Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Remember, this is a one/two punch.
The devil is in the details.
There are two anti-gang bills; one for prevention and one for prosecution.
The first bill is the touchy feely stuff that talks about money for youth programs.
Here comes the hardcore!
Once all the fluffy stuff is out of the way. The next bill deals with the penalties...
So watch out for that right hook!!!
On Friday June 27th at 8PM, Shairi's Radio Show will host an emergency town hall meeting to discuss this burning issue on WXDU 88.7FM titled "Don't Believe the Hype!"
The two hour program will feature activists, ministers, Hip Hop artists and local citizens. The regular host of Shairi's Radio Show is Monica Daye but the radio town hall meeting will also be cohosted by TRUTH Minista Paul Scott of the Messianic Afrikan Nation.
The purpose of the forum is to allow people to voice their concerns and offer solutions to the problem of youth violence as well as dispel the myth that Hip Hop is synonymous with gang culture.
To listen to the program go to http://www.wxdu.org/listen/index.html
For more info call (919) 451-8283
My thought is that they will probably pass it through while most folks are at the cook out chillin' with the homies for the 4th of July...
Remember, as they say, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
AND THAT INCLUDES HOLIDAYS!!!!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
As you can see, the politicians are once again trying to use fear to push a bill that will disproportionately affect black youth.
The more things change, the more they stay the same...
What struck me as strange was that the sub headline reported that the reason for these acts of violence was "boredom."
Now, I've followed the coverage of such acts for many years and rarely (if ever) have I seen "boredom" as the official cause of a shooting, robbery, etc. Usually, the stereotype is some black kid from a single family household in the 'hood who goes around shootin' people just to watch them die.
It was not until I saw the pictures of the "gangsta's" that I realized the reason for the "boredom" rationale.
These were white kids committing those crimes...
So, I guess black kids are just born killers but white kids bang for boredom...
Monday, June 16, 2008
DO NOT LET THEM SNEAK THIS BILL PAST US!!!
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Nearly seven years ago, on September 11, 2001, an event happened that would shape American policy for decades to come. The event was the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon which had Americans looking under every rock and behind ever bush for terrorists. No piece of legislation developed under the pretense of a "war on terror" was too much as long as it allowed citizens to sleep at night. Years later, most would agree, in retrospect, that both the Patriot Act and the Iraq War were dreadful mistakes. Unfortunately, with the NC Street Gang Suppression Act, history seems to be repeating itself.
Don't get me wrong, I like going to get my newspaper out of the driveway every morning without becoming the victim of a drive by as much as the next guy but I believe that the "Hip Hop Patriot Act" is leading us down a long dark path better left untraveled.
I would be the first to admit that Durham like other cities, has a problem with youth violence. However, the gang threat has been blown out of proportion by the media, politicians and others who have various motives for promoting the idea of the great red and blue menace that is supposedly plaguing the streets of Durham and other cities in North Carolina .
While Durham may not be "Mayberry USA", it ain't Compton either. The same kid who is Killer P while hanging on the block with his homies on Friday night is Lil Pookie who sings in the junior choir on Sunday morning.
Thus, the main problem with the new anti gang bill is its failure to clearly define what constitutes being a member of a gang. Now, I'm no lawyer but I have watched Law and Order enough times to know that this bill could lead to unfair profiling and constitutional violations. Just because someone wears an over sized white T-Shirt and has a tattoo of Bugs Bunny on his right shoulder does not make him a criminal.
Every since the mega corporations have discovered that "gangsta chic" is a billion dollar a year industry, they have promoted gangsterism as part of Hip Hop culture. It is not the kids on the street who are making millions of dollars promoting the gangsta style but the owners of major clothing. jewelry and advertising companies.
While some may disregard the fear of Hip Hop profiling, this is a real concern, especially for a black community not too far removed from the Jim Crow Laws and Black Codes of the early 20th century that made it illegal for a group of African Americans to gather on street corners.
While the term "gang" member is not race specific, the poster child of gangsterism as promoted by the media is not a middle class white kid selling meth nor a skinhead with a Confederate cap but a young black male with a bandanna and sagging pants. So in an attempt to ease public fear this is to whom the bill will be targetted.
Also, although the proposed legislation is being sold as a way to get the top shot callers of the gangs, I doubt very seriously if much of the energy actually goes towards finding who actually brings the drugs into the community. As usual, the politicians will turn a blind eye to the root causes of crime such as the stores that sell a disproportionate amount of high octane liquor in high crime areas as well as the easy access to guns in these communities. This is because those who put the guns and liquor into these communities have lobbyists and the gang bangers don't.
The reason that we cannot solve the so called gang issue is that there are some who have already made plans to send their children to college courtesy of the money that "gang prevention" laws generate. There is always a long line of poverty pimps and Hip Hop hustlers standing in line to gobble up government funds, many of whom won't even tell an "urban child" good morning unless there is a grant tied to the salutation.
The challenge is for to come up with new ways to stop youth violence without caving in to the politics of fear and ignorance.
As Stevie Wonder once sang, "when you believe in things that you don't understand, then you suffer."
Minister Paul Scott is founder of the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham.
Sunday, June 8, 2008
With most of the current anti-gang legislation going to be targeted at young black males, I wonder how many folks have researched the information on the internet?
I guess it won't hit home for some people until their 16 year old child is misidentified as a gang banger.
Last march, the NC Dept. of Crime Control and Public safety released some information to the NC General Assembly called "A Comprehensive Assessment of Gangs in NC."
Some real heavy stuff is in that report.
Trivia question time...
Did you know that the report says that 49% of the gangs are black and another 20% are mixed.
So do the math about who they are going to be targeting.
There is also a Durham Gang Assessment that was done last year that reports that 82% of Durham gang members in 2006 were Black.
Did you know that there was a system known as gang net that tracks gang members in NC called NC Gangnet and a child's name stays on the list for five years? So, if Tyrone is labeled as a Crip when he is 14, I guess he can forget about college?
Is your child in that data base? Are you sure?
You owe it to yourself and your children to study this report...
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
We must not let them sneak this bill in while everyone is busy celebrating the Obama nomination or making plans for a weekend at the beach!.
Contact the members of the committee and let them know that you oppose House Bill 274 aka the "Hip Hop Patriot Act."
I remember back in the late 90's when I was fighting to get Phat Boy Malt Liquor out of the hood and I found out that they were also selling it in Chicago. I called St. Sabini and spoke with Rev. Pfleger. I told him that Phat Boy was being sold in Chicago. He said that he would call me back. A few hours later my phone rang and he said "It's not beeing sold here any more."
He won my respect from that day forward.