October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Help turn awareness into action.
Domestic violence has been at a crisis level in Milwaukee for years, and incidence rates are increasing as individuals and families cope with financial trouble and unemployment.
The statistics are staggering. Domestic violence-related homicides in Milwaukee rose 31% in one year.Annually, there are approximately 15,000 allegations of abuse and neglect in Milwaukee County.
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sojourner Family Peace Center (SFPC) invites the entire community to get involved with curbing domestic violence rates in southeastern Wisconsin. The Speak Your Peace Domestic Violence Awareness event runs for three days: Oct. 12-14 throughout the Milwaukee area. Opportunities to get involved include:
* Fashion show<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Featuring 10 models who are domestic violence survivors. The show also features a performance by domestic violence survivor and nationally recognized R&B artist Cincere<http://www.unsigned.com/cincere> – Friday, Oct. 12
* Domestic Violence Walk<http://ezregister.com/events/5301/> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Charity Basketball game<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Stageplay ”Shattered but Not Broken”<http://www.masterpieceent.com/> – Saturday, Oct. 13
* Soul Food Sunday Dinner<http://www.masterpieceent.com/SpeakYourPeace/SpeakYourPeace2012.html> – Sunday, Oct. 14
“Domestic violence is an issue that affects our entire community,” said Carmen Pitre, Executive Director of Sojourner Family Peace Center. “There is strength in numbers, and we are counting on Milwaukee residents to join forces to help eliminate the cycle of domestic violence. Local support is critical, and Speak Your Peace is an amazing platform to bring that commitment to life.”
Reporters and camera crews are invited to attend any of the events. Jodine Basterash, a domestic violence survivor and the organizer of Speak Your Peace, will be available for interviews.
To learn more about any of the Speak Your Peace events, please visitwww.MasterpieceEnt.com<http://www.MasterpieceEnt.com>. You may also contact Jodine Basterash at (888) 529-2770 extension 1 [email protected]<mailto:[email protected]> for more information. To seek help from an abusive situation, call the 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at Sojourner Family Peace Center at 414-933-2722.
Two free vital life-saving reports have been published with the purpose of deterring violent crime against females and children. These reports are titled Saving Women’s Lives and Protect Your Child from Kidnappers!
(Dallas, Texas) ICU Tek (www.icutek.com), a safety and security firm, is making two vital life-saving reports freely available to the public with the intent of deterring violent crime as broadly as possible. Although the reports’ information is applicable to males, this information has been specially created for the safety and protection of females and children, which are the two most ‘at risk’ demographic groups as victims of deadly violent crime. These free/no-cost reports are immediately accessible from ICU Tek’s website.
Written by Dr. Kenneth Love, these safety/security reports present a myriad of proactive instructions, measures, and steps to implement for self-defense and protection, as well as provide startling statistics regarding violent crimes perpetrated against females and children. Additionally, Dr. Love hosts a public service video on the ICU Tek website that is viewable free of charge, and a public service flyer is also freely available on the site for download to individuals and organizations interested in preventing or dramatically reducing violent crime in their neighborhoods and communities.
Dr. Love, who is a former city police officer, state correctional officer, state youth commission sergeant, U. S. Army sergeant, Boys & Girls Clubs of America Director, and father of five children says, “Violent crime never takes a holiday. It doesn’t worry about taking breaks, getting rest, or vacationing. It is ever present, with the singular function and the sole purpose of, ultimately, destroying individuals, families, and communities. Consequently, it is always in need of opposing attention, action, deterrence, and elimination. In response, it is my desire that everyone, regardless of gender, have ready access to these proactive informational resources that may serve to save someone’s life.”
In regard to violent crime statistics, just a few revelations in these reports are:
* Someone is sexually assaulted in the United States every 2 minutes
* In the United States, 17.6% of women have undergone some form of rape
* Approximately 55,000 women and children are trafficked annually in the U. S.
