Community leaders discuss the ‘cycle’ of gang violence

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Submitted: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 4:42am
Updated: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 6:44pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After hundreds of gunshots have been fired throughout 2013, former gang members sat shoulder to shoulder with local politicians to say they’ve had enough.

“It’s a battle we’re fighting and I don’t wish the pain on anyone,” said Cherelle Dailey, who lost her cousin Joseph Williams in a drive-by shooting.

As the family members of Joseph Williams held a peace march to honor what would have been his 19th birthday former criminals and community leaders came together at Wilmington City Hall to try and address a growing problem.

“I didn’t think that the blacks and the whites could come together on such a common ground,” said Raheem Nelson. “We all have the same ideas. We’re all looking to make a difference and to make a change.””

At the center of the discussion were four areas that event organizers say may contain the answers as to why someone turns to a life of crime: family, education, economics, plus health and human services. But some in the audience say those categories need to be expanded.

“There were two other areas that were left off,” said Steve Lee. “One was the criminal justice system and the other was how in Wilmington we still live with the remnants of slavery, oppression, and disparity of opportunity between black and white.”

All agree that to break down that barrier the Cape Fear needs more jobs, and not only for white collar college graduates.

“Give incentives for hiring a convicted felon because that generates money,” said Raheem Nelson. “That puts money back into the community and that drops crime.”

If you missed the Monday night meeting Mayor Pro Tem Earl Sheridan is holding another community meeting to discuss activity on November 13th on the campus of UNCW.

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26 Comments on "Community leaders discuss the ‘cycle’ of gang violence"

2015 years 8 months ago

Here’s a solution… this is what they do in other countries. Brand the gangs as a Vicious Lawless Association and then hold the gang leaders accountable for anything their members do by having them serve time for the accumulated offenses, and you will see the violence drop.

Here’s how its done in Australia: The Act declares a person to be a “vicious lawless associate” if they commit a serious offence “for the purposes of, or in the course of participating in the affairs of, the relevant association”. It is incumbent on the defendant to prove that the association is “an association whose members do not have as their purpose” the serious offences listed in the Act.
If a person is declared to be a “vicious lawless associate”, this Act mandates a further 15 years imprisonment on top of the sentence for the crime for members of the organisation, and 25 years imprisonment for office bearers of the organisation.[1]

2015 years 8 months ago

What a shame that Steve Lee was quoted as well as allowed to speak. I feel tarnished by this brother.

2015 years 8 months ago

Your comment is right on, idle hands created by the welfare system and the drugs and the gangs have made a deadly cocktail for blacks in this country, and the race baiters are cashing in on it for now, that will end soon. I spent many years trying to help black communities and gave up, don’t set foot in one, tired of hearing it, don’t care, too late, kill all the blacks you want and let the killer go to do it again, less criminals on the street.

2015 years 8 months ago

I totally agree with your post. There are no leaders willing to step forward and address the real issues regarding gang violence. Instead, they make the thugs feel entitled to be “victims”. I call “Bull Manure” on this one.

2015 years 8 months ago

I am amazed that for decades rappers have called black women bi*ches and hoes with hardly any protest from the black community.

When you have an entire culture of rap that celebrates guns–glorifies gun violence– and drive-by shootings and bi*ches and hoes and homos and other offensive, degrading themes, and when you have *children* listening to this garbage, it’s no wonder we have a gang culture.

Children listen to rap and BANG! BANG! BANG!

The problem goes far deeper than the predictable list of politically-correct inequalities our shallow leaders addressed. Leaders? Hardly.

And I would like to add one more comment about our Hispanic community. The Mexicans in our midst are a hardworking minority who will rise above their poverty. They will do it through hard work, and they will take any kind of job, and employees are delighted to hire them.

Please, leaders, if you have no insight, and you are unwilling to look objectively at the problem of black culture, just keep your mouths shut. You are doing nothing to help the crime problem. You are, in fact, most likely making it worse by offering excuses.

2015 years 8 months ago

I remember several of his speeches in which he called upon young African-Americans to stay in school and get an education; use clear English and not some street guttural language; wear trousers at the waist line and not at the knees; stop cranking out welfare babies with every baby maker who spreads her legs; and get a job while getting off the entitlement train.

Those were 5 of the points, among many, which I recall from his speech.

