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Symbolism Over Substance Kills

Symbolism Over Substance Kills

Making Sense By Michael Reagan

Some recent developments:

Last weekend, 10 people were killed and 15 wounded in a rampage that began Friday evening and primarily involved gangs in South Los Angeles, according to police reports.

In Oakland California, where the victims in 75 percent of the murders there are young blacks, they just counted the 41st murder of the year over last weekend.

Crime, especially murder, is out of control in South Los Angeles.

According to Monique Morris of the National Council on Crime and Delinquency, the number of delinquency cases involving young black women increased by 106 percent between 1988 and 1997, and black children are nine times as likely as white children to have a parent in jail.

And what is being done to deal with this ongoing tragedy in the stricken black communities:

Self-appointed black leaders and media darlings Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume spoke out in North Carolina demanding that Martin Luther King Day should be a paid holiday instead of just a day off.

The Los Angeles City Council voted to change the name of crime ridden South Central Los Angeles to just plain South Los Angeles because the name "South Central" had a negative aura attached to it because of the scores of killings that take place there. By naming it South Los Angeles that stigma would allegedly be removed. The killings, however, will continue.

Last Friday the Los Angeles City Council voted to require companies that do business with the city to report whether they ever profited from slavery. "It's important symbolically," said Councilman Nate Holden, who sponsored the motion. "If companies did in fact benefit from slave labor, we need to know it."

Despite frantic last-minute appeals by the mayor and the police chief, the Los Angeles City Council voted to delay spending for additional police officers. Incredibly, the city refuses to give Police Chief William J. Bratton - a tough cop who cleaned up New York City who they hired to do the same job in L.A. - the money he needs to hire more policemen to do the job they say they want done.

All across the nation the story is the same. So-called black leaders ignore the plight of young blacks while they climb over each other to pose in the publicity spotlight. They're worried about slavery, they're worried about reparations, about making Martin Luther King Day a paid holiday, all this meaningless symbolism, and in the meantime their own people are dying because they refuse to talk about substance.

They don't want to address the real reason for crime among their fellow blacks because one of the main reasons for crime is the lack of families and fathers in those areas and they can't or won't talk about the fact that 80 percent of the children born in the inner city are born to unmarried black mothers.

Kids are running amok, kids are running wild, and when kids don't have a family at home they find other families, and the families they find are street gangs, the real families of young kids growing up today in the inner city. The gangs replace their absent parents and they live and they die for the gang.

It could be that Jesse Jackson and Kweisi Mfume are yelling and screaming about paid holidays for Martin Luther King Day because they have absolutely no credibility at all to talk about out of wedlock births because they themselves are guilty of fathering children out of wedlock.

Instead of worrying about slavery which ended 140 years ago, the Los Angeles city council should worry about the people in the inner city who are enslaved in their own homes with bars on the windows and doors. They are enslaved because they are frightened about the shootings taking place in the streets outside each and everyday and each and every night.

Michael Reagan, the eldest son of President Ronald Reagan, is heard on more than 200 talk radio stations nationally as part of the Premiere Radio Network. Comments to mereagan@hotmail.comfor Mike.

© 2003 Mike Reagan.Mike's column is distributed by:

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