Arnon Grunberg



A.J. Vicens quoted Obama in Mother Jones on Baltimore, cops and riots:

“This is not new. This has been going on for decades. And without making any excuses for criminal activities that take place in these communities, we also know if you have impoverished communities that have been stripped away of opportunity, where children are born into abject poverty, they've got parents, often because of substance abuse problems or incarceration or lack of education, and themselves can't do right by their kids, if it's more likely that those kids end up in jail or dead than that they go to college, and communities where there are no fathers who can provide guidance to young men, communities where there’s no investment, and manufacturing's been stripped away, and drugs have flooded the community and the drug industry ends up being the primary employer for a lot of folks, in those environments, if we think that we're just going to send the police to do the dirty work of containing the problems that arise there without, as a nation, and as a society saying what can we do to change those communities to help lift up those communities and give those kids opportunity, then we're not going to solve this problem, and we'll go through this same cycles of periodic conflicts between the police and communities, and the occasional riots in the streets and everybody will feign concern until it goes away and we just go about our business as usual.”

Read the article here.

It’s hard to disagree with this analysis, but history is nothing but “same cycles of periodic conflicts”. I don’t believe that the riots point to change, at best to minor adjustments.
If you want to help neighborhoods where “drugs have flooded the communities” you have to change the drug laws as well. Decriminalization of substance abuse will lead to less incarceration of “criminals” and less incarceration may lead to less fatherless families.
That’s the problem I guess: the analysis is right, but the conclusions are too daring for us.

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