BUT, these would require effort and would likely cause some to feel guilt if they thought unemotionally.

Better to keep on blaming slavery, some 1890 incident which no one now living experienced, and no doubt, some will want to blame Bush.

2015 years 8 months ago

I knew this article would bring out the bigots – and it did.
Nothing of substance contributed in your posts, just the same, mean ol’ prejudice. Y’all should be ashamed.

2015 years 8 months ago

Stop playing the race card, GuestToday, and admit there are problems in the black culture that “Nothing of Substance” addressed articulately.

Time for the black community to deal with the Real issues re. gang violence.

2015 years 8 months ago

Is it really bigotry when it is true?

2015 years 8 months ago

Perhaps you’d like to point out what was so bigoted about “JJohnson”‘s post or “kingstonman”‘s post. I must have missed it. What same “mean ol’ prejudice” were you specifically referring to?

Hey if you’ve got something to say, say it, and say it specifically. Just calling other people bigots isn’t really saying anything. That’s what people do sometimes when they’re angry about hearing something they don’t like to hear.

I would rather have you prove me wrong than be right about this. Put up specifically or shut up. I await your reply.

2015 years 8 months ago

Amen brother.

2015 years 8 months ago

I was there, and community leaders tiptoed around the major contributor of gang violence: BLACK CULTURE!

For too long black leaders have turned a blind eye to the depraved culture created by the Hip Hop community, a culture that celebrates a thug, criminal way of life. Have these “leaders” ever listened to the hateful, obscene, illiterate, misogynistic and homophobic messages in these rap lyrics, the most obscene and violent “music” of all time?

Blacks have produced a “music” that has, from its infancy, celebrated violence.

Make no mistake about it, the violent gangs in downtown Wilmington emulate the rap lifestyle celebrated in its lyrics.

I did not expect Wilmington’s leaders to address the cause of the problem. The scared-to-death whites said not a word about the destructive elements of black culture, and the black leaders would never admit to any basic flaws in their culture.

The subject of black teenage girls in their early teens having babies was practically ignored. Baby mamas and Baby daddies? Not a word! The lack of a work ethic in so many young inner-city males was ignored. While young Hispanic men are out working from sun-up to sun-down, so many inner-city black males are standing around street corners talking jive.

Black culture today, for all intents and purposes, is thug culture. The culture of Hip Hop has enormous influence over black youth, and its creators have gotten rich glorifying debased and degrading behavior.

There will never be any substantive discussion about race in Wilmington because the truth is too volatile.

2015 years 8 months ago

You really hit the nail on the head with your post, good to see someone with the courage to state the truth.

taxpayer II
2015 years 8 months ago

Great post. You nailed it 100%.

2015 years 8 months ago

Your post couldn’t have defined it more clearly.

Too bad.

2015 years 8 months ago

The solution is so simple…round them up, lock them up, and throw away the key! The problem is that these gang members have been in and out of prison for years, yet someone keeps letting them out to reek havoc on innocent people. This has got to stop! We need some politicians with some balls, people who are not p.c. or afraid to take a real stand.

2015 years 8 months ago

Knew it would be throw out. Again it is all about slavery. Really, when was the last time you lived in slavery. The only slavery that is out there now is the slavery that you will find in the welfare state you live in. You are a slave to the money and things you receive from the gov’t. That is something you choose.

“One was the criminal justice system and the other was how in Wilmington we still live with the remnants of slavery, oppression, and disparity of opportunity between black and white.”

The Black Conservative
2015 years 8 months ago

Of course it was slavery fault that today the American Negro is failing in America duh! Let’s ignore the fact that blacks after slavery up until the Welfare State implemented by LBJ had marriage rates that in some areas were higher than whites, had lower crime rates, had black businesses, and the community stressed the need for trade and academic achievement because slaves weren’t allowed to learn how to read. The Negro loves blame his current state of dysfunction on everything else except himself, and his toxic culture. The Negro has more opportunity now than his slave ancestors every had, and he squanders it away while Asian, Arabs, and Hispanics continue to pass him by in this country.

