Yes, Let’s Fix the Ghetto

by Diane Dimond on August 22, 2016

Fear, anger, cries of racism. This is what seems to envelop America these days, dished up daily by no less than presidential candidates and the media. So many people taking offense at what others say or do I can’t keep track of it all. It’s exhausting. 

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Restaurant Owner Criticized for Adverting Campaign – Black Lives Matter Not Amused

A restaurateur in Albuquerque comes up with a new recipe for tuna with black olive tapenade and to promote it he prints up T-shirts with the slogan “Black Olives Matter.” Amusing at any other time in our history, but not now. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement immediately made it clear they didn’t think the promotion was clever, just racist.

In Milwaukee a police involved shooting and before the facts were even known devastating rioting broke out. Cries of police brutality and institutional racism filled the air. Seven officers were injured, a teenager was shot in the neck.

The facts in Milwaukee: An armed black suspect driving a stolen vehicle stopped the car and ran from police.  Sylville Smith, 23, a kid with a long and violent police record, refused to drop his gun as officers ordered. According to the local sheriff, who viewed body cam video of the event, the suspect stopped running and began to lift his gun to shoot police. That’s when an officer shot him.

Smith Had a Long Rap Sheet - Including Violent Crimes

Smith Had a Long Rap Sheet – Including Violent Crimes

In what world is this a racist event? The unidentified officer is black. Milwaukee’s Sheriff, David Clarke, is black. In what universe is this considered police brutality? I’m left with the conclusion that some segments of America don’t want truth, they want to make trouble. They want to blame others for what they have not achieved in life. They want to rampage through the streets destroying their own communities without a thought to what that senseless act achieves.

And when people like that take to the streets to set fires, loot stores and shoot guns into the air – or at other people – who is expected to come to the rescue? The police, of course.

At what point do we acknowledge that our societal problems are not all about racism? When do we admit that there is an ugly cancer festering in urban areas across the nation and it has little to do with the police? It has everything to do with the behavior of a relatively small group of bad actors in those communities.

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Tells It As He Sees It

Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke Tells It As He Sees It

As Milwaukee’s sheriff pointed out there exists a very real and volatile mix of urban pathologies in minority communities today, created by decades of failed policies that only exacerbated poverty and nurtured its frequent companion – crime. Police didn’t create the situation. They only respond to the aftermath.

“Failing public schools, inadequate parenting…father-absent homes,” Sheriff Clarke told reporters after the Milwaukee riots. “We all know when fathers are not around to shape the behavior of young boys, they oftentimes grow up to be unmanageable misfits that police have to deal with in an aggressive fashion.”

And then, the zinger from this African-American Sheriff who often talks about the lack of family values in today’s inner-cities.

“Stop trying to fix the police. Fix the ghetto.”

Bravo for the blunt assessment. And sheriff Clarke is not the only black law enforcement official to challenge those neighborhoods plagued by drugs, gangs, poor schools and a culture that relies on government handouts.

Chief Brown Invites Black Lives Matter Members to Join the Force

Chief Brown Invites Black Lives Matter Members to Join the Police Force

Dallas police chief, David Brown, who lost five officers and saw 7 more wounded when a crazed gunman interrupted an anti-police protest last month agrees.

“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,’’ he said. “Every societal failure, we put it off on the cops. Not enough mental health funding? Let the cops handle it. Not enough drug funding? Let’s give it to the cops. … The schools fail, give it to the cops. … That’s too much to ask,” he said.

Brown issued a challenge to protesters to abandon the marches and riots and do something positive. Like join the police force, just as he did when he tired of seeing his friends succumb to the crack epidemic.

“We’re hiring,” chief Brown said. “Get out of the protest line and fill out an application.”

Since Johnson's "Great Society" Program Billions Have Gone to Urban Programs - Has it Helped?

Since Johnson’s “Great Society” Billions Have Gone to Urban Programs – Has it Helped?

Look, since President Johnson’s Great Society America has poured multiple billions of dollars into programs designed to give folks who live in what Sheriff Clarke calls, “the ghetto” a hand up and a way out of their environment. Yet the perpetual problems with crime persist.

Now it’s time for residents to realize there is only one way to combat their daily anxiety. By joining with police to help wipe out crime in their neighborhoods. Community leaders and clergy must persuade citizens to help police by reporting crimes, illegal guns, drugs and other activities that erode their quality of life. It’s the only way their children will be able to break the cycle and thrive without fear – of the criminals or the police.

