Atlanta Forward readers commented on last week’s columns about black-on-black crime, an issue that will be revisited on this page in the coming months. Here are some select comments.
Roseup: We have become a permissive society. We have broken down taboos that once governed our social behavior. Today, black and white girls get themselves pregnant with men they hardly know, or don’t know at all, collect government assistance and stick those fatherless kids in day care from Day One. There’s the root of the problem. Fathers provide discipline. Mothers can, too, but not from the office. The old system worked, folks. Worse, many girls today aren’t even career-minded. They aren’t that smart. They just get knocked up because they’re lazy and stupid and they live for the moment. They ignore their kids, but from their job at McDonald’s, not from the office. Their kids are the ones who grow up to be thugs. White girls are doing it, too, but among black girls, it has become the norm rather than the exception. It is an epidemic, folks. Money and education won’t fix this. I don’t know what will, short of a strong black leader with the strength and conviction to change people’s mindset. More likely, the problem will only get worse until a major event changes our mindset, like a major natural disaster or a devastating war or an economic depression. I can’t imagine this is going to end well.
Soma: Negligent parents and lawbreaking kids — this foolishness must stop. All of this degrading music that uses the “N” word has gotten out of control. A kid shot a man because he was bored. His mother calls him an angel. Oh my! Gang bangers at 14 and 16 years old. Where are the parents?
Real life: It is important to remember that George Zimmerman’s defense was self-defense and did not rely on the “stand your ground” law. I think the verdict was wrong and that he was guilty of manslaughter, which the prosecution chose not to pursue until instructions were given to the jury. I thought it was malpractice on the part of the state. But we do not see the same outcry about the large numbers of minority men and women killed by members of the same minority. Men like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are front and center on crimes like the killing of Trayvon Martin. They are much less visible when the crime involves only African-Americans or African-Americans who kill members of other races. To me, that is a not-so-subtle nod that these crimes are not as important to them as are those that get them media time and money. And it also smacks of racism. As a country, we need to face our racial problems, and not all of those problems are caused by another race. In many minority communities, many children are born into single-parent homes and lack a strong male role model. Education in traditionally minority areas is much worse than in most traditional white areas. The leading cause of death of African-American male youth is murder by another African-American. Yet leaders such as Jackson and Sharpton are nowhere to be seen when these issues hit the front page. And all of us, regardless of race, suffer because of this.