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Bloviating Zeppelin: Our Own Terrorists

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Our Own Terrorists

We worry about terror; terror abroad, terror from the Middle East, terror from Iran, now concerns in Pakistan.

What about terror at home? What about a problem we continuously refuse to face because we refuse to even agree about the words to describe it?

Driven to profile young black males
By Annette John-Hall
Inquirer Columnist

I am a black woman who was raised by a black man, married a black man, and gave birth to a black son.

I love black men. I am sustained by them. I know first-hand how loving they can be.

Which is why it breaks my heart to even think this, let alone write it: I'm starting to profile black men.

I know it's harsh. Lord knows I don't mean to sound like some of the angry readers who are so quick to profile by race, who write describing black men as nothing more than "animals," "baboons" unfit to walk the streets. Our hearts will never be in the same place.

Still, these days in this city - 336 homicides, mostly black men killed and doing the killing, and now a 25-year veteran police officer assassinated by another black man in a hoodie - it saddens me to know that if I were to encounter a young black man on the street in a hoodie, I would fear him.

I know I'm not the only one. If I were, 54 schools wouldn't have been on lockdown during the manhunt in Philadelphia Wednesday. SWAT units wouldn't be swarming. Stop-and-frisk wouldn't be in full effect in West Oak Lane and all points north and south.

Urban terrorism runs rampant.

Many killers are just kids who should be slinging backpacks in school, not packing heat in doughnut shops.

They are kids who look like my 20-year-old son.

Yesterday, Officer Chuck Cassidy died, snuffed out at the hands of a gunman trying to get money - a 6-foot-tall stocky black man with a distinguishable tattoo on his left hand.

From all reports, Cassidy, only 54, was a good cop and loving family man who took pains to check on a West Oak Lane Dunkin' Donuts because it had been robbed before. People cried over him. That's how much they liked him.

Now he is dead, and his wife, son and two daughters are left to plan his funeral. Officer Cassidy's death makes three cops shot this week, five this year. If it's open season on the people who are supposed to protect us, how safe are we?

Not very. I don't want to hear this nonsense about the police being the enemy in the 'hood. Let's be real: It's not the police who are senselessly gunning down black victims. It's mostly black perpetrators.

"I'm not afraid of black men, I'm afraid for black men," Lisa Jones, 40, told me yesterday as we stood talking in front of a food store on Ogontz Avenue in West Oak Lane. "I have three sons, and I get very nervous for them. For the good youth. They could be victims of the perpetrators or the police."

Given the all-out, unrelenting manhunt for the gunman, Jones understandably is concerned - fearing a killer at large and worried for the many innocent black males who fit the profile.

"And I'm wearing a hoodie," sighed her 17-year-old son, Mark. "As a black man, I feel awkward. The police are going to look at you a certain way - then you got to worry about a 12-year-old with a gun."

There was quiet tension in West Oak Lane yesterday. People went about their business within the range of eagle-eyed officers in police cars that cruised throughout the stretch from 77th Street south all the way to Temple.

Norma Burger, a 61-year-old retiree from Mount Airy who was picking up her great-grandson from day-care, said that for the first time she locked her car door when a young black man walked past.

"But my main thing is, I'm embarrassed for the black race," said Burger, who is African American. "Every time you turn around, there's a black man with a gun." She looked at me incredulously: "Why do they have to rob? Why can't they get jobs? They have no ambition. I worked 35 years at my job, now my job is working for me. . . . I'm just ashamed about what's happening."

As is Keisha LeCoeur, a 28-year-old African American who is, as many are, praying for Officer Cassidy's family.

"It's really sad, the lack of concern for the value of life," she said, shaking her head. On Halloween night, LeCoeur said, she rushed into her house and stayed in, "something I never thought I'd do.

"I'm not scared of black men, but I'm embarrassed, absolutely," she said. "For all of this violence to be attributed to African American men . . . it just gives cause for other people to say, 'This is why we stereotype.' "

Face it: We're in a crisis of spirit. And we're going to have to battle it with some serious spiritual warfare. We all should be doing our own personal gut-check, reordering our values, understanding that no life is more precious than another. We shouldn't think twice about turning in a killer.

