Sunday, July 22, 2007

The grammar of cluelessness: "Black and Latino youth are losing their lives..."

District 5 resident Tami Bryant is "distraught" because "Once again our Black and Latino youth are tragically losing their lives" in San Francisco. Exactly how are they "losing their lives"? Is it AIDS? Is the Ku Klux Klan riding in their neighborhoods? The Body Snatchers? 

Tami is evidently too sensitive to say it outright: Black and Latino youths are shooting each other. But she thinks City Attorney Herrera's injunction strategy against specific criminals and gang members is a threat to their civil liberties, which means that even though these young men may continue to shoot each other, at least they'll die with their civil liberties intact.

Cranky old Kendall Willets responds: "Will the ACLU have a rally for all the people oppressed by the gangs?" Good question, since the larger communities wherein these young men's lives are tragically mislaid are often held hostage by the Punks with Guns whose precious liberties are evidently more important to some progs than anything else here in Progressive Land.

Along with Luke Thomas's photos, Fog City Journal, where these letters originally appeared, is a good place to learn the current progressive line on city issues.

Think it's bad in SF? See also, "Poor Kids Living in a War Zone," by Bob Herbert, July 14, NY Times:

Since September, when the last school year started, dozens of this city’s public school students have been murdered, most of them shot to death. As of last week, the toll of public schoolchildren slain in Chicago since the opening of the school year had reached 34, including two killed since the schools closed for summer vacation.

And an excellent letter in the NY Times in response to Herbert's column:

To the Editor:

Re "Poor Kids Living in a War Zone," by Bob Herbert (column, July 14):

Mr. Herbert's poignant column rightly points out many factors in the epidemic of slain children, which is also occurring in the Detroit area.

There is a lack of outrage in the community most affected by what I call "the slaughter of innocents." As a teacher who works with high-risk students, I would like to add my viewpoint.

Many of my students live in a culture of violence, enhanced, as it were, by the music they hear and the images they see. In the absence of proper parental and community guidance, they are far more susceptible to negative messages.

There are things, as Mr. Herbert suggests, that society as a whole can do. But the real problem must be tackled first by the communities most racked by this problem. The outrage has to come from within. They have to say, "Enough."

Beverly Friedenberg
Huntington Woods, Mich.
July 14, 2007

Gang Injunction

Dear Editor,

I live at Ground Zero in the Western Addition and at first wondered if there was some benefit of a gang injunction. I am so distraught over all the murders, shootings, etc. that I would welcome any solution the problem.

But the more I learn about the gang injunction, the more I oppose it.

For one thing, as much as the mainstream media likes to credit the first injunction with the reduction of violent crime in the Bayview, the word on the street is that the gangs had already called a truce. SFPD's own statistics have documented that gang violence is already on the decline, including in the Western Addition, prior to the implementation of the gang injunction.

Ironically, just as the City is implementing the gang injunction there has been a rash of fatal stabbings and shootings in the Bayview. Once again our Black and Latino youth are tragically losing their lives.

Thank you for your excellent coverage, photos and all, of Thank you for your excellent coverage, photos and all, of yesterdays press conference. I was so anxious to see what I was missing, I kept checking your website for coverage! I could not attend personally but was there in spirit.

Public Defender Jeff Adachi, the ACLU and all the various community and civil rights organizations that are challenging the implementation of this injunction have my support.

Tami Bryant
District 5
July 13, 2007

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