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J. KARL MILLER: Break the code of silence

Wednesday, February 29, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 12:58 p.m. CST, Wednesday, February 29, 2012

By far, the most ominous threat to personal safety in today's Columbia is the ever-increasing rash of senseless shootings perpetrated by young hoodlums and gang wannabes. Whether gang-related, revenge-motivated, drug- or turf-connected or merely macho exhibitions aimed at impressing others of the same idiot mentality, this thuggery has to be stopped.

Equally absurd and adding to the danger is the near robotic refusal of witnesses to cooperate with law enforcement, instead maintaining a strict code of silence by refusing to "snitch." This attitude is not new to the black community, which has a long history of mistrust of and lack of cooperation with the police.

While there has been ample precedent in formulating this hostile stance, for the most part it is reliving and magnifying old myths, grievances and lack of trust. In some ways it reminds me of today's charitable givers' reluctance to donate to the Red Cross because someone's uncle, grandfather or cousin was charged for coffee and doughnuts while serving in World War II.

Some of the proposed solutions to the gun play, whether random drive-by shootings or turf battles, include stricter gun laws to get firearms off the street and the legalization of drugs, thus depriving the gangs of a reason to exist. I suppose both are advanced by the well-meaning among us; however, neither offers anything to answer the mail.

As to passage of new gun laws, the last time I looked, all of these shootings and dischargings of firearms are already in violation of established laws.

Legalization of drugs would also have minimal impact on the criminal element. Taking drugs out of play won't encourage these hooligans to seek honest employment — instead, they will resort to strong arming, armed robbery, home invasions and extortion — all activities to which they are familiar.

By now, I know I am incurring the wrath from some of our citizens who will castigate me for not having to suffer indignities such as racial profiling, being followed while shopping, refused entrance and the other Jim Crow hand-me-downs. And, you would be correct — I have never walked in your shoes — but, we do share at least one character trait. We do know right from wrong.

This problem cannot be solved by law enforcement alone. Without citizen cooperation, for the most part, the police can only react after the fact. Let us face facts for once — the prevailing Sergeant Schultz of "Hogan's Heroes" attitude of "I hear nothing, I see nothing, I know nothing" just plain does not get it done.

The impetus for solving this dilemma resides squarely with the community. The "code of silence" must be broken, for it has cheapened black culture by infecting primarily the low income communities to accept deception as a way of life and to glorify criminal behavior by making heroes of common street thugs.

Writing for New York Magazine, Stanley Crouch put the code of silence into its lunatic perspective: "The greatest threat to black life and limb is not the police; it's criminals in our community."

That gunfire erupted in the vicinity of Chuck E. Cheese's, a family entertainment center, should be a wake-up call to the seriousness of this problem. The next person killed or wounded could be someone's child, mother, grandmother, aunt — innocent bystanders all.

For the good of the community and the safety of children, is it not time to put prejudice and perceived injustice behind and begin cooperation with the police? That next random bullet might have your name on it.

J. Karl Miller retired as a colonel in the Marine Corps. He is a Columbia resident and can be reached via email at JKarlUSMC@aol.com.


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Comments

Ed Lane February 29, 2012 | 9:04 a.m.

Great article Colonel!!!! I don't know if that "code of silence" can be broken, it will take a LOT of work from the Columbia Police Dept.

Semper fi!!

(Report Comment)
Eapen Thampy February 29, 2012 | 11:06 a.m.

Mr. Miller,
I put it to you (and I am willing to submit this to the challenge of a 1 on 1 public debate with you) that our public safety problems can be resolved through two policy programs:

The taxation and legal regulation of marijuana and other drugs, so as to deny criminals the profits of the black market. This solves our problem of why gangs fight to protect their turf.

Second, continued reform at Columbia Police Dept. I submit to you that after decades of corruption and abusive, violent conduct towards citizens, we need to continue reforms at CPD. There is no more evil silence than the silence of our current law enforcement officers about the crimes that they or their fellows have committed. Let's start with creating a police department that black people and others can trust before we assume the problem is with the community. I will say that Chief Burton has taken several good steps down this path, but that he continues to face resistance from the union thugs at the Columbia Police Officers Association.

Eapen Thampy

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble February 29, 2012 | 2:04 p.m.

Codes of silence can indeed create horrible outcomes. The many recent examples we've seen in the U.S. military, for example, where multiple human-rights atrocities have been covered up, widespread rapes and sexual abuse have been swept under the carpet, and gross financial mismanagement has gone on unchecked. Religious institutions, such as the Catholic church, have covered up huge numbers of child-abuse cases. And the recent revelations from Penn State University, where an insular culture in the athletic program, headed by an iconic figure who was above questioning, created horrifically damaging results.

Miller is correct that our local situation is a problem, and an increasingly dangerous one (though, in answer to the first line of this piece, still far less lethal than, say, traffic fatalities), and it needs addressing or else it may well get worse.

But the "code of silence" issue is not in any way limited to the black community. It's a problem that any institution can face, or any part of the culture sufficiently isolated from the rest of a culture. What Miller identifies as the root of the problem is in fact just another symptom. It may not provide visceral satisfaction to admit that, but it's the truth.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 29, 2012 | 2:44 p.m.

Kevin, you forgot to mention the OWS crowd. Rapes, murders, drug use, assault, theft, public defecation, public sex.....but nobody from OWS stepping forward to identify the miscreants.

Me thinks thou protesteth too much.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 29, 2012 | 3:04 p.m.

Codes of silence extend to doctors, lawyers, politicians, unions, journalists, organized crime, kids on a playground, and you and the bartender.

Only women (mothers and grandmothers) can solve the problem discussed by JKarl. Everything else is just spending money for naught.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor February 29, 2012 | 5:02 p.m.

@Michael
Are you saying that we can break any code of silence by telling a mom or grandma as they are women and...???
;-)

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop February 29, 2012 | 5:14 p.m.

This is rather like the old adage about a crooked politician that keeps getting reelected. "He may be a crook, but he's our crook."

Until you change the entire culture, this problem will never go away. There are no inferior races, but there are inferior cultures. This is one of them.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith February 29, 2012 | 5:35 p.m.

Breaking the co-called code of silence is and will continue to be a serious problem, but one thing that might loosen tongues would be to have convictions for these offenses that result in serious incarceration time. Yes, I know, that's difficult when you don't have witnesses who will testify.

Some of these felons have associates or relatives who are every bit as depraved as the felon is. That generates more than a little fear.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 29, 2012 | 6:07 p.m.

