Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Stopping Violence

How do we stop violence in Racine? One person at a time, by force if necessary.

Vigils, peace rallies, doves on a stick, or giant human peace signs will not work, unfortunately. If they did, we would have conquered the problem by now.

Still, I understand the temptation to resort to symbolic, feel good gestures. It probably feels better to do something than to do nothing. Perhaps this is what is motivating a Park High School senior Jamel Garrett to try to form a huge peace symbol. You can read about it here: http://racinepost.blogspot.com/2008/01/human-peace-sign-to-be-stand-against.html.

I don't wish to be critical of the young man. He is grieving the loss of a friend. I am glad that he wants to do something. But there are other things that this youth could do that would be arguably more effective in actually combatting violence.

People inclined towards violence must either stop themselves or be stopped by others. Parents, friends, the police, the justice system etc... can all help stop violent people. As such, Garrett could try to foster an attitude of cooperation with law enforcement that seems lacking among some of our youth. This would not be an easy task if the prevailing sentiment is "$%#@*& the cops."

But trying to stop violent people can only get you so far. It would be far more effective to help violent people begin to stop themselves. Being a young man at Park, Garrett may be in a unique position to do so. Perhaps he could reach out to some young people that he knows are inclined towards violence and try to challenge the attitudes and mindsets that support the violence.

Perhaps Garrett is already doing these things and more. If so, they will likely garner more results, if less applause, than will a giant human peace symbol.


Caledonication said...

"How do we stop violence in Racine?"

Simple to answer, impossible to implement.

Until everyone learns respect, including self-respect, violence will continue. No, not that fake "fear" type of respect, but real, healthy respect. Respect doesn't come from any type of symbolism. It establishes a dynamic of understanding and cooperation. Some respect should be a given and other respect is earned. When I say everyone, I don't mean to suggest that no one has respect; quite the contrary. I would argue that it is the few with no respect for anyone else who are the cause.

That's my short answer, anyway.

Anonymous said...

As my friend says, who grew up on Franklin Street in the 1960-70's, and was constantly profiled by police and stopped (old car in poor area of town - white), '...simplistic answers given from the pt of view of the ruling class...'.

The groups that are made into pariahs in the U.S. are the poor, black folks, and those that don't meet the atributes of a 'good american'.

So, you think that you can stop violence by the 'strong arm of the law'?

...Or by 'standardized' testing?

...Or by Bill Cosby?

...Or by thw 'white man's take' on this cultural situation?

Go try...you have yet to identify the root of the problem - 2 America's; one for the 'good americans, one for everyone else.

Anonymous said...

So, you think that you can stop violence by the 'strong arm of the law'?

Yep. That and the vigilance of "good Americans", of every color and class.

colt said...

How do we stop the violence in Racine
1) More jails to put thugs in
2) More Police to catch thugs
3) CCW so we can defend ourself's from Thugs
4) Bring back the death sentince we put down some of the curs (Like the man who shot the Parkside girl in the back 6 times or the man who shot the 12 year old playing in the front yard)
5) Atract real jobs from real companies vs investment Art centers
6) Invest in programs to help 1st time offenders get job skills or quit drugs
7) Remove kids from troubled homes vs letting kids grow up to learn to be thugs

Caledonication said...

Denis, why don't you have voicemail? Or did I call the wrong number?

Denis Navratil said...

Hey Caledon, I have an answering machine. Anyway, my # is 752-1451. I look forward to hearing from you.

Urban Pioneer said...

It seems to me the Human Peace sign could actually work, but only if everyone is naked, and wearing a coloured ribbon on their chest. They could also light a candle. That seems to be the latest craze of calenders, and public art work, and other causes du jour. In fact I'm surprised we haven't cured Breast cancer and AIDS, people have been wearing ribbons and doing walks for years now. And that Quilt must be the size of Arizona by now!

As for my neighborhood when I see behavior that is unacceptable, I get out and say something, and call the police when necessary. I have actively intimidated suspected drug dealers, and moved them away from home, and I encourage others to do the same. It might surprise you how easy it is to move these folks away. They don't want dealings with the cops.
I don't recommend doing it naked though:^).

Caledonication said...

"Hey Caledon, I have an answering machine. Anyway, my # is 752-1451. I look forward to hearing from you."

You know what's creepy? That's my extention (#1415) at work...

Synchronicity in action?

**Creepy sound**

concrete katie said...

A Guardian Angels program.
It works.

Martial Arts. We have a Martial Arts School and a grand master in Sangho Cho. Have a local program combining Martial Arts training with Guardian Angel training. Maybe at the Bray Center because the Bray Center actually reaches into the heart of our inner city.

One of the first beats should be Sixth Street because Sixth Street is now alive at night with dancing and drinking and cars moving too fast.

Anonymous said...

A Guardian Angels program.
It works.

Very debateable. Many argue that they have no effect at all.

Sixth Street is now alive at night with dancing and drinking and cars moving too fast.

None of which the GAs have any control. The first two aren't even illegal. The third? What are they going to do, issue moving violation citations?

Concealed carry permit.
It works.
Proven time and time again.