...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003
      ( 1:52 PM )
Return to Gangland

UPDATE: Here is the link to the editorial.

An editorial in today's Oregonian addresses a very important...rumor. Unfortunately, it's not online to link to, but perhaps they'll have it up tomorrow. In any event, the editorial board really shines today with this one. It starts out:

Portland is bracing for a bad summer.
Even as the nation is focused on war in Iraq,
and Oregonians are faced with multiple financial
crises, the word on the street is that
we're headed for a resurgence of drug, feud and
other gang-related gun violence

I love that "word on the street" - I guess the Oregonian Editorial Board has got its feet in the mix, hearin' from its homies, feeling the breezes blowin' from the 'hood. They are really tapped right in to the pulse of Portland's gang neighborhoods. One of which I live in. I'm so happy to read this editorial because it's always a good feeling to know that all over the county the ever-vigilant middle-upper class white majority will be re-invigorating their subtle and unadmitted racism and kid-phobic attitudes. Get those racist and anti-teen comments ready to go, folks!

The editorial continues to relate news "from the street" that because old gang leaders are being released from prison and a new generation of kids in gangs is emerging, the cops, the mayor and the district attorneys all forecast a Summer of Blood. As a "person" (quoted in this editorial) at an anti-gang forum in my neighborhood's precinct last week put it: "It's starting all over." The esteemed "person" could not be reached for further expertise and comment, I guess.

Wait, there is a reason the cops can't sufficiently deal with the gang issue!!

But the police officers also get switched
out of the gang detail, when other priorities
emerge such as street protests. So the
reality is that gang enforcement takes a back
seat, and some of the needed follow-up to
shootings doesn't get done.

OH! So it's the anti-war protests that are causing the cops to insufficiently deal with gang issues! Finally, a real reason to just spray those anti-American, unpatriotic, protesting bastards with live fire and get it over with! Because I can certainly see how 3 city protests can be reason for all the cops assigned to gangs not to be able to follow-up on shootings. My god, is there no end to the propaganda?

The Editorial Board continues:

Cooperation with probation officers is
also crucial... the probation officers work
closely with gang-outreach workers, who
are also critical to prevention. Under
the proposed Bush budget plan, however,
federal financing for this work would be
eliminated as of October
. That would
be a serious blow to Multnomah County.

A kernal of actual news to go along with this disaster-forecast. But there is no further exploration into the fact that the Bush administration plans to cut this funding, along with Early Head Start funding. THIS is what editorials should be written about, and on a daily basis. Once again, heralding disaster and destruction, the media - mimicking the Administration - uses fear to promote its agenda and to divert attention from the TRUE problems we are facing. Now everyone can be scared to death of gun-wielding gangster teenagers prowling the streets of Portland, waiting to shoot any innocent bystander they come across, instead of being concerned that low-income children are going to lose their chance at a good start to their lives, that community services for people who need it most, that probation officers who are often the last gatekeeper between a return to prison and a fresh start to life are all on the President's target list for extermination.

This editorial ends with the upbeat message that Portland has dealt successfully with gangs in the past and it can do it again...so go, Portland! What the hell was this editorial about?

It was about fear. It was about distraction.

While the national and local media runs around like chickens picking up the crumbs this Administration tosses them and bleating like lost lambs (forgive the mixed metaphors) about all the international hubub going on - nationally and locally we are all suffering and we are all about to suffer even more if Bush gets his budget passed.

We're "spreading democracy" on the other side of the world...and our own society is crumbling because of our government. The editorial doesn't even mention the well-documented fact that when the economy goes bust, crime rises. People get desperate. When the financial crisis in our state is such that one of the first things closed down are methodone clinics, then people are going to be trying to find relief for their heroin addictions elsewhere. The Oregonian Editorial Board doesn't seem to find it necessary to point out that with Portland schools losing almost 3 weeks of school, that's 3 weeks that some children won't get breakfast or lunch. Raising neighborhoods with hungry, desperate kids really promotes not getting into gangs. This editorial is subterfuge and fear-mongering. It follows the pattern that is currently present in almost ALL media outlets, locally and nationally. When are we going to put our foot down as citizens? I, for one, am writing to the Oregonian today. But on the power level...

Are there ANY democratic political leaders out there willing to stand up for the people they represent and try to put an end to this pattern of neglect of the neediest of Americans? Is there no one willing to actually say publicly what is going on? Is there no one who will speak out against what this Administration is doing? Anyone?

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