Why is Crime Dropping?

 

Link sent in by Laci the Dog

 


The BBC reports on ten possible explanations. Somehow they didn't even mention more guns equals less crime. Here's my favorite.

There is a controversial theory put forward by economist Steven Levitt that the increased availability of legal abortion after the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 on Roe v Wade meant that fewer children were born to young, poor, single mothers. This, says the theory, stopped unwanted babies in the 1970s and 80s from becoming adolescent criminals in the decades that followed. But some of his peers have questioned whether the evidence really supports the theory.

 

(cross posted on Mikeb302000)

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

 

Why is Crime Dropping?

 

Link sent in by Laci the Dog

 


The BBC reports on ten possible explanations. Somehow they didn't even mention more guns equals less crime. Here's my favorite.

There is a controversial theory put forward by economist Steven Levitt that the increased availability of legal abortion after the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 on Roe v Wade meant that fewer children were born to young, poor, single mothers. This, says the theory, stopped unwanted babies in the 1970s and 80s from becoming adolescent criminals in the decades that followed. But some of his peers have questioned whether the evidence really supports the theory.

 

(cross posted on Mikeb302000)

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

 

Why is Crime Dropping?

 

Link sent in by Laci the Dog

 


The BBC reports on ten possible explanations. Somehow they didn't even mention more guns equals less crime. Here's my favorite.

There is a controversial theory put forward by economist Steven Levitt that the increased availability of legal abortion after the Supreme Court ruling in 1973 on Roe v Wade meant that fewer children were born to young, poor, single mothers. This, says the theory, stopped unwanted babies in the 1970s and 80s from becoming adolescent criminals in the decades that followed. But some of his peers have questioned whether the evidence really supports the theory.

 

(cross posted on Mikeb302000)

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

 

Scott Sisters, NAACP, Black Bloggers and Lessons Learned

The Scott Sisters where released and no one should have a doubt that the victory was inspired by black bloggers, black internet activist and blogtalk radio host.  But more importantly it was inspired by the Scott sisters mother, Evelyn Roscoe, who fought for 16 years for their freedom.

Let's not forget Nancy Lockart, a black woman who many are calling a mordern day Harriett Tubman, who lead the Internet grass root effort for the past 5 years, day and night working to educate the public about the Scott Sisters while the NAACP ignored their plight for over15 years.

OK, there is a lot of conversation across the black side of the internet about the Scott Sisters being freed and how the African American Internet helped in getting the story of the Scott sisters known. There is a learning curve for people from the right, left, and the middle of black political thought

The fact of the matter is there is a changing of the black gate keeper guard. There was a time when the NAACP gate keepers were old house negroes, now it's young house negros. A new face with the same old game. Supress black activism, and when black activism works, claim it as thier own. No matter what pictures you may see with NAACP President Ben Jealous standing behind the Scott sisters, in a photo op, remember this...

The NAACP can afford to jump on a plane to Mississppi, because of it's white benificators, and say they were ALWAYS behind the Scott Sisters. Yet the fact is, they were Johnny-Come-Lately, to Free the Scott sisters movement.  They can also "style and profile" with the Scott Sisters and probably set up a fundraising effort like they set up with the Jena 6, and steal as much as they can, saying it is administrative cost. Be warned my good friends... The NAACP speaks with fork Tongue. As Yobachi from the blog Black Perspective.net noted the NAACP is looking  to cash in on the Scott Sisters Plight. Check out what Yobachi had to say:

"The NAACP is ratcheting up their personal publicity machine. Actually they’re providing more publicity to the fact that they showed up on the scene at the last minute after more than a decade of local grassroots organizing, and 2 years of blog based advocacy, then they ever did in favor of bring the Scott Sisters plight to the American consciousness in an effort to free them. 

One of BlackPerspective.net’s sister blogs, The Jena 6 Blog, got mentioned in a couple of different places in the past few days regarding a post I did in 2008 about NAACP swooping in to collect money on behalf of the Jena 6 when it started to become a popular story, then spending half of the money on themselves. This was after the NAACP demanded that the rural town with a population of a couple hundred black people, including children, first start a dues paying NAACP chapter before the NAACP would even begin to help." More HERE

But, there are some people who have a different few.

Take for instance Internet Blog Talk Radio host Black Achievement USA who talks about The Scott Sisters Are Freed: Now What Are The Lessons. He writes: I wish the Scott sisters all the best as they fight to re-acculmated themselves to "free" society. The homecoming is a major adjustment for the Scott family as well as the Scott Sisters. Basically, the Scott sisters have fierce battle for a good life. I would like to say that some of the people around the Scott Sisters did them no good and we on blog talk must not create an atmosphere that is not helpful. The Honorable Governor Haley Barbour and the good people of Mississippi must be respected and thanked for their decision to grant the Scott sisters "an early parole."

AAP says: The NAACP is under a microscope regarding their bogus last minute attention to the Scott sisters freedom movement. Take for example black bloggers, including Jill, over at the blog, Jack and Jill Politics, who has experessed concern at the way the NAACP has dissed black Bloggers over Scott Sisters and Haley Barbour ... 


