Okay, so I’ve been listening to all this about Ferguson and Eric garner. Regular readers and listeners know my views. I won’t rehash them here. They also know I’m a numbers guy and we have torn up every rightwing and corporatist argument using their own numbers to prove their corrupt perspectives and motives. The other thing about numbers, and this comes from years doing logistics in the commercial sector for two major airlines; a clear understanding of those numbers will help you pull sense out of the confusion of facts. Efficiency! Isn’t it all about efficiency?
So when I heard that President Obama was directing $263 million for cameras and sensitivity training for cops I had to wonder. Is that the most efficient way to solve the problem? Hmm. Let’s see.
According to the United States Census, as of 2010, of almost309 million people in the US, 38.9 of them w ere-and still are-Black. Likewise there are about 28 million Hispanics, 3 million indigenous, who are being really patient and generous with all of us non-natives, that is everyone who arrived within the last 400 years. There are almost 15 million Asians, but for some reason, except for a crazy old neighbor who didn’t go to Vietnam but listens to Rush Limbaugh and wears camouflage pants to work, nobody seems to bother the Asians much. So, for giggles, since this country really has a problem with all brown and Black people, lets combine those folks-except the Asians- which brings us to about 70 million.
Now, the problem seems to be respect and neglect. Part of the respect issue is that black and brown folks are disproportionately poor. The other part is that they live in bad neighborhoods. A major cause of that is neglect. Houses on the south and west side of Chicago, half of Detroit and the part of New Orleans hammered by Katrina more than a decade ago remain abandoned. These minority neighborhoods are poor. Folks don’t have money for good schools, repairs, paying off mortgages, beautification, starting businesses, a strong tax base and investment.
You know who gets respect? Those annoying prozac laced moms who married a lawyer or hedge fund manager then slow down rush hour traffic for working stiffs while they dump the brat off at daycare and trundle off to Starbucks as they enjoy another lazy day. I know, I know…the hardest job in the world. Maybe for a working class mom, but not if your kid’s parental surrogate is referred to as an “au Paire.” They have a couple of appletinis in the afternoon with the girls and then berate the cop pulling them over with pearls of egalitarianism like “don’t you know who my husband is,” and “My husband makes your annual salary in a half hour!” If they get the ticket, they can afford a lawyer to get it dropped or expunged from their record. They don’t worry about politeness, and in white affluent neighborhoods the cops are always as sweet as peach pie.
So, what I propose for the most efficient and productive use of that $263 million is not that we waste it on sensitivity training and cameras. Cameras didn’t help Eric Garner. Instead, split that money among those 70 million minorities. Yep. That comes to a neat $3.76 for every Black, Hispanic and First Nation person in America. Toss in Undocumented folks and it’s still a cool $2.6 million.
Crazy, you say? With that money folks could afford to move, or fix up the neighborhoods they live in. They would start businesses and create a tax base to sustain schools, libraries and community centers for a generation or more. Gang crime and drug trafficking would collapse. Shooting deaths would virtually cease. Police in these neo-affluent communities would have to show respect. Parks would flourish, incarceration would plummet, if only because now poor folks could afford a decent attorney-which is what keeps white folks from overcrowding prisons. Banks would be happy. Imagine Engelwood with sidewalk cafes in the evening and folks strolling along bright vibrant business districts.
All I ask is one simple thing. Remember, my Black, Hispanic and First Nation brothers and sisters who came up with the idea. I think a 1% finders fee is fair…
Listen Saturday’s from 11am-1pm to WC Turck, Brian Murray and guests on Chicago’s real alternative media, AM1680, Q4 radio, streaming at www.que4.org.
WC Turck is an author, artist, playwright and talk radio host in Chicago. He has been called the most dangerous voice on the Left. He is currently working on a new book “Shoot Down: An unflinching look at the events leading up to the shooting down of Malaysia Air Flight 17.” His first novel, “Broken” was recommended by NAMI for its treatment of PTSD. In 2006 he published “Everything for Love,” a memoir of his experiences during the siege of Sarajevo. He wrote and produced two critically acclaimed plays, “Occupy my Heart” and “The People’s Republic of Edward Snowden.” He works with the homeless and foreclosure victims in Chicago. He partners in a weekly radio show dedicated to issues, society and politics with cohost, activist and artist Brian Murray For more information, past shows, videos and articles, visit www.revolutioandbeer.com
The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a conservative think tank with offices in Chicago and Springfield, Illinois, and member of the State Policy Network. IPI is a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) as of 2011. IPI is also a member of ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force. Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting. Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit. In its 2006 annual report the Cato Institute states that it made a grant of $50,000 to the Illinois Policy Institute. The Cato Institute is a libertarian think tank founded by Charles G. Koch and funded by the Koch brothers.