Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Friday, April 21, 2006

"And now they got me in a cell"

In the past ten days, Cincinnati police have carried out huge sweeps of arrests in the west end, and over-the-rhine area in response to the killings of two white kids from the suberbs trying to buy drugs. 527 arrests have been made in the "clean-up" effort, and police have issued fines for things like jaywalking and spitting.

The claim is that drugs have saturated our inner cities and the easiest way to remedy that problem is by locking up anybody with an unpaid moving violation, and boarding up another thousand or so buildings rotting away in the ghetto.

A couple of things to think about here.

We all know many black folks have been shot and killed over drugs. Most of us shrug over such crime. "If they wanta kill themselves off over drugs, let em." But the moment a white teen from the burbs is killed, city council loses their shit, and orders a Nazi sweep over the entire inner-city ("your papers!"). White life seems obviously more valuable than any other skin tone, check your history. It's not about drugs at all. The police and city officails see these murders as a reason to improve the living conditions and escalate property value in neighborhoods where developers are trying to lure wealthier (mostly white) young urban proffesionals. That's right...yuppies. Check the west end. The new condos built there are not for the former residents of the Lynn st. projects. No sir. Those people have been pushed into Price Hill to make way for the yups.

The same in OTR. The city NEEDS more entrepeneurs to take the risk and open up in the hood to bring new money into the area. That's fine, nothing wrong with that. But the only way to make people feel comfortable to shop there is by removing the undesireable demographic that constantly hangs outside. There not going anywhere on their own so police give them a good reason to flee. "Move out or I'll arrest you". CIncinnati knows it's image is circling the drain and they can see a future like that of Flint, Mich., so they'll do whatever it takes to stay afloat, including arresting your inner city ass for sitting on a milk crate that doesn't belong to you.

The other thing to think about is how "good" this looks for a police force who's image might be the worst in the US. They need better PR to allow the migration of yuppies back into the hood. It's a show of force that says "see, we got this. They can't riot again if they're all in jail. We run this shit. Move into these neighborhoods. We'll keep you safe." Police chief Tom Stricher seems awfully Rumsfeldish to me. The buildings that are being boarded up are hoped to be converted into usable business space, which I'm all for. But the crackheads are gonna go somewhere right? If there are no crack houses to smoke and sleep in, what places will their desperation lead them to? My yard? Your car? Drugs won't leave the Nati all together (see blog entry: druggies), but the gustapo may push them out of OTR and West End. Bad news for Northside, Price Hill, Evandale, and the like. The crack zombies are coming.

Cincinnati is a racsist town, plain and simple. Black inner-city neighborhoods are used as zoos where social control dictates everyday life. The residents in these spots have the right to do what they're told or the right to be arrested. Largely, their futures are determined by city officails and police. And whatever place these folks get pushed into they should expect more of the same.

MK - A big chip on a big shoulder


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