An interesting perspective

david52_gwNovember 20, 2013

At the link is an article about a sociologist who spent a few years living in an inner-city neighborhood in Philadelphia with some minor drug dealers, and wrote up her experiences in a book.

I think its worth a read, if only to get an idea of the unintended consequences of the war on drugs, what a life is like for black high school drop outs, what kind of life they lead trying to stay out of jail (they don't go to the ER when they get shot or mugged), and the police tactics.

I'm not defending or promoting any point here, but its an interesting perspective.

Here is a link that might be useful: link

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My opinion is that, if you are selling drugs, you are involved in gun violence too. They go hand in hand.

She kept calling him a "small time" dealer. Well, being shot and shot at multiple times, and then pleading to gun charges, does not make him small potatoes in my opinion. I noticed she did not mention gangs. Harrumph.

Possession of a little bit of marijuana, for personal use, should not be a big deal. The other stuff, is addict stuff. It is a big deal.

You have to have a decent parent to see to it that you get out of there.

Oh, and sure, she got fixed up on a date with the guy? Come on. Scholar? Ok.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 1:24PM
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Romanticizing criminal activity in the name of intellectualism.

Otherwise known as romanticizing losers.

Sounds like a candidate for an NPR piece narrated by a self described erudite caring liberal.

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 3:38PM
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rosie(Deep South, USA 7A/B)

Wow. I just can't agree that a clear-eyed, informed view of people in that situation must lead to romanticizing them. It WOULD, of course, make it harder for those inclined to demonize them, not to mention the danger of what might be learned about oneself.

This reminds me of the attempt (last year?) to turn the word empathy into an insult. When I think of that word now, or "compassion," it's usually accompanied by an echo of Rush's voice pushing it in jeering, mocking contempt. He's far more a reflection of those who hold those views than they are of him, of course.

Thanks for the article, David. The book's out next April and sounds fascinating. I put it on my wish list but doubt I'll order it because I already have Michelle Alexander's "New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration..." sitting on a shelf somewhere only partly read. Someday when the very thought doesn't depress me I'll pick it up again.

This post was edited by rosie on Wed, Nov 20, 13 at 19:20

    Bookmark   November 20, 2013 at 6:25PM
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Thank you Rosie.
Im awfully glad you participate in this forum.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 11:35AM
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"He's far more a reflection of those who hold those views than they are of him, of course."

"Of course?" Now THAT'S the most interesting statement I've read so far on this thread (do note the OP title).

No way to tell who is the mirror, who is the relay, and who is the source. For anything we post here.

"Of course", those of us who sleep with headphones on and a tape of Fox playing all night, know who we are, and I'll just bet those of you who are beyond all influence know too. Right?

Wow; maybe the source is The Great Oz.

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 12:08PM
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"Thank you Rosie.
Im awfully glad you participate in this forum."

Me, too.

Riveting is an accurate description of the subject material... and how it was gathered, while being less important to the issue will, I think, help make it an excellent book. Thanks, David.

"What her research shows is that these institutions may be self-defeating and may carry very significant social costs," Western says. "And so the whole effort to improve public safety through criminal-justice supervision and through incarceration may have significantly backfired, and may in many ways have contributed to the ongoing poverty and shortage of opportunities that we see there. That's a fairly new story."

We talk often about the problems within our society, and the answers, even though somewhat complicated, are staring us right in the face... shameful that it took a tightening of government budget to begin moving things in a forward direction...

    Bookmark   November 22, 2013 at 1:38PM
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