Wednesday, April 15, 2009

R-E-S-P-E-C-T what does it mean for Oakland?

Oakland had a whole article consecrated to it in this week's edition of The Economist. "Killing for Respect" articulates the hypothesis that the high crime rate, and murder rate, in Oakland isn't because of racial tension, nor economic factors, nor because of joblessness, but rather because of a desire to earn respect in a highly paroled gang shaped subculture. Worth reading, the article points to the possibility that maybe we are too liberal (aka unashamedly positive) that prison reforms people. A tree-hugging, pinko-liberal myself, I wonder if it's not true. Maybe we do simply ignore the problem - a big systemic problem - by putting in place a governmental house of cards to manage a problem we don't want to see, acknowledge or deal with?

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