The epoch times

Protest against lawlessness in Oakland

Commentary

Residents of‌ Oakland’s high-crime neighborhoods held a rally on Saturday, Sept. 9, to demand solutions from public officials. The gathering was held on a⁢ street that had recently seen shootings between facing​ houses.

Organized by ‍Neighbors Together Oakland (NTO)

The rally was ‍organized by Neighbors Together Oakland (NTO), founded by former Oakland ‌mayoral candidate Seneca Scott. The group is rooted in West Oakland, a historic residential neighborhood that has been ravaged by crime emanating from homeless encampments in recent years. The group keeps pressuring the city⁣ to⁢ enforce its own encampment regulations, but city officials feel‌ entitled to ignore them.

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NTO confronted the city for its eviction moratorium too. Many ​rental units in West Oakland are owned by local families who worked ​and saved for years to buy a small income property.​ They’ve been devastated by the city’s policy⁤ of protecting tenants who don’t pay their rent.

A⁤ young boy holds a sign‍ as locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside⁤ of a “Community Safety” meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at⁤ the ​Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9,⁣ 2023. (Courtesy of Loretta Breuning)

Fewer ⁢rental units are available because ‍the city has⁣ made being a landlord so unattractive, said ​Mr. Scott.

NTO organized Saturday’s rally because many Oaklanders fear leaving their homes in the wake of recent violence. The rally attracted a highly diverse crowd and an impressive lineup of speakers.

An especially moving talk was given ⁤by a high school student who was shocked by the recent spate of lawlessness among her fellow students. They raged through a nearby mall and destroyed property with impunity.

Dashawnna Warrick speaks as locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside of a “Community Safety” meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at the Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy⁢ of Loretta Breuning)

Young Dashawnna ‌Warrick blamed the situation on a “lack of​ parental supervision.” She had a ‌dream: active⁢ parenting in parks that are ⁣free of criminal activity.

Another young female African-American speaker was the coach of a local crew team. She explained‌ that she reports lawlessness whenever she sees it,⁢ and authorities often ⁢treat her as if she’s​ the problem for reporting it.

Our ⁢culture dwells on victimhood, yet victims of crime don’t seem to count. Elites speak constantly‍ of “justice” ⁢but don’t seem to ‍believe‍ in justice for crime victims. The endless rounds of finger-pointing mean another generation will grow up in a⁢ culture of lawlessness.

It seems obvious that people in ⁣high-crime neighborhoods would favor⁣ more law enforcement. Yet we’re surrounded by the narrative that minorities think law enforcement is bad. African-Americans and Latinos pleading for safe ‌streets are ignored because they don’t fit the narrative.

Locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside of a “Community Safety” meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at the Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, ⁤2023. (Courtesy ‍of Loretta Breuning)

The ‍media⁢ and the political elite would like you to believe that ⁣there is no crime problem.

This distortion of reality is eerily familiar to me because my ancestors are all Sicilian. When I was growing up, I was told that the​ Mafia didn’t exist and was only an invention ⁢of ⁣Hollywood.

Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Mafia is a real thing. Then I spent a lot of⁢ time researching the culture of violence that plagued my ancestors ⁢for generations.

I learned that the Sicilian ‍Mafia succeeded by corrupting whatever new leaders came along. They found it easy to corrupt people with the huge stream of wealth that⁤ their illegal activities brought in. Each generation learned the Mafia ​skill set ⁣from ‌their ​elders.

Corruption is what makes a culture of lawlessness possible.

Corruption is a subtle process. People⁣ even save face by calling it‍ “cooperation.”

A man holds a sign in Chinese as locals concerned‌ about public‍ safety issues gather outside‌ of a ⁢”Community Safety” meeting attended‌ by local government and law⁢ enforcement⁣ officials, at the Genesis Worship Center ​in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of Loretta Breuning)

Here’s a simple example that I know ⁢too well from my 25 ⁢years⁣ as a college professor. Teachers who uphold academic standards risk being ‍ruined by nasty accusations, so they learn to protect themselves by letting students slide. Students‌ learn that teachers ⁢will let them ⁤slide, so ‌they don’t take standards ‌seriously. It works for everyone ​involved, so the big picture is ignored.

This kind of subtle ⁣corruption allows politicians‍ and journalists⁣ to turn a blind eye to ‍crime. They learn​ that the truth can upset​ people, but they win over ⁢the public by blaming problems⁤ on Republicans.