2015 years 8 months ago

Here’s the cycle:
1. Person joins gang.
2. New gang member commits crime as initiation.
3. New gang member is caught and already has criminal record.
4. New gang member gets probation and walks out of the courthouse.
5. New gang member is now fully affiliated with gang.
6. Full gang member deals heroin at low income housing projects.
7. Full gang member gets shot at, shoots back and injures someone.
8. Gang member goes to court and even though he is a felon and in possession of a stolen firearm by a felon, he is once again given probation and walks out of the courthouse door to do as he pleases.
9. Gang member goes back to projects to deal more heroin. Decides to add crack to his product choices.
10. And the “Cycle of gang violence” continues…over and over and over again. And we wonder why there are never any postive results to this problem.

Any questions?

2015 years 8 months ago

You seem to know an awful lot about gang initiation and affiliation…are you a gang member or a former gang member?

2015 years 8 months ago

Okay here we go again. If the black community was given “special” consideration again in jobs rather than sticking with their schooling and getting a college education themselves like the “whites” that have bettered their lives have done then it would curb gang violence! Back in the late 50s and early 60s I was all for ending segregation. I did the marches, made posters, spoke out much to the dismay of some of my prejudiced white kin. And not only me but multitudes of others. I was raised that I was not better than anyone else and we were all the same beneath the color of our skins. Then in the early 60s I went into the army. While on overseas duty more and more blacks entered our outfit in the barracks. Eventually a black sergeant had seniority and became barracks sergeant. He gave us whites all the dirtiest cleaning details especially the bathrooms and showers. The black soldiers laid back and watched us and snickered at us. Back when we had a white barracks sergeant you better believe duties had to be “equally divided.” One day I asked the black sergeant why was he giving us whites all the dirtiest cleaning duties? His answer was the blacks had to do the dirty duties for whites for many years and the blacks were not going to be satisfied until the whites had to “bow down to the blacks as they had to do to the whites for many years.” I asked wasn’t that making him as prejudice as many whites were? He said yes and that was the way most blacks felt. Needless to say it knocked me off my cloud. Then after returning back to the states and going to work for one of largest employers in the area I again found myself working within a department that was at least half blacks. We whites were given more duties because our boss did not want to “upset” the blacks. Not only that the blacks could talk back to our boss as were all bosses in the business given the same tongue and our employer would not do a thing about it because the company was given tax breaks for all the percentages of races hired. During all this what kept going through my mind is what the great Dr. Martin Luther King said in his famous speech in Washington, DC. He said that he envisioned the time when EVERY ONE was treated by the “content of their character and not the color of their skin.” It is not happening as many of the blacks have gotten their way by hollering they are being still treated unfairly and get advantages that way that the poorer whites cannot get. Even on forms to be filed by our employer to be sent in to the government on who were to be given scholarships the first paragraph stated the person had to be Afro-American! They gave eight scholarships per year to blacks and none to whites or other races. Not only that the GPA of the black person was not taken in to consideration! Look around us. The rich children whether their parents are black, white, red or yellow move ahead because their parents can afford to give them the extras in life. Best Universities, better homes etc. But so many poor whites have pulled themselves up by the boot straps and moved ahead by working their way through colleges and universities. Do the blacks not realize the poor whites are treated badly by the rich whites or the wealthy of any race? Then we look at the blacks still hollering they are treated unfairly and expect things to be “handed” to them. No, the answer to everyone getting ahead is hard work and earning your place in this world. By the continuing of hollering other races are against them and keeping them down only makes other races have the hard feelings on and on. I came from a very small town and my Dad was one of the town alcoholics. Nothing was expected of me by the people in our town except that I would go down that same road like my Dad. But by my mother taking me to church and hearing God and my Savior Lord Jesus Christ’s words on what is right and wrong I was determined I would prove everyone in that small town wrong and I have. By the Grace of God I got my education and worked hard and being frugal. I have had a very successful marriage, have a nice home and raised some very successful children and now they are in the professional world after getting their education by “working” they way through college and universities. BTW the woman I feel in love with and married was also from the “poor white society.” We did not stay on the bottom of society and expect things to be handed to us on a silver platter we WORKED our way upward. When telling blacks this in the past I was then told yes but you’re white. Folks it doesn’t matter what the color of your skin. If you allow it then all of society will keep you on the bottom. Only you can successfully work your way upward. By going at it the way many blacks are still doing they are only hurting and creating bad feelings between the races over and over. Same as blacks know when they are in the presents of a prejudice person we whites know the same when in the presents of a prejudice black. And there are as many on BOTH sides! What are the blacks saying about the other blacks that became successful by sticking with their education,working and moving ahead? Our Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has spoken out many times that he will not give blacks the “special privileges” because like him if you work for it the success will come and by given blacks special privileges he’d be saying they weren’t able to achieve it by their own brains.
Why can the black society not see by hollering for “special” rights and special considerations keeps creating bad race relations?
Maybe someday they will wake up and heed Dr. King’s words to be judged by the content of their character and not the COLOR of their skin.

