Agency as a Cure for Violence

We are bringing Genius Farm
To Baltimore and Philadelphia

When it comes to technology skills, the U.S. comes in last place — right below Poland. In addition, there was a significant racial difference with non-whites scoring below whites.
That’s why we are introducing students to artificial intelligence (A.I.), computer vision, data science, machine learning, robotics and blockchain technology.
Tech’s biggest companies are placing huge bets on artificial intelligence (A.I.) where typical A.I. specialists can be paid from $300,000 to $500,000 a year or more in salary and company stock.
We must educate our children for the 21st Century

In 1990, there were 305 homicides in Baltimore and 2,262 homicides in New York City. In 2017, Baltimore is actually on track to surpass New York City in homicides. According to The Baltimore Sun:
New York, which has a population of 8.5 million, had 182 homicides as of Sept. 3, according to police department data. Baltimore, a city of less than 620,000, was already at 238 victims as of that date, records show.
On a per-capita basis, the cities aren’t anywhere near each other. Baltimore saw 50 killings per 100,000 people in 2016. New York had 3.9 killings per 100,000.
New York’s declines in the 1990s often were attributed to zero-tolerance policies and statistics-based policing, prompting Baltimore to adopt similar strategies. But New York in recent years also backed away from controversial stop-and-frisk tactics, and has continued to experience big declines.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

A major factor driving homicide rates is mass incarceration, according to Michelle Alexander:
If you take into account prisoners, a large majority of African American men in some urban areas, like Chicago, have been labeled felons for life. These men are part of a growing undercaste — not class, caste – a group of people who are permanently relegated, by law, to an inferior second-class status. They can be denied the right to vote, automatically excluded from juries, and legally discriminated against in employment, housing, access to education, and public benefits — much as their grandparents and great-grandparents once were during the Jim Crow era.

New York City’s incarceration rate fell by more than 50 percent over the last two decades, even as the national incarceration rate rose 12 percent. By contrast in Maryland, the prison population has tripled since 1980. Maryland also state ranks seventh in terms of amount spent per capita on the justice system and spent $1.313 billion on state corrections in 2013. Maryland spends more than 10 times as much on corrections as it does on education.
On an average day, there are about 1,500 fewer inmates in the Philadelphia prison system than there were just two years ago. Yet, Philadelphia still has the highest incarceration rate per capita of the top 10 largest American cities.
Philadelphia, not long ago ranked third in the country for inmates on death row behind Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), CA and Harris County (Houston), TX. There are currently 156 inmates on death row in Pennsylvania and 55 are from Philadelphia.

Pope Francis in Philadelphia jail

Pope Francis embraces a prisoner while meeting with inmates at Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility in Philadelphia
“I was in prison and you came to visit me.” ~ Matthew 25:36

Newark murders as 'infectious disease'

There is a study that tracks murders in Newark, NY as an ‘infectious disease:’
Homicides in Newark have spread through the city over the past 30 years like an infectious disease and can be tracked and treated like a public health issue with prevention, inoculation and treatment, according to a study by Michigan State University.
The study, among the first to track murder through the lens of medical research, is part of a widening trend among local leaders and the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to treat violent crime like a medical condition.

Seth Godin

At the root of the problem, we see a population who doesn’t understand their own power of agency. Seth Godin wrote a blog entry addressing this issue:
Agency is the ability to make a decision, and to be responsible for the decision you make….
Every worker in every job is given a pass, because he’s just doing his job. The cigarette marketer or the foreman in the low-wage sweatshop… they’re just doing their jobs.
This free pass is something that makes the industrial economy so attractive to many people. They’ve been raised to want someone else to be responsible for the what and the how, and they’d just like a job, thanks very much.
As the industrial company sputters and fades, there’s a fork in the road. In one direction lies the opportunity to regain agency, to take responsibility for ever more of our actions and their effects. In the other direction is the race to the bottom, and the dehumanizing process of more compliance, a cog in an uncaring system.

malesinc

Across the U. S., an astonishing number of Black men have spent some time in prison, yet corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.

Ed Burns

It’s not a war on drugs. Don’t ever think it’s a war on drugs. It’s a war on the Blacks. It started as a war on the Blacks, it’s now spread to Hispanics and poor Whites. But initially it was a war on Blacks. And it was designed basically to take that energy that was coming out of the Civil Rights Movement and destroy it.
~ Ed Burns
Co-creator of “The Wire”

HSBC

According to an article by Avinash Tharoor, Bank of America, Western Union, and JP Morgan, are among the institutions allegedly involved in the drug trade. Meanwhile, HSBC has admitted its laundering role, and evaded criminal prosecution by paying a fine of almost $2 billion. The lack of imprisonment of any bankers involved is indicative of the hypocritical nature of the drug war; an individual selling a few grams of drugs can face decades in prison, while a group of people that tacitly allow — and profit from — the trade of tons, escape incarceration.
According to the Corporate Crime Reporter:
Corporate crime inflicts far more damage on society than all street crime combined.Whether in bodies or injuries or dollars lost, corporate crime and violence wins by a landslide.
The FBI estimates, for example, that burglary and robbery – street crimes – costs the nation $3.8 billion a year.
The losses from a handful of major corporate frauds – Tyco, Adelphia, Worldcom, Enron – swamp the losses from all street robberies and burglaries combined.
Health care fraud alone costs Americans $100 billion to $400 billion a year.
The savings and loan fraud – which former Attorney General Dick Thornburgh called “the biggest white collar swindle in history” – cost us anywhere from $300 billion to $500 billion.
David Simon

David Simon, co-creator of HBO’s “The Wire”

The factories are not going to be here anymore. We don’t need these people so the least we can do is hunt them. And when we hurt them we at least provide jobs for cops, DEA agents, lawyers and prison guards.
~ David Simon
Co-creator of HBO’s The Wire
The Law Needs Legitimacy

Killed by police

Malcolm Gladwell’s David and Goliath:
[L]egitimacy is based on three things. First of all, the people who are asked to obey authority have to fell like they have a voice—that if they speak up, they will be heard. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that the rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules today. And third, the authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another….
[W]hen the law is applied in the absence of legitimacy, it does not produce obedience. It produces the opposite. It leads to backlash.
A man walks past a burning police vehicle

A man walks past a burning police vehicle in Baltimore. Patrick Semansky/Associated Press

“The stories in the news today reminded me of the sentiments of almost fifty years ago when many young Black people felt that policing for them was unfair.”

New York Times op-doc:
“It’s like déjà vu all over again.”
Nick Mosby, a former member of the Baltimore City Council:
This is bigger than Freddie Gray. This is about the social economics of poor urban America. These young guys are frustrated, they’re upset and unfortunately they’re displaying it in a very destructive manner. When folks are undereducated, unfortunately they don’t have the same intellectual voice to express it the way other people do, and that’s what we see through the violence today.

Mosby is currently currently serving as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates.
As stated by former Councilmember Mosby, the problems are lack of education and lack of opportunities.

Prince performing in Baltimore

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s