Monday, October 22, 2007

Reply to Philly March to Stop Violence
Dr. M

I support this Philly action to stop the violence and save our young brothers. The presence of Elders in the streets doing something positive is what is needed. And of course reformed gang bangers can help their peers. Conflict resolution is a must--why kill someone over $20.00 or because they are caught screwing somebody's girlfriend? Women own their bodies--if you didn't know. But I saw nothing in the report addressing the economics of murder in the hood. As per murder over drugs or turf, there must be alternative ways to make money on the level youth desire--such as entrepreneurship established by giving the brothers and sisters microcredit as is being done in developing countries throughout the world. Finally, murder is a result of animal consciousness, hence we need a healing so we can evolve to the divine plane. Murder reflects our addiction to white supremacy and we must be about recovery from this addiction. Please check out my lastest book: How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy, Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967, $19.95.

You are invited to attend the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group

You are invited to attend the next meeting of the Pan African Mental Health Peer Group to recover from our addiction to white supremacy, using the 12 Step Model, now revised to include 13 steps. We shall meet at the Berkeley Black Repertory Group Theatre, Friday, November 2, 7pm. Admission is $25.00 (includes copy of Dr. M’s book HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY), BUT NO ONE WILL BE TURNED AWAY FOR LACK OF MONEY. The Black Repertory Group Theatre is located at 3201 Adeline Street, Berkeley (One block south of the Ashby BART station). Call 510-355-6339 for more information. Why not organize a Pan African Mental Health Peer Group in your community, on your campus, at your church, mosque, in your house.

"S. E. Anderson" wrote:
Philly's 'Call to Action' Draws Thousands of Black Men to Aid in Anti-Violence Initiatives

Date: Monday, October 22, 2007

By: Associated Press and

Just over a month ago, Philadelphia Police Chief Sylvester Johnson called on 10,000 men to patrol the city streets to help quell a run of deadly violence in this crime-plagued city and protect their neighborhoods' more vulnerable residents.

Sunday, they answered the call. Thousands of black men filled Temple University's Liacouras Center to volunteer for "Call to Action: 10,000 Men, It's a New Day," lining up for several blocks to register.

Three months before Johnson's planned retirement, Johnson joined Mayor John Street, record industry mogul Kenny Gamble and a group of black community activists and executives at a kick-off rally for the campaign.

Volunteers who join street patrols as part of the "Call to Action" program will not carry weapons or make arrests, but will instead be trained in conflict resolution, organizers said. Officials from Concerned Black Men, Men United, Mothers in Charge, Big Brothers/Big Sisters and other organizations were also on hand Sunday to recruit volunteers.

"Nobody else is going to magically come into this community and get it done," said real estate developer Abdur-Rahim Islam, a lead organizer. Visit today for weekly messages to inspire success and while you're there enter the Power Lunch™ Sweepstakes for a Power Weekend in New York City!

Philadelphia endures a reputation as one of America's deadliest cities, with about a slaying a day and many more nonfatal shootings.

The nation's sixth-largest city has nearly 1.5 million residents, 44 percent of them black. It has notched more than 320 homicides this year. More than 80 percent of the slayings involve handguns, most involve young black males, and most of the victims are black.

"I grew up in the streets. I don't want my son to be subjected to the same thing," said resident Christopher Norris, 34, who brought his 15-year-old son, Isaiah Saunders, to the event.

"I want to keep him on the right track and let him know there are more opportunities out there, and he doesn't have to resort to violence," Norris said.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures, and that's where Chief Johnson is at this point," Elsie L. Scott, president and chief executive officer of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, told last week. "He can't get a handle on this problem, and he's calling on the community to rally around it."

Scott, who once served as deputy commissioner for training for the New York City Police Department and executive director of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, said Johnson is returning to a "community policing" philosophy of law enforcement.

Scott pointed out that The Kerner Commission report of 1968, issued after the Detroit riots of 1967, was the nation's first comprehensive look at race issues in the United States, and it was the federal government's first official document that said racism existed and was a problem.

Part of the report, she said, explored the notion of black police officers patrolling black neighborhoods -- early forms of community policing -- to help quell crime and protect black residents.

"But," Scott said, "community policing cannot be done without help from the community."

Scott has experienced the tragedy of crime personally: Her nephew was murdered in Louisiana some time ago. Because no one in the community came forward to identify the killer -- even though people knew the person's name -- her nephew's murderer went free.

"This is why police are frustrated," Scott told "They don't have the support from the community. Police need eyes and ears."

Scott said Sunday's gathering might be successful for crime fighting if there's a larger movement.

"Black men might be more effective than police. But the question is can they mobilize people in in the community, and how long will they commit -- because criminals know they can outlast them," she said.

Johnson and Gamble, a key organizer of the effort, said the focus is on the black community because that's where the city's violent crime is concentrated.

"This isn't happening in the Irish community. It's not happening in the Italian community, and it's not happening in Chinatown," Gamble told the Philadelphia Daily News.

In an editorial published Oct. 11 in the Daily News, the newspaper asked several hard questions about the "Call to Action" movement.

"Sending citizens out on the streets as a way to deter violent crime contradicts everything Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson and others have said about the homicide problem: That it's not one we can police our way out of. If policing the streets with police won't work, why will policing the streets with citizens? ... And if law-enforcement authorities now think more presence in the streets will help, why not do a radical redeployment of our current police force? We pay police to patrol the streets. Why don't we insist they do it?"

But supporters say the men who join Johnson's program will not carry weapons or make arrests but will instead emphasize conflict resolution, similar to the Guardian Angels' ground rules.

The exact number of volunteers who signed up was not immediately known.

Johnson said he believes enlisting volunteers to help address violence was better than hiring more police to lock people up.

"These (volunteers) can prevent people from being arrested. They can go out there and do things for kids to prevent them from getting in trouble with the criminal justice system," Johnson said.

Scott told that the most effective crime-prevention programs have included participation from former gang members.

"If they go after men who perpetrate crimes, and out of this comes a movement to save black men," she said, "then it could be effective."

The program's backers include Dennis Muhammad, a former Nation of Islam official who has been hired by police departments in Detroit, Syracuse, N.Y., and other cities to conduct community-sensitivity training. Muhammad met in City Hall last summer with Johnson, Mayor Street and local business leaders.

Muhammad told the Daily News he envisions a dramatic presence in Philadelphia's most troubled neighborhoods that could inspire a national movement.

"We plan to deploy these men and distinguish them with a colored shirt or something, and our very physical presence will become a deterrent," said Muhammad. "It would be hard to commit a crime on a corner with 200 men.

"When this is successful, we hope to bottle this and take it to every major city in the country," he said.

At a gathering with community activists last month, Muhammad said the idea of enlisting 10,000 men invoked "the spirit of the Million Man March" in Washington in 1995. He said it was important that the focus be on men because most of the violence involves young black males.

"If the heart is what we are, and the hand is what we do," Muhammad told the Daily News, "we need to change how people see themselves."

Sam Anderson is author of "The Black Holocaust for Beginners."
Social Activism is not a hobby: it's a Lifestyle lasting a Lifetime

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