In the Spring of 1981, Chicago Democratic Mayor Jayne Byrne, and her husband, rented an apartment in Cabrini-Green, one of the worst housing projects in Chicago. More than 13,500 people lived there. Even then it was a crime ridden, drug infested section of Chicago. Byrne had been criticized because the Black community there felt like she wasn't doing enough to deter a recent increase in shootings in Cabrini-Green. She only lived there for three weeks. Cabrini-Green residents began to notice a drastic change. When a mayor moves into your neighborhood much of city services like sanitation and extra police protection go with you. The projects were cleaned up and because of extra police presence the thugs left or went underground. People were seen strolling with their families and playing with their kids in the parks like you might see people doing in the suburbs.
In the early 1990's I read a book called (Lets Take Back Our Streets) by Reuben Greenberg. He was the Black police chief of Charleston South Carolina. Reuben solved the crime problem in Charleston by gaining the trust of the Black people in the inner city. I spent a two week Guard camp there in 1989 and I felt very safe as I walked the streets of Charleston alone. This was before carry permits. Being a history buff I was in Hog Heaven. Reuben led a nearly all white police force in the cradle of the Confederacy. He demanded that his officers should treat everyone, regardless of station in life, with the utmost respect. They were to treat the common citizen with the same respect as they would treat the mayor whenever they interacted with them. His police officers only got one chance. If they screwed up the second time they were gone. If the police had to go on a drug raid and broke in a door or damaged property the damage would be repaired within a few hours. He placed numerous foot and bike patrols in high crime districts. Reubon would post officers on patrol that were raised in the bad neighborhoods. He was creative. A squad of athletic policemen were organized that wore running clothes and shoes, to chase down thieves and purse snatchers. In time the police were able to develop a rapport with the residents and their sense of security increased. People began reporting criminal activity.
Rudy Giuliani served as mayor of New York City from January 1, 1994 until December 31, 2001. The central focus of his term as mayor was cleaning up the crime problem in New York City. He was very successful. His tactics were controversial. He was called a racist by his political enemies. However former Democratic mayor Ed Koch defended him as even-handedly harsh: "Blacks and Hispanics ... would say to me, 'He's a racist!' I said, 'Absolutely not, he's nasty to everybody'." Giuliani went after the most visible criminals in New York. This involved the crackdown on what would be considered minor offenses such as graffiti, jumping turnstiles, aggressive "squeegeemen, and purse snatchers. It was discovered that many of these petty criminals had been responsible for the more serious criminal activity in New York. NYPD also stopped and frisked suspected thugs at random. He also went after organized crime. As a prosecutor before becoming mayor of New York he had led the most successful attack against organized crime in American history. As mayor he went after businesses that were fronts for the Mafia. Giuliani also was given credit for cleaning up Times Square. It had been a haven for prostitution, drugs and adult businesses.
If we are ever going to get a handle on stopping the carnage of Black on Black crime in cities like Chicago, Baltimore, Washington D.C., Detroit and cities all over America, city governments, along with police departments are going to have to think outside of the box. I listed the examples of Mayor Jane Byrne, Reuben Greenberg and Rudy Giuliani to illustrate that the answer to solving the problems of inner city, Black on Black crime may lie in a combination of the three approaches. In my opinion the approach of Jane Byrne was a typical Democratic publicity stunt geared toward making Black inner city residents feel that the Democrats really care. The real reason was to earn black votes in order to be reelected in 1983. In the end it would not matter because Jane Byrne was ultimately defeated. This publicity stunt revealed something however. This might sound racist but most Black people, who live in the ghetto, are basically good people. Speaking for myself, I have realized this for a long time, but I think many whites tend to have a bad impression of the ghetto because of it's image as a haven for crime and that the ones not committing the crimes are just enablers. The image of the ghetto is that everyone is on welfare and nobody knows who their father is. Much of this image is well deserved but because of a culture of dependence on government, ignorance, and a feeling of hopelessness people feel trapped. It is generational poverty. Much of this perpetual poverty was created by Johnson's Great Society programs and the continuation of those programs since. Before the Great Society seven out of ten Black families involved a father living at home. Today seven out of ten Black children are born out of wedlock and most fathers are not involved in their lives. This leads to higher crime. Fathers not living at home leads to higher crime in all families regardless of race. A bad or weak economy, such as we have now, also contributes to a higher crime rate.
The following is a list of my suggestions for combating Black on Black crime and shootings.
1. The cities with the most crime will have to quit electing Democratic mayors and councils. In everyone of the large crime ridden cities they have been historically governed by Democrats. They are all about power and exploiting the people in order to maintain their power. They are never about long term solutions to real problems.