MikeM: ;^)

Women are the great civilizers; always have been and always will be. Only they can smear a thin veneer of civilized behavior on men and keep it there, and create a stable home and community to live. Calls for the government to "do something" by legislative fiat or enforcement is folly, non-productive, and expensive.

Men fight and create a society, but it won't be civilized.

The women have to get mad, muster significant resolve, and fight for their lives, homes, families, and communities. I don't care what color you are.

PS: I remember the days of women's lib when women wanted 50% of the power. I never could understand why they wanted to give up so much.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams February 29, 2012 | 6:14 p.m.

Step 1: A woman should have NOTHING to do with a man who shows chronic, uncivilized behavior of any sort. Demand respect. Demand education. Demand a good work ethic. Demand they show, in advance, the traits of a good father. Demand they show caring attention, not machismo. Etc. Etc.

If you don't get these and more, walk away and stay away.

There aren't many other steps. In fact, I can't think of any.

You'll see us males come around in a real hurry.

Guaranteed.

(Report Comment)
John Bliss February 29, 2012 | 7:02 p.m.

Colonel, I rhink you missed one large "code of silence". That would be the gap between; Police,FBI,CIA, and Homeland security. Hence the twin towers, etc.

(Report Comment)
Kevin Gamble March 1, 2012 | 2:51 p.m.

Don, please define "the OWS crowd" for all of us. I'm sure your definition would be illuminating.

If you disagree with any of the examples I listed, please say why. If you disagree with the rhetorical point I made, broadening the scope of the problem - which would seem contradictory, in light of the similar, if factually-challenged, point you tried to make - an explanation would help there, too.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 1, 2012 | 5:24 p.m.

J. Bliss - "That would be the gap between; Police,FBI,CIA, and Homeland security."

Would that be the rule instituted by Clinton mob to separate domestic criminal intelligence obtained from foreign obtained intelligence? John Ashcroft spoke of it at 911 hearings. http://volokh.com/posts/1216060102.shtml...

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 1, 2012 | 8:37 p.m.

Kevin, work on the reader comprehension. I did not say I disagreed with any of yours, did I? I said you forgot to mention the OWS crowd. And if you don't know who they are, you must have not watched the news over the last year. If you did, you then need to work on viewer comprehension issues.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 1, 2012 | 11:54 p.m.

Karl: "For the good of the community and the safety of children, is it not time to put prejudice and perceived injustice behind and begin cooperation with the police? That next random bullet might have your name on it."

A bigoted old white man looking down on black people and accusing them of prejudice, lol. Good job with the hypocrisy.

I wonder what old myths these hoodlums are magnifying, considering that your own writing is a perfect example of the contempt and disrespect black people have to face nearly every day due to their appearance. Perceived injustice? Try "overt."

Here's another tell-tale sign of bigotry: Blaming the entire "black community" for the wrongdoings of a few rotten apples. Do you generalize white people the same way? Where's your outrage at the "white community" for the white kid in Ohio who gunned down his classmates just three days ago?

"Cheapened black culture"--that's hilarious, especially coming from someone who probably never thought it had much value to begin with. (Your age and worldview are good indicators of this, actually). Regardless, until you hold your fellow Caucasians to the same standards and demand that all of us be accountable for the misdeeds of a few, the only one cheapening "black culture" is you. "I'm sorry if you're feeling discriminated against, Mr. Black Man, but it's perfectly reasonable of me to blame you for the crimes of thousands of people you've never even met. And why is that? Well duh, because you all look alike."

I fully expect the mods to delete this comment, but yeah, you're oblivious to reality. The funny thing is, however, that if you had written this garbage not as an article but rather as a comment on one, your comment would have probably been deleted too.

Good thing we have freedom speech, because without it we probably wouldn't have articles such as this one. And without these articles, who knows, I could be here legitimately arguing that we stamped out ignorance long ago and that anyone who says otherwise is "reliving and magnifying old myths."

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush March 2, 2012 | 12:29 a.m.

When they've outsourced their
Opinions to Fox News, there's
No need to quarrel.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 2, 2012 | 4:25 a.m.

With the thoughts you've been thinkin'
You could be another Lincoln
If you only had a brain

[Dorothy, addressing the Scarecrow in song, from the motion picture "The Wizard of Oz." But a story about a girl growing up in Kansas has to be bogus from the first word, right? No one grows up in Kansas.]

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush March 2, 2012 | 7:19 a.m.

Is this the part where
I sound like you and write, "I'm
Rubber, and you're glue?"
http://bit.ly/wuDT29

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield March 2, 2012 | 9:38 a.m.

I wonder if there would be fewer objections if this column had Bill Cosby's byline on it.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 2, 2012 | 10:47 a.m.

Jimmy and Bill Cosby's byline:

Probably.

It only took 15 posts for the playing of the race card and things came to a screechin' halt.

Discourse on this topic is unfruitful; someone always has the card in reserve. Folks disengage.

This will be a topic a century from now with no significant progress. I gave up several years ago and moved.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller March 2, 2012 | 11:04 a.m.

Mr Hopfenblatt, your mindless and below the belt commentary "Karl: "For the good of the community and the safety of children, is it not time to put prejudice and perceived injustice behind and begin cooperation with the police? That next random bullet might have your name on it. A bigoted old white man looking down on black people and accusing them of prejudice, lol. Good job with the hypocrisy." is over the line and uncalled for. Labeling someone you have never met an "old bigot" indicates a lack of common courtesy caused by a deficit in one's raising.

If your diatribe contained even a minute indicator that you had the capacity to have read and comprehended the content of my op/ed, I might be inclined to take real umbrage.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 2, 2012 | 11:04 a.m.

@Jon
You could have saved us all a bunch of time by writing, "Col, I think you are a bigot and I have no idea how to solve the problem at hand."
Instead you decided to write 7 paragraphs of B.S.
I realize whining about things without solving problems is ingrained in liberal brains, but it doesn't help the situation.

The criminals are going to act like criminals. It's the rest of the people around them that can make the difference. As I have said before, If you are not a criminal and you witness someone "popping off" and don't help get that person off the street, Karma has a bullet with your name on it and I won't shed any tears at your funeral.

Choosing to do what's "cool" instead of what's right is just one of the many boyish things we must leave behind in order to become men!

(Report Comment)
Jimmy Bearfield March 2, 2012 | 12:24 p.m.

"It's not good enough for you to say to your child, 'Do good in school,' and then when that child comes home, you got the TV set on, you got the radio on, you don't check their homework, there is not a book in the house, you've got the video game playing.

