Published On: Wed, Apr 4th, 2018

Blog/ Zero Tolerance for Gangs, Dangerous Cities, and Trump

Banning the box must have helped make communities less dangerous and education is getting more and more important in the 21st century.  Employers who get rid of the high school diploma or high school equivalency and just conduct much better job interviews would be a great help to places like Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., St. Louis, Memphis, Oakland, and other cities.  And don’t forget Indianapolis where Mike Pence was the governor in 2016.  And don’t forget the Arpaio pardon by Trump after Arpaio was found guilty for criminal contempt in his actions against undocumented immigrants in  Arizona, without  Arpaio serving any time whatsoever.
Donald Trump and Mike Pence must show us what they have done in these 25 cities since they took office.  The statistics are for 2016.  Trump and Pence are “killing me” because of Trump’s constant attack on the MS-13 gang and the undocumented immigrants, but what about the “huge” numbers of killings in these cities.  The problem is that nobody really cares about what takes place in their neighbors’ backyards or across the country.  Chicago came in 24th in the nation.  In fairness to Donald Trump, he campaigned talking about Chicago, Chicago, Chicago and the “carnage” that was taking place there, but he could not have known that at the end of the year that there were 23 cities that were more dangerous than Chicago.  That is except for one thing.  Chicago wasn’t even on the list of the top 30 most dangerous cities in 2015, the year prior to the Election of 2016.
Detroit. Michigan gains the top spot in the countdown of our nation’s most dangerous cities. 
Nashville-Davidson, Tennessee (81 murders), Chicago, Illinois (765), Minneapolis, Minnesota(35), Buffalo, NY (44), Albuquerque, New Mexico (61), Beaumont, Texas (14), Springfield, Illinois (6), Washington, D.C. (138), Anchorage, Alaska (28), Lansing, Michigan (9), Toledo, Ohio (37), San Bernardino, California (62), Springfield, Missouri (8), Indianapolis, Indiana (148), Stockton, California (49), Oakland, California (85), Little Rock, Arkansas (42), Milwaukee, Wisconsin (141), Cleveland, Ohio (135), Kansas City, Missouri (129), Rockford, Illinois (26), Baltimore, Maryland (318), Memphis, Tennessee (196), St. Louis, Missouri (188), Detroit, Michigan (303).
Getting back to the MS-13 gang now and it was highly probable that the MS-13 contributed to a tiny amount of those homicides.  I have reached out for help in this matter.  Trump will probably tell us that thousands have been murdered by that gang in 2016, but I would imagine that the number is probably less than 50 (even one is too much for me).  Trump has made a fool of his supporters and he has contributed very little to Making America Safe.   Newsweek wrote in 2017 that since the 1980s that MS-13 members have been implicated in hundreds of murders and that averages out to a small amount each year. 
Even Breitbart, which I hate to quote, indicated this year the responsibility of the MS-13 for 207 murders since 2012 and I am not sure if that includes 2017, which is not the year that I have written about.  What was particularly disturbing about the Breitbart article to me is this.  Early on the article says 207 murders, but on reading more the article mentions 207 murderers.  I find that much bad reporting is caused by the confusion of the author.  See 200 Murders By MS-13 in 22 States Since 2012, Claims Report by Bob Price on February 21, 2018.  The F.B.I. does not have statistics on the number of murders committed by MS-13 gang members.
As I continued to read, The Atlantic detailed that programs were cut to keep youth out of trouble in Northern Virginia, home to many MS-13 members and Trump budget cuts would make matters even worse.  Would it be fair at this point to write that Trump is contributing to crime and gangs?
What has become known is the following in 2017.  There were confirmed or suspected to have gang ties.  Of those 159 youth, it was soon determined that 56 of those youth were ”confirmed” or “suspected” to have ties with MS-13.  And these were youth who arrived here as unaccompanied minors from 2011-2017 who were processed by the Border Patrol. That list surely has been reduced’ as youth who it was determined not to have gang ties were released.  It was just another moment for “alternate” facts to invade the United States though a president who has maintained his support among his followers. 
The New Yorker’s Jonathon Blitzer reported that one Long Island youth was arrested for having the Salvadoran flag as his profile picture.  I first changed the colors of my business card from black ink to blue ink, the blue on white was my way of expressing gratitude to the Salvadoran people for making my work famous.  I was neither a singer nor an actor who can become famous on television and my work was about helping entire communities.  I even cut a trip in Europe short to fly from Paris to Los Angeles to attend the First World Convention of Salvadorans.  Keep in mind that I am not Salvadoran nor were any members of my family connected with El Salvador.  Those blue and white colors, to me, matched up in my mind for the affection that I had with Israel and its flag. 
Then as I obtained the support of the former president of El Salvador for my campaign, I started printing my business card in full color and the Salvadoran flag was placed on it.  The same thing motivated me to add the Dominican flag and the Puerto Rican flag was placed there due to encouraging bill that was sponsored by a member of the Puerto Rican government.  Early in the Obama administration, I attended events where it looked like a could involved the White House in the difficult work of helping tens of millions of people who had never finished high school, but that did not work out. 
There should be zero tolerance for gang members in communities, but the mention of zero tolerance invokes a major law and order campaign.  The funding that is needed to turn our youth around is never what it should be.  Educational programs suffer as there are cuts of federal funds and/or state and local funds.  Even people running programs often do not know the problem well and in the vast majority of states where there is crime and the MS-13, there are poor annual results that could help turn lives around.  Zero tolerance should now be directed to the man who has exploited the situation for his own benefit.  The MS-13, the drug cartels, the undocumented immigrants who have lots of rights in this country (even to financial benefits as they can possess businesses and pay taxes and therefore are entitled), and the wall that first the Mexicans should pay for and now the military should pay for.  There should be zero tolerance for this so-called “law and order” president who, if he were consistent (and he is not), he would have offered to “send the feds” into every city mentioned on the list to make those cities much less dangerous.  They could very well continue to be on the list each year, because 25 cities have to be at the bottom.  Now the latter would indeed Make America Great.
One of the things that could make our cities safer is the combination of two things.  One is called “ban the box.”  This campaign has been successful in 150 cities across the United States.  Thirty states have adopted this policy.   Some of these cities extend “fair chance” hiring regulations to private employers.  These states where the hiring regulation exists make up 230 million people.  In the competition for jobs, there are going to be lots of people who are annoyed who conveniently forget that those people who have been incarcerated and who benefit from “ban the box” have paid their dues to society. 
There is a link that has not been explored yet and maybe this article will wake up those states.  That link, just like a disease that is linked to genetics, is the educational box that must be eliminated.  The part that says high school diploma or G.E.D. should also be eliminated for jobs.  The employer, who can give jobs to people that were previously considered unqualified due to the lack of a diploma.  That would level the playing field in the most dangerous communities across our nation.  People need opportunities instead of unemployment. 
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