The death and mayhem visited upon innocent young victims who are hard at work building positive lives has got to stop. Their flesh and dreams is now routinely being fed to the animals that are being raised by our community. It would be fratricidal to further ignore this epidemic of senseless horror and the cradle of fear that nurtures it in “the hood”. No man woman or child is safe so long as the “hood maws” are allowed to relentlessly feed on our innocent babies. They must be stopped at all cost. No risk is too great to take in pursuit of their elimination.
Many of us who grew up in what is now irreverently referred to as the “hood”, have youthful memories of criminals. We witnessed a degree of violence and antisocial behavior. But then, even the criminals were not scummy. There is evidence that even their worst behavior was guided by an ethic. For one thing, women and children were off limits. Senior citizens were generally respected. And activities like drug peddling or use were a back alley and underground reality. Gambling and numbers writing and playing were prominent in the culture and apparent, but drugs were almost universally frowned upon. Even the vilest amongst us tried to hide their filth and maintain a semi-respectable front. First class gangsters hid their cigarettes from senior citizens and stepped aside as the old folks strolled along the sidewalks. They operated with a hint of civility owing, perhaps, to a vague recollection of some distant character training. There was a code of basic decency even among criminals. They were crooked but not cruddy.
Today drugs flourish out in the open. They breed abusive, threatening and filthy behavior. People who report drug dealers or their crimes are likely to be targeted for retaliatory violence. Senior citizens are routinely intimidated, terrorized or victimized by the poison peddlers. In many quarters respect for the law has been supplanted by fear of the lawless. Against the backdrop of a war in Afghanistan where young people are sent to kill and die in the cause of “building and securing democracy” for others, kids in Newark are killing and dying over the profits from the harvests reaped in Afghan poppy fields. In other words we are fighting to save the lives of those who are growing the poison to kill us. We are “saving” our murderers.
For us, drugs and handguns are the “weapon of mass destruction”. And in many ways their ready availability is protected and encouraged by our leaders. They tell us we must support the world’s major drug dealing nations because it is in our national interest and we must do nothing to restrict the proliferation of handguns because “the right to bear arms” is protected by our constitution. In theory, following this advice is supposed to protect us but in reality it is killing us. With the appearance of a government collaborating against our safety and welfare, it is no wonder that we easily grow cozy with conspiracy theories.
But even given the ready availability of these weapons of mass destruction (drugs and handguns) we need not become their victims—because our condition is less a function of our environment than a result of our choices. Those choices begin with our choice of leadership (civic, moral, spiritual and political). It is precisely the collective collapse of this leadership that has nurtured a culture of malevolence in which violent crime has put down its roots and engulfed an entire community in a fearful death grip. It has to end! Leaders who don’t tell us the truth and refuse to step up to lead the fight against fratricide must be turned out and rejected. They are not leaders for our time. And ugly sacrifices might have to be made to restore the kind of civility that allows average citizens to pursue normal lives. Otherwise we will remain a captive community ruled and cowed by a ruthless mob. If we can kill and die in wars that save others and fatten the pockets of warmongers, we can certainly muster the will and courage to defend ourselves against “a real and present threat”.
We must be absolutely intolerant of the households among us that are raising and harboring children with animal minds. Too many are vampires who sleep by day and pillage by night. They are sucking the blood of our communities. Snuffing out the lives of children and others who want to make progress and live decent lives. They deserve no words of defense. They are worthy only of every assault that we can bring against their behavior. They must be given up to the authorities and maybe even given up on. Parents and others who turn a blind eye to their obvious criminality must be drawn into the fray. They are not innocent bystanders. They are enablers—plain and simple—enablers who must be held accountable for acts against civilized life. They are accessories to misery and need to be firmly dealt with as such. Anyone that condones and or harbors violent criminals and their acts is guilty.
What we now must have is courage and carefully crafted strategies to combat crime and protect the innocent. We don’t know exactly what that means yet but a collective view of the best approach must emerge from the community. This is not a law enforcement issue. Our enemy is depraved character, obsessive materialism, irrational fearlessness and a total lack of respect for all authority—even force. This is a formidable enemy but it must and can be overwhelmed. The question that the community must answer is at what price? There can be no peaceful coexistence with people who callously murder our babies and elderly. And there can be no war without casualty.
April 23, 2008