Wednesday, December 22, 2010

North Oakland Gang Injunction=Racial Profiling?

Some suggest gang injunctions are simply a method to institutionalize and reinforce racial profiling by the Oakland Police. Some suggest the proliferation of gangs contribute to blight and disinvestment in Oakland. Some suggest the Oakland Police are too willing to kill young black men. Some suggest Oakland residents are too willing to ignore that most murders in Oakland are committed by people of color against people of color.

What is the reality? What are the perceptions? What are the solutions? What do you think?

Fact: Far too many people are being assaulted, robbed, and murdered in Oakland. Open the paper or turn on your computer and you can read that almost every other day someone in Oakland has been shot, robbed, or murdered.

Who commits these crimes and why do they commit these crimes? Oakland has one of the highest violent crime rates in the entire country. Until Oakland addresses crime in a comprehensive fashion, young men like Anthony Thompson will continue to be murdered on Oakland's streets. Until crime is addressed in a comprehensive fashion there will be blight and disinvestment in Oakland.


Anonymous said...

Sad but true. The vast majority of violent crimes in Oakland are committed by young black men who come from single parent households, living in poverty, and are most often high school dropouts. These broken families experience drug and/or alcohol abuse and neglect of children at far higher rates than others. Once convicted of a crime, there is little opportunity for rehabilitation and re-entry into a community.

Anonymous said...

Klippers is the issue. Get rid of Klippers and the whole neighborhood will improve. Any business which openly supports gang activities (as Klippers did by allowing those on the Gang Injunction to "memorialize" an other young man's death) should be shut down.

If Klippers isn't the biggest blight in our neighborhood, I don't know what is...!!!???

Anonymous said...

The Shattuck Crime Prevention Council has spent a lot of time and effort in getting the property owner and the operators of Klippers to prevent gang loitering. Historically, loitering gang members at Klippers would litter the sidewalk with blunts and liquor bottles, harass neighbors, sell drugs and dabble in gun play endangering residents.

The vast majority of these young thugs do not even live in the neighborhood, but are attracted to the area because of Klippers, Dorsey's and the Uptown Liquors. These are three businesses the neighborhood would be better of without.

Over the last ten years the demographics of the neighborhood have changed dramatically and home prices, even in today's market, hover around $500,000. The gang injunction is a positive move. Better yet, Oakland needs more cops to patrol the streets and keep the gangsters on the run.

Anonymous said...

Get Rid of Klippers, Dorsey's Uptown Liquors, T&K's and Pizza Hut = Get rid of Black people, and we will have better home prices for our houses. We did it to Nic Nak. Lets get rid of them ALL!!!

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous 1/1/2011,

Immediately playing the race card in a cynical and sarcastic way does little to support your claims. Eliminating undesirable uses that cause problems for North Oakland neighborhoods does not equate to getting rid of black people. There are any number of black-owned and supported businesses along the Shattuck corridor that do not create problems for the neighborhoods. No one is going after black people. What many do not want are undersirable and anti-social behaviors from patrons of liquor stores, fast food restaurants, bars, etc. Stop playing the race card. It's a sorry and tired excuse. Also, there is nothing wrong with increasing property values. Increased property values help to generate more taxes that can go to support social programs that are necessary to help some of the most disadvantaged in our community.

Anonymous said...

Lets be real, Racism still exist. We Fight Blight is Racist. We Fight Blight make comments a certain way however the undertone is still racist. If you don't like the area get out. If your so disenchanted with the area, move!

Fight Blight said...

Anonymous January 5th 2011,

As we have noted before in this blog, it is so easy to play the race card and call people racist when you do not like what they are saying. In Oakland politics charges of racism often fly fast and furious. More often than not, charges of racism are used to shut down discussions of important public policy. In this case, it is not clear exactly what you believe is racist about our blog. You refer to an undertone of racism. What exactly does that mean? Can you give us an example. Your insinuation of racism is what creates hostility in our community and destroys the ability of Oakland to formulate public policies that actually address the severe problems of concentrated poverty, drug addiction, alcohol abuse, blight and crime. Wake up and take responsibility for yourself and your community. Racism still exists in the United States as does gender discrimination and many other forms of disrcimination. However, to continue to use discrimination as a crutch and as an excuse in this day and age when we have a black president, and many people of color in significant positions of decision-making, including our first female and Asian Mayor, is simply inexcusable. We, as many others, do not like the irresponsible and anti-social behavior of some in North Oakland. It is the irresponsible and anti-social behavior that is targeted, not a particular racial or ethnic category. In North Oakland, the fact is that the gangs are predominantly young, black men. Most crime in North Oakland is committed by young black men. Most murders in Oakland are committed by blacks against blacks. The reasons for this are very complicated but as others have noted involve poverty, family structure, education and historic racism. Those are facts. Those aren't fairy tales. Acknowleding that does not make use or anyone else racist. Hiding behind charges of racism is a disservice to those who suffer from the outfall of this situation. We, as with others, have not only a right, but a moral imperative to change the situation. Without being able to identify the cause of the crime, blight or concentrated poverty, and those who are affected by these significant social problems, how does one identify the appropriate solutions? Think about. Oakland needs a paradigm shift in how it engages in public discourse. The first step is to listen to what people actually say and stop playing the race card.