Monday, May 24, 2010

White House is concerned about inner city violent crime

So apparently Newark, NJ. mayor, Corey Booker, has been doing great job of transforming the once crime riddled city. So much of a good job that not only did he secure a second term in office. He was also invited to the White House along with a couple other mayors, to attend a security briefing on violence in inner cities. When I read that, I thought, "Cool, my man Barry-O is lookin' out for the hood; way to go remembering where you came from O-Beezy!"

I mean, Obama being a former representative of the city with the largest black population per capita in the country; a city that has already seen one hundred homicides to date. Certainly as president he's concerned about violent crime in the inner-city, right? Surely he's not out of touch and unconcerned, right? But then I read this story on
The meeting, conducted in the White House situation room, was focused on terrorist groups recruiting people on American soil. Officials briefed on the discussion said it was not centered on Islamic extremism but the larger context of violence, its root causes, and means of prevention.

"The Administration routinely meets with state and local officials to obtain their perspectives and better understand the issues they are facing. One issue is the threat of domestic radicalization," said one Obama Administration official familiar with the meeting but was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly. "During the meeting, mayors provided invaluable insights into this issue and discussed the ways in which the Federal government can help them address the threat."

According to other officials briefed on the discussions, Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Columbus, Ohio Mayor Michael Coleman were also present at the meeting. Because of high Somali populations in their cities, Rybak and Coleman discussed radicalization among that group in particular, but it was not the focus of the discussion,

FBI investigations in both cities made headlines last year with both cities suggested as jumping off points for domestic attacks perpetrated by Somalis elsewhere in the U.S. Coleman’s spokesman, Dan Williamson, said he didn’t know the extent to which the radicalization of Somalis was discussed.
Somali pirate terrorists? No seriously, they had a discussion on violence in "the hood", and the issue was that of "radicalization" of citizens by Somali natives? OK, maybe I don't get out much, but when did Somali pirates hijack the hood? Call me stupid, but I sincerely doubt whether "Captain Black Gums" running around singing, "Yo ho ho, and a bottle of Hennessy," has ever became a problem throughout the urban landscape.

I mean when I think of crime in the inner city, I don't exactly connect it to Somali nationals. Nor do I worry about them radicalizing citizens by them being Muslim. OK, so there used to be Jamaican gangs runnin' mad dope back in the day. But Somali pirates in the hood? Hell, as long as brothers been on the corners selling bean pies and ain't one of them ever flew a plane into a tall building(?). Why the hell are Somali nationals a concern?

Now last week, Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, the Somali pirate indicted for the hijacking of the U.S.S. Maersk Alabama, took a plea deal. He is now looking at a sentence of at least 27yrs, but no more than 33yrs in prison. There's no telling what info he gave up in exchange for acceptance of the plea deal. But I seriously doubt it had anything to do with the whereabouts of Spiros Vondas.

But hey, maybe the White House knows more than I know considering that Obama has Kenyan connections and all. Maybe the Somalis are the main players as far as crime in the hood goes. I just happen to think that focusing on "terrorism" or "radicalization" just isn't the way to go. You wanna fight crime in the hood? Well how about creating some jobs and giving residents economic opportunities as they struggle to stay afloat?

Similarly, local municipalities and cities are struggling to stay afloat. As strapped for cash as they are, many of them have been forced to enacted hiring freezes, pay cuts, and in some cases, they have totally disbanded. So instead of talking to mayors about the possible "radicalization" of nationals by Somalis. How about maybe, just maybe, fixing things by directing less funds towards Homeland Security, and shifting them to law enforcement?

Yeah, how about something like that instead?


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