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Panel discusses root of Port City violence

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- After hundreds of shots fired in Wilmington this year local law enforcement has promised increased patrols, but a panel of doctors from UNCW says we can’t arrest our way out of the current crime wave.

"If you keep arresting people, and not trying to fix the problem, then it's just going to be a never ending cycle,” said Curtis Poole, Jr.

To try and break the cycle of violence in Wilmington, community leaders and convicted felons came together to try and identify potential solutions to the gang problem.

Many in the audience asked if stricter gun control was the answer, but Dr. Cecil Willis emphatically said no.

“The problem is that with the gun control laws they don't effect where the problem with the gun violence is,” said UNCW professor Cecil Willis. “Most of the guns used in violent crimes are actually obtained illegally."

Dr. Donyell Roseboro says that the increase in violence in the Port City isn’t because of the number of guns, but rather numbers in education. In 2011-12 the 85.6% of students from New Hanover Co. schools were career and college ready. For Black Males it was 64.2%. In 2012-13 the overall pass rate 60% and for Black males it was 22.4% after state officials switched the testing criteria.

"Teachers have to be connected to communities and families,” said UNCW professor Donyell Roseboro. “They have to know who their kids are but unfortunately teachers are overwhelmed. There's a lot to do, there's a lot of standardized testing, and a lot of data they have to keep up with. Sometimes that all takes away from taking care of young people’s emotional and social needs.”

Panel members agree that once we fix that narrative, we will have peace in the Port City.

If you have any ideas of how to break the cycle of violence in Wilmington you can make your voice heard at the next community meeting on December 2nd at Cape Fear Community College’s Union Station.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

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when you put blame on society !!!!!!

there are many blames on why ... the gangs and ppl commit crimes! it takes community to raise a child. To me its everyone fault when children are around different elements that are not MORAL! LIKE THE MOVIES YOU WATCH, THE MUSIC LYRICS YOU LISTEN TO THAT TALK ABOUT DRUGS, BOOTY, KILLING , THE VIDEOS YOU LEARN DANCES TOO ARE SEXUAL BASE THE WAY YOU TALK TO YOUR SPOUSE.S YOUR CHOICE OF WORD TO OTHERS IN CONVERSATIONS, THE WAY YOU ARE DISRESPECTFUL IN LIFE !!!! THEN YOU SEE YOUR CHILDREN DO IT YOU THINK ITS COOL OR CUTE BUT YOU BUILDING THERE FUTURE THEN!! young minds absorb there surroundings!!! i know from experience!!!!!!!THIS IS TRUE!! NOW IAM A SINGLE DAD! I HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE AND MY SON SEES IT AND HE PLAYS FOUR SPORTS GOOD GRADES IN SCHOOL AND IS VERY RESPECTFUL IN THE CHURCH GAVE HIS LIFE TO THE LORD JUST AS HIS DAD DID!SO I REFUSE TO TEACH OR PUT MY SON IN THAT ELEMENT OR WRONG DOING!RITE NOW WE AS PPL NEED TO DO OUR BEST TO BREAK THE CYCLE! RAISE A CHILD TO BE A WOMAN OR A MAN WITH RESPECT AND MORALS!!!!!! I HAVE A SAYING "IF MY SON CANT GO TO THE SAME PLACE WHEN I GO THEN I DONT NEED TO BE THERE!!! IAM TALKING TO ALL CULTURES! IN SAYING THIS STATEMENT SO PLEASE TAKE A PERSONAL CHECK OF YOUR FAMILY LIFE AND YOURS! CHANGE WHAT YOU FEEL IS WRONG IN YOUR LIFE! ACCEPT GOD !!

Quit making excuses

How about they say what too many people are afraid to say? It's not teachers, it's not police, it's just laziness by these people to not go to school, instead they just sit on their front porches after sleeping all day because the values they learn from school or school activities aren't there. You don't see these problems in certain neighborhoods because they're products of their environments. Get a job, got to school, it's free, and don't commit crimes.

It's the CULTURE!

It's all part of their CULTURE! That's why these "parents" don't give a rat's a$$... It's accepted, because it's a part of today's inner city black culture. We can talk about making the parents accountable, but really, these people do not parent like we do. I cannot believe these folks are making it the responsibility of the teachers. They have a difficult enough job as it is! I'm not saying I have the answer, because I do not. I believe that the black community is the only group who can fix this, unfortunately, they do not care to. In the meantime, nothing will change.

