Saturday, July 14, 2007

Gangs Affect Us All

Our old friend "Local Reflector" offers his view of Greenville's gang problem:

There's no way the private schools have gang problems as the demographics don't match what everyone assumes to be a "street gang."

Headmaster Brown can be excused for never addressing gangs, but former-Mayor Artman should've addressed them while running the city. Heck, even an acknowledgment that drug running and gang activity was behind all the "random" murders would've eased public fears better than the strategy of assuming the attacks and such are random or isolated incidents despite their repetitive nature.

In fact, you could argue that gangs should be addressed in private schools because gangs are in Greenville. Big, well-known gangs. Private school students DO live in the area and many of their families will likely stay there after the kid's gone to college.

The anonymous writer only assumes that gangs are "far removed from their everyday life," yet the societal influence criminal activity carries DOES affect everyday life. People are leaving the city, taking their taxes and removing the floor on which housing prices would at least rest instead of decline. By the way, governments raise YOUR taxes when I take mine out of the area.

Crime is SO prevalent that your local politicians deny (and have denied) that it's a problem. Artman contributed to this mindsight as one of many community leaders. I think he HAD to paint the rosy picture from a political standpoint. There was no other choice. The folks that backed his candidacies wouldn't admit or wouldn't realize the "real" world as it pertains to Washington County. Believe in those bumper stickers that popped up a few years ago!

Crime is SO prevalent that it's bred an infection of apathy among law enforcement and from the taxpayers who should demand a whole lot more. Cops aren't super-heroes. If they feel overwhelmed, they'll join the other team or avoid the "fight." Who wouldn't?

Crime has created a local society where white folks in Leland can build their own little neighborhood that's the equivalent of "circling the wagons" - only the wagons are set on slabs. Poor folks who dream of safety can't afford to do anything but stay outta the way of fists, bullets and burglars.

And topping it all...the cultural influence of gangs and crime fosters helplessness. Helplessness covers many issues and takes root in the psyche of good people.

Good to hear from you again LR. True, no one is unaffected by gangs in the Delta. I like your use of the word "helplessness". I believe that it most aptly describes the attitudes of most Deltans.

We have been lulled into believing that if issues of crime, drugs and gangs don't touch our lives directly... then they are not "our" problems and we are therefore, helpless. Nothing could be further from the truth. Complacency equals complicity!


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