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You're shovelling sand against the tide

Wake up call! You are NOT going to solve "the gang problem." Drugs, crime, and violence is a Pavlovian response to the society we have built, and WPD/NHCS cannot undo fifty years of training over three generations.

1. It started fifty years ago when AFDC demanded no males of working age in the home. Bye, daddy! Who needs a responsible, hard-working role model? The illegitimate birth rate among Black Americans is now just a bit under 72%. That means almost three of every four Black children born in this country are being raised by single mothers. Actually, thanks to drug abuse, about a quarter of them are being raised by their grandmothers. In either case, the link between child-rearing by single mothers and poverty is overwhelming....as is the link between poverty and crime.

2. It continues to this day in concentrating single mother families into urban public housing, where peer pressure fills the void left by absent fathers. Ignoring the "T" in TANF simply adds to the problem, as does the totally unrestricted breeding of future gang members thanks to no restrictions on Medicaid prenatal or obstetric care. Here's a quote from a DSS worker in Craven County, given to a woman who already had four illegitimate children: "Gee, if you have another baby, you'll qualify for a larger apartment."

3. Our criminal justice system provides no real negative consequence to committing crime. Make structured sentencing a bit more Draconian and you may get somewhere. If a young man knows that he'll face a mandatory twenty years, he may decide that armed robbery is not a wise career choice.

4. Our obsession with drug laws takes time away from legitimate criminal investigation and destroys too many lives too early in life to ever recover. I want the burglar locked up for many, many years; not the pot- or pill-head. Legalize drugs and most of these gangs would go bankrupt, with no source of income. Just treat them like criminals (instead of addicts) if their drug usage leads them into criminal activity.

5. That said, our thirst for drugs has destroyed even more lives. Don't cry about your son and wonder what went wrong when he was watching you smoke crack when he was six years old. Don't gripe about the police doing nothing when he sees you telling an officer, "I didn't see nuthin', man."

The solution to gang violence can't be found in Wilmington, it has to start in Washington, in our national will, and in the hearts and minds of an inner-city Black community that has been placed in this hellish situation by well-intentioned but ignorant politicians. The chains of government dependence are just as strong as any chain the slave-owner used, and as we see weekly in the news, come with just as heavy a price tag to the individual family.

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