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 11:28 am

Creators Syndicate Reader Pat writes:

“Great article. Thought you would be interested in this interview with Sheriff Clarke, hosted by LtCol. Oliver North. https://goo.gl/L4JLdU In it Clarke takes on Black Lives Matters and the media who protect them. He also calls BLM “a dangerous, hateful, destructive ideology,” and takes on their hiding behind a false banner of Civil Rights: “We’ve gone from Rosa Parks, who was an icon of the civil rights struggle, Emmett Till, Dr. Martin Luther King and others. We’ve gone from that to Mike Brown, to Eric Garner, to Freddie Gray, to Sandra Bland. Those are icons of the civil rights struggle? No, no, those are criminals engaged in behavior that contributed toward what happened to them at the end.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

Noozhawk Reader middlechamber writes:

“Liberal left will say it’s racist. It’s ALWAYS RACIST! NO MATTER IF IT IS A BLACK COP HAVING TO DEFEND HIMSELF & SHOOT A BLACK PERP, IT’S RACIST.
Why is it, if cops of any color shoot a white Asian or Hispanic, THERE ARE NO PROTESTS, NO STOPPING TRAFFIC OR DISRUPTING COMMERCE, NO RIOTS, NO LOOTING, NO MAYHEM, NO ARSON? WHY IS THAT? NO ONE EVER POINTS THAT OUT, WHY?”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

You make a very interesting point, sir. Not positive, but I’m pretty sure an officer somewhere has shot a “White, Asian or Hispanic” person. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

Noozhawk Reader Diana Thorn writes:

“Great article. Right on target.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 11:36 am

Noozhawk Reader Monterey Jack writes:

“Ferguson Effect will take its toll, and the non-criminal majority in inner cities will clamor for a crackdown. Right?”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

Twitter Pal Chris Hull@Chrisahull writes:

“@DiDimond Excellent read, as one studying to become an MSW* I believe your analogy is spot one!! Well written, Diane!! ”

* Master Social Worker

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Joya Lord August 22, 2016 at 1:37 pm

Diane, as usual a rational and well-written article based on fact and research. Thank you!

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Facebook Friend Bill Voinovich writes:

“FAR TOO MANY people standing in line with their hands out, waiting for somebody to give them something FREE, because “YOU OWE ME”, and not nearly enough people willing to go out and WORK for what they want…..
EVERYTHING I HAVE, I WORKED FOR…
NOBODY gave me ANYTHING..I EARNED IT with HARD WORK, and I’m doing JUST FINE.
If you’re not willing to put forth any effort to EARN anything, then why is it you feel anybody owes you ANYTHING???
If you’re not willing to WORK for anything, why should somebody that EARNED what they have be forced to give you ANYTHING if you don’t want to do anything to better yourself???”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 1:59 pm

Facebook Friend Daniel Thomas Moran writes:

“These problems have nothing to do with the police. We just dump it in their lap so we don’t have to actually do something. They replace psychologists, social workers, policy makers, soldiers, referees, marriage counselors, clergy, economists, physicians and even parents. All on two years of college and several months at the police academy.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 2:09 pm

Facebook Friend Yvonne Francis writes 3x’s :

The ” ghetto”? I see you failed to mention trigger happy police? While the kkk parades in front of the Houston Texas Branch of the NAACP.
I’m not turning a blind eye to all of the overt racism /racist that is going on.
So Diane Diamond, tell me how you propose that we”FIX THE GHETTO” PROBLEM? Everybody who resides in the”ghetto (very offensive) are NOT CRIMINALS and the”ghetto” is not BLACK exclusive. /// Let’s be fair Diane, if we truly want to”FIX THE GHETTO”? We must ask ourselves why the ” ghetto” exist in the first place? WHO created the”ghetto” abd for WHAT PURPOSE WAS IT CREATED? Who is the beneficiaries?/// Question: How much time and energy have YOU invested in the “ghetto” Have you visited the “ghetto” and spoke to them? I find it baffling that you used those who seem to have a negative outlook and blame the humans that have to endure what they must. You cannot cure cancer by adding aids or putting a blanket over it. You MUST find the origin and treat it. I find your article highly offensive/disrespectful and bias. I also noticed that you made no mention of the police who have committed criminal acts UNDER THE LAW? Police do not pay settlements to criminals and there are documents that have surfaced that the Police departments in the “GHETTO” COMMITTING HORRIFIC ACT AGAINST THE CITIZENS THERE IN “THE GHETTO!” Why omit these facts Diane Dimond’s Friends and Fans IF YOU ARE SINCERE IN ERADICATING THE ILLS OF ONE SAID “GHETTO”?

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 2:10 pm

Ms. I’m not casting aspersions on inner cities or saying that they are only populated by blacks.
If you read the column you would see I am simply quoting Sheriff David Clarke of Milwaukee (a black man) who recently said, “Don’t fix the police – fix the ghetto.” I truly believe he is right. 99.9% of inner city residents – NO MATTER WHAT THEIR SKIN COLOR — are good, decent, law abiding people. It is the criminal element (read that: gang members) who live among them who create the violence, fear and most of the murders that occur there.
It is the actions of these predators that bring the police to the inner city neighborhoods – police who are responding to residents’ calls for help. I have frequently dedicated my weekly column to writing about trigger happy cops. This column was different. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:06 pm

Facebook Friend Notty Bumbo writes:

“I call BS on this article for one VERY big reason – her analysis utterly fails to rectify the issue of white supremacist violence getting very little of the blame for what is actually going on, which only reinforces the charge that this is indeed a racist issue. You cannot merely blame black offenders for all this insanity if you are unwilling to name with equal fervor those who also shoot both cops and citizens from a clearly racist mentality. If you wish to craft an argument that racism has nothing to do with much of the cop shootings, you also have to question why so many white suspects of clear and viscous crimes are so often taken alive while so many black suspects are shot and killed, often with no weapon ever found. Either parse the entire phenomenon, or remain suspect in your intentions and analysis.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:09 pm

Noddy,

First, for purposes of this column it is clear that Mr. Smith was fully armed and according to the Sheriff video clearly shows he was bringing his gun to to shoot an officer.

