Doesn't Bob Donovan's criticism of the (relative) silence of inner city elected officials over the continued spasms of violence in their districts require a response? Something other than that he is stupid, crazy, racist or uncouth?
Why is there so little political energy behind this issue by the representatives of those most effected by it? One gets the sense that certain black politicians are more concerned with racist cops than criminals. Is that plausible? The Jude beating was awful but is that where the greater threat lies?
One gets the sense that concerns over racial equity in the criminal justice system trump considerations of public safety. We can't get tougher on violent offenders because there are too many black men in jail already. Isn't that somewhat self-defeating? Will allowing neighborhoods like "Little Beirut" to stay the way they are increase or decrease the number of black males in prison in ten years? Can't we address two problems at once here?
Is the reason for this silence a belief that there is nothing that we can do about crime? Is it that some political leaders believe that the only solution to inner city crime is for the government to somehow change life in the inner city so that those who now commit crimes will then respond in some other manner? I can imagine that someone might have believed that was possible in 1967. Does anyone really believe it today? And even if you do, don't we have to stop the bloodletting till comes the revolution?
Donovan deserves a response that can serve as a vehicle for further public discussion. The cynical part of me says that the incongruity of this silence on the part of those whose constituents are suffering the most is just another example of the age-old political ploy of making hay over blaming someone else. But I do allow that it is more complicated than that. There are reasons for this curious response other than mere demagoguery and political cynicism.
We may be able to get past that, But it would help if Donovan gets an answer rather than an insult.