So what's the answer? Take

So what's the answer? Take the children away from the parents at birth? Mandatory birth control? What's the answer?

You can blame a culture or a group all you want, but that's not an answer. Teenage mothers, who come from the same culture you speak of, without the means or knowledge to raise these children, are being thrust into parenthood. They are not capable of raising these children. So what's the answer?

You can't say 'don't have babies' cause they have already had them. You can't say, 'they need to take responsibility' because they are ignorant stupid teenagers. And when their children are 15-19, they are about 95% likely to repeat the same cycle.

So what's the answer? You take away the 'entitlements', the food stamps and the welfare, and you leave a society with poor, uneducated individuals who will ABSOLUTELY turn to crime. So do you wait for that to happen? What's the answer?

Blame does no one any good. So what is the answer?

Why

would they be uneducated? Are you saying they do not go to school; do not make any efforts to prepare themselves for a life free of entitlements and free giveaways?

They get free birth control; so why do the baby makers continue to churn them out? While it may offer an excuse for not trying, why does a baby maker need to crank out 10 or more which will be supported by the state taxpayers?

Before Johnson and his Great Society, with free housing, food and health care arrived in 1965, how did they get by? It sure was not through long term tax payer funded handouts.

You still didn't answer the

You still didn't answer the question. You just continue to blame.

Do they make a poor choice of stopping their education? Yes

Do they make poor choices in having unprotected sex? Yes

Do they make poor choices in getting into crime and drugs? Yes

The reality is, these poor choices have been made and apparently will continue to be made.

So what do you do? Cut off funding? Then they turn to more crime to support themselves.

Mandatory birth control? That opens a can of worms that, in this day and age, will NEVER be accepted at least in the conservative south

Incarcerate all of them? Then we just continue to pay for them, for the rest of their lives. Death sentences for drug related offenses?

What is the answer?

Time limits

Enact time limits a person can sponge tax money. Say 5 years and then all benefits are cut off. That is long enough to get an education and job skills to then live on your own. No more increases for breeding another child one can't afford. Now you have to stretch your free money ever farther.

If they knew the gravy train would one day quit pulling into their station, they might take some responsibility for their lives. Currently there is no incentive to do better because they can sponge off welfare for life without ever contributing a dime to the tax base.

Learn to read the entire post

what does the final paragraph state or ask? Before Johnson's Great Society brought forth all of the government giveaway programs, how did society handle the problem?

History is worth reviewing. It can also merit implementation.

What do they do in other countries? In Thailand, as an example, your first drug offence gets you 2 years of hard time. Second, adds a few more years. Third gets you the death penalty.

What does the Muslim world do?

Where does it say, in our laws or constitution, that tax payers have to provide life long housing, food, and medical care? Where does it say individuals on public assistance, who are physically and mentally able, do not have to make efforts to become self sufficient?

Educators are bemoaning the fact there have been no teacher raises in a few years. This year NC repaid the Feds $154,000,000 for money borrowed to keep Medicaid and obscenely lengthy unemployment benefits funded. Billions more to be repaid. Why not ask educators if they think it is fair for them to see raises vanish so long term leaches can suck on the tax payer nipple?

Line has to be drawn somewhere. Start with those who make no effort to improve their lives. How does a woman, in good conscience, have 10 or more children, with Fathers unknown, when she can not afford even the basic necessities for them? They give away condoms at every health clinic if the reports on this site are correct.

And I did answer the question. Let them face the consequences for their actions.

It seems you need to make

It seems you need to make sure your "panel members" have an iota of "street smarts". I have NEVER expected a teacher of any of my four sons to "take care of their emotional and social needs". That's my job.
To blame rap music is equally ridiculous. It's not rap's fault how kids who choose to listen and emanate the screw ups of the rap world turn out. It's the fault of each individuals CHOICES in life.
The biggest problem? The need of people to be "politically correct" all the time. When everyone pulls their heads out of their "feel good" asses and we bring back some "tough love", on the part of parents, you'll see change. When parents take their blinders off and SEE who their children really are, require them to stand up for the decisions they make and don't turn a blind eye when they turn into Joe Criminal, you'll see change.
Tough love and awareness to what the children you brought into this world are doing...not blame on anything/everything else.