Candidly I have questioned the motives of the Johnny-come-lately national office of the NAACP. It's interesting that the national office of the NAACP knew about the Scott Sisters for over 15 years, and did nothing until after the mother of the Scott Sisters, along with Nancy Lockhart, built a national and internatioal movement to free the Scott Sisters, then about 6 Months ago, the national office of the NAACP found a way to try to be the national spokes people for the Scott Sisters. Claiming all sorts of victories, although they were not actually "pardoned" and they will be on probation for life.

It's candidly amazing how the NAACP and others have bought into the new form of  Jim Crow Justice. You know what I'm talking about, The  type of  "Debt to Society" and the New Jim Crow justice that James Ridgeway wrote about in his article in the Mother Jones. He writes: "The Scott sisters will have to pay out money to maintain their freedom. Rather than pardoning Jamie and Gladys, Barbour suspended their sentences. According to Nancy Lockhart, a legal advocate who played an instrumental role in the sisters’ release, each will have to pay $52 a month for the administration of their parole in Florida, where their mother lives and where they plan to reside. Since they were serving life sentences, that means $624 a year for the rest of their lives. Both women are now in their thirties; if they live 40 more years, each will have paid the state $24,960."  Read More HERE

The fact is a number of black folks, like Verite Parlant is Nordette Adams, a reader of the blog Electronic Village made some interesting thoughts about the NAACP when he wrote:

"I think the NAACP suffers from the curse of many older heralded institutions, old blood and lack of vision. They have a tendency to see themselves as the big star and others as the little twinkles, and so they cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that will be critical for power in the coming age. They persist in functioning like gatekeepers more than community collaborators."

He went on to say, "Nevertheless, I believe there was some grandstanding and opportunism involved. I suspect that after the Shirley Sherrod incident, they began to listen to some of the criticisms thrown at them which are that they let women do much of the grunt work but tend to make men their causes celebres. That whole incident caught them with their pants around their ankles."

AAP says: Yes, I agree with those comments by the reader at Electonic Village, the involvement of the NAACP in the Scott Sisters effort was to bolster there own image.

Lessons Learned

The NAACP is no longer the big star while black bloggers the little twinkles. The Internet has provided an equalizing of the playing field. Yes, the NAACP can run from city to city like Jesse Jackson, 10 years ago, but this that leadership or stylin' and profiling? 

The new big stars, black bloggers, blogtalkradio host, and black internet activist are working for positive progressive change.  They have taken activism to the next level, with the help of two strong black women, Evelyn  Roscoe and Nancy Lockhart. Two women who could see the possibility in spite of the NAACP. Nancy Lockhart and Evelyn Roscoe knew that they didnot want to cripple themselves by an unwillingness to embrace new ideas and people and form the alliances that were to obtain the Scott Sisters Freedom. They persisted, even when the old school gatekeepers called the national office of the NAACP wanted to be less than community collaborators. I'm Done!

But Johnathan Farley has more to say about the NAACP. He says:

"Thank you, NAACP!" Demophilos says from across the table at Starbucks, smiling. "The governor of Mississippi pardoned the Scott sisters." When he sees your expression, his eyebrows arch questioningly. "I'm uncomfortable with black groups campaigning for common thugs," you begin slowly, "when there are so many completely innocent people rotting in prison, to say nothing of political prisoners. But people like Kemba Smith, who carried drugs and guns for her boyfriend – they paid or are paying for real crimes, not for stealing bread." "Are they paying, or are we?" Demophilos says, with fire. "In urban America, besides the burned-out husks of buildings that were never rebuilt after the riots of the sixties, stand only taxpayer-built sports stadiums – and jails. More and more of them private. Corporations profit; we pay." Demophilos sits back in his seat, now seemingly exhausted. "You don't have to convince me," you say, defensively. "Listen, I still remember where I was when Geronimo Pratt was freed. I was on College Avenue in Berkeley outside my local bank. I looked at the headlines of the newspaper in a kiosk and started to dance.
"The bank's security guard, an African-American woman in her 40s, asked me what I was excited about.

"'Geronimo Pratt is free,' I said, out of breath. As you know, Pratt's conviction had been overturned after he spent 27 years in prison for a crime he did not commit, more time than Nelson Mandela.

"'How much time did he spend in jail?' the woman asked me. 'A year?' "My rush ended. I realised that, though we were only miles away from where the Black Panther party had burst into life, this black woman had no idea who Geronimo Pratt was. "But she knew who OJ Simpson was, and probably cheered, later, when Kobe Bryant was found not guilty."  Your small coffees arrive. "That'll be $10.95," says the barista.

When she leaves, you say, "The NAACP has finite resources, and the public has a finite amount of empathy. So, why is this being wasted? In 2005, when Crips founder and multiple-murderer Tookie Williams was facing a death sentence, the NAACP staged 'die ins' to protest the execution." "Stop," Demophilos pleads. "The NAACP is not 'celebrating criminality' by calling for the release of blacks who received harsh sentences. It's fighting injustice."