* Only 5% of violent crime perpetrators spend time in prison
* Every 40 seconds, in the United States, a child is reported missing or abducted
* 1.5 million children are abducted each year
* Of child kidnapping victims, 40% are killed while 4% are never found
* In 46% of child abductions, the child is sexually assaulted
* More than 70% of kidnapping victims are girls
* 75% of kidnapped children are murdered within 3 hours of their abduction
* In a violent crime study, nearly 3/4 (75%!) of parents surveyed said they feared their child may be abducted at some point
“In my opinion,” adds Dr. Love, “these reports are not luxuries, but are crucial necessities in saving lives. And, at the risk of nepotism, I strongly feel that they should be on everyone’s computer desktop and virtual bookshelf.”
To get your copies of Saving Women’s Lives, Protect Your Child from Kidnappers, watch the child abduction prevention video, or download the violent crime prevention flyer, visit www.icutek.com.
by Patrick Seale
Faced with a dramatic outbreak of anti-American violence by Arabs and Muslims in a score of countries — including the killing of Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi — the American reaction has been one of puzzlement, outrage and a thirst for revenge. Send in the Marines! Few Americans seem to understand that their country is paying for decades of grossly mistaken policies.
Take the Palestine problem. Most Americans have long since dismissed it from their minds and consciences. But Arabs and Muslims have not. Israel’s 45-year-long oppression of the Palestinians — the cruel siege of Gaza, the relentless land-grab on the West Bank — remains a major source of humiliation and rage. The United States bears the prime responsibility because, having sustained Israel in every possible way, it has failed to persuade it to give the Palestinians a fair deal.
Some American presidents have tried to break the Arab-Israeli logjam but were defeated by domestic politics and by obdurate Israeli leaders. Jimmy Carter was defeated by Menachem Begin; George H W Bush by Itzhak Shamir; Bill Clinton almost clinched a deal before he left office but was sabotaged by pro-Israeli officials like Dennis Ross. Barack Obama’s defeat by Binyamin Netanyahu has turned the huge hopes he first aroused into bitter disappointment. The poison of the unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict continues to inflict grave damage on the United States and to threaten Israel’s long-term future. There will be no peace in the region until a fair settlement is reached. But no president has dared exert American power in this cause.
Not only has the United States failed to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, it has also built Israel up into the regional bully, and must therefore be judged complicit in its numerous assaults against its neighbours. The origins of this policy may be traced to Israel’s comprehensive victory in 1967, which caused Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to view it as the guard-dog of America’s regional interests. Kissinger’s idea was to bolster Israel with funds and weapons in order to keep the Arabs down and the Russians out. His plan reached fruition after the 1973 October War, when he plotted to exclude the Palestinians from the post-war settlement and remove Egypt from the Arab military line up, thus laying the foundations for the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty. “Remove a wheel, and the car won’t run,” was the triumphant Israeli version.
Indeed, the Treaty guaranteed Israel’s supremacy for the next three decades, while exposing Lebanon, Syria and the Palestinians to the full force of Israeli power. Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, killing 17,000 people. It expelled the PLO and sought to turn Lebanon into an Israeli protectorate. Syria fought back; the man who was to serve as Israel’s vassal was assassinated; and the American-brokered Israel-Lebanese accord was scrapped. But not before Israel seized Beirut and presided over the horrific massacre by right-wing Christians of 800 Palestinians at the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps. Israel remained in occupation of south Lebanon for the next eighteen years until driven out in 2000 by Hizballah guerrillas — whom the United States still insists on calling ‘terrorists’.
Americans have rarely paused to ask themselves why they were attacked on 11 September 2001. Palestine was certainly a motive. Another was the severe punishment inflicted by the United States on Iraq in expelling it from Kuwait in 1991 and then in starving it over the next thirteen years with punitive sanctions, which are said to have resulted in the death of half a million Iraqi babies. Yet another major motive was the callous way the United States treated the tens of thousands of Arab fighters from across the region — 25,000 from Yemen alone — whom it had recruited and armed to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Once the Russians withdrew in 1989, Washington dropped the mujaheddin. Large numbers of these ‘Afghan Arabs’, angry, alienated and battle-hardened, were let loose on the region. Some caused mayhem in their own countries; others joined Osama bin Laden’s Al-Qaida.