How about this?

follow the pattern of the reality show "Scared Straight" or whatever it is called.

Step 1 -- if you can not behave in school, you go to the school provided for the incarcerated teens. Give them a taste of a future on the inside,

Step 2 -- if you have a lengthy record of misdemeanors and minor felonies, with no jail time and all probations, send them to Central Prison in Raleigh for a week-end. See how tough they are after a week-end of being ogled at by hardened criminals who may not get conjugal visits from wives and girl friends. That should open some eyes.

Step 3 -- if steps 1 and 2 have not worked, put them on duty at the zoo on Carolina Beach road. let them tend to the big cats including feeding and enclosure cleaning.

Step 4 -- if all else fails, have them wear a house arrest monitor and shoot on sight if they violate house arrest.

At the same time, if they live in public housing, and the parent(s) present can not or will not control them, evict the entire family. Or require the parents to petition the court to emancipate the youthful miscreants and then throw them off the public dole and out of public housing.

Roseboro says, " . . . 83%

Roseboro says, " . . . 83% of students’ are college and career ready . . . but only 20% of black males pass the test."

Twenty percent! But this is not unique to Wilmington. The low academic performance of teenage black males is endemic all over the country.

You can excuse their low academic performance and place the blame anywhere you like. You can explain, explain, explain.

But I will tell you one reason (there are many) why young black males are intellectually inept: they lack knowledge and vocabulary. Instead of reading or engaging their minds in activities that stimulate critical thought, they have filled their minds with the obscene garbage of Hip Hop.

Instead of studying to prepare themselves for college, they have taken a walk on the wild side, the path that leads directly to prison.
They love rap, and "they loves they guns."

First problem: constant

First problem: constant media fueled use of the term "gun violence". Until we get beyond the label of "gun" violence and simply look at VIOLENCE, or better yet, look at CRIME, nothing will be solved. We don't necessarily have a violence problem, we have a CRIME problem (although some might argue even that is overblown due to sensationalist media coverage and the internet). We have clear existing laws to cover what we see, we don't need yet more laws ("Many in the audience asked if stricter gun control..."). At least there was a voice of reason on the panel in this regard.

Second problem: teachers should not be looked at as the answer, they should teach, parents should parent. Yes, that's simplistic and maybe over broad, but to say "Teachers have to be connected to communities and families,” is pawning off the responsibility.

Talk about simplistic: "Panel members agree that once we fix that narrative, we will have peace in the Port City." I'm not exactly sure which "narrative" is being referenced. Is it this: "taking care of young people’s emotional and social needs"? So teachers are supposed to be doing this instead of "there's a lot of standardized testing, and a lot of data they have to keep up with"?

Oops, guess what all you teachers out there, this is your job now, we are all relying on you to fix the cycle of violence and crime. If you only didn't have to worry about getting the students to learn, you could be their nanny... (hey, don't take this as a knock against teachers, nowadays you have often times a very difficult under-appreciated task with limited resources and support)

And you know what, you're right, we can't arrest our way out of the problem--we need to stop the revolving door at the jails and prisons. Find one person in the recent series of crimes that wasn't a repeat felon offender. Why do the repeat offenders end up back on the street? Where is the focus on the legal system? Does everyone feel happier and safer after talking themselves hoarse, holding candles, holding hands, "taking back the night", "taking back the streets", or whatever?

Again, where is the focus on the justice system? Where is the pressure on the judges and prosecutors? Oh that's right, it's being pushed off on the teachers...

Oh, and my suggestion? Keep them off the streets.

Well said jsmith!

jsmith...if you would have run against Saffo with your statements here in the Forums (As a Platform you have just posted)...Wilmington would be looking at a Mayor Smith instead of otherwise.

To back up your statements, and my 2 cents worth...Yes...starting the children out properly at home is necessary and the key...not as you put it...a Nanny service through the teachers. Teachers are there to teach what education is allowed to be taught these days...but minus (i.e.) "Geography"??? That's a killer subject that's been dropped, at least when my daughter was in school there.

(Quote): "Panel members agree that once we fix that narrative, we will have peace in the Port City" (Unquote)

How are they going to address the criminals in the streets "NOW"? Can't go back in time and fix it...can they?
Yes...keep the serious offenders "In Jail" and better yet...the ones under 30...offer their services into the Military...mandatory! Boot Camp will take a notch or 2 outta their britches.

