Sunday, August 23, 2009
CNN: "Chicago Deadly Streets" Violation Of The Permanent Interest of "Safe Streets"
This weekend CNN has a two part series called "Chicago's Deadly Streets". The show provided an in depth review about the death and terror that is being felt in the city at the hands of violent Pirates that run the streets and have no respect for life or property.
All of the people clustered in the interview featured above have lost a child on the streets of Chicago. I initially had empathy for their loss. "No mother, father, sibling, grandparent should feel like we feel", said one woman. That was clear enough for me to understand the gravity of the situation that they have faced.
As I thought about their requests for "help" and how they had framed it in almost entirely in terms of government policy and politics I realized that I had misdirected my sorrow. I now feel sorry for the way they think, despite their loss. Their pain has failed to bring forth clearer understanding as to what the real problem they are facing is.
"How come we can't be a million strong for GUN CONTROL?"
Let's frame this situation properly.
In my previous research of the city of Chicago I learned that it was indeed one of the most Democratic dominated cities in the nation. Out of 50 aldermen in the municipal legislature 49 are Democrats. Can we all agree that this is a favorable political environment for most Black people in regards to their partisan and ideological preferences? Clearly the people on the Southside of the city have struggle for a long time to build up and maintain the present political machine upon who they look to for civic services.
Since this is the case I was stunned by these people's request upon President Obama to make their local plight a national issue.
Anyone who follows my blogs knows that in the two gang series "Gangland" and "American Gangster" - Chicago based gangsters are the most frequent subjects of these documentaries out of all other cities. Truth be told - the cities of Minneapolis and Milwaukee have stronger grounds to make this an issue for the federal government to address. This is only because of the"interstate commerce" that has transpired in the fact that most of their local gangs were started by gangsters originating from CHICAGO!! If there was one time that I'd support to "catch all" use of the "Interstate Commerce Clause" it would be here.
When I heard the woman detail about the FEELINGS that Black folks who stood in Grant Park when Obama spoke after winning the election I thought that she was going to use it as an example of how empty these EMOTIONS ultimately were. She told about how after successfully electing a Black man to the presidency that there was a common feeling of respect for each other and the belief that they could do anything if they'd set their minds to it.
Instead I fell out of my chair when she said that our people need to REUNITE and fight for.................. GUN CONTROL!!!
With all due respect ma'am - it was not an "out of control GUN" that killed your child. It was an Anarchical Pirate Militia member who gunned down your child using a gun. The human subject in this picture is the killer, not the gun.
I keep telling my fellow Black brothers and sisters that it is a fatal mistake to measure our racial advancement by looking at the fact that we have a Black president. Truth be told this is evidence of how far this nation has come. The better example of our racial advancement would be to look at the masses of Black people and where we live and determine how WE are faring at the periphery. The fact that this show about this highly concentrated Black and Democratic portion of this great American city provides adequate information about our present coordinates. We are "winning" in the political space yet we are losing in the community consciousness space. In as much as the former had emanated as an attempt to fulfill us in the latter - this situation is very problematic.
AN ORGANIZATIONAL MANAGEMENT PROBLEM
My sentiments turned back to empathy once again when I began to understand that what I was hearing was a group of people who lacked a management framework within to work to accomplish their goals of "Safe Streets" in Chicago.
They are all largely willing to fuse their community interests with the political machine which has thus far proven to not be "mission ready" for the cause that they have attempted to use it as a tool to fix. In the wake of having been failed they are still interested in "Trying Harder" via the same milieu to achieve what has thus far been elusive. Now that one of their own is in power at the national level - they are even more prone to look past the failures of the LOCAL INSTITUTIONS and who is controlling them and instead seek to "federalize the problem".
This type of thinking works as an assault upon our system of federalism where the states and municipal governments are in place to do certain things that are more in line with their proximity. Keep in mind, however, that we are not looking at a government problem and thus their misaligned attempts to federalize the problem will experience a similar failure.
I heard passing reference to the CULTURE at play. One parent mentioned that the culture amongst the young men who are raining terror upon the community has them seeing prison as less of a big deal. They don't fear being locked up any longer and in fact, prison might even be a learning experience for them. What we are watching is a culture that has gone into total dysfunction.
We are looking at a HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT PROBLEM within the Black community.
The indoctrination that these (mostly) young Black males have received from birth have directed them to where they stand today AND has failed to close off all other options that are suboptimal as they are forced toward more favorable "directed outcomes" that are in line with our community's needs.
The "connectedness" felt in Grant Park fell apart because there was no MANAGEMENT INFRASTRUCTURE to bring into being what had been radiating out of their hearts that night. I have constantly warned about the "magical gravitational pull" that some people had placed upon Obama's victory and the ability for it to translate in an enduring manner toward fundamental change in our community.
I am more prone to look with pride upon the video below in which a community saw they had a problem and FIXED IT THEMSELVES rather than hoping that they could call upon Obama to help them clean up the trash in their own community - that many of their own neighbors were the one's that dumped the trash in the first place.