"So turn off the TV set, put the video game away. Buy a little desk or put that child by the kitchen table. Watch them do their homework. If they don't know how to do it, give them help. If you don't know how to do it, call the teacher. Make them go to bed at a reasonable time. Keep them off the streets. Give ' em some breakfast. Come on. ... You know I am right.

"I know how hard it is to get kids to eat properly. But I also know that if folks letting our children drink eight sodas a day, which some parents do, or, you know, eat a bag of potato chips for lunch, or Popeye's for breakfast.

"I know some of y'all you got that cold Popeye's out for breakfast. I know. That's why y'all laughing. ... You can't do that. Children have to have proper nutrition. That affects also how they study, how they learn in school."

Who said that? Obama, during a 2008 campaign stop. What would be the reaction if a white candidate or columnist said that? And more importantly, does that person's race make the analysis something to be dismissed?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro March 2, 2012 | 2:00 p.m.

("He said he made it to his home on Quincy Avenue when one suspect physically barred him from entering. The second suspect grabbed a red gallon gasoline can and said, “This is what you get.”

The second teen then used a light to ignite the gasoline, which “produced a large fireball burning the face and hair” of the victim, according to a Kansas City Police Department report.

The boy is white. The two suspects are black. Police are reportedly investigating whether this was a hate crime.

Kansas City Police Department Detective Stacey Taylor said detectives were concerned about damage to the boy’s eyes and lungs. He said this was a particularly heinous crime.")
http://amren.com/news/2012/03/police-tee...
("A short time later, he said, 15 black boys and girls returned to the playground and assaulted the victim, who is white.")
http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/2009...

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 2:37 p.m.

Michael: Indeed, discourse on this topic tends to be unfruitful; someone always uses the cliche "playing the race card" line to absolve themselves of any intellectual responsibility. Perhaps I wouldn't have been so quick to "play the race card" if Karl hadn't said this:

"This attitude is not new to the black community, which has a long history of mistrust of and lack of cooperation with the police."

Or this:

"While there has been ample precedent in formulating this hostile stance, for the most part it is reliving and magnifying old myths, grievances and lack of trust."

Or this:

"The "code of silence" must be broken, for it has cheapened black culture by infecting primarily the low income communities to accept deception as a way of life and to glorify criminal behavior by making heroes of common street thugs."

So, what part of his letter ISN'T painting black people as either criminals or accessories to crime? Where is the recognition that these hoodlums and their anti-snitching accomplices are still the exception and not the rule? Again, what part of his letter suggests that he would make the same sweeping generalizations about white people? Why doesn't the white community have to step up and take responsibility for all the meth dealers and child-porn aficionados out there?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 3:08 p.m.

Three officers shot while attempting to rescue a female bank manager held hostage by a bank robber. Yessiree, those police officers are terrible. Their code of silence, yada, yada, yada. Okay, let's turn to the stories about black gang members helping senior citizens fix their homes while cleaning up the neighborhood.

I recall seeing police officers and firefighters from my church working on the habitat houses. I also recall seeing the minorities next door sitting on the porches drinking beer and watching us work without ever volunteering to lift a finger to help their neighbors. This was after tens of thousands of people were flooded out of their homes during tropical storm Allison, most of them being on the poorer east and south sides of Houston. 95% of the people doing the volunteer cleanup work, of which there were 10's of thousands helping, where white Christians.

Don't give us any garbage. Most of the bigotry in this country today comes from minorities and liberals. Conservatives are very active in service and volunteer work. They could care less about your race. They do care about your standards and ethics.

As I said, there are no inferior races. Just inferior cultures. If you can't recognize this, you are the problem.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 3:12 p.m.

Next Jonathan will be telling us that today's gangsta music glorifies God and promotes family values.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller March 2, 2012 | 3:26 p.m.

Mr Hopfenbratt, which part of "This attitude is not new to the black community, which has a long history of mistrust of and lack of cooperation with the police." is either untrue or racist?

You may rationalize to your heart's content but, there was neither a need nor an excuse for your boorish personal attack.

(Report Comment)
Gregg Bush March 2, 2012 | 3:27 p.m.

You care about "their
Race" long enough to call "them"
Some lazy bigots.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 2, 2012 | 3:48 p.m.

Mr. Hopfenblatt, imo, is unprincipled and neither liberal nor conservative. His schtick, in his effort to gain attention (probably not often obtained elsewhere), is to pick a post or story then
gathers all the contrary information possible and posts it to show he is thinking. He chooses the liberal side because that is where the most insulting material is located in greatest abundance.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 3:58 p.m.

Gregg, I said we don't care about their race. Race isn't the problem. The culture is a problem. And it would be a problem regardless of what race it is.

If a black person agrees with that, liberals immediately label them as an "uncle Tom". Why is that Gregg?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 2, 2012 | 4:39 p.m.

Jon, I won't address most of your comments because I'm mainly disengaged on this topic. Nothing I say or suggest has the slightest possibility of bearing fruit and will only promote the "race card" conversation stopper. I quit.

I will address this, however: "Why doesn't the white community have to step up and take responsibility for all the meth dealers and child-porn aficionados out there?"

I think caucasians DO step up and take responsibility on this topic. I can't think of a single person I know who doesn't want meth dealers in jail and child-porn aficionados (and child abusers...physical and/or sexual) publicly hanged on the Boone County courthouse square. Both groups are mainly caucasian and are cause for cultural (racial?) shame.. For me, I won't vote for a politician who has anything less than disdain for either group of people AND takes action once in office. Like many others I know, I remain frustrated and quite angry at our bonding and incarceration laws that allow such people to live amongst us, and anger at judges/juries that get wishy-washy with their judgments and penalties. Other than doing those things, the only thing left for us to do is vigilantism, and who wants that?

Well, I guess there is ONE thing we can do.

Not keep silent. And, when it comes to meth dealers/child porn aficionados, you may rest assured I run towards them, not away. I don't have to think about it, either.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 2, 2012 | 4:43 p.m.

As for his article, JKarl, as a Caucasian, makes only one mistake: He has hope he can contribute to a solution.

I think he's wrong.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 2, 2012 | 4:50 p.m.

Rather than argue ad nauseum about how racist anyone else is why aren't you suggesting ways to fix the problem?

You can't fix the problem by calling editorialists or the folks that post comments racist. The thugs aren't reading this paper. No one gives a hoot about how many black friends I have. They do give a hoot about bullets flying at the chuck-e-cheese.

