Self-defense. Private security. Police-community unity. These are the three pillars that comprise my strategy for successful anti-crime activism.
Notice that none of these three suggestions require blessings from on high (or low) from the bureaucrats who often are either indifferent or hostile toward citizens who are seeking safer streets, especially if those concerned citizens happen to be residents of the inner city.
In my opinion, “hood crime” is too often deceptively used as a cash cow by what I call “white power liberals.” They don’t talk very much to the black activists who live in dangerous neighborhoods, but they nonetheless do seek to use our problems, such as high murder rates, to boost their political careers and land crony capitalist contracts.
So, in the end, the act of really saving the hood is almost always going to end up the duty of its own concerned residents. This is the case, even if, our tax dollars are being withheld by those same liberals because they know that keeping the hood under-funded is what keeps their cash cow of hood crime fattened.
Self-defense is self-love, sisters and brothers! Being aware and being prepared for your own benefit as well as the benefit of others shows that you have reverence for and value all concerned.
Walking high-crime areas as a citizen on patrol also means that you also consider these zip codes to be as important as some people consider five-star hotels and gated communities elsewhere to be.
And hiring private security for inner city neighborhoods and the businesses located there also indicates a resolve to not allow violence and blight to destroy a community’s stakeholders.
There’s the notion of police-community unity. This is probably the most difficult part of my three-part strategy, as compared to the self-defense and private security portions, because such unity is often actively resisted in liberal-run cities.
While street cops and some of their supervisors are undoubtedly comfortable uniting with communities held hostage, it could be that their superiors don’t want this relationship to flourish into real culture change, in which youth stop seeing criminals as role models and cease considering all cops to automatically be their enemies.
The inevitable result of real and successful police-community unity, one figures, would probably cost these white liberals and their black flocks in the government offices and pulpits the stranglehold they currently have tightened around the residents of the hood because of inner city violence.
Once we understand this sad state of affairs and what needs to be done, conscious black citizens— whether you’re a conservative, a liberal mugged by reality or a nationalist demanding accountability for our safety— must promote self defense, private security and police-community unity. We must even realize it knowing that it’s a steep, uphill climb!
These three ways to save the hood today won’t change things overnight, but it can, alongside other efforts, make things livable in the zip codes where black life is now a desperate gamble.
Nadra Enzi is a member of the national advisory council of the black leadership network Project 21 and a community-policing activist in New Orleans. Comments may be sent to: Project21@nationalcenter.org.