2015 years 8 months ago

Kingstonman? Really, why do you utilize Dr. Kings’ words to cover your hidden mindset? Who do you people on here get your information concerning the character of a race, from the percentage of African American males committing crimes in Wilmington?

Your quote, ” Do the blacks not realize the poor whites are treated badly by the rich whites or the wealthy of any race? Then we look at the blacks still hollering they are treated unfairly and expect things to be “handed” to them.” Your words are clearly understood. What I gathered from start to finish is your attempt to undermine our “Hispanic” citizens’ intelligence as well as the “poor whites” in your long and unbelievable story. Umm especially in the barracks, what year(s) was that?

As a hardworking, college educated female here in Wilmington, there is more that must and can be done to combat the problem of gangs. And yes, just talking is definitely not the answer. The QUESTION is why do we have this problem. Wilmington undercover racists can’t continue sticking their heads in the sand and keep screaming that, “you & those others words” “blacks only want for entitlements”. We must put into place, structures to alleviate the problems before they start, we have some of the brightest talent at CFCC, UNCW, SHAW that can assist with setting up afterschool workshops, tutoring, physical activity, etc for all children to keep them away from trouble and to provide the loving care that they need at a young age.

Remind me, what was the walk for the other day, oh yes, 1898, no I wasn’t there, neither were you guys, but, WHAT HAPPENED AGAIN, WHO HAD WHAT, THE DEEDS WERE WHAT? DESTROYED? WHO WAS USED TO INITIATE THE FIGHTING AND KILLING, your words again, “poor whites”. WHO WERE TOLD “NEVER HAVE SUCH POWER AGAIN IN WILMINGTON”.

Let’s not be foolish, we understand that racism still exists in the world, sad, but things change, people must change. May blessings flow for us all.

Thank you.

2 Step Steve
2015 years 8 months ago

A dance off???
No weapons..
No talking..
No drugs..
No booze..
No color lines..
Just DANCE!!!!!

2015 years 8 months ago

The lack of male role models and government entitlement programs has usurped the black community’s power and lulled it into complacent acceptance of what passes for a work ethic. If the only successful males a child grows up interacting with are those who are living crime-filled lives of drugs and cheap thrills, that is what they copy. Yes, the black churches need to step up. Someone needs to raise the children and right now, when children are having children, no one is being raised to be anything but another statistical failure. It isn’t true that we are all the same except for skin color. What an idiotic notion and one that refuses to acknowledge differences in culture, upbringing and genetics. That isn’t even true of all caucasians. The caucasian race has always known that some ethnicities and nationalities are more notable than others and that our gifts and talents vary along ethnic lines. Ask any white man or woman whether they’d rather have a German mechanic or a German lover.

Doesn't matter what my name is
2015 years 8 months ago

You can determine a hidden mindset? Really?!, seems to me to be a personal experience which you have no mindset or real life experience with. As a hard working, college educated male here in Wilmington, yes there is more we as a society can do, but it takes a certain group of people to stand up and I’m not seeing it. It’s obvious why we have this problem, what are you going to about it? It has nothing to do with “Wilmington undercover racists.” You must know that the problems here in Wilmington is not just isolated here. The problems started a long time ago and it isn’t just easy to say “We must put into place, structures to alleviate the problems before they start” that ship sailed along time ago. Yes we have some of the brightest talent at CFCC, UNCW, SHAW, but also other great achievers from all over the country as a whole, but it isn’t just that simple. It’s a mindset and all the goodwill “afterschool workshops, tutoring, physical activity, etc for all children to keep them away from trouble” will do nothing until that mindset changes.

2015 years 8 months ago

anyone who reads the news or watches those gang documentaries knows the process, its no secret. that comment was perfectly accurate and you are in denial. who are you defending??