In a recent press conference city officials announced a new initiative, Operation Ceasefire, to fight urban crime in the city due to a recent up-surge in acts of violent crime. Up until now Jacksonville has been a high ranking city for years – statistics are verifiable via census.gov – in violent crime, with activity occurring, predominantly, in traditionally poor areas of the city. We have had a rather large police force all of this time – more than a decade – so one has to wonder what has been happening all of these years.
Despite the fact that police cars patrol neighborhoods, or rather around them in many cases, we can’t seem to solve the problem of excessive violent crime in the city without declaring open season on the city’s African-American community every summer.
Now since it couldn’t possibly have anything to do with poor schools, lack of local economic development, or any other sensible issue in Northwest Jacksonville. It couldn’t be that gentrification or, to be more honest, lack of concern on behalf of City Hall in general, might be corralling the unfortunate further out from the urban core to make way for people who can afford to purchase refurbished properties from crony developers. No, it’s not any of that. Our civic leaders would have us think that is it just simply the fact that some evil spirit has inhabited the area. When one doesn’t want to look at a deteriorating situation in honest terms, one generally will resort to magical thinking.
They have actually chose to spare us all the five minutes of angst of having to hear the overdone spiritual admonishments, to identify that the main reasons for violent crime are due to drugs – you know America’s oldest enemy since the Soviet Union expired. The mayor mentioned working toward poverty by putting more children to work, citing 600 kids put to work last year, as a part of a “public/private partnership”, because, as we all know, menial low paid labor has “always helped the poor in our city”. Right?