If you want to make excuses for thugs by saying any call for improvement is racist, that is your right as an American. It is also my right to call you an enabler and part of the problem. How's it feel to be part of the criminal element. Are you excited or a little queezy? The answer to that question should guide your next move.
You're either with us or against us...

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 2, 2012 | 4:52 p.m.

Which culture is that Don? The black culture, if such a thing can be defined? The thug culture? My neighbors are black, their kids play with mine, and they are great people. I've met some of their friends at cookouts and they seem like fine people as well. I'm pretty darn sure they aren't contributing to the shooting situation in Columbia and don't hang out with anyone who does, so why are you bringing their culture into it?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 5:15 p.m.

John, seems they're not part of the ghetto culture are they? I'll bet they go to church and demand their kids meet high standards. I'll bet they associate with people who do likewise.

I'd also bet that if they openly said they voted Republican because Republican's shared those same values, they'd be ostracized and made fun of. They might even be accused of "acting white".

As any black Republican about that. At my old neighborhood church in Houston, Windsor Village Methodist Church, Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell openly supported Pres. Bush, and performed the benediction for his first inauguration. I recall hearing a black police officer in Houston stating he should be killed as a race traitor. That's a cultural problem.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 5:39 p.m.

Don: "Okay, let's turn to the stories about black gang members helping senior citizens fix their homes while cleaning up the neighborhood."

Or, let's turn to the statistics:

http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/hat...

"In the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, the victim of a hate crime may be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. In 2010, the Nation’s law enforcement agencies reported that there were 8,208 victims of hate crimes. Of these victims, 9 were victimized in 4 separate multiple-bias incidents.

[...]

Racial bias
Among the single-bias hate crime incidents in 2010, there were 3,949 victims of racially motivated hate crime. A closer examination of these victim data showed that:

70.0 percent were victims of an offender’s anti-black bias.
17.7 percent were victims of an anti-white bias.
5.1 percent were victims of an anti-Asian/Pacific Islander bias.
1.2 percent were victims of an anti-American Indian/Alaskan Native bias.
6.0 percent were victims of a bias against a group of individuals in which more than one race was represented (anti-multiple races, group)."

But Karl's right. He's speaking from experience, obviously. After (probably) having witnessed first-hand what happened during the desegregation fights, not to mention the Civil Rights Movement(s) at all, clearly it's absurd for me to suggest that racism is still alive today, right? It's not like there are any lynchings on the TV these days, so yeah, what was I thinking?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 5:53 p.m.

Eric Holder won't prosecute anti white bias hate crimes.

Let's see though. 8,208 hate crimes in 2010. Population of US in 2010 308,745,538.

So, hate crimes involved less than 27 ten thousandths of one percent of the population. Remind me to take this as a significant statistical ratio of crime and racial hatred in America.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 5:58 p.m.

Don: "I also recall seeing the minorities next door sitting on the porches drinking beer and watching us work without ever volunteering to lift a finger to help their neighbors. ... 95% of the people doing the volunteer cleanup work, of which there were 10's of thousands helping, where white Christians. ... Don't give us any garbage. Most of the bigotry in this country today comes from minorities and liberals."

Then you say:

"Conservatives are very active in service and volunteer work. They could care less about your race."

Let me get this straight. Minorities are lazy and bigoted, and white people are good and caring. But you don't care about race. Uh, lol?

"As I said, there are no inferior races. Just inferior cultures. If you can't recognize this, you are the problem."

Strange that these inferior cultures you're referring to all happen to consist of dark people, isn't it? Yeah, when you were referring to white christians earlier, you were only talking about the white culture, right? The clear references to skin color had nothing to do with skin color, and the minorities you were criticizing where only minority "cultures," right?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 6:16 p.m.

Jonathan, I'm still waiting for the gangs helping neighbors stats: But here's a few more to go with your 8,208:

From Wiki:

There were at least 30,000 gangs and 800,000 gang members active across the USA in 2007, up from 731,500 in 2002 and 750,000 in 2004. By 1999, Hispanics accounted for 47% of all gang members, Blacks 34%, Whites 13%, and Asians 6%.

Most gangs in America are formed with some type of intention. Gangs like Latin Kings and the Bloods say they represent "brotherhood" and unity. Police say 80% of crimes throughout the country are committed by gang members.

Now Jonathan, Gregg, and John, if you still don't see a culture problem here, your liberal culture would appear to be a large problem also.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 6:30 p.m.

Two views on "acting white:

http://www.nber.org/digest/jan06/w11334....

http://www.blackcommentator.com/100/100_...

The second website gives this observation:

I have heard a lot of static concerning African Americans and their supposed disregard for education. “Our black kids look down on education” say many of the black pundits, “they tease the black kids who are doing well school and say they are acting white.” I’ve heard this repeated over and over again by African-American personalities and celebrities (none of which, by the way, have any extensive, classroom teaching experience).

It then delves more into root causes and problems, and you can juxtapose this against the first website. But again, I relate back to the story about what the black police officer said about Rev Caldwell. That is a cultural problem. Both were black. Obvously both had highly different belief systems. That is a difference in cultures. It's real. Deal with the problems it creates, and don't refuse to face it or you can never fix it.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 6:36 p.m.

Karl: "Mr Hopfenbratt, which part of "This attitude is not new to the black community, which has a long history of mistrust of and lack of cooperation with the police." is either untrue or racist?"

-The part where you attribute this behavior to "the black community" is racist.
-The reference to "the black community" is itself racist.
-The parts where you claim all of this is their fault is untrue and racist.
-The part where you dismiss their attitude toward the police as a case of "magnifying old myths" is both untrue and racist.

"You may rationalize to your heart's content but, there was neither a need nor an excuse for your boorish personal attack."

Yeah, I'm the one being disrespectful, not the person who wrote a newspaper article blaming millions of people for the behavior of some thousand others, simply because they all happen to be browner than us. What, is there some correlation I'm unaware of between one's melanin content and one's responsibility toward similarly pigmented people?

And why am I the only one answering questions here? I've asked plenty of questions myself and gotten no answers so far. Here, I'll do it again just so you don't have to go through the effort of rolling your mouse wheel:

-What is the black community?
-What kind of people does it consist of, and how many people are in that community?
-What attributes do they share such that they qualify as a community?
-What makes them responsible for one another?
-Is there a white community?
-If not, why not?
-If yes, are members thereof responsible for one another in the same way members of the black community are?
-If not, why not?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 6:41 p.m.

