Tuesday, March 10, 2020

A Community Denounces the Criminals in its Midst

It feels strange to describe the reaction as “heartening,” but heartening it was. The New York Post chose the word in an editorial about a Brooklyn mob attack on a 15-year-old girl.

In a city where the mayor spends his time trying to figure out how to decriminalize crime, and where bail reform has caused crime rates to spike up, it is good to see everyday people standing up against criminals and demanding accountability… even when these criminals are their own children.

It’s the missing piece of the attack on crime. We think that we can stop crime by having more police. Surely, we can mitigate crime’s effects with better policing. And by keeping criminals in jail. And yet, we ignore the importance of community attitudes toward criminals.

Have you ever noticed that when a member of a minority community commits a crime his community often rallies to his defense. It rallies to keep him out of jail. It rallies to blame white policemen or even white privilege for his behavior. 

Take the example of the son of one Charles Blow. You might know that Blow writes a highly undistinguished column for the The New York Times. His son attends Yale university. We wish him all the best.

One day, the younger Blow was picked up by New Haven police and held for questioning over a convenience store stick up. You see, Blow fulfilled the terms of the description that the police were given. So they considered him a suspect.

As you might imagine, Blow’s father thought that it was all about racism. That it was all about the racist police officers who took his son into custody. You see, he said, even the highly esteemed credential of being a Yale undergraduate does not shield you from racist police officers.

Of course, Blow missed the point entirely. He had nary a word to say about the gunman who had robbed the convenience store. Wasn’t the gunman responsible for the fact that the police were out looking for a criminal on the loose? In his zeal to blame the police Blow refused to say the least discouraging word about a young criminal, the man who should have been held accountable. By the police, surely. But, by the minority community, definitely.

When a mob attacked a girl in Brooklyn, the parents of the perpetrators were mortified to see that their sons had participated. They turned their sons in. Members of the community were horrified to see the behavior, flashed on television screens across the nation: a dozen teenaged boys beating a defenseless girl.

True, some media outlets tried to figure out what the girl had done to deserve it, but, in truth, there is no excuse for appalling behavior. 

The New York Post editorialized:

Last week’s brutal mob attack in Brooklyn on a 15-year-old girl should horrify New Yorkers. The good news? It did.

Residents in Crown Heights, where the shocking caught-on-camera beating took place, are reacting just the right way: Parents of five of the teens involved forced their kids to turn themselves in. Neighbors are decrying the savagery.

Cops are treating the case with the utmost seriousness, pursuing every last perp. As of Sunday, they’d nabbed seven more teens, and are hunting for still others.

The welcome reaction comes after the girl was set upon by a dozen-plus teens who beat, kicked and jumped on her and stole her sneakers, phone and debit card.

On seeing footage of the beating, one mom realized, “That’s my kid.” She says she “wanted to kill him with my bare hands” — but settled for having him surrender.

“I’m angry and very disappointed in him. I did not teach him to act like an animal,” admits Donna Howell. Her “heart breaks for the victim’s family.”

Community activist Tony Herbert, the girl’s uncle, also had wise advice: “I’m not a proponent of our young people being in jail, but they have to atone for the criminality.”

Adds the girl’s aunt: “Young black people are dying every day.”

The community’s sentiments are encouraging, especially given how activists and pols have focused almost exclusively on protecting suspects and criminals.

Even better news: The 15-year-old, who suffered head trauma, is out of the hospital. Her grandma says she’ll “be all right” eventually. Thank goodness.

Ugly and shocking as the video was, the rest of the story has proved far better.

It’s surely a step in the right direction. 


UbuMaccabee said...

“I’m not a proponent of our young people being in jail, but they have to atone for the criminality.”

How, exactly? How do you atone for a gang bum rush other than jail? Would it have been more OK if it was committed against a 15-year-old boy? Do they get a stern lecture? Bullshit "community service" programs?

Young people being in jail works perfectly well for me, thank you. Blacks and I have, generally, differing value systems, and, as a result, I live as far away from them as possible. Most people do, in fact. Not because they are black, but because they find things acceptable that I do not.

I've seen those bum rush attacks many times in my life; you can die that way. Got a couple buddies who were attacked. One was in a coma and died shortly after he came out, and the other lost an eye and can't think right anymore. Reason #318 why I CC.

In my reactionary universe, they'd catch 3 years hard time and a serious beating with a nightstick.

Sam L. said...

Encouraging. I's like to see a lot more like that.

Anonymous said...

Society is part of the failure of language, we have to choose between modernism and the subtextual paradigm of context. If one examines postconceptualist situationism, one is faced with a choice: sexual identity is responsible for sexism?

Anonymous said...

"Society is part of the failure of language, we have to choose between modernism and the subtextual paradigm of context. If one examines postconceptualist situationism, one is faced with a choice: sexual identity is responsible for sexism?"

Yeah sure, let's say that.

UbuMaccabee said...

I didn't know Jean Baudrillard read this blog from beyond the grave. Nice to know there is an afterlife with WiFi.

dogsledder said...

The reaction of the parents should be commended. After the Obama's eight years in office utterly destroyed all the gains that Martin Luther King did, maybe we are back on the path toward a society where we will judge people by the content of their character, not the color of their skin. In my opinion, part of the credit goes to President Trump for bringing back jobs and lowering the black unemployment rate. Disagree ? What did Obama do for his own people ? Dindu nuffin !