To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Mobtown Beat

Fun with numbers:

As of Wednesday, Oct. 17, 241 people had been murdered in Baltimore City in 2007. On that same date in Washington, a city with just 50,000 fewer residents than Baltimore's 630,000, there had been nearly 100 fewer homicide victims to date. And New York , which has a population of more than 8 million, had just over 100 more murders than Baltimore on that date.

Put into perspective, 38 out of every 100,000 Baltimore City residents are murdered, based on this year's homicide numbers. In New York, just five out of every 100,000 residents is murdered. If New York had Baltimore's homicide rate, more than 3,100 people would be murdered there each year--yet the highest number of murders the city has seen in recent years is 2,262, in 1990. On the flip side, if Baltimore had New York's murder rate, the city would see just 29 murders per year. Instead, the lowest the murder toll has fallen in recent memory is 253, in 2002. That number will likely be passed for 2007 by the time Justice Maryland holds its Oct. 28 lie-in.
So the local NAACP branch, and other activist groups like Justice Maryland (sounds like they should all be wearing capes) are planning a lie-in on the War Memorial downtown as a way of...a way of...Well it has a purpose, I'm sure of it.

I poke fun, but of course I'm behind any actions that might get people to care about living in a war-zone. Even if it is stupid and ineffective. What really burns me is this:
Cheatham is critical of the work being done by the city and state government and the police to stem the violence. "I think the new commissioner definitely is concerned, but there's a major disconnect between the police department and the community," he says. "And some of that has to do with the people that they're hiring. They're hiring people that don't look like this community, they don't live in this community, and to a degree don't respect this community. How can they help people that they don't even respect?"

Both local and state governments, he says, have failed the city by failing to act on the crisis. "All of them run on an education platform, on a crime platform, and some of these folks have been in office 10, 15, 20 years," Cheatham says. "They have to accept some responsibility."
I can't really blame the police for not "respecting the community". Have you seen the community Doc? I can blame the War on Drugs, and piss-poor, one-party management for ruining this city and it's people, but at some point the people who call the neighborhoods their home have to stand-up and take a certain amount of responsibility for the conditions. I suppose if vigils accomplish this then great. But if the point of rallies and vigils is to get people to care --the people who are used to living in violence -- then I'm unsure how some signs and candles will accomplish anything. These things work where people care in the first place. It a way of organizing people who care. Not of getting someone who lives in the shit to see the number of murders written down on a sign and say "Oh shit, that's a lot of murders...I hadn't realized"

Oh, yeah Doc, we are aware of the fact that the same buffoons have been running this city for year after year after year. More like 90 than 10 or 15. That's what happens when you choose to deal with only one party. It boggles the mind.

Mobtown Beat here. Sun article on the event here.

P.S. Justice Maryland is on the right side of the drug policy debate, as well as other criminal justice issues. For that I give them credit.

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