George W Bush’s ‘global war on terror’ after 9/11 was another grotesque misuse of American power. Instead of using police methods to hunt down Al-Qaida, the United States blundered into war in Afghanistan — where, twelve years later, it is still inflicting and taking casualties. It then allowed itself to be tricked by Paul Wolfovitz and other pro-Israeli neo-cons into invading Iraq — a country which the neo-cons, after the Iran-Iraq war, saw as a possible threat to Israel’s eastern front. Some 1.4m Iraqis are estimated to have died as a result of the occupation and destruction of Iraq, together with about 4,500 Americans.
This was the heyday of the militarisation of American foreign policy — brutal wars, extraordinary rendition and routine torture, the expansion of overseas bases (including half a dozen in the Arab Gulf states), a grossly inflated military budget — still around $700bn a year!
The catalogue of blunders continues to this day. Instead of engaging with Iran as he promised to do when he came to office, Obama has waged an undeclared war against the Islamic Republic with ‘crippling sanctions’ and cyber attacks — largely, it would seem, to prevent Israel from dragging America into yet another Middle East war. The chance of a ‘win-win’ deal with Tehran — which would have allowed Iran to produce low-enriched uranium for electricity generation while giving up 20% uranium — has been thrown away because Israel insists that Iran’s nuclear industry be destroyed altogether. The United States is now attempting to bring down not just the Iranian regime but the Syrian regime as well, indeed the whole Tehran-Damascus-Hizballah axis which has dared challenge Israel’s hegemony.
Little Israel has now turned the tables on its mighty patron: Instead of Israel being America’s guard-dog, it is the United States which has become Israel’s guard-dog, harassing, sanctioning, demonising and waging wars on Israel’s enemies on its behalf. Americans may have forgotten these facts, if they ever knew them, but the Arabs and Iranians have not.
If this were not bad enough, Obama has authorised a vast expansion of U.S. drone attacks against alleged Islamic militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere, inevitably causing large numbers of civilian casualties and inflaming local populations against the United States. On the receiving end of brutal American policies, it is hardly a surprise that Arabs and Muslims hit back when they can.
Has the United States given the Middle East security? Or has it spread calamitous insecurity? Does the Gulf really need the U.S. 5th Fleet, squadrons of warplanes and thousands of infantry and armour? Is the U.S. presence stabilising or destabilising? Might it not be time to disengage? The Islamic revival, which has been such a striking feature of the Arab Spring, should be seen as a rejection of Western meddling and of Western controls, and a reaffirmation of Muslim identity. It is only the latest phase in the Arabs’ long struggle for independence. The vile film about the Prophet Muhammad may have been the spark which set Arab and Muslim anger alight, but it was only able to do so because of the large quantities of highly combustible material around.
Patrick Seale is a leading British writer on the Middle East. His latest book is The Struggle for Arab Independence: Riad el-Solh and the Makers of the Modern Middle East (Cambridge University Press).
Act of Solidarity with Sikh and Muslim Neighbors Near Sites of Recent Violence and Arson
In light of the recent acts of violence and vandalism against religions minorities across the country, Sojourners is calling on Christians to stand up against the hatred. Starting today, a billboard and newspaper ad will appear in Joplin, Mo., home to a mosque that burned to the ground earlier this month after suffering two previous acts of arson. Both the ad and the billboard read simply, “Love Your Muslim Neighbors.” The billboard is five blocks from the mosque on the corner of W 7th Street & S Schifferdecker Street.; the newspaper ad ran today in The Joplin Globe on Page A6. The second billboard has been erected three blocks from the gurudwara that was the recent target of a shooting that left six worshippers dead. The billboard reads, “Love Your Sikh Neighbors,” and sits on the corner of College Avenue and 13th Street in Oak Creek (to see a picture of the billboards and the ad, click HERE).
