The Plight of the African American Male in Philadelphia

An  police officer was recently murdered in Philadelphia.  The perpetrators were young African American males who stalked the officer as he was trying to make it home after completing an overnight shift.  The police have executed a search warrant for one of the perpetrators involved in the crime. I wonder what his outlook must be right now.  He is nineteen years old and facing a long litany of charges.  Both of the men involved have previous involvement with the law.  The police officer was a Church Deacon in the very neighborhood in which he was slain.

There have been numerous instances recently which illustrate the plight that many of our African American males face.  On a subway train, someone noticed a man with a rifle protruding from his bag.  The person quickly alerted the authorities and a tragedy was averted.  A police officer just shot a person who tried to drive away from a traffic stop. Numerous incidents involving gunshots and police have disturbed the peace this year.  If one is to believe the authorities, then we are improving in our fight against crime.  An article published last week in the Philadelphia indicates that we have a long way to go towards solving our issues with violent crime.

Philadelphia is known as a center of education and health care.  We have world renowned centers of learning. It is also a city with one of the highest levels of poverty in the nation.  Somewhere, there is a delicate balance that is being tilted towards the side of poverty's weight tilting the scales in its favor.  More males of color are sitting in jail cells than going to college.  Gun violence is a scourge here and in other major cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.  In the midst of a presidential race, I have not heard the tragedy of gun violence as an issue.

The number one solution would be jobs.  The Stimulus program was supposed to generate tons of them. Unemployment is still a drag on the economy.  In Philadelphia, the scarcity of jobs is exacerbated for any individual with a criminal record.  This includes prospects for many African American males.  I hope that 5n the future, using a gun to gain an economic advantage, will become less prevalent.

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