Bureaucrats love numbers and the end of the year calls for the final count. So here’s some numbers for you 86, 109, 108, 84 and 80. Murders in Oakland for the last five years friends, children, husbands, wives and grandparents lost. Oakland actually has a neighborhood called “ghost town” of course city hall doesn’t recognize the name, it's bad PR. Oakland has become a city of ghosts, of angels and people whose lives have been forever changed by violence.
Our democratic machine has approached its people and their strife from a position of fear and ignorance. Liberal democrats wring their hands, “Why don’t the youth vote?” “Why are they so angry?” “What is wrong with them?” Then they vote for more prisons and close schools. I meet Oakland youth everyday who have personal experience with violence. They have ideas opinions and a very thoughtful perspective of the world and their place in it. They don’t vote or trust politicians because politicians have done nothing to win their respect or trust. They want to be heard, to be taught and to be loved and we do little or nothing to meet their simple needs.
Poor neighborhoods can’t get a beat cop in Oakland, but affluent enclaves like Montclair get two. Mayor Brown having done little or nothing for Oakland youth now plans to exploit their suffering to promote his own political career. Having played politics with our schools and our police services, leaving both much worse than he found them, Brown, a ruthless pollster, plans to run against crime and inner city youth for state attorney general. He will appeal to fear and a tired white liberal base, who remembers him as a governor, back when he cared and came to work.
Mayor what’s his name can’t help Oakland, leadership and hope in Oakland won’t come from has been politicians; it will come from our children. RIP, Rest in Peace, our children understand death and in a funny way life better than most forty year olds. These kids know the world in a hard dark way and face it with courage and hope. They love and remember lost friends, the people our politicians are so determined to forget. They know that to our leaders they are just troubling statistics, “ urban youth problems” not people. I had one young girl tell me, “ I feel like garbage, something that someone has thrown away and forgotten.”
Local democrats need to stop sucking up to developers, stop building ballparks and ice rinks, put down their spread sheets, walk out of their focus groups and go and meet our children. Every week these young people come through Highland Hospital their lives lost or forever changed by violence, not once in twelve years have I seen a politician come to talk to these kids or their families.
You can’t solve problems you don’t understand. Oakland’s political machine doesn’t care about our youth and our youth know it. We just voted money for violence prevention, let's see those politicians walk into the neighborhoods, the prisons and the hospitals, talk to our children then bring them back to city hall. Urban youth problems cannot be solved without buy in from urban youth. If you want to change the culture you have to understand it. RIP doesn’t just mean "Rest in Peace", it means Rich in Potential and if democrats continue to ignore these children, Rise in Protest.