Understand: What they WANT is to put up "Whites Only" signs. But it's 2016, and Donald Trump hasn't won the election just yet. So they'll settle for closing the street so nobody can get to the park unless they're willing to walk for miles. Typical Memphis....racism has destroyed this metropolitan area.
Council members would do well to understand that no resolution or ordinance is acceptable to us if it allows the zoo to retain control of the Greensward or to run vehicles of any kind through the park
Fire Josh Pastner now!
Thank goodness. I will be glad when Memphis matures enough politically that there will quit being race-based challenges to liberal and progressive Democrats. Race should never be taken into account when voting for a candidate.
I'll even go further and hypothesize that cities have a powerful incentive to emphasize traffic fines and code violations over serious crime in deciding how to deploy police. Traffic fines and code violations bring dollars into city coffers, whereas most significant criminal offenses (aside from drugs) will end up costing the city or county government, both through the prosecution and trial process and then through the imprisonment process as well, unless the offense is so severe that the sentence is served at a state or Federal facility.
@ArlingtonPop I never said that anyone was "biologically criminal". But the average society has about 10% criminal no matter what you do. A lot of it is inherited behavior from parents. If the parents are criminals, the children are likely to be criminals. Memphis is not the "average society". We have that normal group of criminals who would be criminal no matter what, and in addition we have criminals of desperation driven by lack of opportunity. Since 1978, we have lost Firestone, Harvester, RCA Television, Schlitz/Strohs, Holiday Inns, the Naval Air Station, the Defense Depot, Cleo-Wrap, Quebecor...I could go on and on. And the loss of these large employers triggered the loss of many more jobs...the closure of so many retail businesses and restaurants in the inner city of Memphis, because those businesses were dependent upon the trade of the men and women who were working in those plants and factories that closed. So more jobs were lost in those small businesses, not to mention that many business areas were vacated and allowed to deteriorate into wastelands. All of that has helped trigger a financial crisis in local government, so it reduces its employment (and the salaries and benefits of those it keeps), and furthermore cuts the availability or hours of things like libraries, parks and community centers that would also help reduce crime. In addition, financial crises have hit the public education system as well, so many schools are closed and boarded up, and this contributes to blight, and a further loss of jobs, from maintenance staff to teachers and administrators. More police (assuming we could find the funds to train them properly and pay them) would not have any real impact on the situation. Let's assume for the sake of argument that we put more police on the streets and they make more arrests of people for violent crime. That strains a court system that is already overburdened and running as slow as molasses due to caseload and limited budget. Assuming they get convicted (remember, the law guarantees defendants a speedy trial), they would have to be incarcerated somewhere (at our expense!), and unless they committed first-degree murder, at some point they are going to get out, and what they experienced in prison is likely to make them further alienated and enraged from society, so the whole crime process might start over again. If not immediately, it might start over again when they cannot find gainful employment because of their criminal past. In other words, it is so much more important for Memphis to find ways to prevent crimes from being committed in the first place, rather than dealing with crime AFTER it occurs. And the only way to do that is through a renewed effort to fix the education system for the children INSIDE OF MEMPHIS, and a renewed effort to bring meaningful, higher-wage jobs to Memphis with opportunity for growth and advancement. Memphis is reaping the whirlwind from its dependance on low-wage distribution warehouse jobs and seasonal tourism. Neither is a solution to our long-term economic problems.
At the end of the day, crime is a function of economics, not race. They are only linked in certain cities (such as Memphis) by the city's long history of unequal opportunity for people of color. The education system is unequal. The opportunity for gainful employment with opportunity for advancement is also unequal. As a result, most ambitious Black young people are leaving Memphis at the first opportunity and never looking back. The police and courts are intended to deal with the 10% or so in any culture, regardless of race, who are criminal by nature. They were never designed or intended to deal with a situation where the percentage of those committing crimes has soared to 30 or 40% due to the collapse of the city's economy. Any mayoral candidate that wants to make a difference in crime in Memphis had better talk less about "more police" and "curfews" and "zero tolerance" and more about "more jobs" and "workforce training" and "improving the education opportunities for Memphis children." The police are currently in the unenviable positions of trying to hold back the deluge with their pinkies. They are being asked to deal with the career criminals and then the criminals of desperation as well. 2000 more police would not solve that problem, because desperate people do desperate things.
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By Chris Shaw & Chris McCoy
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