Poor Jonathan. There are none so blind as those who will not see. Remember Bill Cosby's comments before the 2004 NAACP convention which created a firestorm of backlash against him from black "intellectuals"? Because they know what they will face, it takes a certain amount of courage to stand up before your peers and state the obvious which they refuse to address. Until you see it, openly admit it, and provide the example and influence necessary, you will never be able to fix it. You can declare causes and provide excuses all day - none of which will fix the problem. Colonel Miller asked for your solutions. Got any?

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 6:42 p.m.

frank: "Mr. Hopfenblatt, imo, is unprincipled and neither liberal nor conservative. His schtick, in his effort to gain attention (probably not often obtained elsewhere), is to pick a post or story then
gathers all the contrary information possible and posts it to show he is thinking. "

Yeah, how unprincipled of me to care about evidence and make the effort to provide it. How unprincipled of me to dare suggest to people that their opinions are wrong and that evidence exists to prove it. What a lame schtick indeed, proving people wrong and all that jazz.

(Report Comment)
J Karl Miller March 2, 2012 | 7:20 p.m.

Mr Hopfenblatt--An observation--An intelligent person who finds himself in a hole has the presence of mind to stop digging.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 2, 2012 | 7:57 p.m.

Please excuse this short interruption between warring parties.
_____________________

There is a question initially raised by JohnS and eventually by others: What is black culture and does it even exist?.

There is a Black Culture Center on campus, so someone must believe there is a "black culture" with a purpose, definition, and unique characteristics sufficient to form a group with an identity.

Perhaps the answer lies there.
_____________________

We now return you to our regularly scheduled brawl.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 2, 2012 | 8:38 p.m.

"What a lame schtick indeed, proving people wrong and all that jazz."

Karl: "For the good of the community and the safety of children, is it not time to put prejudice and perceived injustice behind and begin cooperation with the police? That next random bullet might have your name on it."

A bigoted old white man looking down on black people and accusing them of prejudice, lol. Good job with the hypocrisy."
Do you perceive this remark to show sympathy and interest in the elimination of the problem and one recommending cooperation between citizens of this city to do it? Or, is it another, requiring static numbers to indicate what your opinion might be if you had one? You once, offhandedly indicated that you are black. That doesn't matter except if you are, you may claim attention for your suffering. If not you,imo are just another loser, unable to compete, preferring to stare at your monitor and belittle everything that those attempting to protect, improve and distribute to all, the opportunity available in this, the first country to ever offer such, have to offer. Yours is not an enviable position. IMO!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 8:50 p.m.

The thing you usually find in common with any good student, regardless of race, is a good home environment. As we pointed out last week in the voter ID debate, there was a word that was usually used for Vietnamese kids speaking no English 5 years after arriving with nothing but the shirts on their back: Valedictorian.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 2, 2012 | 9:34 p.m.

Michael: You already said you weren't gonna get in on the argument, but I figured I'd point this out anyway:

"I think caucasians DO step up and take responsibility on this topic. I can't think of a single person I know who doesn't want meth dealers in jail and child-porn aficionados (and child abusers...physical and/or sexual) publicly hanged on the Boone County courthouse square. Both groups are mainly caucasian and are cause for cultural (racial?) shame.."

The difference is that whites don't step up against scumbag whites out of some sense of allegiance to the white race. They object to the fact that a crime was committed, not that the person who committed it was white. A white person's reputation does not ride at all on what other white people do, and yet this is precisely the logic used by all these jokers here blaming "the black community" for black criminals are doing.

"Hey, black guy, that other black guy over there is committing a crime, and his criminal behavior is going to shape my opinion of you as well unless you do something about it. You're both black, after all, therefore your fates are intertwined."

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 2, 2012 | 9:59 p.m.

JH - He already said he was not going to "get in" (this term usually indicates one might expect some reward, not so here)on the argument.

No one wants "in" on your silly, insincere "arguments". Mr. Williams did you the favor of reading and responding to, (as he is prone to do) many of your irresponsible, fictionalized comments and has now advised that he quits! Why don't you?

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 2, 2012 | 10:30 p.m.

Frank: "and has now advised that he quits! Why don't you?"
___________________

He can't.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 10:32 p.m.

Jonathan, responsible people do not to turn their backs on crime in their neighborhood, regardless of race. Responsible people don't tolerate unethical behavior. It's not raced based. It's values based. Values are a great deal of culture.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 2, 2012 | 10:34 p.m.

One not need always call the police. The Joe Horn method in Pasadena, Texas works well at reducing crime in the area.

(Report Comment)
John Schultz March 3, 2012 | 12:05 a.m.

Don, you say:

"Responsible people don't tolerate unethical behavior. It's not raced based. It's values based. Values are a great deal of culture."

But earlier you said:

"There were at least 30,000 gangs and 800,000 gang members active across the USA in 2007, up from 731,500 in 2002 and 750,000 in 2004. By 1999, Hispanics accounted for 47% of all gang members, Blacks 34%, Whites 13%, and Asians 6%.

Most gangs in America are formed with some type of intention. Gangs like Latin Kings and the Bloods say they represent "brotherhood" and unity. Police say 80% of crimes throughout the country are committed by gang members."

Why bring up race in the second comment if the problem is values, not race, as you claim in your first comment? Can we expect a follow-up article from the Colonel about the Hispanic community since "they" are apparently more involved in gange than other races?

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 3, 2012 | 1:32 a.m.

Don: "So, hate crimes involved less than 27 ten thousandths of one percent of the population. Remind me to take this as a significant statistical ratio of crime and racial hatred in America."

Good job completely missing the point. The point wasn't that there are a lot of hate crimes out there; the point was that 70% of hate crimes are committed against blacks, contrary to that nonsense you said earlier about minorities and liberals being the biggest bigots in America (but oh yeah, let's remember that you don't care about race, lol).

And since I'm sure you'll say that was just an excuse I made up to save face, let's crunch the numbers you provided earlier to reveal the horrifying reality of black criminals in the US:

800,000 / 0.8 * 0.34 / 308,745,538 * 100% = 0.11%

Yeah, black criminals are 0.11% of the US population according to those numbers--obviously I assumed that the race distribution among non-gang members is the same. Hell, let's make that number seem even smaller by spelling out its cardinal representation just like you did:

You are all crying bloody murder over the actions of 11 ten thousandths of the population. (fyi, your number in cardinal notation is actually 27 millionths)

But, since the figure above is based on 3 different years, let's be fair and fudge the numbers to make 'em sound more 2012-like. For no reason whatsoever, I've assumed that the number of total gang members has tripled since 2007, and that the percentage of criminals who are black is now 75% (since black people just love to commit crime and all, right?):

2,400,000 / 0.8 * 0.75 / 308,745,538 * 100% = 0.72%

Whoa, that number is almost three fourths of one one hundredth of the population. If the numbers are correct, there are now about as many black criminals in the US as there are Jehova's Witnesses. Golly gee whillikers indeed.

