Houston tops a list it doesn't want to be on

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I found an interesting article in the Houston Chronicle. It’s titled:

“Study: Houston leads in homicides by black youths”

Allan Turner writes a good article citing a study done by James Fox and Marc Swatt. Their study puts Houston at the top of the list of homicides by young black youths. Mostly the victims are also black youths.

Focusing on the period between 2000-01 and 2006-07, the study found Houston at the top of a list of 28 U.S. cities, with a 139 percent increase in the number of young African-Americans suspected in killings.

In 2006-07, 129 young black men were murdered in the city, up from 42 in 2000-01.

This is a touchy subject due to the politically correct status quo we live in. So, to avoid controversy, what do these academics suggest is the reason?

Fox and his associate, criminologist Marc Swatt, argued in the report that the increases occurred as the federal government cut support for community policing and intervention programs put in place to combat a rise in gang violence in the 1990s.

Okay, we’ve got the federal government to blame.

“Kids can’t wait, and crime doesn’t wait,” Fox said. “There is a significant need here — a large group of kids with inadequate, inferior education and a ready access to guns. A teenager with a gun in his hand is a dangerous individual.”

Okay, kids and guns don’t mix. Never mind that millions of kids (like me and my brother) were raised around guns but were taught about responsibility and consequences at an early age by our father.

Of course Quanell has to weigh in since he is the Chronicle’s duly appointed community activist.

Houston community activist Quanell X called the study a “blanket indictment of the city and government officials in the city and a greater indictment of ministers and political leaders of the African-American community.”

Isn’t he considered a ‘leader in the African-American community?’ Then this is an indictment of him too.

Shape Community Center’s Deloyd Parker questioned the way the study was conducted. “When they say ‘offender,’ does that mean someone who’s charged with a crime or been convicted?” he said. “Sometimes even being convicted doesn’t mean you’re actually guilty.”

Of course we have the ‘ostrich’ response!

I wish I could find the young black woman I met two years ago in southwest Houston. She works hard trying to raise her two young boys whose father left them. Her oldest son was on probation and her youngest son had just been arrested for auto theft. Who did she blame? She was upset at her son, not the police. Ask her. She could shed some light on this problem. We talked for over an hour about absentee fathers, lack of positive role models, the glorification of the ‘gangsta’ lifestyle by rap music, and the lack of personal responsibility. This extraordinary woman could answer this problem better than academia. I wonder how Houston will wear this scarlet letter!


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