I guess it was too good to be true. In May, only 65 percent of the homicides were Black but things have gone back to the norm with all six homicides in Allegheny County being Black in June. One female and five males.
It could have been worse. It could have been like Little Rock, where 25 were shot and three injured in a gunfight in a nightclub. Even though TV news has pretty much abandoned the issue, at least some online newspapers’ accounts said officials believe it was all centered around rapper Rickey Hampton (Finese2Tymes), who was performing at the club that night.
Officials said a few days earlier, the Memphis rapper had a confrontation with someone and shot him in the neck at another club in Arkansas. What is really sick is that you know you shot someone but you continue as if nothing happened, placing all the people at the lounge in danger.
Witnesses say the rapper and his people had guns but officials still haven’t issued a statement of who did the shooting and who was arrested other than the rapper on other charges.
On Facebook, several people stated how sorry they were for the victims who were just out for a night of fun, and that the club was being shut down which would further reduce the number of places to go for young people.
In an Associated Press story, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said he and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson planned to form a task force in response to the club shooting and other recent violent incidents in the city. Stodola said he hoped the panel would look at increasing monitoring of parolees released in the community as well as efforts to keep guns out of felons’ hands.
“Certainly, from a broader context, we’re reaching out to the community in a variety of ways, asking for their participation and help, whether it’s helping to mentor a child that needs direction or whether it’s helping a felon that’s been released that needs to find some gainful employment,” Stodola said to the AP. “We’re trying to work both ends of the spectrum, the people who haven’t gotten in trouble yet and the people who have already been in trouble and want to go straight.”
That sounds great. Maybe some of the other major cities and states will follow suit. But it’s sad that it took a massive tragedy for them to come to this action. I know this is not new in Little Rock, and it’s not new in Memphis and Jackson, Miss. If it’s just Little Rock that takes action, it will be for naught because Memphis and Jackson is just as much a part of these gang fights.
The mayor asked for help finding jobs for recently-released felons. But it’s not just the felons who need the jobs…recently-graduated high school and college grads also need jobs, and not just in Little Rock, Memphis and Jackson.
Pittsburgh says they are seeking Black college grads but are they? A few weeks ago the Courier ran a story about Pittsburgh making a commitment to hiring Blacks and other people of color in an effort to keep this talent in the city.
Well…I’ve had a few young Black women complain to me that they are college grads, some recently and some in the past four to five years and they can’t get a call back or E-mail response after filling out a resume online. Others say that a requirement to get some of these “entry-level” jobs actually require three to five years experience! How can you get the experience if you don’t get hired in the first place, and who says just because one has experience they will do a better job in the long term?
But that’s not all. One said that for those who have the degrees and experience, the city and many businesses only want to pay them $9 to $10 an hour.
And they wonder why young people, especially Blacks, who would love to stay in Pittsburgh, are leaving.
The Media vs. Trump
I’m beginning to believe for the next four years it’s going to be a fight between President Trump and FOX News vs. both MSNBC and CNN. Conservatives, Progressives, and Moderates. I’m getting tired of “Russia interfering with the election” as the only news being reported on the TV networks. It’s almost like nothing else is happening in the world. What about coverage of the G-Summit? Why not, for example, let each of the anchors deal with a different issue in detail…1; Russia interfering with the election. 2; North Korea and the nuclear bomb. 3; Syria’s civil war. 4; Leaving time for another anchor to focus on Health Care or whatever other issue the producers see as important.
With all that money and personnel, what a waste.
(Ulish Carter is the former managing editor of the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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