“All those sociological ingredients, the endless articles and insightful interviews, the official reports and incessant pontificating tomes don’t warm the body, let alone the soul. Privileged people aren’t just letting souls waste away, they continue to stir up the coldest, sickest brew imaginable for the immserated, not acknowledging that all souls are the same, deserve the same.” — one of the author’s home schooled teens after reading his recent article on Stockton, California
We’re spending a lot of money on fighting the Taliban, Al Quaeda and Islamic State, but we’re baiting folks abroad to take up arms against us. That’s been so fundamentally established (no pun intended), I won’t insult your intelligence by going into how. However, if any reader wants definitive documentation respecting how our tax money is being spent on baiting immiserated souls abroad into taking violent action against the U.S. …well, just ask, and I’ll write to you about it.
For now, though, let me underscore that according to the Center for Civilians in Conflict, the most common motivation for involvement in violent acts was “the protection of self or family.” Self-defense… or — put another way — a legitimate response to insanity.
But that’s overseas. In areas where we can’t immediately make a difference. How about what’s going on in nearby neighborhoods on the domestic front? Every time I discuss gang violence with others, I’m hit with platitudes and “common sense” (which is anything but….) about how gang members are this and that. Well, I’m not going to insult your intelligence respecting what contributes to the dynamics of gangs by delineating WHY we have a proliferating problem with regard to gangs. Rather, I’m going to propose something that I believe is worth risking my life for… in light of the fact that what’s presently in gear concerning gangs — in terms of prevention — isn’t working, or isn’t working well enough. Put another way, can’t produce sufficient results soon enough. The “problem” is growing nationwide, encouraging statistics to the contrary notwithstanding. I’m talking about the long term.
The starting point for discussion has to be, in part, an underscoring of the fact (of life) that one cannot be killing innocent people abroad and — simultaneously — attempting to prevent the same on our shores. We have turned into a Death Culture. Obviously. We’re even engaged in killing the earth itself, the entire planet is being desecrated and devoured whole by our wholesale slaughter. And one doesn’t have a shot in hell at reducing gang violence as long as we keep contributing to the hand on the Doomsday Clock getting closer to Midnight. We have deadlines to acknowledge.
I’m ready to go into to those prohibited gang territories myself… unarmed, putting myself totally at the mercy of whoever I might cross paths with. With, maybe, a box of hot chocolate in hand. Why? To extend a hand. To offer something without telling everyone on their own turf what I want them to do, and how to do it. To make friends. To bond with individuals… with the idea that perhaps in doing so I can plant some seeds for connecting with others who are presently seen as their enemies. Attempt to do something new. Post haste.
I started writing to people in positions of influence in Stockton, California on Friday, offering my “services” as a potential volunteer interested engaging with gang members, wanting to make a difference on the street respecting violence. But in spite of the fact that authorities in that realm note that they’re available 24 x 7 to address the crisis of gang violence in the area, accessible to one and all around the clock for anything related to the issue, I haven’t heard a word.
That was several days ago. And folks do get murdered on the weekends, yes?
Seriously, it’s time to get down with some serious consideration of viable options. Supplements for all the good fighting the good fight on the fronts I’m addressing here. Which are the battlefronts abroad and the domestic battle grounds of local turf. The activist agendas affronted by wars of all kinds can use some help.
Hot chocolate, anyone?
Richard Martin Oxman is co-founder of the Oxman Collective. He can be reached at [email protected]. He expects to hear from the authorities in Stockton, California soon, and will keep readers posted on what transpires, upon request.