(p.s. Since you brought up the OWS movement earlier, interestingly enough this also means that there are more people in the US earning over $350,000 than there are black criminals).

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 3, 2012 | 1:44 a.m.

Karl: "Mr Hopfenblatt--An observation--An intelligent person who finds himself in a hole has the presence of mind to stop digging."

What hole am I in? You're the one who refuses to answer my questions.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 3, 2012 | 2:26 a.m.

John Schultz: "Can we expect a follow-up article from the Colonel about the Hispanic community since "they" are apparently more involved in gange than other races?"

I doubt it, just as I wouldn't expect a follow-up article admonishing the lazy, apathetic white community in Missouri, thanks to whom our home state is now often referred to as the Meth Capital of America.

Shame on us for allowing so many of our fellow Caucasians to ruin our community and reputation. We have lost sight of the important bond that has held us together for so long: Skin tone.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 3, 2012 | 8:28 a.m.

Back to JKarl's topic:

There are gunfights in Columbia. What are y'all gonna do about it?

Propose something..........

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 3, 2012 | 3:29 p.m.

Don't think we have to, Michael. At least for now, looks like CPD has taken care of the problem. They got the bad guys off the street, and all is quiet on the (Mid)Western front. Good job, CPD.

DK

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 3, 2012 | 5:25 p.m.

Mark: I think several are back on the street from what I hear. I, too, applaud CPD, but I have little confidence our "laws" will be able to keep them off the streets given the relatively minor charges. I would be ecstatic if things got so hot around here that these clowns left for other regions.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 3, 2012 | 6:29 p.m.

Michael: "Back to JKarl's topic:

There are gunfights in Columbia. What are y'all gonna do about it?

Propose something.........."

Your first sentence implies that we strayed from the topic in the first place. Your second sentence is correct, however. Now we have to determine what's the problem we need to solve: is it the gunfights, or the fact that a lot of the shooters are black? Obviously the latter is the case here, because if the issue had been the former, there was no need to ever bring race into it. So yeah, how do we fix that?

One way to start is to first agree that the pronoun in the question was the right one to use. WE need to fix this--as in, everyone. All these guys are saying this, but they really mean "they need to fix it." Despite all the objections this is sure to elicit, they're a big part of the problem too, so they could at least stop pretending they have nothing to do with it.

Then there's the issue that you've all heard the solutions already; you just dismissed them as nonsense. Don is actually correct when he said that the problem is culture and not race (despite the fact that his arguments don't indicate he really believes this); we're just looking at the wrong culture.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 3, 2012 | 8:49 p.m.

We have static on the line again!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 4, 2012 | 6:31 a.m.

Okay, virtually every home in Switzerland has a fully automatic assault rifle, semi automatic pistol, and ammunition. Why is their crime and murder rate so low?

(Report Comment)
hank ottinger March 4, 2012 | 9:05 a.m.

In answer to your question, Mr. Millsop, there is virtually no poverty in Switzerland, and the population, on average, has a higher degree of education.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 4, 2012 | 11:08 a.m.

There are guns in so many homes in Switzerland, because of their law.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politic...

BBC writes of the low criminal rates in the country,

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1566715.stm

Those attributing their low numbers to Hanks reasoning, wealth, education, are noted in last paragraph, as "other commentators". Liberals?

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 4, 2012 | 8:52 p.m.

That's right Hank. Their culture is one that promotes that.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 5, 2012 | 12:41 p.m.

Don: "Okay, virtually every home in Switzerland has a fully automatic assault rifle, semi automatic pistol, and ammunition."

Well, let's make sure we're giving the full picture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_politic...

1. Everyone has a gun because virtually all men undergo basic training and remain part of the reserve militia for ~10 years, during which they're required to keep their weapon at home.
2. They can choose to keep their weapons after the time is up, but if they do so, the automatic- or select-fire feature is removed by the manufacturer. So, no, not virtually every home has a fully automatic asault rifle.

"Why is their crime and murder rate so low?"

Interesting that you'd bring up murder rates, as the Gini coefficient (used to measure wealth inequality in a society) has historically been one of the best predictors of homicide rates. More inequality = more murder:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_cou...

Lo and behold, Switzerland's Gini coefficients are lower than the USA's across the board.

And since we're talking about culture:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_...

That looks an awful lot like Obamacare.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 5, 2012 | 12:52 p.m.

If liberals in office are going to be a part of our reality, I can only hope they will all be like Jon. That will absolutely guarantee that nothing from the liberal agenda will get done because they will all enjoy arguing about nothing far too much to arrive at any conclusions...

Good Job CPD !

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 5, 2012 | 2:01 p.m.

Damn. To read all the doom and gloom about inequality in the US, I'm shocked the we don't have a GINI of 100 (percent scale, where there is complete inequality)!

A GINI of zero is complete equality of income. The US has a GINI of 48 before taxes and transfers, and 38 after taxes and transfers.

Switzerland has 41 before, and 30 after.

Hard to imagine a GINI difference of 7-8 is the reason for guns in the streets, or no guns in the streets.

PS: You know how HARD it is to stay in Switzerland, much less get citizenship? Bit selective, they are. They high-grade people. Apple/orange comparison.

But, who cares? This whole conversation is argument for the sake of argument just because someone likes to argue. Lots of bandwidth, little to show for it. Wasted effort.

We have a problem in Columbia. What's the solution?

PS; From the Wiki source: "Note that because the underlying household surveys differ in method and in the type of data collected, the distribution data are not strictly comparable across countries."

Which means "Be careful using this data to support an argument."

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 5, 2012 | 2:30 p.m.

It used to cost $10 per car load just to get into Switzerland. They didn't charge anything to leave.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 5, 2012 | 3:02 p.m.

Swiss citizenship process:

http://switzerland.isyours.com/e/immigra...

I like this part: "You are accustomed to Swiss way of life and practices."

And this part: "You are integrated in the Swiss community."

