Every man's death diminishes me, so here it is plain as day. Murder.
I used Google Street View to get a flavor of the neighborhood in which Derrion Albert was beat to death by a gang of teenaged thugs. I read a couple stories about the fact that he was a good kid and didn't deserve to die. And so I think, just like with Jamiel Shaw, Albert's is another chapter in the long history of communities without men. That's what I said. Communities with men don't let boys run the street.
But this neighborhood had a community center. Obviously the 34th Ward Centre and the Agape Center if that is or is not the same place, didn't provide enough cover. Community activism that doesn't put public safety as the number one priority is part of the problem. Which goes to the heart of a problem in a lot of ghetto politics which is ambiguity over police protection. You may recall similar trouble in Philly and NYC.
Now the Obama administration is taking a stand and sending Holder to the area where the incident took place. The Attorney General will meet with school officials, residents and students to talk about school violence. Holder arrives in Chicago Wednesday.
Kinda makes you wonder what exactly if anything Obama is doing with the office of Homeland Security. Why would you send the Attorney General to talk about 'school violence'? Smells like a photo op to me. I didn't pay much attention to whatever it was the President said a couple weeks ago in his national address to school children. I'm fairly sure it didn't include words to the effect that if you get killed walking to or from school, we'll investigate.
The solution to the problem of deadly crime in impoverished neighborhoods is the same all over the world. Police. I don't know what we are to make of this death by linking it to ghetto politics or not. Either there is something categorically wrong or this is another isolated, stupid human tragedy. If it's the latter, there's nothing to do but say, gee that's too bad and shrug. After all, there is a big typhoon killing hundreds in the Phillipines and a huge earthquake that killed many more hundreds in Indonesia. No doubt there are still thousands of refugees getting no attention from us Americans in Darfur. Ever notice how Darfur kind of disappeared after Obama got elected? And, hey what about Iraq? Don't we still have troops over there? Oh yeah...
And so if Americans have the nerve to have opinions about what can and should be done in the life and death situation that is war, and we still are in two of them at last count, then the problems of the South Side of Chicago should be an open and shut case. Guess what? It is. And the answer is. Police. Crackdown. With. Community. Support. Against. Gangs. Period.
With 'school violence' as an accepted area of political debate and attorneys in suits pontificating behind podiums with three or more microphones, you get nowhere. Instead, what you need are men in those community streets who are not afraid of roving bands of criminal youth. And if the community itself cannot provide such men, then they should be imported from places with a surplus. Call it occupation if you like. If you don't like, then laissez faire. Let the denizens of Sherwood Forest kill themselves and whoever can escape... escapes.
So now that I think about it. It seems to me that life insurance is more important than health insurance. And if you really want to make a statement about a domestic political agenda, you've got to put a higher priority on murder than on illness. So where's the police czar? Or maybe Obama can talk the street gangs of Chicago into a peaceful settlement. Maybe that's what Holder was sent to do.
I'm going to leave you with one last provocative thought. If you ever want to have an unending discussion about black communities online, talk with black women about finding a good black man. I guarantee you that the conversation goes on and on. Now is that a conspiracy, or is it just a real fact that real men are nowhere to be found in close proximity to where Derrion Albert was beat to death by wild boys?