In the wake over the midafternoon shooting of Paul Huggins, Eugene Kane asks where the anger is when a black person is senselessly killed in broad daylight in Milwaukee ?
I think I know.
It is largely on the political right. People like Sykes and Wagner have been up in arms over inner city violence for quite some time. Kane's colleague, Patrick McIlheran, has been all over it. Even I have written about it in the paper and on this blog.
The reason that there is little or no response on the left is not because liberals like violence in the streets. It is because addressing the problem directly, i.e., by acknowledging that urban violence is not simply a reflexive response to conditions imposed from the outside that the affected communities can do little about, "feels racist." It seems like "blaming the victim."
So they either snipe at the responses to violent crime (police brutality! veiled racism!) or call for things that you and I and our grandchildren and theirs will never see (an end to inequality!). This amounts to no response.
And that's where real hostility to the victim lies. There is relegating poor black people to life in a shooting gallery. Paul Huggins did not have to stop at 43rd and Capitol (and if you believe, as I do, that this particular neighborhood is not that bad, pick another). Neither do I. Other people don't have a choice.
I don't play the usual game in town that calls for quick response to a white death while a black death just reaffirms the black community's violent dysfunction. I also don't pay much attention to frightened suburbanites who vow never to visit the central city because of reported violence.
Fair enough. But what game do you play and how is it going to make a difference?