Monday, January 21, 2008

SWAT shooting shakes up Ohio town

I'm usually not a guy who extensively looks into what are called the "root causes" of crimes that are committed, or criminals who are caught. I typically think anyone who shoots people or deals drugs is a piece-of-shit loser. And no, I'm not a Republican. But this article got me thinking. While looking for someone who was allegedly dealing drugs out of his home, an Ohio SWAT team fatally shot the man's girlfriend and injured her one-year-old son. As you can probably guess, the woman was black and the SWAT guys were mostly or all white.

The article talks about the simmering tensions between blacks and the police, which have been around longer than I have. But what I found interesting was that it also raised the issue of joblessness in this community due to the outsourcing of manufacturing jobs. The mainstream media usually doesn't make this connection, and I was impressed that they did so. It makes a lot of sense that when you take away blue-collar jobs where people with a high-school education or less can make a decent amount of money, those people are going to be desperate and do anything they can to make money. This leads to a crippling cycle in which these people are forced to deal drugs, and politicians (rich people) react by building more prisons to put these people in. While nothing's done to work on real economic alternatives for these communities whose jobs were taken away from them.

I do have one more thing to add, a viewpoint that in some people's eyes might contradict what I just said, but no matter. I read that the woman who was shot and killed, was 26 years old. She had 6 children. If economic woes lead to people living outside the law, I really feel for them. But shouldn't one thing, one thing that just makes common sense, be obvious, and that is to not keep getting knocked up? When you and your spouse have no job and little prospects, you can't keep making babies. You can't afford to raise yourselves, let alone children, and you're pretty much condemning them to the same life (or worse) that you had. So if you're poor and broke, and are reading this, use birth control.

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