Baltimore’s Mandatory Sentencing Consideration, Maybe Not the Way to Proceed

So far (i.e., July 18, 2017 4:31 pm) there have been 189 homicides in our fair city of Baltimore, Maryland USA.  Compare that to the nine , yes nine, combined combat related deaths of  US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq . Sad to say but our combat troops are far safer in an active war zone than in Baltimore City.

There are a number of factors contributing to this carnage.  And I would be the first to state that those factors should be considered when addressing a long term strategy to turn this situation around.  But for now, we need some immediate short term action.

There are proposals for mandatory sentencing for anyone caught with an illegal gun.  An illegal gun is any gun being carried (with a few allowances) within the State of Maryland for which no permit has been issued by the State of Maryland.  The problem I have with this approach is that it does not consider some circumstances that could possibly warrant a law abiding citizen from doing just that.  Example, the citizen hears cries of help from his neighbor or loved one a half block from his home.  He/she notes multiple villains involved.  Fearing for the safety of all, including them self, they pick up the family gun and head down the street.  Technically, they would go to jail because of the law. And we also must remember how so many African American’s obtained criminal records during the sweeps in Baltimore to clear the corners.

My approach is very simplistic.  We must first forgive our police department for some past errors and we must forgive ourselves for forcing the police department to apply police tactics to civic matters.  We must then concentrate on those known trouble makers.  From the minute they leave their place of residence to the time they return, law enforcement should be all over them.  Stop them, search them, make them know we know they are trouble.  Most are on parole and if I am not mistaken, this would be a legal tactic.

Next law enforcement must get ahead of the curve when it comes to revenge killing.  When there is a killing, find out the names of relatives, friends, etc.  Let them know you are watching them.  For those more-than-likely to seek street justice, monitor their every day actions and let them know you are there.  For both groups I have referred too, make it clear that if they don’t like what’s going on, leave our city.

It is war out there and I stand behind my proposals 100%.


Black America, Do Not Take Your Knowledge, Skills and Abilities to the Grave; America Needs You Now

Donald Trump is now the 45th President of the United States.  Regardless of how you feel about that, it is a fact.  While cries of the world coming to an end and descriptions of the president as the unholy one are not as bad as before, some within our community still persist with their so called prophet predictions and ungodly characterizations.  While too much attention within our community continues to be directed toward the president, the hopelessness in our community continues.

The issues we have are monumental but they are manageable.  That is, if we first agree that they are our problems and secondly, they are our problems to fix.  Now I know these statements seem simplistic but they are truly at the core of where we are today.  For example, we are demanding that White America provide more jobs for our communities when we are not acknowledging the fact that we have over a trillion dollars of disposable income which we spend in other communities and we only have 3% of the businesses in America.  In other words, we could have jobs in our communities if we created businesses in our communities.  This in turn could lead to more job creation as our youth and young adults become entrepreneurs and pass their knowledge, skills and abilities down to the next generation.  Now let’s talk about those knowledge, skills and abilities.

Knowledge, skill, and ability hereto referred to as KSA are critical attributes one must have to function effectively in your work environment.  In my former life with the Social Security Administration, I met and personally know many of the key players who significantly contributed to the effective working of that organization.  Many of these individuals are African Americans, male and female.  Being part of that inner circle of key players, I along with all others was provided with the most up-to-date industry level training across many disciplines.  How have we, collectively, used that advantage?

Collectively, I have not seen any significant business endeavors from my African American counterparts.  Not one significant business.  And when I say significant, I refer to businesses which employ the services of people with the possibility of significant growth.  And therein lays one of the main problems within our community.  The KSA’s possessed by our brothers and sisters will go to the grave with them.

With this thought process, we are not thinking about the future of our children, nor are we thinking about the country we love.  There is growing concern that America is losing its innovation and technological edge.  And that is a valid concern which has far reaching consequences for our nation and its way of life.  We need every able body man and woman to step up and branch out; specifically Black America.  And to accomplish that, we need Black American leaders to provide their KSA’s to the next generation of African Americans and all Americans alike.

Your comments are very much appreciated.

Larry C. Smith, President
Look Forward My Brother