Allow me to make a distinction between crime and criminality.
Crime is often between one or two people.
I do not seek to minimize those kinds of criminal acts because a death for example can affect the lives of families on both sides. It is my personal belief that those who commit crimes and are labeled criminals generally should be punished to the fullest extent of the law, particularly those who commit vicious and inhumane acts. However, those who commit acts of criminality which are generally referred to as white collar crimes are more devastating to the generally public, because their criminal acts are more detrimental to a monumental number of people from every segment of the general population.
Let’s analyze some of these acts of criminality:
Fathers who shirk their responsibility to their families commit a criminal act; women who have children but never work at becoming loving, concerned and functioning mothers; parents and grandparents who absolutely refuse to recognize what their children are involved in, they walk around with blinders on saying “not my son, daughter or grandchild;”
Black politicians who serve the will of their political parties instead of those who elect them; Black employees of the corporations who occupy positions that their parents dared not dream of epitomizing by their actions—or lack there of—that they are “the spook who sat by the door;” predatory lending—those employed by mortgage companies that sold thousands upon thousands of mortgages at low rates that increased forcing foreclosures; those, who don’t read newspapers or watch television and attempt to justify it by saying “The news is too negative;” those who criticize churches but fail to attend any; and those who fail to vote but find fault with every politician; churchgoers who say it is too late to change our communities. Allegheny County has more than 300 Black churches and Lemington Home is still closed. Where is the faith that states, “My Lord can do all things, but fail?;” the overwhelming majority of programs that in theory are to rebuild our communities but fail to focus on prevention.
We stand by and allow trillions of dollars to be spent on rehabilitation, but almost totally fail to focus on the overwhelmingly importance of instilling self-esteem.
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(Louis Hop Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)