Philadelphia Attracts My Attention Again

I was just reading about the following



Building set ablaze

Merchants beaten

Troops firing on a crowd and dead bodies and wounded in the streets

Shop windows broken

Stones thrown

This did not happen in Democratic cities. It happened to men, women, and children that did not expect it. There was “law and order” but things easily got out of control. There was cooperation at the local level and action taken by Downing Street as Prime Minister Russell sent troops to quell the disorder in County Cork, Ireland. This was the potato blight or famine that all of US read a small amount about in classrooms. This led to the death of a million people and the emigration of Irish to places around the world. The hunger of the Irish was for food and now people hunger for justice in our streets. Philadelphia is one of those places, one of many places. Learn from history.

I was attracted to a FACEBOOK live broadcast of Ernestine in Philadelphia on a block in a community that had experienced gun violence. The block appears to be a nice community which was once inhabited mostly by White people. This is a neighborhood like many back in the 1950s that experienced such changes as our nation progressed into other things including experiencing peace instead of war, Civil Rights, higher education attainment, world power never known before resulting from among other things the Atomic Bomb, and access to world markets the likes of which were unseen through advances in transportation and technology. The world got closer than ever before. There is much more to that story but that is enough.

Here is what Ernie Bristow had to say about life around her community.

Gun Violence in my City (The City of Brotherly LOVE) or whatever? Where do I begin, as a mother of 4 children and now the grandmother of 3, should I begin at the beginning or the end, or will there ever be an end… I’m praying for an end to this senseless violence, but it’s like a nightmare right now, I’m afraid of listening to the radio or even turning on the news now is a bit overwhelming, just over the weekend here in Philadelphia Aug 2020, it was reported that a 8 year old little boy was playing on his own (porch) when over a dozen gunfire was fired, and from that incident, the 8 year old little boy was shot in the head, and now is in critical condition fighting for his little life. Yes, just that quick, a little boy playing outside this horrible act has changed he whole life, his loving parents, family, and friends’ lives. This is the new norm in our communities now, and it’s a devasting (period). As a mother, I know I can speak for many or maybe even a few, it all depends on who you ask, but for now, I have a voice and I was asked to speak. Raising my children here in Philadelphia has not been easy, all born here and protecting them from day one has been my top priority, from the choice of where they went to school, volunteered and where they picked or choose to work. Yes, I talked to them about all of these choices, you see each neighborhood brings different results, yes, it really does. My daughter is the oldest (36) my middle son (30) and my youngest twins will be (22) this month. All of my children graduated from High School, Worked, Volunteered, have done grassroots work on local and national campaigns, and has done numerous community work here in Philadelphia since they were young with no Criminal Record. So, can you imagine my anxiety of what could happen to my children and now my grandchildren when they walk outside here in the City of Philly with just simply trying to live their lives … like a norm person should, but with all of this gun violence, it’s hard and again overwhelming, will we ever get gun violence under control, will we? What’s the solutions? Who is here to help answer such serious questions? This is a world-wide issue and a situation where no one seems to have the right answers, I will continue to be involved in my community, and yes, before anyone say, how can I speak on knowing how devasting losing a loved one to gun violence is, I can respond with a yes “I DO” you see, I too, had a brother murdered he was shot over 7 times. He died over 20 years ago on February 14, 1999. And it’s true, you never forget that phone call or the feeling of hopeless.  There was nothing my family or I could’ve done to stop it. We can help each other in ways now I believe if we find the right people to listen up to myself, and so many others dealing with or even trying to prevent it from happening again.

After reaching out to Philadelphia, I was sent information about the increase in homicides there. The information provided through a third part but posted on Twitter indicated a 31 percent increase in homicides. The graphics provided started with 2013 using the same day during the year when homicides were 141 that day (for the year). There was a slight decrease the next year and then homicides started to go up. By last year on that day there were 186 (for the year). There was no Bill de Blasio in Philly who had many police turn their backs on him for saying that the police are racists. In 2017 there were 186 homicides up to that point. I later looked at who provided the data and it was a crime and justice reporter in Philadelphia (Kristen Johanson). For 2020 243 homicides have taken place, a 31 percent increase). Over a month ago, the Philadelphia PD apologized for using tear gas at a demonstration by SWAT team members on June 1, 2020. The police chief made statements that supported the action based on information provided to her but after viewing video evidence of what took place she had to withdraw support for her previous statement and apologize to the people of Philadelphia. The officer’s union was furious about the apology. A police officer has been charged with “pepper spraying.” Mayor Kenney also apologized. We grew up watching a famous sports caster known for his relationship with Muhammad Ali who would say “Let’s go to the video tape.” Do you remember Howard Cosell? Good policing involves evidence and not corruption as important information has to be presented all the time. Justice is best served that way!

