Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Baltimore's Murders and the Natural Man

Baltimore has broken a record.
Baltimore has set a new per-capita homicide record as gunmen killed for drugs, cash,
Cecil Cavert, the 2nd Baron Baltimore
payback - or no apparent reason at all.

A surge of homicides in the starkly divided city resulted in 343 killings in 2017, bringing the annual homicide rate to its highest ever - roughly 56 killings per 100,000 people. Baltimore, which has shrunk over decades, currently has about 615,000 inhabitants.(…)

Others blame police, accusing them of taking a hands-off approach to fighting crime since six officers were charged in connection with the 2015 death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose fatal spinal cord injury in police custody triggered massive protests that year and the city's worst riots in decades.

"The conventional wisdom, or widely agreed upon speculation, suggests that the great increase in murders is happening partly because the police have withdrawn from aggressively addressing crime in the city's many poor, crime-ridden neighborhoods," said Donald Norris, professor emeritus of public policy at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
Woven throughout the report is the notion that “generational poverty” is the culprit. That’s false. Like the high murder rate, generational poverty is one of the effects, not the cause. The cause is generational illegitimacy.

And I love how the reporter subtly wields the “generational poverty” wand, but expresses no connection as to how the Baltimore police – and police nationwide – have been deemed to be the enemy in any and all cases nor that the BPD’s withdrawal is a response to this paint job.

Black Americans have a complicated relationship with law enforcement. I’ve told the story about how my American dad would constantly be stopped by the 1960s version of the LAPD as he returned home from his job a Thrifty Drugstore night manager. He was never arrested or brutalized, but he said it angered him greatly. He also said that the harassment reduced as his age advanced.

Why did he not get out and confront these police? Because his father had trained him how to stay alive in such cases – a father who had to bear real and overt oppression from police and fellow citizens alike in his own youth and adulthood. Dad now has a son-in-law and a grandson who are LEOs, along with an uncle and a sister-in-law who are retired from the profession.

I could go on and on about this complicated relationship, but there are two bottom lines I want to get to, one of which – illegitimacy culture – I’ve already touched on here and many other times. The other is tribalism and how it has snaked its way into so much of our thinking that many of us can’t even perceive of it and will scoff if you point it out.

And the mindset has gone way beyond race and ethnicity. It’s an easy pattern to see, however, if you’re actually open to seeing it.

  • Blacks are all rioters and looters who burn down their own neighborhoods.
  • Whites are all racists, who oppress everyone who is not white, straight or male.
  • Mexicans are all illegal alien criminals, who drive drunk.

From the racial delineations, we get these:

  • Police are all racist murderers.
  • Military members are all psychotic.
  • Conservatives are all heartless.
  • Liberals are all stupid.
  • Politicians are all corrupt. (Wait … I think that one might be true.)

It’s easy to put all members of a given group into a category because 1) discernment takes the type of mental effort of which many are unwilling and/or unable to make, and 2) to be honest, categorization often keeps the categorizer in physical safety.

Because some blacks are thieves and vandals, some whites are racists, and some Mexicans are illegal alien criminals. Cross categorize, blah, blah. You know the drill.

But what happens when the categorization is wrong? Small things like hurt feelings and large things, like when the categorized turns back around and makes categories of his own. Or even larger things like a municipal police force standing down from its duty after being demonized by Baltimore’s state attorney, even after that attorney was forced to drop the charges in the Freddie Gray case.

We all remember what happened after that.

But now, the violence in Baltimore has turned inward – where it was well before Freddie Gray was arrested for the final time -- and has ramped up. This points us right back to my assertion that generational illegitimacy is the foundation for the various forms of degeneracy we’ve seen in inner cities for decades.

Tribalism is natural for all humanity, but natural is not a good quality.
But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
-- 1 Corinthians 2:14 (KJV)

I looked up the verse in Strong’s Concordance and found these other translations from the Greek word psuchikos (ψυχικὸς) : animal, sensuous. It’s seems to me that third English word, one often used in Christian circles, can be used as a reasonable translation: carnal.

The results of natural, animal, sensuous, carnal thinking is what we see all around us; decades of planting, cultivation and cross pollination.

It so prevalent that it seems normal and correct.

There has to be a way -- more than one -- to step back from this brink and pull others along. I'm trying to do my small part right here.

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