posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 04:28 AM
I do agree his statement was over the top. However, it's a well know fact if you are young and black in this country you run a much higher risk than
other groups - statistically - of spending time in prison or dying young.
Essentially Edwards is getting to issues of race and class. Let's remember the question, from a young black women reading off a cell phone, was
about young people, violence and the "inner-city."
A good question, but I also wonder if it was a set up?
Nonetheless, Edwards makes a good point when he says the answer is a long one, and not soundbite friendly. Ironically, his response was truncated and
probably lost to the screaming headline. For what it's worth, even if he or someone else set the whole thing up, I admire him for having the courage
to address one of our nation's dirty little secrets, i.e. exploitation of the poor and disenfranchised, the prison industrial complex, as some call
One reason the answer is long; it goes back to slavery and the very foundation and conflicts of our economic and social systems.
However, the immediate concern are the young people, the violence, and as the questioner put it, in the "inner-city."
This violence is reflected in recently reported increases of violent crime in major urban areas around the nation. Homicide reports are increasingly
grim. In the past, most murder was between people who "loved" each other, or at least knew each other. Then well over 90% of all such cases were
solved within 6 months. Today most of the killing is anounymous, between strangers. I recently read somewhere that today less than 50% of reported
homicides are even actively investigated. There just isn't the manpower or money.
My theroy, in a nutshell, is that more important than race, or class, or age, we have grown to disrespect the good laws, "Thou shall not kill, steal,
lie, etc..." because those who are so admired and held to high esteem are the biggest killers, theifs and liars on the planet. They act like false
gods, and the people are continually betrayed and mislead.
Historians have long pointed out the consequence of widespread lawlessness; it breads equally widespread disrespect among the people. Both for
authority and each other. The "mob mentality" takes over. Gangs and police shooting it out on the street in communities with already high rates of
poverty and unemployment (and a stark absence of adult males) are destined to collapse.
If you are poor and a young man or woman from a broken home, living in a community at war with the gangs and criminals and the police; what would you
do? Where are you going to go in that situation? Most likely with those who think and feel like you. Hence gangs form to create a sort of virtual
community that operates under it's own laws and protects its members and its physical turf against all comers. An environment of steadily increasing
urban warfare exists in every major city of this country. It's getting worse all the time. While it isn't as bad as Bhagdad, I wonder if it's
just a matter of time? What if the Crips or the Bloods or some other gang suddenly embraced Islam and/or decided to pick up from where the Black
Panthers left off?
Of course it's not limited to the "inner-city," murder, violence and crime plague poor people everywhere (most victims of violent crime are poor).
See ... how long I'm running, sorry I'll wrap it up, thank you for your endurance. Yet I've hardly scratched the surface.