Changing our Communities for the Better

Posted by Unknown Thursday, July 29, 2010

People of Faith are facing a great challenge in Baltimore ( and really in every major city in the world) a racial divide based upon senseless violence. For too long people have been silent on the issue of "black on black" crime. Now that we are witnessing "black on white" crime, there is a seething outrage growing within the white community (their are supporters in the black community of the outrage) that will explode into vigilantism. The first outbreak will see itself being played out in the political arena. The Baltimore City State's Attorney's Office is the first target and unfortunately Ms. Patricia Jessamy is slated to be the first victim. She is being painted as soft on crime and incompetent to address the issue of "black on white" crime. It's untrue! But, the headlines are stoking the flames of political vigilantism. The reality of the horrors of senseless violence is providing fuel for the fire. Our city is deteriorating and the visible symbol of this cancerous situation is an African American female who looks like the people we need to eliminate to make our city safer again, some would angrily say. Our racially charged city is about to divide along political racial lines. Given the voting patterns of our last election, it is no secret that whites outvote blacks in Baltimore City. How unfortunate that our fabulous city is going down this endless trail from which their is no return. What can be done to stem this senseless violence that has fanned the flames of racial hate in our city?

First, we need a city wide revival of people of good will across racial, economic, geographic boundaries to visibly come together in a massive demonstration of unity around the purpose to resist, denounce, and deter violence in any form and fashion. Second, we need a massive job opportunity movement in our city that reduces the level of unemployment and gives people something productive to do. Third, we need to invest more funding into our schools and extend the school day and term to year around. Fourth, we need more parole and probation officers to reduce the caseloads to a more manageable level and strict monitoring of those who have committed offenses. Fifth, we need to increase the number of surveillance cameras through out the city with actively manned command centers that are seeing what is happening and recording what is occurring on our city streets. Sixth, we need to provide serious incentives for officers of the law to live within Baltimore City (city jobs for city workers). Sixth, once the city officers of the law live in the city we need to permit them to drive their official vehicles home to visibly be parked in the neighborhoods in which they live. Seventh, the faith community needs to periodically leave the comfort of its sanctuary and venture outside with services conducted within the communities they occupy. Eighth, we need to revive the idea in the sixties of "indicted street corners". When I was a youth, the police officers would tell us when we sort to stand on a corner that it was "indicted" and that we could not congregate on it. Not knowing the law we would move off of the corner and sit on the steps in the community. We later learned that there was no such thing as an indicted corner. Nevertheless, it instilled a sense of respect and fear of the policing power. Ninth, we need to revive the idea of law enforcement officers as "officer friendly". There needs to be monitored positive interaction with the community. For example, law enforcement official should be measured by not only how many punitive actions they have made within a work day, but also how many positive actions have they taken during a work day. Tenth, only because I written too long, we need to strengthen our intolerance to sin and violence. We can no longer turn a deaf ear or silent voice to lawlessness within our communities. We have to eliminate the anonymity that permits people to function without accountability. Am I suggesting a police state. No! I suggesting a peace state where any disturbance of the peace will not be tolerated.


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