John Harrington- "Stop Black On Black Crime In St. Paul

Crime - the media loves it, people fear it, and criminals get away with it!
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thrice
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John Harrington- "Stop Black On Black Crime In St. Paul

Post by thrice » Wed Mar 28, 2007 7:01 am

http://www.startribune.com/462/story/1083987.html


Police Chief John Harrington declares violence in black community to be a priority for his department. A clearly escalating wave of violence in St. Paul is catching up to Minneapolis in a hurry. A surprising number of criminals arrested in Minneapolis are coming across the river to commit their crimes as well.

CraigInTwinCities
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Post by CraigInTwinCities » Sun Apr 01, 2007 4:58 pm

How about stop ALL crime, not just one category?

Yeesh. :roll:

thrice
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Harrington Right

Post by thrice » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:11 pm

I think it's a very appropriate message, Craig. Harrington is the Chief of Police in a town that is experiencing a rapid increase in violent crime. Doesn't it make sense to tell his black constituents that they need to realize that they are being abused, exploited, and killed by their own bretheren, and the time is now to stop focusing on some nebulous white conspiracy and clean house in their own community? I think that message is desperately needed.

CraigInTwinCities
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Post by CraigInTwinCities » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:32 pm

I appreciate Harrington's point and yours, Thrice, but I don't know...

There's no element of crime that's good, whether it's white on white, black on white, white on black or black on black. Injecting the race issue into crime seems to me to carry more inherent risks than rewards. It tends to skew the issue off-topic, I think.

I don't know if I have a great way to phrase it at the moment that gets across what I'm really trying to say...

Maybe this'll work:

Rapper Sister Soulja, back in '92, tried to deliver essentially the same message about black on black crime, but she phrased it in a controversial way about spending at least one day only committing crimes on whites. That gave candidate Bill Clinton his "Sister Soulja" moment to make him look like he wasn't a lapdog to the black constituency by scolding her for promoting crime and race-baiting.

In retrospect, I think Soulja had the same core intent as Harrington... to point out the problem of black-on-black crime. She really DID step over the line by saying blacks should only victimize whites.

Harrington ISN'T saying that... at all... but the underlying message has the same potential for misunderstanding. By singling out black-on-black crime as something that needs to stop, it's like saying, in effect, that black on white, white on white, or white on black crime isn't as important to stop.

Sure, that's not what he means... but that's how it could easily be misperceived.

I think it's better to keep the message on "all crime is bad" and keep race out of it... but then, I'm not the one in Harrington's shoes, so it's highly possible he has a better read on what the situation calls for than any of us Monday morning QBs.

I don't envy him his job.

thrice
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Post by thrice » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:56 pm

You have some good points, Craig.

I would just ask you to consider Bill Cosby. He has been absolutely blunt in pointing out the numerous ways in which some black people consistently engage in self-destructive behavior. As a result of his dead-accurate observations, he has been brutally pilloried by some self proclaimed "leaders" in the black community. It is much easier, and feels a lot better, to blame some massive conspiracy by white people as the source of all problems in the black community. It's easy to draw some kind of skewed line between business and political actions and community problems. But the bottom line is that George Bush isn't shooting anybody in North Minneapolis, Dick Cheney isn't selling crack on Lake Street, and I seriously doubt Donald Rumsfeld has impregnated anybody lately and left them. Those are all problems that existed long before any of those guys ever held positions of power, and are all problems that can be acted on by ordinary people. As long as the community silently tolerates people that do those things, and allow them to live in their communities, they will continue. That's the real message, and the real deal.

The community knows what's going on. Some people say that the community is afraid to cooperate in prosecuting criminals. That's baloney. Somebody knows who committed 99% of the murders in the city. Somebody knows 100% of the people who are dealing drugs in the city. An anonymous phone call could take the vast majority of these criminals out. If people really want it to end, it will.

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