Seven teens were shot last week outside a school offering summer classes in Detroit. Three were in critical condition. A week earlier, another girl was shot in the chest outside another school.
Now the police are having trouble getting anyone to cooperate with them. “The taboo against snitching is worse than the taboo against shooting,” the Detroit Free Press reported yesterday.
In response to the shootings, ministers in Detroit have invented another “community outreach” initiative. It has an unfortunate name: MADE Men (Men Affirming Discipline and Education), and it probably has a fund-raising initiative up and running. Such are the economics of outreach. An identical effort started a few years ago after another round of school shootings folded not long after it was announced.
I’m sure the ministers mean well, and it is hard to imagine what else they could do under the circumstances, but I wish, for once, the adults would forgo the whole clever naming thing and just start doing what they say they’re going to do: get more involved in the schools. When you create an organization and hold a press conference, that’s just time you’re not spending actually working with kids. That’s making it all about you, and your organization, and your leadership. And, frankly, there have been decades and decades of such failed efforts. People are weary of the rigmarole: crisis — press conference — fund raising — then nothing.
Just start volunteering for the P.T.A. already.
It’s worth noting that, as I wrote about here, the AAAC (Academic/Activist/Advocacy Complex) has invented a formula mathematically proving that crime is not all that bad in Detroit because Detroit has the type of population that actually ought to be committing even more crime. I’m sure that’s a comfort.
Is Detroit a terminal case of the logical consequences of the academic anti-incarceration ethic (AAIE!!!) that is currently sweeping the federal government? On the backs of the seven youngsters shot outside school last week, and in the face of the many people who must know something about the crime but refuse to “snitch” to the police, yes, it is.