Lisa Sharon Harper, Director of Mobilizing for Sojourners, who recently joined with the Muslim community in fasting during Ramadan noted, “These attacks all come from fear. People fear what they don’t know or don’t understand.” She added, ““These ads are encouragement for Christians to act out of love and not fear towards those of different religions.”
Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and Secretary General of the World Evangelical Alliance, says, “Let there be no doubt: as Christians, we want to live in peace with Muslims, Sikhs and with all men and women in this world. This is intrinsic to our religion and is essential to Jesus’ teachings.” Tunnicliffe hopes that these billboards send a strong message to those of other faiths, as well, adding, “We want these billboards to communicate solidarity against violence and the desire to live peacefully with one another, regardless of faith tradition.”
In Milwaukee, Wis., Rev. Steve Jerbi of All Peoples Church has been actively involved responding to the shooting at the gurudwara. “It is amazing that loving our neighbor is such a radical statement. The walls of division, fear, and sometimes just not even knowing our neighbors is too often our reality. This campaign reminds us, after tragedy and in everyday life, that we are called to love our neighbors. This is a change for Christians to continue to express not just our sympathy, but our love for sisters and brothers in the Sikh community.”
Rev. Jill Cameron Michel of South Joplin Christian Church has worked with other clergy in the area to support the Islamic community after the loss of their building by hosting an Iftar dinner with four other churches in the area, as well as planning future outreach focusing on education Christians about Islam.” Jesus went to where people were hurting. He crossed boundaries of culture, race, and religion, and he acted in love even when it was difficult. Jesus echoed the words of Judaism by reminding us that faith comes down to loving God and loving your neighbor, two inseparable parts of the whole. Offering comfort, support, and hope, recognizing the humanity not only of those who believe as I do, but of all — these are acts of love, and are central to my faith.”
700-plus cities participated in the Million Father March 2012, the largest back-to-school initiative in United States’ history.
Chicago – Horrific violence in the United States raises its ugly head in some of the most unlikely places, including movie theaters, churches and schools. School and home should be the safest places for children, but in recent years, bullying, gang harassment, violent interpersonal conflicts and assault weapons have found their way to the school house door.
In the war against violence in America, there is a new army of more than one million American men, who are taking to the streets this year in one of the most important battles that America has ever fought—the battle against violence in schools. The Million Father March invited fathers, grandfathers, foster fathers, stepfathers, uncles, cousins, big brothers, significant male caregivers and family friends to take children to school on the first day of school in their district or on Million Father March Day, Tuesday, September 4, 2012.
The fathers and other men are janitors, lawyers, doctors, technicians, factory workers, bankers, bus drivers, construction workers, policemen and trash collectors. The 2012 Million Father March also included retired men, previously incarcerated men and unemployed men. This year, more than ever, we want to honor our military fathers and veterans who take their children to school on the first day and those who cannot because they are serving our country.
Women were also encouraged to take their children to school on Million Father March Day. Businesses were asked to give fathers and other men two hours off work the morning of the first day of school to take their children to school. Religious leaders (pastors, imams, priests, rabbis, ministers, bishops, elders) and faith-based institutions (churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples) were asked to adopt a neighborhood school and to partner with and support that school throughout the school year.
Last year, more than 1,000,000 men in 767 cities across America and around the world took children to school on the first day. “Education has become a matter of national security. If we cannot protect children in our schools, what good is it to protect our national borders?” says Phillip Jackson, Executive Director of The Black Star Project, U.S.A.
Research shows that children whose fathers take an active role in their social and educational lives are less prone to engage in violence. They also earn better grades, score higher on tests, enjoy school more and are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college. A good father is part of a good parent team and is critical to creating a strong family structure. Strong family structures produce children who are more academically proficient, socially developed and self-assured. Such children become adults who are valuable assets to their communities.
This year, we asked fathers and other men to volunteer 10 hours of service to their children’s school for a total of 10 million hours of service by the end of the 2012-2013 school year. We also asked fathers and other men to pledge to support children throughout the year. The pledge calls for and outlines a year-long commitment to their children and to the schools they attend. The pledge included participating in school activities for the benefit of the children, families and communities.
