Maryclaire Dale reports:
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The city’s embattled police chief, acknowledging that police alone cannot quell a run of deadly violence, has called on 10,000 black men to patrol the streets to reduce crime.
Sylvester Johnson, who is black, says black men have a duty to protect more vulnerable residents. He wants each volunteer to pledge to work three hours a day for at least 90 days. […]
Philadelphia, the nation’s sixth-largest city, has nearly 1.5 million residents, 44 percent of them black. It has notched 294 homicides this year. More than 80 percent of the slayings involve handguns, and most involve young black males.
This made me cogitate.
The question that sprang to mind is why the posse needs to be all black. Isn’t this racist?
The answer is, of course it is racist. Because it presumes that race makes a bit of difference it is racist. Any system that embraces the 19th century Darwinian Progressive eugenicists’ definition of “race,” as a collection of moral, and intellectual characteristics associated with pigmentation and musculo-skeletal markers, is by definition racist. The theory of race is not a respectable theory: it was based on the same sort of misunderstanding of Darwin that was behind theories like phrenology.
As Martin Luther King said in 1963:
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
He was talking about a color-blind government. A color-blind approach to government is not racist because it denies racism and racial differences all official power and authority. It follows that a color-blind government is the only truly just government that can exist.
And yet self-segregation is practiced by many peoples on the basis of ethnicity, religion, behavioral choices, even on the pseudo-scientific construct known as race. Tribal behavior is not necessarily bad. It only becomes bad when tribal behavior oppresses individuals and denies them their individual rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
There is a malignant tribal behavior that started in Baltimore and spread across the black neighborhoods of America’s eastern seaboard: the Stop Snitching movement. Back to the article:
“He won’t get anywhere near that number. If he gets 1,000 people, it will be great,” said Heather DeRussy, who leads a local Guardian Angels chapter that has recruited just seven members in the past two years. Given its size, the group focuses on a single north Philadelphia park plagued by prostitution and drug use.
DeRussy lauded Johnson for his effort but said she fears the volunteers will find it dangerous to patrol their home turf.
“In their own neighborhoods, with the ‘Don’t snitch’ mentality, they’re kind of putting themselves in harm’s way, because there are going to be people who disagree with what they’re doing,” DeRussy said.
What is this Stop Snitching thing about? Anderson Cooper introduces the issue in this YouTube video.
Stop Snitching puts into meme-carrying popular music the code of silence of the black gangsta. Stop Snitching is promoted to impressionable inner city black teens by black rappers like Camron and Busta Rhymes. Why didn’t Camron turn in the guys who shot him in an attempted carjacking? Because he thinks of himself as a gangsta. Why didn’t Busta Rhymes turn in the guys who murdered Israel Ramirez, his 30 year old assistant, who was married with three kids? The answer is that he values his gangsta reputation more than justice for the family of a murdered man. Because Rhymes was too cowardly to identify a murderer, a murderer walks the streets knowing that he can kill with impunity. Because Camron was too cowardly to identify the car-jackers who tried to steal his Lamborghini and shot him in both arms, armed carjackers walk the streets knowing they can target anyone with black skin and never get arrested. What Camron and Rhymes have done by their own example is to make a target of black men, especially of wealthy black men like them. And by selling their example to impressionable children with brown skin they have done the same to all people with brown skin. In cities like Philadelphia, where strong gun control laws have essentially disarmed non-predatory citizens, the Stop Snitching code has led to criminals declaring open season on brown skinned people.
Stop Snitching is tribal behavior that endangers the rights of individual people in the tribe. It empowers criminals and violence. It endangers the life, liberty, and happiness of individuals, all for a warped tribal code.
And that is why Johnson asked for black men. Too many black children, for various reasons originally tied to misbegotten government policies, grow up without fathers at home, without stable, law abiding male role models. And in casting about for male role models they latch on to gangsters and rappers. Johnson aims to give them good role models in place of thugs.
The goal is laudable. The problem is that Sylvester Johnson made the call as the Chief of Police. The government must be color blind as a matter of principle. By promoting a racist plan using the power of the government he has created an injustice. If Philadelphia asks for men of all skin tones, of all the tribes that exist in that patchwork city, to watch over their own neighborhoods and help the police take the criminal predators out of circulation, then that is just. South Philly has its own Sicilian gangsters and other ethnic sections have their own predators. Criminal codes of silence are dangerous in all neighborhoods. If 10,000 black men volunteer for the posse, maybe 10,000 men of other skin tones will volunteer too. With 20,000 volunteers the criminals would be outnumbered all over the city.
And that, unlike the suicide pondered by Hamlet, is a consummation devoutly to be wished. So let Chief Johnson overcome racism and broaden his call to all men.