In the past six months, 13 black children were murdered by gun violence in St. Louis, Missouri. That’s right. You read that correctly. Thirteen. The youngest was 2 years old. The most recent, a 7-year-old was killed in his backyard after being caught in a crossfire gun battle. This young boy was walking home from a friend’s house with his older siblings when the gunshots rang out, and they scurried for cover inside their home. Moments later, the older siblings realized their younger brother did not make it inside, so they returned to their backyard and found him under a bush where they reportedly told their grandmother he took a deep breath and was gone. Reading of this innocent 7-year-old child dying under a bush in his backyard infuriates me.
These sad, grim, and all-to-frequent murders are reminders of underclass crime, violence, cultural rot, and dysfunction that plagues ghetto communities across our country under the watchful eyes of Democrat politicians who control public office.
St. Louis has been the murder capital of the U.S., and yet these killings receive very little news coverage. If you are first hearing of the murder of these 13 innocent black children from me, this is part of the problem. Where are Deray McKesson, Shaun King, Black Lives Matter, Al Sharpton, or Jesse Jackson? All of these so-called social justice warriors fighting for black equality hustled to the St. Louis area with fiend urgency when a police officer defended his life using deadly force on Mike Brown—a thug who was in the act of committing felonies. Remember these opportunist misfits led riots and weeks of protests that burnt down a swath of area in suburban Ferguson, Missouri. I remember. This incident spawned the war on cops. Where are carnival-barker university professors Cornel West and Ta-Nehisi Coates? They were quick to cite racism as the cause of everything that ails black people. Even low-life Colin Kaepernick has time on his hands since he’s no longer playing football, yet, he is nowhere to be found. Apparently, the murders of these 13 precious black children killed by black perpetrators in St. Louis is not urgent enough for these rabble-rousers to act. This is psychotic and pathetic.
Why has nothing worked so far to quell the violence in cities like St. Louis? Because everything these communities are working on is the wrong approach. They focus on technical fixes, cliches, and the tired old response of poverty as the root cause. They feature violence de-escalation programs with catchy sounding names like HandsUp United, social justice education, food programs, inane gun buy-back programs, demolishing abandoned buildings, and improving police-community relations as the panaceas needed. St. Louis Prosecutor Kim Gardner believes, “We have to figure out why a person is picking up a gun and shooting into a crowd.” Hey Kim, since you cannot figure it out, I’ll clue you in. Pathologies like ineffective parenting, fatherless homes, questionable lifestyle choices like gang involvement, drug use, and generational school failure are at the heart of it. If you want to cure the community blight, these are the adaptive changes in behavior required by the black underclass. But liberal orthodoxy won’t acknowledge or demand these truisms be addressed. Instead, the liberals reach for the low hanging fruit that external forces are behind the violence. By the way, Gardner supports criminal justice reform that is soft on crime and refuses to use jails and prisons to control crime and no-bail for serious charges. This allows career criminals to roam free and prey on law-abiding adults and children.
As the conditions worsen in St. Louis, why is nobody willing to try a different approach? Instead, they cling to failed Democrat politicians like the William Lacy Clay family who have politically controlled the area since William Lacy Clay Sr, an African-American, first held a seat in Congress from 1969 to 2001. Upon retirement his son, William Lacy Clay Jr., took over and is still in Congress. For over 50 years, the Clays have lorded over the St. Louis area decline while they sat their rear ends in Congress. While Clay Sr. founded the Congressional Black Caucus that today spends more time raising money for the Democratic Party and being their attack dog, the residents of St. Louis have watched their communities turn into hopeless wastelands of post-apocalyptic proportions. I blame the voters, however. It’s blatantly apparent their political leaders are failing them. They continue to put them in office to live high on the hog, while they hopelessly burry their children from preventable violence.
Here is what would fix St. Louis and every other ghetto community in America. It’s “multi-pronged” and includes a role for government (police/prosecutors) and one for society (parents). First, get rid of liberal urban policies; second, close all block grant development offices; third, hold parents accountable for their child’s school attendance, school performance, and lifestyle choices; fourth, free K-12 public schools from the stranglehold of the teachers union; five, hire more police and give them the support needed to do their tough job including going back to quality of life enforcement (broken windows strategies) like stop, question and frisk; and six, keep violent repeat offenders of serious crimes locked up.
Is this going to be hard? You’re damn right, but worth all the effort because black lives do matter. One dead child is too many. Thirteen dead kids in six months is an epidemic worthy of immediate action. Therefore, to all these absent so-called social justice black lives matter warriors, I say, stop trying to fix the police and fix the damn ghetto where these children are dying, as you look the other way in search of the next police shooting!
Sheriff David Clarke Jr. is former Sheriff of Milwaukee Co, Wisconsin, President of AmericasSheriff LLC, Senior Advisor for America First, author of the book Cop Under Fire: Beyond Hashtags of Race Crime and Politics for a Better America. To learn more visit www.americassheriff.com