Here is a case where youth violence, youth gun violence specifically, has been a growing concern in the Pensacola area. One way to reach the kids, it was thought, was to give them something to do and try to teach them to behave responsibly.
An altercation early Sunday morning that led to a 16-year-old being shot and a 15-year-old being knocked unconscious occurred right after a Stop the Violence concert, according to an event organizer. A co-organizer of the concert, Bill Marshall, said the concert had been a free event where local music artists performed and spoke to the youths about ending violence in their communities.
So much for that idea. The Pensacola News Journal reporter does not say, but from the address of the place where the free concert was, it seems to be in a predominately Black neighborhood. I could be wrong in assuming that the youths involved were Black, but I doubt it. The reporter could clear this doubt up with just a little more information.
You can’t fix the out-of-control youth issue when you don’t know what the problem is. The problem is that Black youth unemployment is 33.4 percent nationally. That’s almost criminal to have a figure that high. I don’t know if it is better or worse in Pensacola. It is almost twice that of White youth unemployment at 18.9 percent. Which is still way too high. Either way, for all races, youth unemployment is unacceptably high. This makes for trouble the likes of which occurred over the weekend.
The answer obviously is not free concerts. And it isn’t a higher minimum wage. The answer is in a growing economy. Not a contracting economy like we have now. Contrary to what President Obama thinks (and economist he is not), raising the minimum wage (which is where youths always start) will create less opportunities for them. Not more.