has eroded the neighborhoods they live in.
Blacks murder one another at rate second only to the rate black women murder their children, ergo a lack of respect for the life of one spills over into a lack of respect for the life of another.
Black lives only matter when the liberal media fans the flames of a white person being accused of killing a black person.
There is little if any discussion of the lives Michael Brown and Freddy Gray destroyed through their drug dealing and gangster lifestyles.
Rather than blaming the justice system and “indifferent whites”, it would make far more sense to look at the real root causes of the problems in Baltimore and Ferguson. Only then will there be any hope for change.
UPDATE: 05/17/15 As I stated above, it’s a meme, but it’s also a plan. Redistribution by any means necessary:
Baltimore City State’s Attorney, Marilyn Mosby, announced a new pilot program Thursday aimed at reducing Baltimore’s recidivism and unemployment rates. Mosby’s Aim to B’more launched May 4th. Mosby’s pilot program is open to 30 eligible participants, who are non-violent— first time— felony drug offenders. Each participant will have their record expunged after successful completion of the program.
Deborah Spector, Deputy Director of Crime Control and Prevention, spent the last four months building the program under the direction of Mosby. Spector was recruited to the office in January, and is a former public defender who spent nearly 20 years representing the poor in Howard County and Baltimore City. …
Hmm. What a coincidence that the Baltimore riots happened (as if on schedule), that Mosby and her husband seemed to wish to see them happen, that the mayor ordered the police to “stand down” to allow the riots to happen, that the mayor gave “protesters” room to “destroy”, that for the past four months Mosby and her minions were “building” this program for “nonviolent drug felons”, and that the media are now seemingly in lockstep, blaming the “mass incarceration of black nonviolent drug” offenders for the riots!