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In 2010, IBNN NEWS covered what experts were shopping around as the North Minneapolis Youth Violence Report. The report missed the mark in real quantitative and qualitative information and psychological piece lacked the necessary components needed to define real challenges behind youth violence. This is an ongoing catastrophic mismanagement of people, relationships and time. The solution would be to address the issues of youth violence from the bottom, up. This means rather that training, the city found job opportunities. Just for the record, the public school system has it’s hands extremely dirty in the youth violence piece.
by Donald W.R. Allen, II – Editor in Chief/The Independent Business News Network
Minneapolis, MN (IBNN/Editorial/Political Puffery/July 31, 2012)…Today the public relations firm for the City of Minneapolis (The Star Tribune) ran the story, “Mayor seeks review of youth violence prevention program.” Rybak states violent crime is down 59%, but doesn’t provide the necessary source information for readers of the Strib to be accurately informed on what IBNN alleges as a misuse of statistics.
In the story Mayor Rybak lays out his plan for a review of the city’s youth violence prevention efforts, particularly the Blueprint for Action. That strategy has sought to put a trusted adult in the life of every child, intervene at the first sign of risk, rehabilitate children and change the culture of violence.
First of all, the Mayor knows this never happened. Secondly, the misuse of statistics and data will always make something bad look good. I challenge the mayor and the city to breakdown the numbers for violent crime, and crime in general based on ethnicity, and geographic location, I’m sure the 59% number will get washed down the drain.
Rybak reports: “Since 2006, the number of youth involved in juvenile crime has declined 59 percent.”
Oh, let’s see. What does the year 2006 represent? Using “Political Campaign Strategies” and not addressing the challenges in a city that are “normal” due to some neglect by city offices (Civil Rights, Health Department, Police Force) and by local social service agencies granted dollars to do youth violence prevention, especially in north Minneapolis (Shiloh International Ministries) have missed the mark in vision, planning and engagement.
Funding some of these organizations that couldn’t tell you where the gangs are located; where the guns are and what type of weapons they have, or identify student that should be in school rather than walking the streets and camped out in locations that will not provide a future.
If you recall in 2010 a North Minneapolis Community Violence Report of 2009 was finally released to the general public. Its strange that nobody is talking about this “antiquated” report that after the town hall meeting, children from the debunked The City, Inc. participated in a Q & A facilitated by “the experts.” To this day, “the experts” still can’t answer any of the important questions. The contributors to that report were not prepared to put on nothing more than a dog and pony show.
The “contributors” to the report were:
*Dr. Esther J. Jenkins is a Professor of Psychology at Chicago State University and a Senior Research Associate at the Community Mental Health Council in Chicago.
*William Oliver, PhD, is an Associate Professor, Department of Criminal Justice, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN. His primary research interests examine violence and incarceration among African Americans.
*Marcus Pope, M.ED, is the Associate Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, St. Paul, MN.
*Oliver J. Williams, PhD, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community. Dr. Williams is a Professor of Social Work, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN.
It was hard to get the city and “the contributors” to listen to someone like Chicago Defender’s Cheryle R. Jackson who wrote, “Education, economic opportunity best defense against violence,” Ms. Jackson states:
“I am not making excuses for violent behavior, but violence, I believe, is a direct byproduct of undereducated people with no economic opportunities. We don’t need research studies to prove this point. We see it every day in neighborhoods around Illinois where schools are inadequately funded by a system that rewards students living in well-to-do communities and short changes everybody else.”
It’s much of the same for Minneapolis.
The Community Town Hall Meeting in 2010 should have provide information on the missing elements of the causes of youth violence and the fact it’s not necessarily a “public health” issue, it’s more of a economic/educational issue. But they didn’t.
Today, Minneapolis residents and city officials still deal with the epidemic of youth violence and Black on Black crime in areas of the city. The solutions are available – but it seems nobody want them.
The poet Toni Morrison said it best, “Black people are victims of an enormous amount of violence. None of those things can take place without the complicity of the people who run the schools and the city.“