"And an injustice anywhere, blah blah blah." Read MORE


                          ***
Cross posted on African American Pundit

African American Pundit is publisher of the blog African American Pundit, he is a nationally recognized moderate independent African American blogger who addresses black American politics and social issues. He served as a credentialed blogger at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He can be reached at AfricanAmericanPundit@gmail.com 

A mural in Arizona lightens as race issues get darker

From the Restore Fairness blog.

Some months ago, local artists in Prescott, Arizona were commissioned to paint a “Go Green” mural outside Miller Valley Elementary School to promote environmentally friendly transportation. The finished piece featured portraits of four children, with a Latino boy holding a central place, drawn from photographs of children that attended Miller Valley, one of the most ethnically diverse schools in Prescott. But R.E. Wall, the artist that headed the downtown mural project, said that the artists working on the mural were regularly subjected to racial slurs and epithets while they were painting the two large walls located in the middle of one of the town’s most trafficked intersections. Comments such as “you’re desecrating our school,”" Get that n***** off our wall,”" Get the s*** off the wall” were common.

Recently, the school principal Jeff Lane asked the artists to alter the mural by lightening the skin tone of the children depicted in it. While he insisted that his alteration request was purely an aesthetic one related to shading “that made the faces darker than they are,” it is difficult not to attribute his alteration order to the taunts and racial comments that the mural was receiving. Wall said that the principal asked him to make the children’s faces appear “happier and brighter,” but he is convinced that “it is being lightened because of the controversy.”

Prescott City Councilman Steve Blair has led a public campaign on his talk show on a Prescott radio station (KYCA-AM) to remove the mural. Without doubt, Blair’s raving about the mural on his show has added fuel to an already brewing controversy. “Art is in the eye of the beholder, but I say [the mural] looks like graffiti in L.A.,” Blair said. Following that, he mistook the ethnicity of the child at the center of the mural and said on his radio show -

I am not a racist individual, but I will tell you depicting a black guy in the middle of that mural, based upon who’s President of the United States today and based upon the history of this community, when I grew up we had four black families – who I have been very good friends with for years – to depict the biggest picture on that building as a black person, I would have to ask the question, Why?

He finished his rant off saying that diversity is a word he “can’t stand.”

Something very worrying is afoot when it comes to race in Arizona, and it brings to mind a certain new Arizona law, scheduled to go into effect at the end of July, that makes it a crime to be undocumented in the state, and mandates local police to question and detain people who appear “reasonably suspicious” of being undocumented.

The problem is being made worse by the ill-founded justification that is being bandied about for the new racial profiling law. Media personalities like Bill O’Reilly and legislators like Russell Pearce (the sponsor of SB 1070) have popularized the misnomer that laws like these are the only solution to an exploding crime rate in Arizona, which they link to its immigrant population. Bill O’ Reilly’s rhetoric in defense of the new law goes like this-

“The Arizona authorities say we’re desperate. We don’t have the money. Our crime problem is through the roof. Phoenix one of the most dangerous cities in the country. We got to do something.” (May 4, 2010); “So the state of Arizona faced with an overwhelming crime problem, social chaos and a bankrupt treasury had to do something.” (May 6, 2010); “Arizona is  overrun with crime and everything else and people getting slaughtered on their ranches. I mean, it’s insane.” (May 21, 2010)

The folks at FAIR (Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting) have produced a solid list of figures that counter O’ Reilly and prove that the crime wave in Arizona is nothing but racist hype and fear-mongering. In reality, crime rates have been on the decrease in Arizona for many years despite the presence of undocumented immigrants. The city of Phoenix issued a statement saying that in spite of a growing population and challenging economy -

Violent and property crimes in Phoenix continue to drop…The numbers of crimes in 2009 are on track to be the lowest in 15 years…Through November 2009, Phoenix’s violent crime rate has continued to decline, dropping 18 percent over the same period in 2008.

If people like O’ Reilly did their research they would have come across a report released by the Immigration Policy Center that explicitly states that immigrants are, in fact, less likely to commit crime than non-immigrants. According to the 2008 report, crime rates are lowest in states that have a high immigrant population, often making them safer than other places. For example, it notes that El Paso, Texas, a poor city with a large population of undocumented people, is one of the safest cities in the United States. A 2007 University of California Study found that for any ethnic group, the rates of incarceration for young men were consistently lowest for immigrants, regardless of their education or class status.

The good news is that since FAIR circulated their “Stop O’Reilly” petition, he seems to have held back on his false accusations. Unfortunately though, this will not prevent the draconian SB1070 from being implemented on July 29th and with such a law in action that works to generate a fear of local law enforcement in the community, we can probably count on efficient crime solving going from bad to worse. Worst of all the implications of such a law (and the racial profiling that it will encourage) is that incidents such as the one in Prescott will seem less and less outrageous in a culture where the state itself sanctions questioning people based on their perceived appearance.

Photo courtesy of nydailynews.com

Learn. Share. Act. Go to restorefairness.org

 

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