Many schools planned coffee, fruit and snack receptions for fathers who took their children to school on the first day. Some schools in America will begin the fall term with faith-based leaders and faith organizations praying around the school for a safe and successful school year for all students and staff. And finally, at every high school in America, alumni were asked to return to their alma mater on the first school day to welcome students back to their campus and to encourage them to have a successful and productive school year. These alumni were also asked to sign up as volunteers to help create and maintain better schools.
As part of their police brutality series, NewsOne delves behind the Blue Line to speak with Officer Nicalle Edwards, a police officer with the DCHD Police Department in Dallas, Texas, to examine the intricacies of the law enforcement and Black civilian relationship. Here, her honest answers prove that Blue often trumps Black and that distrust — and anger — dwell on both sides of the badge.
NewsOne: What led you to law enforcement?
Officer Nicalle Edwards: Ah! The age-old question. The truth? My mother married a man who beat us and molested me. I vowed to never be a victim again. I want to save some child that can’t save his/herself. So yes, I became a cop to make a difference. It may be a cliche, but as the young people would say, “It’s real talk.”
NewsOne: Do you ever feel compelled to speak out about police brutality? If not, why not? If so, how?
Officer Edwards: Fortunately, I haven’t had to deal with any police brutality cases. It is not as prevalent as you might think. The few cases that I’ve seen from neighboring departments have been dealt with expeditiously. I hold myself and my fellow officers to a high standard, and I personally don’t have an issue with reporting behavior that is unbecoming of an officer.
NewsOne: Police brutality is something that is rampant in the Black community. It is a fact that there is a long history of it — maybe not in your department, but around the country. Are you suggesting that police brutality occurs primarily because of Black citizens, not the police?
Officer Edwards: I’m not saying for one minute that cops are not responsible for the negative stigma that surrounds us. Cops are ever evolving, just like the world. Cops are a reflection of its community. I can honestly say that times are changing…in a positive way. Police officers are required to get more education and citizens are also becoming more knowledgeable of the criminal justice system, which bridges the gap of ignorance.
NewsOne: How can the negative attitudes many police officers have toward Black people be changed?
Officer Edwards: The only way any racist’s attitudes will be changed is through education and experience. The state of Texas mandates that all police officers attend Cultural Diversity training at least once every training cycle. This class is supposed to teach racial sensitivity, but what it boils down to is upbringing. If you were raised to be a racist, all of the training in the world won’t help you.
NewsOne: What is the best way to deal with rogue cops?
Officer Edwards: The best way to deal with a dishonest officer is to obtain that officer’s badge number and department info, then make a report to his/her supervisor. If you feel like that officer’s actions were criminal, you may need to contact a lawyer or the District Attorney.
Now to play devil’s advocate, ask yourself this, “Did my actions warrant his/her response? Did I comply with the ‘legal’ commands of the office (for example: promptly produce identification, proof of insurance, etc.)?”
NewsOne: Are there any ways we can learn to possibly diffuse combative situations when they happen (between law enforcement and civilians)?
Officer Edwards: When approached by a law enforcement official, remain professional at all times. In most cases, your behavior determines the outcome of an encounter. When responding to a call, the attitude of a suspect sets the tone of the exchange.
Let me give you an example: You are speeding (20 miles over the limit). I stop you and approach the vehicle. You roll down the window. I introduce myself, tell you why you were stopped, and ask for your driver’s license and proof of insurance.
You respond by promptly producing said documents. I ask where you are going and you explain that you are running late for work — all the while remaining polite.
After running a check of your criminal history and current warrants, it is determined that you have an outstanding warrant for a traffic citation in a nearby city. Because you were civil and polite, I’d use officer’s discretion and give you a warning and not arrest you for your outstanding warrant.
This would be an ideal call.
Now let’s say I approached your car and you jumped out cursing, because you are pissed that you were stopped.
This call is going to go very differently.
Depending on your actions, you may be maced or tasered. You are definitely going to jail on that warrant and you may have some new charges. Your car will be towed and your day will be spent in intake, instead of work.
