above, for articles in
edifice of government in the city of Newark has been built along many years like
a castle of sand. That which
fashions the structure has not been the will of the people of this city, not the
votes cast on election day, but rather the winds of greed and desire of powerful
parasitic interests imbedded in the city.
current focus on the violence that has claimed the lives of several city bred
college students, and the clamor for a clampdown on illegal aliens is just a
smokescreen. Several things just
don’t add up when one considers that the basic problem in this city is not the
presence of illegal aliens.
consider some basic facts:
Mayor Cory Booker was elected on a wave of promises that was to usher-in
REFORM. City residents were tired
of constant increases in taxation, continued corruption, and minimal city
services. The hype of prior Mayor
Sharpe James didn’t wash anymore, the stain of corruption that ultimately led
to his downfall as Mayor and later as state senator was the main factor that
led to the Booker ascendancy.
Booker’s promise to clamp down on city crime, and to bolster quality of
life is on the line, especially since a growing group of city residents are
putting together a re-call vote to dethrone the B
Center- Home of the NJ Devils hockey franchise, Newark's new arena,
overshadows and displaces area homes and
City government has invested heavily in the revitalization of the city’s
downtown. (2) Hundreds of millions have been staked
on the promise of a downtown arena bringing people and money into the
Businesses that have invested in the city; restaurants, real estate
entrepreneurs, and other ‘impresarios’ than run the gamut of power dynamics,
want a bang for their buck, otherwise the ‘keys to the city’ don’t mean a
damn. Further, continued
degradation may keep ‘regular’ people from investing their savings in housing
stock, small business development, or from visiting the city’s retail
pressure on Booker and on the police leadership is enormous. Investments are at stake, both
public and private! Therefore, the
lives of citizens are not the real issue here, money and corruption
the media coverage, reminiscent of yellow journalism is palpably
sensationalistic, the lives of promising youngsters cut short by illegal
immigrants no better than wild animals--thugs-- is drummed constantly in the
press and on local TV.
spreading contagion of emotionalism has even spread to the court system-- judges
are withholding bail, and prosecutors are now working in concert with
immigration enforcement, ICE, to rid the system of the ‘abomination’ of illegal
heart of the issue is also the pressure from federal authorities who seem to be
following mandates from neoconservatives within the Bush mantra to crack down on
immigrants. In fact, in these last
weeks such neoconservative voices have accused the Booker administration of
running a ‘sanctuary city.’
face it, Newark is a large city, and what is happening in Newark is part and
parcel of a national problem. According to the latest available figures, in 2004
for example, the gun death toll in the U.S. for children and teens alone was
greater than U.S. soldiers killed in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The death toll of young Americans
reached 2,825, as per the Children’s Defense Fund report of 2007 on gun
violence. The gun death rate for
blacks is statistically four times that of whites in this country. (3)
1979 gun violence has proven to be the demise of 101,413 children and teens
in the U.S.—that’s almost 50% of the entire population of the city of
Newark. The dead would fill over
4,000 classrooms of 25 students per classroom. The number of black kids killed by guns
is nearly 10 times greater than all the recorded lynchings, including blacks of
all age groups, in American history.
That’s a travesty, that’s horrendous, and that is another facet of the
issue that is being missed.
is battling its own war at home, and few are connecting the dots.
‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill
‘Guns don’t kill people, people kill people;’
so states the National Rifle Association slogan, but the prevalence of guns
invariably facilitates violence.
According to recent statistics, there is a gun for every 9 out of 10
people in the United States.(4) That’s the highest concentration of
guns in the hands of ordinary citizenry, in the world. That’s right, in the entire world. We are a violent society partly because
manufacturers are profiting at the expense of the misery being wrought by their
unbounded greed. That greed is
magnified several times over by black marketers who traffic guns into inner cities, arming
gangs and drug traffickers to a degree that literally out-guns law enforcement
personnel battling those very thugs.
has to stop!
This is the true face of the problem; guns,
gangs and drugs, not illegal aliens. (5)
dangling; a gang symbol meaning drugs are sold here. The building in the
background is Newark's East Side High School.
beast that needs to be slain is not the illegal immigrant. What needs to be tackled is the support
structure that enables gang culture to persist in this city; hopelessness among
the young, educational failure, joblessness, the gun lobby, weapons traffickers,
and most of all drug traffickers—because the drug culture is at the heart of
most crime in America. (6)
this won’t happen, because it is a long arduous fight to rid the city of such
pedestals of greed and corruption. The educational structure is a failure. If not for the manipulations in the
data, and minimal state standards accepted for High School graduation, the
actual failure rate would hover at 50 percent for Newark high
in schools creates hopeless futures.
Such students fight to survive any way they can; they become foder for gangs and many
wind up being foot soldiers for organized crime. The structure in our society that
enables this to happen, that insures this to continue is built by powerful
interests that profit at the expense of the misery and destruction of
neighborhoods populated by the poor, by blacks and by immigrants. Such powerful interests are organized
crime, and their minions in business and politics, the parasites that are
tolerated by law enforcement, because of a mix of fear, convenience and
corruption within their own ranks.
Let us not forget that these streets of Newark are the same that fostered
celluloid stories like those of the Sopranos. The real Sopranos still walk these
mob isn’t gone, its still here, it always has been here, as far as I can
remember, and it probably will always be, unless something is done, but I do not
see the resolve in this city’s administration to tackle that issue. The problem of corruption is deep, like
a festering wound that refuses to heal, and that is the true threat to this
city’s well-being—the root of many of its ills.
Victor Saraiva is senior editor
at THE CITIZEN.
Mayor Tests His Promises on Newark’s
mayor who had vowed to change City Hall was reduced to the horse-trading and
arm-twisting that defined his predecessor’s reign.
is Taking Change to the Streets
Children, not Guns 2007, a Children’s Defense Fund
States the World Leader in Gun
that are gang members are much more likely than other teens to commit serious
and violent crimes. For example, a
survey in Denver found that while only 14% of teens were gang members, they were
responsible for committing 89% of the serious violent crimes. http://www.safeyouth.org/scripts/teens/gangs.asp
Prohibition Affects Crime, Law Enforcement and the
demand for a banned product persists after a prohibition is enacted, a criminal
market is created automatically… if
there is strong demand, and the product is easy to produce and smuggle, the
criminal market will quickly expand to satisfy that demand. Owners in the criminal market are
awarded a lucrative tax-free monopoly on their products. http://www.drugsense.org/html/modules.php?name=Oldsite&page=toc/prohaffects.htm
Posted September 05,
You are here: HOME page-SUMMER 2007 Issue-The Grand Illusion
Previous : An Unearthing Next : Priorities