By Ernesto Cullari (originally published in triCityNews)
There have been seventeen victims of shootings this year in Asbury Park and five murders. According to some reports we are on track to match violence levels not seen in 20 years. People on both sides of the train tracks are scared.
I’ve read many opinions about how to stop the violence among our youth in Asbury Park and in other cities, where poverty is an issue and most of the solutions focus on more government and more police intervention.
It isn’t government intervention or the threat of jail time that makes a person stop in the moment of anger and refrain from pulling a trigger. Laws don’t prevent kids from joining gangs. Government programs won’t stop a 14-year-old boy from engaging in unprotected premarital sex with a young girl his age and the government certainly won’t raise their child; The government doesn’t teach our youth about the value of human life; but parents do, good role models do too and the Bible does, as well.
Did Martin Luther King, Jr. quote from some government handbook handed down from Valerie Jarrett and Kathleen Sebelius when he faced down both the rising influence of the Black Panthers and social oppressors or did he quote from scripture? If we’re going to rely simply on more government programs, more police and new political initiatives to fix the rising tide of violence in our communities then we’ve failed before we’ve begun. If Christianity, shared in the public square, changed the world then its message certainly can help change the course of our societal problems now. To think otherwise is to ignore the last 2013 years of Western history.
It certainly is agreed upon that the culture and the methodology needs to change in the Asbury Park Police Department. Despite what the police chief says there is a disproportionate amount of effort and energy spent on parking enforcement and there’s not enough attention spent with police shoes on the ground, walking the West Side, engaging our youth. This is the public’s perception and perception is reality when it comes to deterring crime and to winning over the public’s support.
But the culture within our police department and the amounts of attention politicians spend on the issue of violence amongst our youth comprise just the tip of the iceberg. Americans already put the onus on reducing crime on police departments all across the county and look where it has gotten us as a people. America has the highest incarceration rates in the world. We aren’t effecting change in this country; we are simply sweeping our social problems under the rug and expecting well-funded government programs to fix it all for us.
Here is what your tax dollars, social programs and politicians have delivered to you:
The Economist reports that one out of every 107 adults in America was in jail in 2011. The article entitled, “An unlikely alliance of left and right,” states that black males in America are now nearly 4 times as likely to be incarcerated as black males in South Africa were, just before Apartheid ended in 1993. What our prisons have become are training camps for criminals, gang members and radical Islam, where our at-risk youth are recruited, indoctrinated and hardened; but what more law enforcement has not yet increased is civility and better coping skills amongst our youth.
Instead of looking to our police departments for answers we ought to be asking who is standing in the way of our children’s safety and the answer is easy and obvious –it’s us. We (me included) have removed God and his influence from our daily lives and from our society and we have replaced Him with secularism, materialism and materialistic roles models, like Hillary, Obama, Jay-Z and Jamie Foxx.
Our leaders and citizens are both of poor character. The Democratic Party, whose platform includes the surgical or chemical killing of our unborn children runs the Federal Government nearly unopposed. We have politicians praying in public, thanking God for abortion. We have black students praying to Obama in our inner cities. Our president attended a church for 20-years that instead of teaching the Gospel taught the Black Value System and his main coping skill is a form of bigotry, where he blames both Bush and the wealthy for every problem afflicting American society.
In Asbury Park we have teachers and administrators that refuse to pledge allegiance to the flag or rise during its recitation. That is the depth of our faith and the quality of our leadership here. That is the depth of our fidelity to God and to country and the quality of our resolve to face the crisis before us. If we continue to be a people with a phobia against Christ, if we continue to be lead by a political party that does not value human life and if we fail to acknowledge God’s role in imputing our liberty upon us then we might as well order a few more caskets and build more prison cells, because nothing will ever change but the names on the boxes and the numbers on the cages.