Wednesday, October 3, 2007

News From The Homefront

an excerpt from:

Blacks Mull Call for 10,000 to Curb Violence - New York Times

PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 29 — The men on the corner of 16th and Page in North Philadelphia say they know what their neighborhood needs to stem the violence that has killed 306 people citywide so far this year, and that does not include putting 10,000 men on the street, as some black community leaders have proposed.

Amid the weed-strewn lots and boarded-up buildings of North Philadelphia, one of the city's toughest neighborhoods, the six men who gathered to talk, drink and play cards say the young people who pull guns and deal drugs need jobs, recreation centers, after-school programs and, most of all, parents who care for them.

"It's just going to be useless," said one, Robert Mosley Jr., 42. "As soon as those 10,000 guys go home, the drug dealers are going back out there, doing the same thing."

But others supported the initiative, saying it might help them feel better about coming out of their homes at night or allowing their children to play outside.

"It does make a lot of sense," said Cora Crawford, a 36-year-old single mother of five who lives on nearby Susquehanna Avenue. "Kids in this area are horrible. They need a positive role model in their life."

The plan to put 10,000 men on the streets for an initial period of 90 days starting late this year is the latest effort by Philadelphia's black community to curb violence that drove homicides to a nine-year high of 406 in 2006.

Groups of volunteers will be stationed on drug corners and other trouble spots in a bid to stop the shootings and other crimes that have given Philadelphia the highest homicide rate among the nation's 10 largest cities. They will not be armed, will not have powers of arrest, and will be identified only by armbands or hats during their three-hour shifts.

They will be trained in conflict resolution, and are intended to be peacekeepers and mentors rather than law enforcers. Each patrol, however, will include a police officer.

Organizers, including Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and the music producer Kenny Gamble, say they are open to volunteers of any ethnicity but are appealing mostly to African-Americans because some 85 percent of Philadelphia's shooting victims are black.

Commissioner Johnson, who is black, said the initiative differed from previous anti-violence campaigns in that it was driven by popular demand, rather than by the Police Department or the city government.

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OK I have to say this.

Does anyone have a problem with six men sitting on a street corner, drinking and playing cards?

Moving on.

I really hope that the 10,000 Men Initiative works but as long as the "don't snitch" mentality is prevalent in the community, I don't see how it will make a difference.

Of course, if the police can't curb the crime, and the community can't curb the crime, and the churches can't influence their communities, and the parents can't discipline their kids ..... there is always Blackwater USA.

I say this tongue in cheek now, but think about it. Blackwater contractors were called in for "security duty" in New Orleans post Katrina. I'm sure George W would be happy to use them in Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, and maybe even DC. After all, if you listened to Tuesday's Congressional hearings Erik Prince and many of the republicans on the panel raved about Blackwater's efficiency. Blackwater claims that it hasn't lost one government official under their protection. I'm sure that Erik Prince would welcome a no-bid contract to provide additional security in our nation's out of control urban centers.

Philadelphians wake up and smell the coffee!

Take back your families and take back your neighborhoods. Don't wait for someone to bring in the hired gunslingers to save the besieged townsfolk from the evil gang of outlaws. It didn't work out too well in "High Plains Drifter" did it?

Just a little food for thought!


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