The truth of the matter is that most violent encounters with the police take place because suspects become belligerent, combative, and uncooperative.
The media has a funny way of highlighting the officer’s response: omitting the incidents that led up to the suspect being subdued. This is a big reason the community fears the police.
NewsOne: What can residents do to empower themselves against negative officers in their community?
Officer Edwards: Become active in the community, attend your town hall meetings, vote for your leaders, become familiar with the officers that patrol your neighborhoods, report inappropriate conduct, and be visible.
NewsOne: Do some police officers feel they are above the law?
Officer Edwards: Again, I can only speak for what I’ve seen…I have never seen an officer who thought that he/she was above the law. The state of Texas has a way of reminding us that “you too will go to jail.” If you are an officer who breaks the law, justice is just as swift.
NewsOne: Are you ever afraid when doing your job because of the reputation that police officers have?
Officer Edwards: I am forever mindful that I live in a bubble, because of my chosen profession. I’m okay with that. I try my best to practice what I preach. I live by the laws that I enforce. In saying that, I realize that I’m a rarity. I perform my duties as if I am on camera, always aware of my audience. I have been in Internal Affairs more times than I can remember, but each time I’ve escaped unscathed, because I remain professional. I am not “all cops” and I refuse to be burdened with negative perceptions. Like I always say, You hate the police, until you need the police.
NewsOne: Being a Black woman, do you feel any conflicting emotions when looking at the police brutality that runs rampant in Black communities?
Officer Edwards: As I said before, I haven’t experienced police brutality in any community. I have, however, experienced brutality from the community. I have been kicked, hit, punched, scratched, bit, and spit on…by the community.
I have even been shot at, on several occasions, just because of the uniform that I wear. I can recall being asked to work an off-duty job at an apartment complex that had been taken over by the city because of its high-crime rate and the number of 911 calls.
When I arrived, I stepped out of my personal vehicle and stood beside two fellow Black officers. About 30 seconds later, we heard gunshots. The Black community that we’re there to serve and protect, was trying to kill us. Talk about police brutality. The Black community didn’t care that we were Black or that I was a woman.
On Sunday night, three Dallas PD officers were shot at in a drive-by while attempting to break up a fight outside of a night club. They were trying to keep the peace and the community was not having that.
A few months ago, one of my friends was driving home from work in his personal vehicle, and someone shot at him on the freeway. They left a hole in his rear glass, but thank God, not in his head.
This is what I think of when you speak of police brutality. My job is dangerous and most Black people couldn’t care less about me… until they need me.
I’ve been in law enforcement for 11 years total. I’ve been a police officer for 5 years. You have no idea the weight of the badge. Yes, you have those who abuse their authority, but you have those who go to war on these streets every day, but we get overshadowed by the jackass that hit Suspect one too many times.
NewsOne: Historically, the Black community has been unable to trust the legal system or those sworn to protect it. You mentioned what civilians should do, what can officers to do foster healthier relationships with the Black community?
Officer Edwards: Community policing is something that we as law enforcement officials have implemented over the years. Community policings, in essence, is a collaboration between the police and the community [and the community] identifies and solves community problems.
With the police no longer the sole guardians of law and order, all members of the community become active allies in the effort to enhance the safety and quality of neighborhoods. The expanded outlook on crime control and prevention, the new emphasis on making community members active participants in the process of problem solving, and the patrol officers’ pivotal role in community policing require profound changes within the police organization. The neighborhood patrol officer, backed by the police organization, helps community members mobilize support and resources to solve problems and enhance their quality of life. Community members voice their concerns, contribute advice, and take action to address these concerns. Thus, building great relations between the community and police.
While Officer Edwards offers insight in to the inner-workings of law enforcement as it should be, there is little acknowledgement of law enforcement in the Black community as it is, showing that the same race does not indicate kinship between civilians and police.
Clearly, we need to be able to empower ourselves against forces that are empowered and given license to kill us.
Check back with NewsOne as we present a call-to-action designed to combat the violence in our communities. Violence that comes from both in front of and behind the Blue Line.
