What’s wrong with this Picture?

I just drove into my subdivision and there was a placard near the entrance congratulating  two young men who had graduated from Harvard. I thought back to the many years ago when we bought our home. At that time we were looking in the Stone Mountain area of Georgia (a suburb of Atlanta) and we drove down a street of beautiful homes, manicured lawns, tasteful landscaping – it was just nice. We came to a more modest house on a cul-de-sac . While it was not as impressive as its neighbors, on looking through it we decided it was just right for us. (The walk-in closets sold my wife.)

As the real estate agent was driving us back to her office to sign the papers she paused at a stoplight and said, “I’m not supposed to tell you this…” and she lowered her voice, “but there are blacks living on this street.”

I was sitting in the back seat and I broke out in a laugh. I said, “Well, I want to know what they are doing to own these fine homes, because I want to do the same thing.”

Our neighborhood would meet Obama’s call for diversity. Although it is predominantly black, we have whites, Indians, Orientals, and probably a few Icelanders. There is also a feeling of respect. We live, at the risk of using a cliché, in “harmony.” And one of these black families just had their sons (twins) graduate from Harvard.

Yet, on the local news (which I rarely watch anymore because of the violence) there seems to be nothing but crime after crime, killing after killing, of blacks generally on other blacks. I’m not a sociologist by any means, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out the stark contrast between the blacks who live on my street (hard working, prosperous, conservative, self-made entrepreneurs) and those who fill my TV screen with senseless robbery and murder. Is there a key element that I am missing?

Are there white criminals in my town? Of course there are. But our jails are filled with a preponderance of black hoodlums. Al Sharpton would likely say, “The white cops are just not arresting the white crooks.” But that is just nonsense. Obviously we have more blacks in jail, than whites, because they commit more crimes.

I am perplexed. For years the government has poured billions of dollars into the so-called “War on Poverty,” public housing, food stamps, free phones, you name it – most it going into the black community. And yet nothing has changed. There are still those who accept this largesse as a “right,” yet there is nobody on my street getting any “free stuff” and they are doing fine. In fact, I’m sure they would be insulted if any such thing was offered to them.

I don’t think you can change attitudes and people patterns with money. And we cannot simply demand that people change and expect them to follow through. I am at a lost to understand the difference in the mindset of my good neighbors, and those who repeatedly show up in criminal court. If anyone can enlighten me, I’ll be glad to listen. Please don’t give me the old saws about poverty, and one-parent families. Many of us came out of dysfunctional and poor families, yet we did not resort to crime and related criminal activities as a lifestyle. Black crime is disproportionally higher than white crime. Why is that?


About johnbeckmanbooks

John Beckman, a retired meteorologist, was known as “Johnny the Weatherman” in a career that spanned forty years. He forecasted the weather on WSJS-TV in Winston-Salem, NC, at WFGA-TV in Jacksonville, FL, and for thirty-three years in Atlanta at WSB-TV and WXIA-TV. Also a well published author Beckman now devotes full time to writing fiction. He currently has several eBooks on Amazon.com, "Tropical Knights," first in a series of adventure/mysteries about a sailor and his lovely CIA cohort on a mission to save America. Now available the sequel, and second in the series: "Tropical Daze." The third Jack & Amy adventure is "Tropical Rage" which became available on 30 April 2014. All of his books are highlighted on http://johnbeckmanbooks.com and available from Amazon.com. . .
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