We are the answer

MSR Editorial

By Lovell Oates

Contributing Commentator

Reading the article “Another Long Summer” (MSR, July 17, 2014) by Charles Hallman, it seems that everyone has an answer on how to solve the problem of violence in the community. What became very clear to me was the people (mainly the youth) whom the problem affects the most were missing from the meeting. Plus, the people (ex-prisoners) who can give the most insight on how to stop or help were missing from the meeting.

Is this by design or accident? Being older and wiser, to me  it seems to be by design.

First let’s take a look at who was there. Lt. Zimmerman, a man that has put away more people (men and women) than the Black plague. Guilt or innocence is irrelevant, because the police’s only concern is the public perceived interest. He states he “thinks a focus group will be good.” But we can see by what happened to Al Flowers what type of focus group the MPD is creating. And I could be wrong, but it seems to me they are beating up and harassing the poor and people of color.

In their claims to stop the violence, they have demonstrated their willingness to be violent for violence sake. We know this because they have spent extra money to put more cops on the streets and pay overtime to place the community under siege. Therefore, I really don’t understand where his display of love for the community comes from.

Secondly, when did outsiders like Zimmerman become so interested in the Northside? When Target Field was completed and when the new Vikings stadium started construction is when it became evident. The Northside’s close proximity to both these places, and downtown, make it prime real estate to be acquired by the rich for the new Edina and its people prime candidates to be demonized, victimized to be set up for genocide.

Lastly, and most importantly, this has been done traditionally to make it more difficult and expensive for the local businesses to operate by requiring more restrictions and charging higher licensing fees. Next they take the funds for the community centers, which provide a safe place for the youth to be. At that point all the guns and drugs are added, and violence is a by-product of this whole situation.

Finally, the police shows up with officers and overtime. The city can always find money to abuse this community, yet never acknowledging disparities and inequalities that are intentionally created.

These are the types of equity justice issues that continue to be raised by people such as Ron Edwards and Vina Kay. It’s obvious having Lt. Zimmerman at such a meeting is like having the fox watching over the chicken coop due to the fact it is the MPD who allow the most productive killers and drug dealers (cooperators) to remain in the community and terrorize it.

This is why we are the answer, because everything Zimmerman is talking about has been done before. We see where the violence starts, not with the community but with the police. And it doesn’t matter who the victims are — young, old, criminal, activist or lawful persons.

We are the answer. We can no longer wait for the people that have created the problems they knowingly, willingly and intentionally created to fix them.

Michael Jackson told us a long time age “they don’t really care about us,” and I am taking a page from one of his other albums. It is time for a change, and I am starting with “the man in the mirror.”

Lovell Oates welcomes reader responses to lovelloates@yahoo.com.