10.01.2008 0

To a Child Dying Young

  • On: 10/19/2008 23:32:43
  • In: Government Transparency
  • By Bill Wilson
    Editor-in-Chief of ALG News

    Jasmine Sanders will be eight years old. Forever. Thanks to the Los Angeles City Council.

    You see, on July 23, at about 8:45 p.m., Jasmine was gunned down in front of her home in yet another Los Angeles stroll-by shooting. One moment, Jasmine was playing with her baby brother and childhood friends. Laughing. Dancing. Singing. Having the time of her life. The next, she was being rushed from the scene in her mother’s arms. Dead.

    And the Los Angeles City Council, just as it always does, once again shrugged off the carnage and got on to more important issues. Like banning Big Macs. And abolishing plastic bags.

    As the Los Angeles Times reported in their coverage of the Council’s neurotic obsession with fast food earlier this week, “It also comes as the Los Angeles City Council tackles issues beyond safety, schools and streets. The council last week decided to outlaw plastic bags.”

    In “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Elliott wrote that Eisenhower’s “Only monument will be the asphalt road and a thousand lost golf balls.” And as Los Angeles plunges into a new Dark Age of murder, mayhem, and illiteracy, the City Council’s only monument will be fast food wrappers and plastic bags.

    Well, here’s some news for L.A.’s councilmanic maniacs: You won’t have to worry about little Jasmine Sanders eating anymore fast food. Or helping her mom carry home the groceries in plastic bags. Because Jasmine Sanders is dead. You ought to know – you killed her. And you killed her because she was Black.

    Okay, “Honorable members of the Council,” as soon as you stop huffing and puffing, strutting and fretting, and hurling invective at anyone who would dare tell such an inconvenient truth, let’s set the record straight. And then, if you have one modicum of dignity and decorum left, you’ll apologize to Jasmine’s mother and brother, her friends and neighbors – and everyone else in South L.A. whom you consider nothing more than a bunch of expendable wards of the state.

    Your indifference – in fact, your antipathy – towards good, decent Black and Hispanic folks in South L.A. caused Jasmine Sanders’ death just as surely as if you had walked up and pulled the trigger. To you, Jasmine was just another poor, helpless, hopeless prisoner of the ghetto you helped create and sustain. And, besides, you’re far too busy working on your lasting monument of paper wrappers and plastic bags to worry about anything you consider as insignificant as one little girl.

    The truth is, you long ago wrote off Jasmine and her little friends as just so much jetsam and flotsam clogging up the inner city’s sidewalks. To you, they were obtuse and uneducable. So you focused, instead, on “shining them on” with silly little fast food bans and plastic bag pick-ups – ersatz social programs that would impress the rich white folk — while letting killing continue unabated.

    That explains why, as the Times reported, “Residents at the apartment building said the incident marked the fifth shooting in the last week. They pointed out bullets from recent shootings still lodged in the gate.” And that also explains why at John C. Fremont High School, just around the corner from little Jasmine’s home, only one in four students who enters as freshmen actually achieves graduation.

    But, then, you can’t be bothered with such mundane matters as drop out and drop dead rates, can you? You’re too busy with your diversionary ban on Big Macs – which “comes as the Los Angeles City Council tackles issues beyond safety, schools and streets.”

    And just why is it that you have developed this patently absurd control freak obsession with fast food, plastic bags, and inner city obesity? Frankly, because you have surrendered your mantle of leadership and taken up the yoke of slavish obedience to the power brokers who keep you in office and pad your pockets. That, most honorable members of the City Council, is institutional racism at is most decadent, destructive – and deadly.

    Instead of tackling the city’s disastrous dropout rate and reforming schools that are failing their students, you kowtow to the teachers unions. You allow the union bosses to dictate tenure, curriculum, rich pay for bad teachers, and an education budgetary allocation that pours billions of tax dollars down a sink hole dug ever deeper by wasteful union demands.

    So, minority students drop out. They turn to drugs to help them escape the horror of the life you’ve sentenced them to. And you “tackle issues beyond safety, schools, and streets” – to focus on fast food and plastic bags. Well, at least, little Jasmine Sanders will never drop out of John C. Fremont High. Thanks to you and your twisted priorities.

    Instead of tackling the city’s horrifying crime rate and making the streets safe for the millions of good, decent Blacks and Hispanics who now hide behind locked doors, you kowtow to the poverty pimps and tie the hands of the Thin Blue Line. This year to date, Los Angeles has suffered some 440 murders – the victims almost uniformly Black and Hispanic. But, since dead people don’t vote, neither do they count – with you.

    So, while the bodies pile up and “residents point out bullets from recent shootings,” you hobnob with the self-appointed experts and the noble elites. After all, they’re the ones who deliver the voting blocs and pose with you for photo ops. While your constituents bow and weep, you “grip and grin” as the cameras roll – and, no one’s ever the wiser for your portrayal of concern and betrayal of trust.

    Cynically, sinisterly, you have handed the reins of power to those who make you look good while doing nothing. You posture and preen, pretending and “intending” – all the while caring little and doing less. And little Jasmine Sanders falls to the ground, blood spurting from a fatal wound – as you propose bogus new measures to ban fast foods and abolish plastic bags.

    And then, there’s one other element of your institutional racism that bears mentioning (just in case you should decide at some point to concern yourself with the poor and needy instead of the liberal elite on the cocktail circuit). Frankly, it has become all too obvious that you actually believe the Blacks and Hispanics in the inner city are just too damn dumb to decide for themselves what they should and shouldn’t do.

    As far as you are concerned, only you know what’s best. And, because you have long since ceased caring about “safety, schools, and streets,” you contrive phony problems with fast foods and plastic bags. And you then pound your chest and flap your jaws over your absurd – and insulting – solutions.

    The truth is, until the self-serving, impotent, and uncaring members of the Los Angeles City Council are exposed as the heartless, racist charlatans they are, the good people of Los Angeles will just have to accept stroll-by shootings as an inevitable part of everyday life. They will have to sadly watch as once-proud schools like John C. Fremont decline into holding tanks. And they’ll continue to recoil in horror as murder rates soar to record heights while members of the city council posture and preen over Big Macs and plastic bags.

    But, for now, they’ll still have to witness a mother, brother, family and friends grieving over the fallen body of little Jasmine Sanders. Because now, Jasmine Sanders will be eight years old. Forever. Thanks to the Los Angeles City Council.

    Bill Wilson is the Editor-in-Chief of ALG News Bureau.

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