I gasped while getting dressed for work this week when I heard about the murder of Tyshawn Lee, a beautiful little 9 year old boy in Chicago. I’m heartbroken and incensed.
But unlike some, I am not angry over “black on black crime”. I am angry over the media portrayal of urban crime that shapes the perception that “black on black crime” is any more of a phenomena than “white on white crime”. And I’m angry at the conditions that lead to these traumatic losses.
Because I am interested in these issues from a scholarly standpoint, I tend to read the research about these social justice issues and as is the case with many things, the research sheds light that the media isn’t interested in. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep repeating that urban crime is a function of the human condition in urban areas. Here is a quick summary of some of the leading research:
“In general terms, social disorganization refers to the inability of a community structure to mobilize the common values of its residents to maintain effective social controls (Kornhauser). Empirically, the intervening dimensions of community social organization can be measured in terms of the prevalence and interdependence of social networks in a community (both formal and informal) and in the span of collective supervision that the community directs toward local problems (Thomas and Znaniecki; Shaw and McKay; Kornhauser). Given this, neighborhoods characterized by high levels of poverty or economic deprivation, residential mobility, ethnic heterogeneity, family disruption, poor housing conditions, and low levels of education are most likely to be disorganized and have higher levels of crime and violence. Disorganization, a lack of solidarity and cohesion, and the absence of a shared sense of community and mutual commitment between residents allows crime to flourish because the community’s capacity for informal social control (that which does not depend on the less efficient formal criminal justice institutions) is inhibited.”
You can read more here: Urban Crime – Explaining Urban Crime – Violence, Social, Subculture, and Values – JRank Articles http://law.jrank.org/…/Urban-Crime-Explaining-urban-crime.h…
Find out who did committed this heinous murder and lock them up. But if you want REAL justice for this little boy, then we MUST fix the conditions which led to these crimes. Reactionary criminal justice measures are not justice. Let’s not forget our federal government’s role in creating and perpetuating ghettos.
Urban crime is the natural consequence that flows from bad policy.