2. Establish a secure environment - One thing that I have learned from a 21 year career as an Air Force Security Policeman and six years as a Mall Cop is that the best security is all inclusive. In other words, if the people that you are securing are not sharing information, you do not have the best security. For example, in the Air Force we were responsible for securing aircraft and weapons systems. We were not capable of being everywhere at once, regardless of how good of a job we were doing. The aircraft mechanics, technicians and personnel working in a restricted area usually knew when someone didn't belong. They would report the suspicious person to us. This is what I try to get across to mall tenants. If you see something that is suspicious, report it. Too many times, after something has happened, a tenant will say I thought that person was acting suspicious, I should have called you. If they had called me , many times a crime could have been prevented. The good residents of a high crime area need to feel secure enough to report criminal activity to the police. They need to feel that they will not have to worry about retaliation. They are being terrorized daily by the criminals, who are in the minority. A rapport also needs to be established between the residents and the police. The cities should do things like moving police precincts into the worst neighborhoods. There should be a heavy police presence along with bicycle and foot patrols. Use as many officers as you can, from these areas. to patrol. Try to recruit new officers from these areas. Last but not least these inner city areas are war zones. No industry or business wants to locate in a war zone. If the ghettos can solve their crime problems ultimately the businesses and the job opportunities will return.
3. Encourage law abiding citizens to have concealed carry permits - Make carry permits affordable so that poorer people can get them more easily.
4. Bring back aggressive policing -. Such things as stop and frisk. If a person is caught without a permit throw the book at them, Give harsh sentences to anyone who uses a gun in the commission of a crime, such as robbery and drive by shootings. Focus on the most visible crimes such as people involved in panhandling, graffiti, and purse snatching. This may lead you to people who are committing the bulk of the crimes. The true felons are a small part of our general population. Once you take them out, your problems are mostly solved. It should also deter most potential criminals from choosing a life of crime.
5. Stop electing angry Black men for president - Barack Obama has proven himself to be the Community Organizer in Chief. He is a slick version of Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson and quite possibly the angriest Black man in America. Obama had the greatest opportunity ever presented to an American president when he was elected eight years ago. He had the opportunity to heal much of the remaining racial divide in this country. As a Black man he had the moral authority to do that. Instead, he took the low road. Rather than being a statesman he is nothing but a political hack. Because of Barack Obama I haven't seen race relations this bad since the 1960's. We need a leader that is capable of envisioning America's potential rather than dwelling on the bad things of it's past. He should remind us of the good things that America has done and how we have evolved from a slave society into a more egalitarian society. Obama should have the courage to tell Black people that White police officers are not your problem. Black people killing other Black people is your problem. The following is from the Daily Beast, The article is entitled (How Chicago Became "Chiraq") On Easter weekend, 45 people were shot in the city, six of them children. Five youngsters under the age of 15—four girls and a boy—were shot in a playground where they had gone after Easter services at a nearby church. Witnesses agree that a car pulled up and one of the occupants asked the youngsters if they were in a gang. There is some dispute about whether the youngsters even got a chance to say no before the people in the car started shooting. Over the July 4 weekend, 82 people were shot and 14 of them killed in Chicago. President Obama may have gotten our troops out of Iraq, but the gunfire in his hometown of Chicago is still earning it a searing nickname coined by young people who live there. Chiraq. I am not a big Spike Lee fan, although I think that he did a good job on the movie Malcolm X. We rarely agree on anything but even Spike gets it. He has produced a movie named Chiraq. It is about the shootings in Chicago. The premise of the movie is that the women of Chicago refuse to have sex with men until the violence stops. Talk about thinking outside of the box. That would probably be very effective if you could pull it off. Typical of the Democratic leadership, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel tried to bully Lee into not making the movie. Emanuel is more worried about Chicago's image than doing something to remedy the problem. Lee said the following in an interview done by Chicago Arts and Culture web site. We started shooting Chi-Raq June 1. We finished July 9. During that time, 331 people got wounded, 65 murdered. New York City has three times the population of Chicago; Chicago has more homicides than New York City. Last week, The Daily Beast had a front-page story saying that Chicago is the No. 1 city in America for mass murders [actually, for mass shootings, defined as three or more people shot in a single incident]. Chicago is the poster boy [for violence]. I’m not making this stuff up. So what’s there to argue then?
Do I think that anyone will ever act on my ideas? Not in a million years. For what it is worth this is the way to end many of the problems in Black inner city neighborhoods and improve the quality of life. This is not silver bullet, no pun intended, because much more is needed to break the cycle of crime and poverty in the ghetto. However it would be a giant step in the right direction. I will end with the following quote.
It doesn't matter what you're trying to accomplish. It's all a matter of discipline. I was determined to discover what life held for me beyond the inner-city streets.