A man with the unforgettable name of Tutankhamun “Coach” Assad wrote the most remarkable essay in the least likely publication, The Capital Times.
Coach Assad is that rarity, a Madison man endowed with plentiful melanin who preaches the gospel of personal responsibility. I know of no other such being in all of Madison. Not since the teachers union mau-maued Kaleem Caire, anyway.
That Coach Assad should find space in The Capital Times is especially noteworthy, given that his empowering message repudiates its gospel of helpless victimhood.
Some tasty samples:
… the gun violence continues. The question is, Madison, what are WE going to do to stem it? I ask this question specifically to black Madison. … Black Madison, why do we continue to bury our heads in the sand when it comes to the gun violence afflicting and affecting many of our devastated communities? … How can we mobilize and accuse when someone who doesn’t look like us takes our lives, but bury our heads in the sand when we victimize ourselves? Why do we write passes for our own people to be asses?
There are far too many black leaders who don’t dare ask black people what the hell we’re doing. What is our role in this devastation and how can we heal this?
Get it? What is OUR rule, black Madison. How can WE heal this. Not “Blame the Cops.” Not “separate and unequal standards of behavior.” No call for reparations. Nor does he demand the unconditional release of black jail inmates.
This is heresy. Current liberal dogma holds that entire “communities” have been “devastated” by incarceration — as if they were functioning communities when the criminals roamed free.
Contrast that with “civil rights leader” Michael Johnson blaming the police who responded after the shootout at a gas station on East Washington Avenue a few months ago that felled four participants — none of whom were talking.
‘The brutal criminal justice system’
Predictably, the uber-Left New York Times indicts “America’s punitive culture” in its review of a new book, “Locking Up Our Own; crime and punishment in black America.”
Yep, America’s big cities elected black mayors in the decades after the civil rights marches of the 1960s only to have those mayors “unleash the brutal power of the criminal justice system on their constituents.”
Who knew? The gang bangers were “constituents.” And “brutal?” Ninety days in jail for the serial burglar preying on the Southwest side is “brutal”???
“Why did they lock up their own?” Times reviewer Khalil Gibran Muhammed asks, rather plaintively. Mr. M. briefly ticks off two acceptable reasons: no one saw mass incarceration coming and middle class blacks had less exposure to “the full hammer of the law.” But he unconsciously redeems himself with a more thorough examination of a third reason:
What most explains the punitive turn in black America is not a repudiation of civil rights activism, as some have argued, but an embrace of it.
African-Americans have always viewed the protection of black lives as a civil rights issue, whether the threat comes from police officers or street criminals. Far from ignoring the issue of crime by blacks against other blacks, African-American officials and their constituents have been consumed by it.
He quotes a black judge sentencing a petty felon:
“Dr. King didn’t march and die so that you could be a fool, so that you could be out on the street, getting high, carrying a gun and robbing people. No, young man, that was not his dream.”
Feel good bromides instead of answers
What, pray tell, is the acceptable message for today’s Bernie Sanders/Brenda Konkel party? Neither book reviewed by the Sunday Times ever says. Muhammed is left with only this typically weak tea from MSNBC’s pajama boy Chris Hayes, the author of the other book being reviewed: “What would the politics of crime look like in a place where people worried not only about avictimization but also about the cost of overly punitive policing and prosecution?”
The author of “Locking Up Our Own” is even more puerile: “What if we strove for compassion, for mercy, for forgiveness.”
And what if you quit burgling my house, quit shooting up the neighborhood, and quit fathering children you won’t support? Incarceration, for what it’s worth, prevents all three. That compassion thing works both ways, folks.
A postscript: In 1995, Bill Clinton signed what the reviewer calls “the biggest crime bill in American history.” Twenty-one years later, Hillary Clinton apologized for it; the sitting president excused the rioters in places like Baltimore and Ferguson, securing victory for the unlikely triumph of one Donald Trump.