And especially this part: "The canton and municipality of residence can add further conditions and set the cost of acquiring citizenship before approving it. Conditions vary greatly from one region to the next. Some municipalities apply rather open policies, while others will go as far as granting nationality by means of a local population vote. Cost also varies according to municipality and canton."

Haha. Locals get to vote on your "desirability" and may charge ya, too!

Oh, and you have to have lived there 12-or more years, but ages 10-20 count double. How nice.

Hmmmmm....wait....Can WE do this?

PS: Imagine that...liberals using Switzerland as a role model.

(Report Comment)
Michael Williams March 5, 2012 | 3:05 p.m.

PS: Maybe Columbia/Boone County just found a solution.........

From Switzerland, of all places.

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 5, 2012 | 3:25 p.m.

See my comment above - WAY up above. Please number these posts, Missourian, for easy reference.

My comments above are not aimed at any racial or ethnic group. Silence from witnesses can and does occur in more than one "community." We may argue about whether one "community" has a greater frequency than another, but we can't argue that it happens sooner or later in all, because it most certainly does.

That said, it is easy to tell other people what they should do. In fact, few things in life are easier.

I find Frank's characterization of Jonathan's methods (see above) interesting. When I started reading Frank's post I thought Frank was about to opine that J. is "sometimes correct but never in doubt." Would Frank even agree to "sometimes correct"? And the beat goes on.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 5, 2012 | 4:26 p.m.

Michael: It's not argument for the sake of argument, because a huge part of the problem is the double standard with which you all judge blacks and don't judge whites. Here are some first steps toward reaching a solution:

1. Stop assuming that their skin color says anything about them beyond what color their skin is.
2. Stop assuming that their skin color makes them responsible for one another.

I could name several other things that should happen if we want to fix the problem, but pretty much all of them would require conservatives to stop being conservatives. Obviously that wouldn't sit well with you guys, though, so yeah, it's pointless to go into detail.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 5, 2012 | 4:48 p.m.

I was curious as to which one of frank's posts Ellis was referring to, and a quick word search for "frank" made me realize that he said this in one of 'em (directed at me):

"You once, offhandedly indicated that you are black."

Uh, no. I have never even remotely insinuated that I'm black, because I'm not. I'd like to know where he thinks I said this, though.

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 5, 2012 | 5:37 p.m.

@Jon
If you were looking for agreement or solutions I imagine you could have said from the get go that you think it is prejudicial or racist to identify the no snitch culture as an identifying characteristic of the black community, so please let us call this the criminal community or the "gangsta" community, or the thug community or whatever and then off you go to the solutions part of the program with no need to argue for pages on end...

But

Then you would have had to proceed to the solution part of the program without proving to yourself how superior you are at arguing.

You would have had to actually contribute something towards a solution rather than identifying more problems, Gasp!!!

Double standards flying around the chuck-e-cheese are not a huge part of the problem. They aren't part of the problem at all. Bullets flying around the chuck-e-cheese are the problem.

Don't worry though... If some perps are still out there on the street "perp'n" because no one snitched on them, once you let them know that you are one of the white people that doesn't use the "black community" to describe a place where the no snitch culture can reside unchallenged, they will leave you and yours alone...

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 5, 2012 | 6:25 p.m.

Jon:

I have on one or two occasions truly been black, but then I went back to the surface, took a hot shower, and became white again. There are those in the coal business who do that daily.

The post by Frank is March 2, 3:48pm (above). I only saw it and all posts since it this afternoon. After posting two items in the wee hours last Friday morning I took off to the Frozen North and just arrived back in Columbia this afternoon. I do that sometimes. It's a matter of oxygen replenishment: in the "rarefied atmosphere" of Columbia, Missouri I sometimes suffer from lack of oxygen.

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 5, 2012 | 7:18 p.m.

mike: "so please let us call this the criminal community or the "gangsta" community, or the thug community or whatever and then off you go to the solutions part of the program with no need to argue for pages on end..."

I wonder what world you live in where solutions just sprout from the ground without discussion, especially on an issue such as this. Plus, you don't even know what the problem is, as evidenced by the continued denial of your role in it.

"You would have had to actually contribute something towards a solution rather than identifying more problems, Gasp!!!"

Uh, lol? Sorry for pointing out that the issue is complex and that it will require more than the band-aid you imagine it needs. Again, you don't even know what the actual problem is, since the thugs and "gangstas" you're complaining about are just a symptom of the problem. (Oh yeah, nice job removing race from it with the "gangsta" reference, lol). If the cause of your headache is a brain tumor, taking aspirin for the headache is not gonna solve your problem.

"Double standards flying around the chuck-e-cheese are not a huge part of the problem. They aren't part of the problem at all. Bullets flying around the chuck-e-cheese are the problem."

Wrong. Bullets flying around the chuck-e-cheese are how the problem manifests, not the problem itself. If the bullets were the problem, arresting/killing the shooters would take care of it, but we both know that's not the case, now is it? Doesn't matter how many criminals we arrest, more will keep popping up. Obviously the problem is something else, consequently so is the solution.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 5, 2012 | 7:59 p.m.

J. KARL MILLER: The destructive politics of racism
Wednesday, January 4, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:02 p.m. CST, Wednesday, January 4, 2012.

Jonathan Hopfenblatt January 4, 2012 | 10:00 p.m. With one of your ramblings, you gave us: "Black people like myself are disproportionately underpaid, undereducated, and imprisoned, nevermind that apparently we are all to blame whenever one of us does something stupid (unlike the 'white community,' etc.

You had the whole thing in quotes, but did not indicate who was being quoted and to me it reads like you. I thought you were possibly throwing it at us to gain attention and it never occurred that you would deny having "even remotely insinuated that I'm black"

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 5, 2012 | 8:16 p.m.

Ellis - " Would Frank even agree to "sometimes correct"?

Well, he spells his name the same way each time, so that must be correct. If not, then he would be incorrect All the time. Just kidding Jonathan!

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 6, 2012 | 4:55 a.m.

It's those Vietnamese from Switzerland hoarding all the really good chocolate that causes so much of the racial imbalance in this nation. Seems that Jonathan et al doesn't want to address why Vietnamese immigrants came here and did so well. But my explanation is as good as any.

Did I mention they can from a war torn nation and most lived in abject poverty that Jonathan couldn’t begin to compare with in this nation?

(Report Comment)
Mark Foecking March 6, 2012 | 6:02 a.m.

mike mentor wrote:

"identify the no snitch culture as an identifying characteristic of the black community"

That's because it really isn't. The gangs don't snitch on each other, because they might meet the guy they ratted out on the street later, or maybe in jail. Gangsters are a tiny fraction of any community (black, white, Asian, Hispanic...), who unfortunately cause problems far in excess of their numbers.

