Monday, December 28, 2015

The Hard Truth From Orlando


It's sad. It's bad. But it's Louisiana (or Texas -- and sometimes Florida) -- or Ferguson, Missouri. The corruption and politically driven need for convictions to further careers in law enforcement and the criminal justice system are pretty obvious. It's embarrassing for those of us who work the system when this kind of obscenity is uncovered, and more of an embarrassment when there doesn't seem to be a quick and resolute correction of the malefaction.

But it's not merely a one-sided, race-driven institution that condemned Corey. It's that gaping Grand Canyon of the cultural divide. Where were Corey's parents in all this? Where was the adult supervision on the night of the pizza robbery? If the boy is that disabled, the crime occurred at night, where were his parents and the parental supervision for he and his underage brother and why were they hanging out with adult men who were probably well-known in the neighborhood for criminal activities? Why didn't the parents or the Defense take the non-compliance of the prosecutor and discovery violations to the media, if not to the Louisiana Bar Association? Because it's easier to blame the "white" system than to make it work for you.

I see this kind of potentially disastrous scenario every single day in Orlando. It happens in West Cocoa, Titusville -- anywhere you have the black population, and a fairly significant portion of our Hispanic population. It's the cultural norm to float around at all hours, unsupervised. It's the NORM to have a criminal record, and therefore you don't restrict your children from running with other people with criminal records or hanging in neighborhoods with a bad reputation. You condone criminal records because "it's the white people's fault" and most of your neighbors and family members have a record, so what's the big deal?

I don't doubt for a red-hot instant that blacks are stopped more often, arrested more often, charged more often, imprisoned more often. But isn't it equally true that so much of the crime is occurring or originating in predominantly black neighborhoods? Yes. I know that's how it is. But what has the black community done about changing this? They don't make their kids be HOME when it's dark. Hell, the parents aren't home after dark. They don't curtail who they hang with, family or not -- bad guys are bad guys. They don't enforce school and good behavior in school and studying (which you can't do anyway if you're not home until late and hanging around in the 'hood).

This morning at 5:10 a.m., walking the dog around the park, a younger black man on a bicycle came across the parkway, saw me, veered off and cut through the park on an expensive racing bicycle without headlights or tail-lights (which WILL get you stopped by the police in Orlando as it's a traffic infraction). He was wearing all dark clothes, had an expensive black backpack and, weirdly, black saddlebags on the bike. I turned the corner of the park and it wasn't three minutes when there was a loud metallic clang down Robinson and a business's alarm system went off. Three guesses which direction and where he'd have been time-wise when that alarm went off? Yep.

The burglaries in my neighborhood are almost nightly. The shootings in Orlando/Orange County are pretty much nightly, too. And the demographics? Nearly all black, with Hispanics running a not-too-close second. And yet, if that young man this morning had been stopped for a bike without lights while pedaling rapidly away from the alarm, he'd have argued "profiling." If he'd been white, he wouldn't have had any excuse. That's the real double-standard.

Change the culture and you'll change the frequency of Corey-type horror stories.

   Florida Cracker

((The original story:

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