Second, I will tell you what I’ve told other critics here — I’ve written plenty about trigger happy police officers. This column is about something else….the systemic violence that the 99.9% of good,hardworking inner city folks must put up with. And who else do they have to turn to for help, Notty ? That’s right. The police. Who come into their neighborhoods and are routinely met with guns pointed in their direction. Are there bad cops? You bet! And I’ve written about them here. But it seems we never take time to look at the ROOT CAUSE of inner-city violence. I think its time. It doesn’t start with cops. It starts with thugs terrorizing the hood. My constitutionally protected opinion.

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Facebook Friend Drew Rutberg writes:

“Great article. I would like to add liberalism is the heart of the problem. Liberals have a way of making people believe they are victims.

Liberals scream racism at every turn be it to win a vote or extinguish and opponent.

We need to lose the victim away from our safe space mindset the left has placed upon us.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Facebook Friend Karen Osborne writes:

“We live in Pavlovia.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:11 pm

Facebook Friend Anthony Flacco writes:

“May I please hear of an example of “white supremacist violence” anytime during this election cycle? Also, please give an example of violence perpetrated by Trump supporters upon those who support Hillary.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Facebook Friend Laurie Bizic Simpson writes:

“It used to be required that you volunteer time if you received public assistance and people were glad to do it when they needed help in between working. Now it is a way of life for so money. So much for the path to work program. I can’t think of one person who has been able to get off of public assistance.”

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:12 pm

Laurie,

I’m sure there are lots of people – of all colors and creeds – who have gotten off public assistance. Sadly, the media rarely focuses on those success stories. ~ DD

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Diane Dimond August 22, 2016 at 6:14 pm

Facebook Friend Ronnie Kaminski Latimer writes:

” Thank you for bravely addressing the elephant in the room Diane.”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:08 am

Facebook Friend Dawn Box Givens writes:

“You have raised some good points, but we cannot deny the existence of racism, which is really how ghettos were formed in the first place. I know this; I’ve read the history. What happened in Milwaukee can’t be compared to all of the recent cases of black men killed by police officers (or the recent cast of a DEAF man, of all things); I’ve seen the videos. We cannot deny that some, SOME (not all) police officers respond differently to black men than they do to other people, and we know this when we read stories of a man killing two people and proceeding to eat one of his victim’s face off, who survived and was only tased by police. Racism exists. Racists police exist. I happen to believe that they are a minority, like all racists, but let’s not kid ourselves.”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

Dear Dawn,

Absolutely racism exists! And I’d totally agree it exists in the minds of SOME police officers nationwide.
(BTW – the face-eating perp was not armed with a gun like Smith was in Milwaukee, likely the reason he was only tased and not shot.)
No rational thinking person can watch the video of a black man being shot in the back multiple times as he runs away from police. Horrific!
But, all that said, I’d like to see the focus shift to eradicating dangerous inner-city neighborhoods. Let’s rescue the 99% of law abiding people who live with the fear of gang violence every day. To do that the residents in those neighborhoods have to cooperate with police in rounding up the bad guys. Its the only path to safety. Then, the neighborhoods can flourish again. All IMHO.

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

Facebook Friend Ginnie Oleskewicz Schwartz writes:

“I agree with you 100 percent….”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:11 am

Facebook Friend Jeff Davis writes:

“I believe it to be what I call the three E’s: Employment. Economics. Education. And part of that education needs to be civics.”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

Facebook Friend Nancy Zalewski writes:

“I live in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the same state this idiot (Smith) is from.”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

Facebook Friend Cliff Darnell writes:

“How to “Fix” ,definitely tough to do.I guess you need enough people to care about finding then implementing solutions.Complacency, is fine till life stains your soul.”

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Diane Dimond August 23, 2016 at 11:13 am

Facebook Friend Ronnie Kaminski Latimer writes:

“Thank you for bravely addressing the elephant in the room, Diane.”

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Upstater August 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

Hi Diane,
Kudos on a very good piece, a refreshing point of view. So much of the “liberal” media is in lockstep on the “Black Lives Matter” movement, giving undeserved publicity to the malcontents, looters and thugs, while the forces of justice, the police and sometimes the National Guard put their lives in jeopardy to protect the lawbiders and safeguard peaceful neighborhoods.

The “Black Olives Matter” is indeed funny. In our neck of the woods, a bar printed t-shirts with the slogan, “Black Flies Matter.”

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Keith R December 28, 2016 at 1:21 pm

It is responses like this that keep the racism and unrest alive. If excessive force stops, then there would not be slogans like this.
Have you ever been stopped by police because you are a black man in a nice car?

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Diane Dimond December 28, 2016 at 4:10 pm

No. But that doesn’t mean I cannot express an opinion. Are you calling me racist for this column? Interesting, coming from a personal injury law firm employee.

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