The City of Brotherly Love is having trouble with a seemingly out-of-control criminal element. They reported their 100th murder yesterday. Reminiscent of other milestones in deaths in Iraq, the 500th, 1000th, etc… One would think that there’s a civil war going on in the city.
Philly can take solace in the fact that they’ve got a long way to go to top New Orleans, which now has a higher murder rate than the entire country of Iraq. They have one thing in common with New Orleans that needs to be addressed. The people, not all the people, I’ll call them the insurgents, don’t want to help themselves get rid of the problem. Instead, they are the problem.
New Orleans residents are reluctant to come forward as witnesses, fearing retaliation. And experts say that is one of several reasons homicides are on the rise in the Big Easy at a time when other cities are seeing their murder rates plummet to levels not seen in decades.
Philly has the same problem.
‘Don’t talk to the f-ing cops,’ ” the officer quoted the woman as saying. ” ‘We handle this our own way.’ ”
The mother of a third shooting victim arrived and told police: “I know who did it, and he’s in this crowd.” As the woman looked around for the gunman, the crowd berated her and told her to keep silent, the officer said. “People were telling her to be quiet and saying, ‘We’ll get you, bitch.’ “
What are contributing factors to this mentality? The us vs. them attitude runs rampant and gets ignored by organizations like the NAACP who refuse to step up to address it. The illegal immigration deniers are in the same boat. Schools could help obviously, but the war extends to the hallways too.
The answer might have to be some tough love. Maybe something needs to be tried like the politicians in Washington want to do in Iraq? If it works in Iraq, why wouldn’t it work in New Orleans and Philadelphia?
UPDATE: 04/02/07, Enough is enough, it’s up to 104.