Over at P6, Earl reports and asks for comments about this story in which Philadelphia's Chief of Police is throwing up his hands trying to defend black residents from the crime that plagues their neighborhoods.
The city's embattled police chief, acknowledging that police alone cannot quell a run of deadly violence, has called on 10,000 black men to patrol the streets to reduce crime.
Sylvester Johnson, who is black, says black men have a duty to protect more vulnerable residents. He wants each volunteer to pledge to work three hours a day for at least 90 days.
"It's time for African-American men to stand up," Johnson told the Philadelphia Daily News, which first reported the story Wednesday. "We have an obligation to protect our women, our children and our elderly. We're going to put men on the street. We're going to train them in conflict resolution."
Dumb idea. In fact, it's a dangerous idea, a disrespectful idea and essentially heads down the slippery slope of racism.
I wrote the following comment:
This is evidence that in Philly (which from my experience, fits the profile) that social segregation is alive and well. I use the term 'social segregation' lightly because I'm fleshing it out. It's basically that the idea of separatism is alive. People *expect* that there is something fundamentally different about black crime, and therefore that there must be some kind of separate solution to it. People then accept that there is fundamentally something different about how black suspects and criminals must be treated and how black families must be organized etc. This is a regional / social / cultural /political thing that's working its way back to Jim Crow. The idea of equality is being undermined from both sides of the law.
Something like 'support your local police' just doesn't work with the black community in Philly. Instead some bizarre hybrid of protest politics and God knows what else is informing this situation.
I agree that black residents of Philadelphia should expect and deserve equal protection from police. But that also means they should give equal respect for and collaboration with police. I hope this idea never gets off the ground. It's nothing more or less than a call for an ethnic militia, the root of all unrest in the modern world.
I'm trying to estimate the extent to which certain hybrid forms of Black Nationalism, one time a good medicine now a poison thing if if taken undiluted in its original form, is fueling the more ridiculous and even sinister aspects of 'political correctness' and multiculturalism. It's relatively easy to say, as a conservative, that ideas are bad, but it's a bit more difficult to disambiguate what drives multiculturalists of various stripes to support their broad, mushy coalescence of street cred and common knowledge.
Take something like Affirmative Action. Good or bad? Depends on who you ask, but even on the Left, black nationalists will have a different rationale (payback) than white liberals (diversity). Same thing with the subject of 'black on black crime'. Everybody should know that the Crips are more dangerous and deadly than the KKK has been in 100 years. But you'd be hard pressed to get a white supremacist to disagree that white folks' tax money shouldn't be spent policing black gangs. Let them kill each other. Sylvester Johnson is taking up the offer in his informal deputization.
It comes as no surprise that the NOI is all over this. The only thing they want more than a million man march is a million armed men marching. Johnson's militia would be a good start. If you think 10,000 black dads are going to sing kumbaya in the streets of Killadelphia and expect to keep the peace by holding hands, your brand of crack is more potent than Chief Johnson's. No doubt there will be more than just dogs and pepper spray backing such a ragtag coalition off to take a bite out of crime. That's essentially what 10,000 untrained men would do, poorly. Of course I give the black men of Philly a bit more credit than Johnson. They aren't going to show up.
But what if they did?