I think it is going to be a long hot summer in this regard. The police need to change their approach for sure, but the black politicians and community leaders need to change their approach too. Someone needs to have an honest conversation with the urban underclass. Nobody is going to create jobs in neighborhoods full of people that can barely read or write, or for that matter speak English even, and I’m not talking about immigrants on that last point. Of America’s major cities only NYC spends more per student than Baltimore so all the “need to invest in education” crap is just that, crap. A not so small fortune is already being spent per student in Baltimore. If the parents aren’t willing to make education important, no amount of money is going to solve the problem. My parents didn’t have much formal education but they sure made sure their kids did. When we came home from school we had to change out of our school clothes so as not to ruin them, then we did our homework. There was no playing or visiting friends until all the homework was done. Their expectations were that we’d do our best in school, A’s being proof that we were, and not getting into trouble. How many ghetto parents in Baltimore are doing what my parents did? My parents barely got by week to week and there were few luxuries ever so its not like there was much economic difference. Someone needs to tell the teenage girls that having kids in their teens all but guarantees a life of poverty. Being a druggie will in most instances guarantee them a life of poverty. Racking up an arrest record will preclude you from all but the most menial jobs. The other big piece is that businesses are not going to invest in these neighborhoods if the crime rates are as high as they are or if its the policy of the Mayor that rioters will be given free rein to riot. Someone needs to tell these people all these things as many times as it takes them to understand that only they can change their lot in life. Instead they’re being told that they’re victims. Sharpton and the gang make a good living holding their own people down. Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society and War on Poverty has failed miserably. It is time we admit it. Politicians and community leaders apologizing for calling people thugs for looting and burning only serves to reinforce that kind of violent and criminal behavior.
I do agree that we shouldn’t be locking up so many non-violent drug users. The War on Drugs has failed miserably and its about time we admitted it.
At this point I’m not sure any of the players on all sides of these issues are going to do anything differently though, so it will be a long summer. More cities will see riots, looting and burning, and more businesses and whites will then leave those cities, and the people left behind will be worse off than ever.