Over the last three years, 157 police officers have been murdered in the line of duty. From January 1 to December 29th, 64 officers have been shot to death, a dramatic 56 percent increase over 2015.
This rise in assaults against those who protect our communities is not merely a disgrace and sad commentary on our national role on the world stage, it is an outrageous matter that must be dealt with realistically if we are ever to see restored streets and neighborhoods.
However, what we are instead witnessing is criminal organizations like the ‘Black Lives Matter’ crowd inciting violence against those in law enforcement who risk their lives each day going into communities across America to protect law-abiding citizens.
And where are our politicians on the issue? Nowhere to be found.
Take Chicago for example, where the crime rate is worse than in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
Year-to-date figures in the windy city reflect a deplorable and shameful situation where 4,368 shootings have occurred this year alone, with 789 total homicides.
In December alone, the city has experienced 275 shootings with 49 individuals shot and killed and a total of 52 homicides. And where is city mayor, Rahm Emanuel on this matter?
In September, the mayor went to Malcolm X College to unveil his plan to reduce the gun violence epidemic in the nation’s third largest city.
In a 40 minute speech, rather than approach the situation in an honest manner by discussing the vast broken and fatherless homes where inner city children grow up with violence and in many cases wind up out of school and into gangs and drugs, the mayor proposed even tougher gun control laws. And this in the city that already has the strongest gun control laws on the books.
Additionally, the mayor proposed another $36 million taxpayer dollars to fund an expansion of a mentoring program that has already failed to accomplish even a minute reduction in street violence.
Several dozen protestors gathered outside Malcolm X College saying they were not impressed by the mayor’s proposals, with one of those protestors, Ja’mal Green, saying that “the mayor doesn’t propose real solutions, and in fact, doesn’t even come to our communities.”
And where is the Reverend Jesse Jackson, whose Rainbow Push Coalition is based in the city?
Back in July of this year, I spoke with Jackson’s media spokesperson, Don Terry, who then corresponded with me via email regarding my inquiry into Jackson’s position on this subject.
In numerous emails, I asked Mr. Terry about Rev. Jackson’s goals and objectives regarding the violence in his city, as well as his position on ‘Black Lives Matter’.
While Mr. Terry was gracious and forthcoming regarding the reverend’s town hall on the subject, he merely indicated that the meeting was a “fruitful discussion of the issues” and he intended to “keep meeting and working for peace and justice.”
When I inquired about how they intended to accomplish this, as well as pressing for his position on the ‘Black Lives Matter’ element, I simply have received no reply to date.
I don’t anticipate much coming from this approach beyond the typical lip service.
And where has President Obama been on the matter?
Both in July and in October the president defended the ‘Black Lives Matter’ organization, saying that the crowd is “giving voice to a problem happening only in the African-American communities.” And while the president went on to suggest that the reason the organizers used the phrase ‘Black Lives Matter’ was not “because they were suggesting nobody else’s lives matter. Rather, what they were suggesting was there is a specific problem that’s happening in the African-American community that’s not happening in other communities.”
The president went on to say, “…that is a legitimate issue that we’ve got to address.”
I submit that what really needs to be addressed is the black-on-black crime in the inner cities of America, the lack of any real solutions to the issue of 73% out-of-wedlock births in the African-American community that has led to high unemployment rates across the Black communities in the country, high drug and gang rates, and criminal violence occurring in these communities.
It is my opinion that over the last eight years there has been nothing beyond tokenism when it comes to addressing these issues – and most especially by the so-called ‘black leaders’.
It is shameful that young African-American kids cannot obtain a good education by allowing their parents to move them to better schools through schools with school vouchers. Such vouchers would allow such children to leave their failing schools run by teachers’ unions and move them into better institutions where they can get a much better start in life.
However, the teachers’ unions have been fighting vouchers for decades solely to prevent their funding from being reduced. You see, their priority is funding rather than teaching.
While working as Director of External Affairs at Star Parker’s Center for Urban Renewal & Education, I was assigned to the education project, researching the poor test scores of numerous school districts, and specifically Los Angeles and Compton Unified School Districts.
What I found was that of the 253,000 students eligible for transfer to a better performing school under the federal “No Child Left Behind”, only 94 students were actually transferred in a five-year period.
In Compton Unified school district during this same period, not a single student was transferred to a better performing school. One reason – there weren’t any better-performing schools.
In 2005 in Compton there were 24 elementary schools. Of the 24, 22 scored a 3 or below out of a possible 10 points in the Academic Performance Index (API) test.
Of the 8 middle schools in the district, all 8 scored a 2 or below out of the possible ten points. And in all three high schools students scored a one in the test.
If this doesn’t spell disaster to the politicians that supposedly are leading the efforts to help our children in these communities, it does to me.
Until these so-called ‘leaders’ stop placing politics as their priority and address these issues in a realistic manner with the goal of real results, don’t expect any changes in the near future here.
An appalling situation, to be sure. However, it is one that our future as a nation requires true change.
Spero columnist John Mancino is a security expert who resides in California.