At this time, after recommending various times that our nation needed more and better trained police which could have been made available through our Congress and the White House. Trump’s handling of things was and is scary. And right now Americans are probably not being informed well enough about what is going on during those protests around the country.

I just got into an argument with a former law enforcement agent who ended the discussion (it was a discussion to me and argument to him) where he said that Trump was the best president ever. I just wish to remind my readers once again that I on February 10th, showing much concern before writing what I did, was correctly afraid of Trump’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. “There is a crown on the Corona beer label which is not Trump’s crown although Trump has been given a throne in one of my articles about Bobolice Castle in Poland which was published in Jewish Business News.  The Corona Virus is simply Trump and his imaginary crown (corona is crown in Spanish).  Trump is unfit to hold office and it is so scary having him in charge of our nation as the Corona Virus spreads.  I hope that we defeat both Corona Viruses soon and that our nation’s people remain safe from such afflictions.” And I had great concern about the elections taking place in November as well.

That former law enforcement agent threw at me every single sound bite that one would hear on conservative radio and showed very little knowledge of history and current events. Bill de Blasio was his target, even if the mayor of New York City was not responsible for matters that I tried to bring up. He mentioned the one percent of the African American community that is problematic, but would he ever say the same things about Jews, Italians, or others? I thought that we are supposed to judge each case by its individual merits without any prejudice in mind. That seemed a hard thing to do if one keeps in mind all the time that one percent are no good at all. In relation to police of all colors and ethnic groups, we have to rid ourselves of those who are not innocent and I would not say that one percent are bad cops because I just don’t know the percentages. Teachers, by the way, have been accused of having one percent that need to be fired as well and that never happened.

The numbers he shouted out,  3,000 high for murders in New York City that were reduced to 300 murders under Giuliani, were numbers that I could not find in my research until I found fact checker where suddenly the numbers went from 1,900 high for murders to 700 murders. And the (July 2, 2020 by Robert Farley based on figures provided by the F.B.I. and N.Y.P.D.) also showed the continued reductions under both Bloomberg and de Blasio. The 300 territory approached at the end of three terms under Bloomberg. It also appears that the state had about 2,600 murders back in Giuliani’s days which could explain the mistake made by that former law enforcement agent. All that statistical data was provided because of “misleading” statements made by Rudy Giuliani about the recent spike in crime in New York City. That man called Trump the “best president ever” and it explains a lot. Doesn’t it? He spreads misinformation. There was a 1,100 gap in the former officer’s statement and I wonder how he would handle a $1,100 sudden reduction in his paycheck. Giuliani also made a false claim in the murder rate which he put at 58 percent even though it was 24 percent. The pandemic has been a factor in the increase in murders, but the Trump supporters have been touting great improvements in Trump without being able to take into account the hard work that it took to get there. The lowest unemployment rate rate among African Americans, the greatest part accomplished by Barack Obama.

I can recall being with the police officer in Nassau County discussing the interrogation of gang members in that county who told me that almost 600 gang members were brought in and most of them did not have a high school diploma. That means something but also nothing. On the website of the Learn4Life organization involved in educating youth who need an alternative it is indicated that 80 percent of gang members have not earned a high school diploma. I don’t know the source of that information, but if true it just proves that there has been immense failure to make the “safety net” work to keep the peace. Michael Bloomberg inherited a city government where more than a hundred thousand youth who had dropped out of school were at risk to be problematic. These numbers may or may not be available to other major cities or even to small cities across America and that is something that should be made public.

Ernie Bristow desires the solution or solution to the gun violence and the life that people in her community and other such communities are living. Gun violence has been with US since the founding of America and by the late 1960s it was affecting people everywhere along with drugs. The numbers were staggering long ago and are spiking right now, which was expected under the current economic conditions. So much violence is taking place across our nation even without the guns and the deaths that follow. It’s on the news in Democratic states and in Republican controlled states, but the finger gets pointed at the Phillys (Phillies) across our nation. News broadcasts become largely sports and violence. You should see what goes on in the Bronx.

There is no single solution being advocated presently that will do the trick. It will take a lot of things to greatly reduce the violence and the gun violence. The adult population is hurting and hurting badly either from being victim or perpetrator of violence. I just noticed a FACEBOOK post as Randi Weingarten spoke about just how similar Chicago and West Virginia can be in terms of problems. Appalachia continued to have problems long after the War on Poverty of the 1960s. It is “ground zero” for the opioid epidemic and the rural areas having rising crime and murder rates as well, according to the Crime Report of John Jay College (New York City) in 2018.