Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Council to Discuss Unsafe Crowds

Police officer and city council woman Sherron Franklin has asked for a public hearing to address the issue of the large crowds of unsupervised roving teens and young people in downtown Indianapolis. She's been very fair in her criticism and examination of the problem so far. Unfortunately, Indiana Black Expo, sponsor of Summer Celebration, one of events Franklin cites as a problem, is already on the defensive. Franklin cited the two biggest events causing problems -- Black Expo and Circle City Classic.

IBE president Joyce Rodgers was quick to say the crowds weren't the fault of her or her organization. Well, no, they're not. But the fact remains that someone was shot during this year's Black Expo in one of those very same roving crowds.

This week and weekend, the city is hosting one of its largest convention events, GenCon, a gaming convention. For the rest of the week, 100,000 people are expected to play, shop, game, and tour the city. I'm fairly sure we won't see giant roving crowds of people downtown this week even though a large portion of attendees is young (although you will see quite a few Chewbaccas and guys in storm trooper outfits.) I'm also fairly confident no one attending or associated with GenCon will be shot. IBE and Rogers need to -- for once -- be proactive and take a positive stance on the violent crime issue instead of hiding behind their classic defensive stance. Change will begin to occur from within the community when black groups step up to the plate and hold their own community accountable.


Franklin said community leaders, police and representatives of IBE will meet Aug. 30 in the City-County Building's public assembly room to discuss solutions. The meeting will be open to the public and will start at 6 p.m.

"Part of the solution that I will be suggesting will be to make the parents more accountable for their underage children, enforcing the city's curfew law, increasing traffic restrictions, and increasing enforcement of other city violations," Franklin said.


At Thu Aug 10, 08:03:00 AM, Blogger Jason266 said...

There's a concept...enforce laws already in place.

The issues that feral children and teenagers create...

At Thu Aug 10, 02:47:00 PM, Blogger Shelly said...

Great Post! I agree, and its just such a shame that a few people ruin it and put a shadow over Black Expo.

At Thu Aug 10, 11:13:00 PM, Blogger Brian D. said...

I agree 100%.

Are you channeling my thoughts somehow???

At Sat Aug 12, 12:48:00 PM, Blogger braingirl said...

That's what bugs me about this whole issue -- everyone is thinking this and no one it talking about it. It's as if somehow discussing the problems the black community faces has become taboo. I live in a neighborhood where I see these issues every day. It just makes me crazy that no one is willing to just say what we're all thinking.

(Which, frankly, is so true of many issues where moderate Republicans and Democrats agree.)

At Sat Aug 12, 02:01:00 PM, Blogger Brian D. said...

braingirl I'll offer this observation from my teaching days last year: it is taboo to discuss black culture and black problems especially with black students. I was labeled a racist by one of my students when I brought up that maybe their problems weren't because of white society holding them down (his assertion), but because I thought they (black American community) broke themselves.

To me at least it appears white people are reluctant to discuss the problems facing the black community for fear of being called racist.

I've seen this in individual people so I bet it transfers to cultures: a person is so overwhelmed by a problem they attack someone else for pointing out the problem they're very aware of. The person attacks because they're in pain, exhausted, and their pride is gone because they can't solve the problem. The person who wanted to help says "Fine, if that's the way you feel then I won't help you at all (because you won't appreciate it)." I get the feeling the same vibe is going through our communities on a large cultural scale.

Just my $.02 from my pscyhology degree.

At Sat Aug 12, 02:06:00 PM, Anonymous braingirl said...

I think you're on the spot. It's why I like John McWhorter so much -- it's almost exactly what he says with the additional emphasis of coming from from a leader in the black community. Needeless to say, he's not well liked by many of those active as school "civil rights" leaders.


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