Here in Philadelphia, PA, the murder capital of the United States of America, it was just announced that 54-year old police veteran Charles Cassidy died from wounds inflicted on Halloween morning.
Officer Cassidy walked in on a robbery in progress at a Dunkin Donuts in his patrol area, and the robber shot him in the head before the officer had a chance to react.
He leaves behind a wife, three children, and scores of family, friends, acquaintances, and co-workers who will be affected by his murder for a long time to come.
He also leaves behind a city that is in crisis, indeed a nation that is in crisis, with little or no hope for any meaningful change to what has become the violent status quo.
Why? Because few will say publicly what needs to be said: black males, in particular reciditivists, are killing us.
Actually, the saying of it is only the very necessary first step. If folks do begin to say it, and actually recognize it for the fact that it is, then further steps need to be taken to address the problem. But let’s deal first with the facts, and the expected outraged replies.
First, crime in Philadelphia is indeed out of control, and now our own police, pilloried in recent media reports as shooting too often ourselves, are the targets. Officer Cassidy is the fourth uniformed Philadelphia police officer to be shot while performing their duties in the past six weeks, third in the past four days alone.
In mid-September, Officer Rich Decoatesworth was shot in the face by a young black male wielding a sawed-off shotgun after pulling over the vehicle this male was driving in West Philly. Early on Sunday morning, Officer Sandra Van Hinkle was shot in the ankle while responding to gunshots being fired outside a hip-hop club, again in West Philly.
On Tuesday night in the Center City area, while the Democratic Presidential candidates debated just blocks away at Drexel University, Officer Mario Santiago was shot in the shoulder by a black male who then dramatically leaped into the Schuylkill River in an escape attempt.
Why the dangerous attempt at escape, which ended in the shooter drowning? He was on parole, having been released from prison after serving an 11-year sentence for murdering a 6-year old girl.
Daniel Faulkner, Daniel Boyle, Lauretha Vaird. And a half dozen more since I joined the PPD as a rookie back in the spring of 1990. And now we add another, Chuck Cassidy, to the lengthening list of Philadelphia police officers murdered by black men.
In his August 2007 article “Liberal Views, Black Victims”, noted African-American writer Walt Williams, who grew up in North Philly, presented some compelling commentary and statistics. Williams reported that “Last year, among the nation’s 10 largest cities, Philadelphia had the highest murder rate with 406 victims. This year could easily top last year’s with 240 murders so far”.
Williams went on to state “Other cities such as Baltimore, Detroit and Washington, D.C., with large black populations, experience the nation’s highest rates of murder and violent crime. This high murder rate is, and has been, predominantly a black problem.”
According to Bureau of Justice statistics, between 1976 and 2005, blacks accounted for 13% of the American population, yet committed over 52% of the nations homicides.
There is a risk involved in pointing out these truths. The risk being that the race-baiter crowd, the enablers such as Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and even our own outgoing Philadelphia mayor John Street, will say that calling any attention at all to race of perpetrators is akin to racism, polarization, and hatred. They will say that the problem is guns, not black men, and that to imply differently makes one a hater.
Our own mayor Street wants tougher state gun laws. This is a smoke-screen to deflect attention from the true problem of the “who” onto one type of “what” is used in crime commission.
As described by Lorne Gunter in Canada’s National Post: “Gun bans in Australia and the United Kingdom have failed to lower crime rates in those countries and there is no reason to believe a ban here would work any better. Upwards of 90% of gun crimes are committed with illegal guns, by criminals who will not observe a gun ban any more than they have mandatory registration.”
Anyone who would say that race is not an issue in the exploding crime and murder situation in Philadelphia and in other major cities around our nation is quite simply lying. I say that they are lying because I simply cannot imagine that they are ignorant to the truth. They know it, but it doesn’t serve their own selfish political interests to face it, so they pander to their own constituent’s lowest common denominators.
In 1999, the New Century Foundation issued a controversial report entitled “The Color of Crime: Race, Crime and Justice in America”. The report was controversial because it dared to highlight race, as opposed to simply gender or other factors, in examining crime.
The NCF report found that blacks are seven times more likely to commit murder than people of other races, eight times more likely to commit robbery, three times more likely than non-blacks to use a gun in the commission of a violent crime.
Even the usually race-baiting, excuse-making, Prince of the Apologist’s himself, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, once infamously stated that he profiles those around him when he walks alone down the street at night, saying he sighs with relief when “the footsteps following me don’t belong to a young black male.”
