Saturday, October 08, 2011

stupid and loving it in baton rouge:

some of yall already figured this out, but i am home in baton rouge for a visit right now, and i'm having a pretty good time... but sunday morning i woke up to find this article on the front page of the advocate - the only newspaper here after the state times went the way of all the earth. see the link below and then read my comments.

i'm just a bit surprised that the assistant district attorney otha nelson is making these type of comments:

"i wouldn’t say that the problem in baton rouge is extreme,” nelson said. “we have not seen a situation where the public at large is at risk. but we need to get on the front end to ensure it doesn’t get worse.”

nelson seems to imply that as long as it stays within the gang community, then the problem is not extreme. this seems like a white-washed sanitized version of what you'd expect to see in the comment section of the article from the ignorant and prejudiced folk: "as long as it's those black kids, then who cares?" or "let them gang members kill each other - then they'll be less of them!"

in seattle, the murder rate is so much lower. and even though i don't completely agree with how mayor nickel's youth violence initiative has played out (i.e., who got the money, and that it's the exact same thing as before only a different name,) at least the public officials had something more progressive in mind than what they are doing in baton rouge: putting a mother of two juvenile offenders in jail for 30 days; this mother is undoubtedly lacking the resources to parent her children, so i'm not sure this backwoods idea of justice helped any.

i love my city, but i'm disheartened to hear the public officials comment and attempt a definition of gangs - calling them "factions," or spending time and money chasing them down on facebook. they really sound disconnected and sophomoric. just look at this quotation from DA nelson:

we were seeing young men being arrested for violent crimes and then we were seeing deaths,” nelson said. “there were coincidences that made us realize we were dealing with something here.”

is just it possible that he's trying to sound stupid? i thought they'd figured out they were dealing with "something" back in 2009 when this video hit the streets:

it might be nice to hear more about their prevention efforts. so my hat's off to people like arthur reed, who are trying to do this difficult work.

by the way, for those keeping score, the advocate has a nice "murder map" so we can tour all the sights of this year's murders in baton rouge! or maybe even sit back in our easy chairs with a cold drink and a bowl of zapp's potato chips while watching our 46-inch tvs and collectively say aloud, "glad all that s*** ain't happenin' in my hood!"

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