Last summer, Milwaukee teens made national headlines for acts of violence and aggression at high profile public locations. This summer, youth organizers from Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee want to promote to “peace in the streets” by encouraging their peers to resolve conflicts without violence and to not engage in negative, aggressive behavior through “Keep It Moving,” a dance competition. The event takes place on Thursday, July 19 at 1 p.m. inside the Roger & Leona Fitzsimonds Boys & Girls Club located at 3400 W. North Ave.
“Keep It Moving” is the brainchild of MOVES (Make Our Victories Empowering Steps) Against Violence, a youth-led program of Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. The event is made possible thanks to a proposal written by Club members and awarded by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for a Safe Alternatives For Youth grant, which they received $2,500. “Keep It Moving” is also held in partnership with “Let’s Move,” an initiative led by First Lady Michelle Obama to address childhood obesity.
For “Keep It Moving,” the dance teams will represent three Milwaukee Boys & Girls Clubs locations, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha and the youth-arm of organizations such as Christian Faith Fellowship Church, Tessa Black Entertainment Group, Tru Skool and Urban Underground. The top three dance teams will receive cash prizes. Before the competition begins, Club teens will lead a peace walk at 11:30 a.m. and erect a memorial wall for the community to add names of loved ones lost to violence.
The recent spate of shootings in New York City are at best a statistical anomaly and at worst a disturbing new trend — either way, it’s terrifying. Eight more people were shot on Monday, leaving three dead, after a violent Fourth of July that saw at least a dozen people fall victim to gunfire; the week before, 60 people were shot. “It’s true that this particular week of the Fourth of July traditionally has been a very high-crime shooting, murder week,” Bloomberg said yesterday, repeating a claim he made over the weekend. “It’s an outrage,” he added. “I hope this week is just an aberration in the statistics, but we are working as hard as we can to stop it.”
However you slice it, the numbers are up from last year: There have been 12 percent more shootings on the year so far, and murders are up to 21 from 18 at this point in 2011 — a jump of almost 17 percent. But things are much worse in Chicago, where Mayor Rahm Emanuel is grappling with a homicide rate that’s soared more than 30 percent.
As criticism builds over an array of horrifying recent incidents, including a 7-year-old girl shot while selling candy, Emanuel is begging for some compassion from the city’s gangs. “We’ve got two gangbangers, one standing next to a kid. Get away from that kid. Take your stuff away to the alley. Don’t touch the children of the city of Chicago. Don’t get near them,” he pleaded on CBS Evening News last night. “And it is about values. As I said then [when the 7-year-old girl was killed last month], who raised you? How were you raised? And I don’t buy this case where people say they don’t have values. They do have values. They have the wrong values. Don’t come near the kids — don’t touch them.”
Emanuel and police chief Garry McCarthy are standing by their anti-gang strategy. Tactics include more beat cops in dangerous areas and the targeting of abandoned buildings that serve as hiding spots for gang members and guns, but both men have said that swarming high-crime areas with hundreds of officers temporarily and then moving them around won’t work. McCarthy went so far as to compare it to “putting a band-aid on a gunshot wound,” while Emanuel added, “I don’t think coming in, swatting something down and letting it come back in two weeks is strengthening a community. What it does is build up cynicism.”
In the Windy City, homicides are already up to at least 275. Last year, Chicago recorded about the same amount of murders as New York, despite being three times smaller. “That’s not success and I’m not willing to take it as success,” said McCarthy, a former New York City cop.
Locally, amid criticism for stop-and-frisk, Bloomberg is throwing up his hands in frustration. Asked yesterday if there was something more the city could do, he shot back, “If there was, don’t you think we would do it?” He continued: “I mean, what kind of question … Let me repeat what Ray Kelly is constantly [saying]: If you have any suggestions, we’d be happy to hear it. We are doing every single thing we can to keep you and your kids safe.” Bloomberg might’ve sounded Rahm-like in his rawness, but the Chicago mayor might tell him he’s doing a relatively good job.