I first published my thoughts on this topic in August, 2015. Today, the problems are worse: policemen have become targets of racist snipers as if the police were the only enemy of inner city residents. Rioting, looting, burning, and sometimes killing, solves no problem. It never has, and it never will. The national news media ignore the much greater problem of black on black crime: shootings, murders, gangs, and drugs, continue to haunt America’s inner cities. The breakdown of the African-American family has made things worse. Racism is not limited to skin color. Police sensitivity training would not be needed if President Obama seriously addressed the root causes of inner city problems. The President should reject the “Black Lives Matter” movement as racist and inflammatory. The President should begin to solve confrontations with police by preaching, “Don’t resist an order from police, don’t fight, don’t threaten, don’t incite.” But the President will not do this. Neither will the Congressional Black Caucus. I cannot name a single Obama policy that would change the sense of hopelessness that pervades the inner city. I now believe that Obama plans to be a “Community Organizer” for the entire country after he leaves office. This is why Al Sharpton has been a welcome White House visitor dozens of times over the past few years. Obama wants a perpetual power base. He wants to maintain the inner city sense of anger, resentment, and victimhood. He wants to expand his base to include Latinos. He intends to be a national political boss and power broker after he leaves office [think Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton on steroids].
So, the next President must deal with this problem. It is not going to go away. Some of my friends say these problems cannot be fixed. They say it’s too late, that the inner city population is hooked on federal welfare. I disagree. It may take decades, but I think it can be overcome with great leadership. Without safe streets, and an environment free of drugs and gangs, none of the problems can be addressed: Why would a business locate in the inner city after riots, and destruction? Without businesses, how are jobs going to be created? How can children of the inner city ever receive a quality education when streets, and schools aren’t safe? How can a teacher focus on teaching in a school environment where lack of discipline, lack of respect, lack of appreciation, and lack of protection is pervasive? How can a child receive a decent education when teachers can’t do their job? What options, other than joining a gang and a life of crime, are available for young men who lack parental guidance, education, jobs, and an opportunity to pursue their dreams? How can a child learn from a father who is in jail? How can a mother raise her children without a husband available to perform the duties of a responsible father and husband? How can a policeman do the job protecting the people in the inner city where he is automatically despised and mistrusted? How can any solution, including massive investment, ever work if the inner city population doesn’t take responsibility for its success?
Government has the primary Constitutional responsibility to provide “domestic tranquility” and has failed the inner cities. The inner cities need government protection now more than ever before. Every major crime area should be flooded with police. Martial law needs to be declared before a “Marshall Plan” to invest and rebuild can be initiated. Once the streets and schools are safe, businesses can move in, and jobs can be provided. When the opportunity for crime is removed, fathers and husbands will not be going to jail. The inner city education system will require a total overhaul. Contrary to what the politicians in Baltimore have just done, charter schools should replace poorly performing public schools and not be burdened with collective bargaining, union rules and unnecessary interference from political influence. Discipline must be enforced, and disruptive students that fail to change their ways should be transferred to reform school. Schools will be needed to teach more than reading, writing, and arithmetic. Remedial programs need to be established to repair the damage of inadequate teachers, and offer a quality education to those who didn’t receive it. Job training for carpenters, plumbers, bricklayers, painters, electricians, computer technicians, tutors, care givers, and other worthwhile occupations need to be established.
Residents of the inner city need to be consulted for their ideas, suggestions and concerns so that they have ownership in the solutions. Any proposed solution should be pilot tested to work out bugs and problems before adoption. Massive rebuilding efforts will be wasted if residents aren’t committed to accept responsibility, and help fix the real problems of the inner city.
The breakdown of the family might require future generations to resolve. Government assistance programs need to be reevaluated to see if they contribute to the breakdown. Big brothers, big sisters, and mentors need to be pursued to substitute for lack of parental guidance. Grandparents, and other relatives/friends/neighbors, etc., that are filling this role should be assisted and rewarded for their efforts. Drug addiction will require special programs.
Instead of blaming police for inner city problems, the blame should be placed where it belongs…on politicians who deceive the poor with false promises.