Now, let’s pause a moment to answer the howls of protest already rising in the hearts and mouths, and from the keyboards of, all the apologists out there who are only tossing gasoline on the fire by refusing to address the truth.
Do whites commit crime? Sure they do. Do Hispanics and Asians? Of course. Have blacks ever been the victims of crime, prejudice, hatred, and even murder? Absolutely. Would it be irresponsible of whites, Hispanics, Asians, etc to retaliate against blacks, or to hold prejudicial feelings towards an entire race? Emphatically.
But that’s not what we’re talking about here. What we are talking about is the exploding current crime and murder rate in the city of Philadelphia and other major American cities, and my outraged racial apologists, that is quite simply a black male problem.
Does that mean that all black males are suspect, that every black male in Philadelphia is a likely criminal? Only a fool, idiot, or race-baiter would consider that is what is being suggested. The vast majority, nearly every single one of these black males, is a reciditivist.
In her 2007 review “Bail Humbug! Why Criminals Would Rather Be in Philadelphia”, Sarah B. Vandenbraak of the Hoover Institute points out another reason that crime is exploding in our city: the terms of a 1980’s-era consent decree entered into by then-Mayor Wilson Goode’s administration, which hoped to alleviate prison over-crowding.
This consent decree has crippled our local criminal-justice system. If you click into the link supplied on the Vandenbraak article, you will get an education that might astound you.
Vandenbraak writes “Suspects charged with so-called “non-violent” crimes, including stalking, car jacking, robbery with a baseball bat, burglary, drug dealing, vehicular homicide, manslaughter, terroristic threats, and gun charges, are not subject to pretrial detention.
In determining pretrial detention, Philadelphia judges can no longer consider a defendant’s prior record, his history of failing to appear in court, his mental-health history, his ties to the community, or his drug or alcohol dependency.
These factors become completely irrelevant. A major drug dealer carrying a loaded Uzi and a plane ticket out of the country cannot be detained before trial in Philadelphia.”
Responsible black leaders like Williams, Thomas Sowell, and others both locally and across the nation have been trying lately to get the message across: black people, and in particular black men, need to step up, claim responsibility for the actions of their community, and make a change.
10,000 black men rallying and marching through the streets of Philadelphia won’t make a difference. 10,000 black men staying home, raising the children they father, working hard, educating themselves, and passing along moral values to their children will make a difference, both within their own families and communities, and within the city and nation at-large.
As a middle-aged white male, and a cop at that, one who is currently outraged at the senseless assassination of yet another of his professional colleagues in the performance of his civic duties, is it my place to voice these concerns? Yes, I believe it is. Why? Because the vast majority of what I have expressed here is not my opinion, but it is factual evidence, statistics, and commentaries of others.
I believe that it would be irresponsible to express these opinions and present this position without making at least some small suggestions as to what can be done to change the status quo. I think that the biggest possible change will come when voices for black responsibility and morality begin to shout down advocates of black victimization and criminality.
Here is one person’s quick-start guide. When you hear your kid listening to a CD or MP3 or radio station with a hateful and/or profanity-laced message, be it rap, hip-hop, rock, dance, whatever, turn it off and force them to leave it off, and let them know that it is wrong and why it is wrong.
When you see them watching a video that exploits women, extols the virtues of the “gangsta” lifestyle, turn it off. You run your home, don’t allow gangsters of the music and other media industries to run it.
From the youngest ages, talk to your kids about drugs and their dangers. Talk to them about responsible behavior in the areas of inter-personal relationships, especially sex, and the consequences.
Lead them in a love for God and country, a respect for their fellow man, and into a positive calling. Hold your kids accountable when they go astray. Keep them in school, and stay close to their teachers, and their school’s programs and administrators.
Most of all, don’t raise them to think of themselves as victims, to allow themselves to become victims, to feel that they need anyone else but themselves and their family to succeed in life.
And I could go on forever about the importance of fathers in a child’s life and upbringing. You can’t help them if you aren’t there, fully committed. No matter your marital situation, you can be actively involved in your children’s lives. Oh, and you aren’t helping them in the least if you are there, but are high on drugs or drunk on booze.
The sad, hard, changeable truth is that black male reciditivists are killing us here in Philadelphia: cops, citizens of other racial and ethnic backgrounds, each other. Charles Cassidy is only the latest victim, and he won’t nearly be the last.
My hope and prayer is that people open up and admit, and deal with, the truth, and maybe some lasting peace can come to our community. But facing that sad, hard, changeable truth is the first step.