People like hearing that⁤ nothing is their fault, so they support⁢ politicians and media who tell them that. Even in districts with no Republicans in sight, every problem ‍can be 100 percent pinned on them. It works ⁤in the ‌short run, ‍but it ruins the quality of life in the long run.

Politicians and the ​media need support from big⁢ groups, but crime happens to individuals. So public ​debate is designed to⁤ appeal to⁣ big groups, and the consequences for ‍individuals are⁢ ignored. It works⁢ unless you want to play in a park⁤ that is dominated by crime. Then everyone ‌pretends you don’t‌ exist.

A woman holds a sarcastic sign as Locals concerned about public safety issues gather outside of a “Community Safety” meeting attended by local government and law enforcement officials, at the Genesis Worship Center in East Oakland, Calif., on Sept. 9, 2023. (Courtesy of Loretta​ Breuning)

I was⁤ fortunate to grow up ⁣with safe streets, yet most of my parents’ generation came from a culture of violence. What changed things? I was⁣ eager to figure it out, so I did a lot of research.

I found that law enforcement ​ignored the Mafia for decades. ⁣This seems hard to believe with all ​the gangster movies, but the Sicilian cycle ⁢of violence went mostly unpunished in the United States and​ Italy.

I was even more surprised to learn that Bobby Kennedy (Senior) was one of the central figures in‌ bringing attention to it in ⁤the 1950s. Rudy Giuliani was ‍one of the first successful prosecutors, having come of age at the time when the RICO ​law was first passed. Many others did not get public attention, but they risked their lives and resisted the pull ⁣of corruption in​ order to give us⁣ a law-abiding​ society.

I want Oakland youth to enjoy ‍safe ⁤streets the⁤ way I did. Corruption is hard to resist because the “everybody does it” attitude is ⁤so⁣ pervasive. We must all do our part to resist corruption if the ⁣rule of law is to prevail over lawlessness.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The⁣ Epoch Times.

How can public⁤ officials ensure that⁣ the concerns raised at the rally are ⁢taken into account and ⁢that concrete solutions are implemented to address the crime epidemic in⁢ Oakland, as⁤ demanded by frustrated attendees

Can attendee, Tiana Johnson,‌ shared her own personal story of ​being a victim of violence in‍ Oakland. She emphasized the ⁣need‍ for stronger community support and ‍resources to address the root​ causes⁤ of crime.

The rally also featured several community leaders ⁣and activists who highlighted the importance of collaboration between‌ residents and public officials. They ‍called on the ⁣city to invest ​in crime prevention programs, increase police‌ presence in high-crime areas, and address the underlying issues​ that ‍contribute to crime.

One such leader, Pastor⁣ Jamal Davis, spoke passionately about the ⁣need for unity and solidarity among Oakland residents. He stressed the importance of community engagement and urged everyone to work together‌ towards creating safer neighborhoods.

The rally not only ​provided a platform for residents to voice their concerns but also ‍served as a call​ to action for public officials. Many attendees expressed their frustration with the⁤ lack of response from city officials and ‍demanded ‍concrete solutions‌ to address the crime epidemic.

In recent years, Oakland has seen a rise in crime rates, particularly in ‌its high-crime neighborhoods. In⁤ addition to addressing crime, the ​city is also grappling with other challenges, such as homelessness and affordable housing. However, residents believe that these issues are interconnected, and solving one⁢ problem can help alleviate others.

The rally organized by Neighbors Together Oakland ​has shed light on the urgent need for immediate action. The residents of high-crime neighborhoods are tired of living in ‌fear and are demanding that‌ public officials prioritize their safety and well-being.

The event marked a crucial moment in the ongoing fight⁤ against crime in Oakland.⁢ It demonstrated the power of community ⁣activism and the determination⁤ of⁤ residents to create positive⁢ change. Moving forward, it is essential ‍for public officials to listen to the concerns raised‌ at⁢ the rally and work together with⁣ the community to implement ⁣effective and sustainable solutions.

Only through collaborative efforts and a commitment to addressing the root causes of crime‌ can ​Oakland ⁣truly become a ⁣safer and thriving city for all its residents. ⁢The rally has‌ sent a clear message to ⁣public officials that the time for action⁣ is now, and the voices of the community cannot​ be ‌ignored.


Read More From Original Article Here: Rally Against Lawlessness in Oakland

" Conservative News Daily does not always share or support the views and opinions expressed here; they are just those of the writer."

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