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Saturday, December 2

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The Mechanics
« CEO of the Classroom, Arne Duncan Impeachment - Special Investigative Committee »

Chicago Mon Dec 29 2008

Not JUST Gang-Related

The Sun-Times editorial board argues that explaining away Chicago's exploding violence as "gang-related" makes it too easy to forget that the gang members are themselves Chicagoans, born, raised, and hardened by Chicago's streets. Kudos to the Sun-Times; stuff like this reminds me of why losing local reporters year after year is not only sad but dangerous. We need journalists to keep pursuing these stories, relentlessly..

...But, we say, understand how killers are made.....Main told the story of James Hampton, who admitted to police that he had killed his girlfriend's former boyfriend. The former boyfriend had beat up the girl, had smashed a window of Hampton's car, and -- perhaps his greatest offense -- had dared to stare Hampton down...."I'm not fitting to be running and hide from dude," Hampton said in a taped confession. "Then I seen him, and he look at me, and I look at him. I just shake my head."...Normal people -- that is to say people with a modicum of education, a decent job, a belief in their future and a sense of belonging to the larger society -- don't kill people over stuff like that. They've got too much to lose. They shrug off the disrespect and move on. If necessary, they call the cops....But Chicago's most violent neighborhoods are full of men like James Hampton, their fragile sense of manhood at the mercy of the next show of disrespect. They kill to keep it....Poke beneath the surface of any shooting on that weekend of April 18, our reporters learned, and you will likely uncover a tangle of social woes that only an entire city, as a whole, can do much about. The police can clean up mess after mess, but more messes will come along.

Read the whole thing.

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jeesh / December 29, 2008 3:42 PM

"Poke beneath the surface of any shooting on that weekend of April 18, our reporters learned, and you will likely uncover a tangle of social woes..."

You don't need a local journalist to regurgitate this bullshit mantra. They teach this in journalism school. You could program a computer to generate these reports.

Why is it that all reports of crimes have boiled down to looking at "social inequalities" as the culprit for a crime? And then you wonder why accountability is a foreign concept.

xian / December 30, 2008 10:11 AM

I don't think "accountability" is a foreign concept. I think a fairly funded public school system that teaches people empathy and social responsibility may be a foreign concept in this era of privatization of...everything.

Furthermore, I think that because equal policing under the law is a foreign concept, people are far more likely to chose to inflict violence than contact the authorities.

Ramsin CanonAuthor Profile Page / December 30, 2008 11:05 AM

"Jeesh", why do you assume its mutually exclusive to say that crime, particularly violent crime, has complex roots in social problems while also saying that murderers should pay for their crime?

Isn't it better to try to reduce the number of murders by improving social conditions AND punishing criminals, than by JUST punishing criminals?

jeesh / December 30, 2008 9:25 PM

Look at how California has turned out. They have spent the last decade plus making sure that their schools promote fuzzy things like "empathy" over traditional courses. Being the 9th largest econmy in the world, you can also see what happened when CA essentially nationalized their university system and allowed anybody in. Half of CA college freshmen take remedial math.

Has this soft approach worked for that state? No. They are going bancrupt, and that makes it even harder to fight crime.

Its funny how liberals always cite the social conditions being the key element to crime and then the liberal philosophy enables those conditions to perpetuate themselves. And then for accountability, they blame the mess on anyone but themselves.

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Parents Still Steaming, but About More Than Just Boilers

By Phil Huckelberry / 2 Comments

It's now been 11 days since the carbon monoxide leak which sent over 80 Prussing Elementary School students and staff to the hospital. While officials from Chicago Public Schools have partially answered some questions, and CPS CEO Forrest Claypool has informed that he will be visiting the school to field more questions on Nov. 16, many parents remain irate at the CPS response to date. More...


Substance, Not Style, the Source of Rahm's Woes

By Ramsin Canon / 2 Comments

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