Roy Exum: Racism. . . Or Murder

Tuesday, July 7, 2020 - by Roy Exum
Roy Exum
Roy Exum

I know, and you know, and everybody in the world knows, this ‘Defund the Police’ is the most ridiculous nonsense in the world. Maybe you’ve heard that in Chicago on the Fourth of July weekend, 70 people were shot. That’s 38 on the Fourth of July alone. Ten in body bags. For the week, ending at midnight on Saturday, it was 138 shot, 26 dead.

But wait … on Sunday, June 5th, the tally was 34 more, another eight dead. For the first six months of this year - 1,836 shot, 388 dead in Chicago alone. Today the Chattanooga City Council will proclaim racist is a public health hazard while not a one has the courage to look death in the eye and identity Chattanooga’s black community as the real cause why vibrant and able African Americans die.

Our black brothers and sisters will not tell our police what they need need to know, thus our Chattanooga is among the 20th Most Dangerous Cities in the United States (per capita). Black-on-black crime kills people. Racism, while sickening, is hardly on the same scale as murder, so let’s condemn the big stuff.

The City Council can join the latest racist scam – that neither accomplishes nor will return absolutely nothing for the common good -- but until they seek a cure for those who shoot their brothers, Erlanger’s indigent care will spiral over $150 million a year. The cost for each person shot is over $25,000 just for the first hour. Thus far not one shooting victim in 2020 Chattanooga can cover the tab, and Chattanooga’s City Council does not afford Erlanger as much as a penny in its budget.

Please … don’t dare look in your mirror when every member of the City Council is party to one of “The 20 Most Dangerous Cities In America.” If every elected Council member would dare pick any house in one’s district and ask: “Is racism in Chattanooga bigger than the shootings that make our city a national laughingstock?” and report back to the gathered group, racism would be a 9-to-nothing loser. Do your job and serve the people!

Black on black anger has turned our country into a daily shooting gallery. Two days ago, Kevin McCullough, writing on a website “The Federalist,” penned a story where six of our largest cities are undoubtedly floundering:

* --NEW YORK CITY – After $1 billion (with a ‘b’) was just defunded from the police budget, shooting victims are up 160 percent from last year at this time. In June 37 people were shot and 24 died. A Democratic mayor just took 600 anti-crime units out of commission and the police commissioner, pointing to Riker’s Island where almost half the population was freed, can tell you exactly why the uptake in murders.

* -- LOS ANGELES – During the first week of June homicides jumped by 250 percent and shootings were up 56 percent, this after the mayor defunded the police by $150 million for “neighborhoods of color.” Pal, $150 million represents 10 percent of the police budget. Now, you want me to tell you who will suffer the most in cutback services?

* -- CHICAGO - With 350 more shootings than at this time a year ago, and more homicides in the first six months of this year than in all of 2019, 11 aldermen are asking that not a penny of $333 million in federal money be given to the police. Over $42 million was withheld from the City’s Department of Corrections, this in spite of a 20 percent conviction rate for shooters.

* -- WASHINGTON, DC – Homicide numbers are up 13 percent over last year and the District’s police have been defunded for more than $15 million. How do you think that’s going to turn out?

* -- PHILADELPHIA – In 2020 shootings are up 67 percent, violence 29 percent and homicides up 25 percent. The police have been defunded over $19 million.

* -- BALTIMORE – With over 300 homicides in each of the last five years, Baltimore is ahead of schedule with 170 in the first six months. But unlike any of the past five years, Baltimore just defunded the police by $22 million.

* * *

Combined, the six aforenoted cities have had a combined 600 homicides in the last six weeks. All six are governed by a Democrat mayor. And you really think racism is our biggest problem?

* * *

Last week the Los Angeles City Council passed a motion to replace police officers with unarmed “crisis response” personnel to respond to “no violent crimes.” Several weeks ago, David Marcus wrote a satire column, “I’m the Rapid-Response Social Worker Who Replaced the Police”

* * *

‘ITS NOT EASY … BUT IT IS FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE”

By David Marcus, writing in “The Federalist” on June 5, 2020

I’m not gonna’ lie, this isn’t exactly what I expected — lying here in the hospital. I mean, it’s only a few broken bones, a punctured lung, and some stitches to the head, but I almost feel betrayed. Three weeks ago, when I took the five-hour online course to become an unarmed rapid response social worker, I thought I was helping mankind. After all, with the police abolished, somebody had to be there to mitigate when people had inevitable disagreements.

My first mitigation didn’t go great. I was called to the scene of a bank robbery — which, there weren’t supposed to be any bank robberies once the capitalist-driven oppression of the police no longer created crime, but this guy apparently didn’t get the memo, I guess. He was a Latino male-presenting person about 5’6” holding a shotgun.

Thinking back on my extensive training, I tried to calm things down with a breathing exercise. But he just kept yelling and pointing the gun at me, which again, not supposed to happen. I told him that as a white man, I could never know the trauma the Spanish-speaking people suffered under white genocidal maniacs like Cortez, and while his desire to rob the bank was understandable, even laudable, we have collectively decided not to support such actions, and resources were available to him.

That’s when he hit me in the head with the butt of his gun; I think it was the butt of his gun, anyway. When I woke up, I realized this job was not going to be as easy as I thought it would be. That was just one person, though — one person who is really rich now. But to assume he represented the entire criminal class would have been the height of privilege, right? And after all, it’s only money, and a slight concussion.

The next day went remarkably better. I was called to a gang fight that was about to get very heated. No guns this time, just knives and brass knuckles. I suggested we all sit in a circle and use a feelings chart to determine what had brought us all to that place. I did not, of course, suggest that why I was there was for some inherently better or more virtuous purpose, and I think they really got it! They stopped fighting each other and stole my wallet, instead. Progress.

It was yesterday, my third day on the job, when things really got dicey. There were reports of revolutionary redistribution of corporate assets, which used to go by the patently racist name “looting.” I consulted my Rapid Response Social Worker app, and it advised me to start gently chanting, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Emily Dickinson. It’s a technique that was developed in Denmark to deescalate harmful situations with poetry.

The rest is a blur. There were a few baseball bats to the legs. A large glass bottle of something sticky, organic maple syrup maybe, was smashed on my head. People were kicking me in the ribs, and I saw a few people fighting over a Ralph Lauren down comforter they were stealing… I mean redistributing. The comforter ripped, there was chaos everywhere, and when I woke up in the ambulance, well, I was the thing with feathers.

This morning when I woke up, my supervisor was right there next to my bed. I thought maybe he had brought flowers or one of those shiny balloons from the hospital gift shop. But actually, he had a long complaint form, detailing the ways in which I had failed in my job and failed the collective community. I was still kind of groggy. I didn’t catch it all, but something about failure to recognize and ameliorate systems of oppression. Which, I mean, yeah probably.

I’m not giving up though. Nobody said this would be easy. They also didn’t say it would put me in the ICU, but that’s beside the point. We are creating a better world — one where police, the real criminals, no longer exist, and more equitable forms of community support for need-based compelled law suggestion can thrive. Are we there yet? No, but once I’m out of the hospital and off suspension, I’ll be right back to work making America a better place.

* * *

It’s a hoot alright … but tell me if this ain’t where we are standing?

royexum@aol.com


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