Wednesday, November 26, 2003

DC Crime Emergency Will Likely Stretch Into 2004

I have been tied down with Robert Rubin's new memoirs, In an Uncertain World for the past few days (more on that later this week) and so have been too distracted to post for a while. But this little news item hits really close to the neighborhood where I live and there are now cops swarming about in our streets.

Mayor Anthony Williams has declared a "Crime Emergency" in our nation's capital. There is something unsettlingly perverse about the "Seat of the Free World" being ranked the 3 worst city for crime in our nation (Baltimore, our neighbor to the north--and birthplace of my sister, incidentally--is 1st).

Just two miles north of the Whitehouse where GWB collects the checks and orders our boys to imminent danger half way around the world, and two blocks from my house, people are shooting at each other in broad daylight.

Forget Iraq. GWB can't even invoke law and order right under his nose (I guess it's actually the responsibility of DC's colonial overlords in the Republican-controlled US Congress who actually hold responsibility for governing us). No one dropped any bombs on us, but we have craters in our streets and obroken down schools, water and health systems. Where's the reconstruction plan for Washington? or for all our other crumbling cities with their tattered social fabric?

So, the kids who are in or have dropped out of our failed schools (public, charter and private), the kids who were left behind when Bush gutted education funding and social programs, the kids who are rotting for want of economic opportunity that has been plucked from their hands (and into those of Bush's corporate cronies), they have nothing better to do. So some fall into drugs, fall into gangs, and wreak havoc on this town. Some might say they terrorize us. But they neither speak Farsi nor sit atop barrels and barrels of precious oil, so we'll leave well enough alone.

There are plenty of things that we need to spend money on right here at home: health care, education, homeland security, jobs, and more that just aren't getting done under president Bush. His mind is on the oil in Iraq and raising money to buy another election. I'm sure he's saving enough of that campaign money to install a state of the art alarm system down in Crawford. As for the rest of us schlubbs who are being trickled upon by the Bush tax cuts and imperial escapades, just try to duck.


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