Jonathan wrote:

"Doesn't matter how many criminals we arrest, more will keep popping up. Obviously the problem is something else, consequently so is the solution."

I doubt there really is a solution. Gangs will always give poor or angry youth an outlet for their anger, as well as a sense of belonging and identity that they don't get other places. We haven't been able to fix it so far. We've thrown trillions at poverty over the last 40 years, and haven't really made much headway. And the youth that might benefit most from supervised, legal activities are often the ones that are the most reluctant to participate, for image reasons.

Don Milsop wrote:

"Vietnamese immigrants came here and did so well"

Most Asian immigrants have led extremely frugal lives, and usually continue to do it here. They work hard, save hard, and pass that on to their children. They're often fairly well off, and educated, in their own country, BTW - many can't afford to get here even if they wanted.

Americans who have trouble living on their income could learn a thing or two from some of these guys.

DK

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 6, 2012 | 6:09 a.m.

@ Frank Christian:

Hopefully I have, by my remarks, not caused anyone either pain or discomfort. (But that doesn't mean I'll change my ways.)

When reading my posts - if anyone reads them - you need to remember that I am the product of an intellectually and monetarily* impoverished campus within our University of Missouri System. The situation with our alumni is rather sad: we cry all the way to the bank.

As for my remark last Friday morning (not to you) about the Scarecrow, I actually prefer the Brit way of stating the situation: "Nobody home upstairs."

*- Actually, budgeted spending on a per student basis is far higher at our campus than the others, mainly because we have less students. It's expensive to operate a technical university.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 6, 2012 | 7:14 a.m.

Ellis - "you need to remember that I am the product of an intellectually and monetarily* impoverished campus within our University of Missouri System."

I'm sure most, around here, have seen you as another "victim" of this cruel, capitalistic society in which disparity of income levels has prevented us from becoming "one" and living a life of contentment while saving our planet. That "life's lottery" (not mine, term belongs to Dick Gephardt, I think.) has placed you nearer the top of this evil spectrum, is only a reason for us to try to forgive you. Whew!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith March 6, 2012 | 7:45 a.m.

@ Frank Christian:

I think we in the United States (and let's include Canada and the UK and the European democracies, as well as Australia and New Zealand) are suffering from a situation covered by an old saying: "We've forgotten who brought us to the dance." When your date brings you to the dance it's permissible to dance with others, but don't forget who brought you there in the first place.

"We built this city,
We built this city,
We built this city,
On rock and roll."

Well, the "city" I'm talking about wasn't built on rock and roll, but Socialism didn't build it either.

(Report Comment)
frank christian March 6, 2012 | 8:38 a.m.

Mark F. - of Don, "Vietnamese immigrants came here and did so well"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hmong_Ameri...

"the Clinton and U.N. policy of returning the Hmong to Laos began to meet with strong political opposition by U.S. conservatives and some human rights advocates. Michael Johns, a former White House aide to President George H. W. Bush and a Heritage Foundation foreign policy analyst, along with other influential conservatives, led a campaign to grant the Thai-based Hmong immediate U.S. immigration rights." Conservatives, not prejudiced? Wikipedia got it wrong again?

(Report Comment)
mike mentor March 6, 2012 | 11:47 a.m.

@Mark
I was actually agreeing with Jon's point that maybe we shouldn't call the larger community within which the no snitch culture resides, the black community. My point was it took only a few words to say that. Let's move on.

@Jon
Yes, I know. When the gangta's are popping off their rounds it is directly caused by me and my opinions. They carry no responsibity for their actions. At least in the mind of an enabling liberal that is...

In my mind, I can't justify my own actions by placing blame on all the unfairness in the world. All my rich white friends have better cars than me. If I go steal one to correct this unfairness, it will be their fault for being born in to the family that they were? It will be their fault for going to school and paying attention? It will be their fault for being real men instead of childish thugs? I will have done something good by correcting an imbalance that was not fair, correct?

or

I will have participated in the disintegration of society by absolving myself of personal responsibility!

(Report Comment)
Jonathan Hopfenblatt March 6, 2012 | 3:25 p.m.

Mark brought up a great point. It's easy to dismiss their behavior as a pathetic/exaggerated distrust of the police, but you're forgetting that a big part of it also a concern for their own safety.

Just as Karl said, police react after the fact, aka they're not your bodyguards and they can't be everywhere trying to prevent all crime. The people you're criticizing for not cooperating with police often times live right around the guys who committed the crime, and just as these criminals have no problem firing bullets at/into/near a chuck e. cheese, they won't have any problem exacting revenge against whoever ratted them out. I'm sure you're all aware of our great justice system and how it lets repeat offenders off with a slap on the wrist, right?

@mike: As for unfairness in the world, do you think it's just coincidence that life somehow manages to be disproportionately unfair to blacks? (Do you think it is?).

Yes, your opinions have everything to do with this, because each and every time you blame "the black community" for the gangsters and thugs, you're singling them out as different and especially worthy of your attention/scorn. "It wasn't just a thug. It was a BLACK thug!"

So yeah, your all's accusations of paranoia and "reliving old myths" against them are false, because they HAVE good reason to feel slighted. This, in turn, effectively creates the so-called "black community" you're criticizing, since oppressed people tend to want to stick together against the oppressors. And of course, this in turn confirms your own fears about 'em, and so on it goes.

You've spoken of the dangers of the religious right before. Notice how Santorum is always whining about the left's fictitious crusade against Christianity, and how Christians need to stick together and fight? Same thing with blacks, except that their concerns are real.

This may all sound like a huge conspiracy but it isn't. The people who perpetuate this cycle simply aren't aware that they're doing it.

(Report Comment)
Don Milsop March 7, 2012 | 2:07 a.m.

Mark, please allow me to offer you a different view of your notion that "They're often fairly well off, and educated, in their own country".

Approximately 125,000 Vietnamese fled Vietnam in the spring of 1975. Their largest point of entry into the United States was at Camp Pendleton, CA. It is true that this group was generally well educated or skilled. However, there were an additional 2 million refugees in the following years that did not fall into this category. Most of these were peasants who had shown favoritism towards the South and escaped with merely the shirt on their back. Not all, but the vast majority.

So your initial statement might be true amongst the early refugees, but they were only a small part of the total.

(Report Comment)

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