“Keep Portland Weird?” How about we just keep Portland safe?
At some point I’m going to get tired of writing about how the societal wheels are coming off the American wagon, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet. Identity politics and the need to turn everything into a social justice issue is eventually going to hollow out what’s left of the thin blue line which protects decent society from a descent into chaos. The latest example comes to us from Portland, Oregon which has, for many years, employed a sensible system of tracking known members of violent street gangs. This useful tool is in place in departments around the country and has allowed law enforcement to keep tabs on their most dangerous offenders. Now, however, that system is coming to an end.
Why? Because too many of the gang members were minorities and that’s simply not fair. (Daily Caller)
Portland police will no longer maintain a database of suspected gang members, due to concerns that the vast majority of people with the gang label are racial minorities.
Starting Oct. 15, the Portland Police Bureau will end the 20-year practice of issuing gang member designations, which police say can lead to “unintended consequences” and a lifelong stigma even for those who have given up the gang lifestyle. Officials intend to notify the approximately 300 people on the gang list that the bureau will purge all records related to the designations, The Oregonian reported.
“There are still criminal gang members. That doesn’t go away because we don’t have a gang designation,” said Capt. Mike Krantz, according to The Oregonian. “We’re not pretending gang violence doesn’t exist. We’re just taking this one thing away.”
You’re just “taking this one thing away?” Have you noticed that the “one thing” in question is a fairly important resource?
Grab a chair and a cold drink, kids, and I’ll tell you a brief story. Back when VW was in negotiations with United Auto Workers over potential unionization of employees in Tennessee I spent a considerable amount of time in the Chattanooga area. I got to know some of the locals, including law enforcement officers and the concerns they had in the crime fighting department.
It turns out that in the rural, “out in the county” areas around the city they had some serious gang issues. They kept tabs on the frequent offenders and the people they were apprehending frequently appeared (with mug shots) in some local publications. Here’s the strange part: it’s an area which isn’t particularly racially diverse if you catch my drift. The gangs were primarily meth dealers and their associated networks. And they were almost all white. But they still tracked them.
The point is, when you are in law enforcement, you focus your efforts where the crime is. In many larger cities, crime is most prevalent in the lowest income areas with poor schools, depression and substance abuse problems. Sadly, these are frequently also the most minority heavy neighborhoods. Gang violence just doesn’t tend to flourish in areas where people are bringing down six figure incomes and above. But as any cop will tell you, you go where the crime is.
Portland’s database isn’t racist. It’s reflective of where the most crime happens. Flushing this database because it looks “racist” to social justice warriors is one more pin pulled out from the support structure of society. This is a cry for help, not a success in social engineering.