Finally with the News Media: Stories such as the NAACP story, which was recently printed (WWAY) and presented "subconsciously/most likely" to stir up racial bigotry...and from what I've read on this news stations Forums...it has done just that. That worsens the problems and draws attention away from solutions...from both ends!!!
12 weeks of Boot Camp will help...and that goes for both sexes too!

It's the Culture. It's the culture. It's the culture.

The Hip Hop culture, created by young black males, is the most violent and obscene "music" ever created. For decades rappers have celebrated gun violence and promoted a thug culture. Rap music is a powerful influence on young black males.

School teachers from the University of NC at Wilmington will never admit this salient fact. Yes, school teachers from UNCW.

The inner-city black culture of drugs, single mothers, a refusal to embrace a work ethic, and myriad other problems are the causes of gang violence. I am sick to death of city "leaders" skirting the issue. Baby mamas and baby daddies are also celebrated in rap. I would quote some of the lyrics, but they are too obscene to be displayed on this comment blog.

The majority of black families in Wilmington are law-abiding, productive citizens.

It's the underclass of hostile and defiant young black males who are out of control. They are the Hip Hop thugs who think it's hip to draw their guns and go bang, bang, bang.

Prison? A stint in prison makes the thug even more glamorous. After all, many of their favorite rap stars are serving prison sentences at this very moment.

Teachers?

Wow. Now teachers have to step up . First it was a police problem, now it's the educators. Got a suggestion for you think tanks over there. Starts and ends with FAMILY STRUCTURE, whether immediate or extended. Accept responsibility for your own.
Dr. Willis is the only one in this article who gets it.

Teachers?

"Teachers have to be connected to communities and families,” said UNCW professor Donyell Roseboro.... I vote for "parents"... parents should be connected with the community and their families. If I acted a fool as a child, my neighbors would have snatched me baldheaded before parading me in front of my parents for a butt whipping. Teachers need to step up? No. Parents need to step up!

half right

Kudos for recognizing that criminals use stolen weapons.

What is very wrong though is to assume that teachers (or the educational system) is the tool to use for reducing violence.
Sorry but that is letting the parents off the hook. That is hoisting ANOTHER requirement on our educational system that they are unprepared for. Violence is a function of morality or lack thereof. Harming someone else, or robbing someone else is unlawful and goes against all religious teachings. "Morality" stems from the home, single parent or traditional.
There are NO EXCUSES for morality NOT being taught at home in my mind.
But blaming violence on lack of education? Sorry but learning to be kind and respectful to others (and their property) is something even the formally uneducated should learn at home.
Stop piling this stuff on the educational system

Vog

Question???

Was the NAACP there to offer any support, suggestions, or positive influence during this event?? I bet to guess "no"!! Why would they be there? They only show up to stir up crap and not actuall be part of the sollution.

poor parenting . its the

poor parenting . its the parents

How

Just how are they suppose to do anything when half the force is out on paid leave?

A parents responsibility

It is the job of the parent to make sure their child is a good person that has morals and values. Stop blaming others for your children's issues, stop blaming guns & stop blaming the streets. Take a long, hard look at yourself. If you don't have children of your own or they have moved away be an advocate for those who aren't armed with the skills to do so. Do it not as charity but because its the right thing to do. It takes a village to raise a child. What are you doing to help your village?

Absurd!

Teachers need to look after the emotional and socials needs of black males to solve the gang problem in Wilmington? How absurd is this? That's the role of parents and families. The teacher's job is to teach--not play nursemaid. These profs are out to lunch.

Rap

Rap and hip-hop culture does nothing to elevate African American communities, instead rap is only exacerbating black communities' long-standing crises: poverty, crime, and illiteracy.

Hard-edged rap-- preaching bone-deep dislike of authority—provides young black males with a continuing soundtrack to accompany their antisocial behavior, their gun-totin' thug behavior.

So completely is rap ingrained in their consciousness that their incomprehensible language is laced with references and allusions to rap lyrics and artists. They cannot talk without using the language of rap.

The violent, thug culture of rap has consumed them.

Like the writer above, I say, "The culture of rap is a significant cause of gang violence is downtown Wilmington."

Leaders must face this disagreeable fact.