Philadelphia, seriously, wtf?
Don't look now, but the ghetto is fucked the fuck up. If you're in it right now, I'd suggest you seriously consider ducking. Or leaving, for that matter, provided you have the means.
There was a time, back in the 1990s (oh, where have you gone?) when it was thought - due, perhaps, to Giuliani, and Roe v. Wade - that crime in urban areas would never again be quite as high as it was back during the height of the crack era. But obviously we were mistaken!
I'm not sure what in the world's going on, but violent crime in America's ghettos has been on a precipitous upswing in the past couple of years. Does it have something to do with the ridonkulous amount of restrictions they place on a woman's right to choose these days? I hope so.
You'll recall that earlier this year, St. Louis was named the
gulliest most dangerous city in America. So far, 2007 has been pretty fucked up, so we should definitely be in the running for '08, but it looks like Philadelphia might be giving us a run for our money, such as it is.
Now, they're a much bigger city than us, so I guess you have to grade on a curve or whatever, but so far this year they've already had something like 300 homicides. That just doesn't seem right, now does it? And of course the vast majority of them have been young black males.
Acknowledging that the city's police force is at a loss for doing anything other than eating donuts and fucking with people, Commissioner Sylvester Johnson (I know) is calling on 10,000 black men to patrol the streets on some Police Academy 4 shit and protect the area's more vulnerable citizens.
A few possible issues I could see with this...
First of all, who's going to volunteer for this shit? Since it is, after all, the ghetto, you have to assume that most of the people who live there are old people who tend to burn up in house fires, women with numerous fatherless children, crackheads, and gangbangers.
If you're a guy and you don't fall into any of the above categories, chances are you've got something better to do and somewhere better to do it. I know personally, I feel no sense of obligation to head down to the musty nether regions of the city and act as a human shield for some welfare mother. But then you guys know I'm racist as shit.
And speaking of which, what are these volunteers supposed to do, throw themselves between a bullet and its intended target? According to the Commissioner, these volunteers aren't supposed to be armed or seek any actual confrontation with said gangbangers. Which makes me wonder how effective they can be as anything other than a motherfucking target.
Not to ruffle TPAR's feathers on an otherwise pleasant Friday afternoon, but I heard the Nation of Islam is involved, which would suggest to me that this is about to descend into a violent mess at any moment now if it hasn't already. Indeed, I remember the Nation tried something similar to this back during the height of the crack era and that shit lasted for like a day.
Also, when I heard about this on NPR the other day (sorry) I know some people took an issue with the fact that he called for 10,000 black men to show up, rather than just whoever was interested. Then, pressed on the issue, he did mention that women and hispanics could show up if they like, though I notice he still didn't say shit about white people. So I guess you guys aren't invited.
That said, obviously something's got to be done, any time you've got something like 400 people turning up dead in a year. Police work might be more effective if we could get people to start snitching, but that just wouldn't be hip-hop. What about the shit Giuliani pulled in New York back in the '90s? These kids can't very will kill one another if they're constantly in jail with a plunger up their ass.
What do you 'bags think?