African Americans once prided themselves on their dignity even in the face of discrimination and hatred. Most of us still do.

It's the reason 10,000 African American men have committed to take a stand against violence. Vowed to protect their women and children. That notion doesn't frighten me. It reassures me.

Still, I wonder. On the way back from West Oak Lane, I stopped to watch the kids play at Joseph Pennell Academics Plus School. Seeing young black boys, innocent grade-schoolers, jockeying with each other, playing ball, talking and laughing with girls during recess, I couldn't help but be afraid - that one day these children might end up with a gun in their hands or be a victim themselves.

And that thought pierced me like a bullet through the heart.

So readers, what do you think? (Incidentally, the suspect in that officer's murder has now been caught.)



Blogger Bushwack said...

I think if a white person wrote that, there would be riots in the streets and Al Sharpton would be leading the crowd...
I agree with what she wrote, I also think the Hispanic/Mexican or whatever you want to call them are every much as bad, and dangerous.

Oh crap, now I'll be branded as a racist again....

Wed Nov 07, 02:35:00 AM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Bush: of course there would be. That's part of my global point. We can't even speak about the issue; until we can speak reasonably it won't be solved.


Wed Nov 07, 07:04:00 AM PST  
Blogger Gayle said...

That was excellent, BZ! Yes, the politically correct crowd would be all over any white person who dared to tell the truth about this. Good for Ms. John-Hall for writing this and good for you for posting it!

Wed Nov 07, 07:42:00 AM PST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the problem; it's an issue of accountability. The minorities don't want to be accountable to anyone save themselves. That's no proper moral compass because our hearts are deceitfully wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). The minorities will call the blameshifting problems to economic downtimes. Hogwash! In the downtimes is when it's best to see if the person is morally inept. In the case of these kids who perform like this (regardless of ethnicity); give them a couple of chances and after that; wipe them from the gene pool. Harsh? Yes, but leaving the cancer to grow will perpetuate the slow rotting death of this society and land.

Wed Nov 07, 08:39:00 AM PST  
Blogger Rivka said...

You can go ahead and put the post up any time now. I still have a little more to put up on the side, but I will start posting.

Thanks again!!

Wed Nov 07, 10:44:00 AM PST  
Blogger bigwhitehat said...

My buddy Wyatt was one of the cops involved in the investigation and apprehension.

He has written quite a bit about it.

Wed Nov 07, 10:53:00 AM PST  
Blogger shoprat said...

That woman has guts and integrity. The black community needs millions more like her.

Wed Nov 07, 03:40:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I am still of the opinion that our government is massively to blame in terms of TRAINING people to rely on them, in terms of cash, instead of the family unit. We PAID mothers and children to divorce themselves from the fathers and husbands involved. That was entirely reprehensible!

Rivka: shall do.

BWH: I'll go check that out; thank you!

Shop: it's apparent to me and others, and becoming more apparently to the black American community as well.


Wed Nov 07, 03:46:00 PM PST  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Makes me glad to be a part of that group called The Armed American...

Crime IS out of control in our inner cities, and it's spilling out to the 'burbs too, invest in precious metals NOW, Steel and Lead...

Guns and Bullets... Because you can bet your ass that the government isn't going to protect you... No government, not just Bush and his band of merry idiots, ALL of em...

We're on our own folks, ya might as well face facts...

Wed Nov 07, 04:48:00 PM PST  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

TF: to a degree, I do not disagree. Law enforcement is known as a "responder" for a reason; there aren't NEARLY sufficient officers to forestall crime, nor can they raise the children who may kill you.


Thu Nov 08, 06:48:00 AM PST  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

It's stupidity to believe that the police can be there to protect you when the shit hits the fan. More often than not, they appear after action, to mop up the mess and take down a report. It is incumbent upon each individual to be skilled in arms, and take responsibility for the protection of his own life; not rely upon others.

People shouldn't rely on government handouts either, to save them.

Thu Nov 08, 12:47:00 PM PST  

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