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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Why We Can't Wait On Dunbar Village - Security Cameras Finally Arrive...FIVE MONTHS LATER!

I recently decided to participate in a large Google Group of African American bloggers. Now, granted other bloggers put up information about their projects on this board all the time, but when I put up the press release about BlkSeaGoat's counter protest this Friday, November 16th at 12:00 ( You DC Folks show up and keep him company please). The response in the Google Group was immediate, vitriolic, and irate. Apparently we are supposed to be silent about Dunbar Village and not ask why Black leaders are remaining silent on what I believe is a crime against humanity. Most importantly, we aren't supposed to publicly challenge Black leaders about it. Apparently direct action and massive public demonstrations are only appropriate on behalf of Black criminal defendants, not Black victims of crime.

I basically got cursed out, told I was stupid, called a media whore, and other things in a response that was disproportionate to any post I may have placed on this Google Group in the less than 24 hours I have been a member. (There is clearly some deep seated WAOD hatred manifesting itself). When the blogger that cursed me out was chastened about cursing me out in public, like at true Internet Ike Turner, his response was that it was okay because it happened behind "closed doors." His reasoning is that since his attack on me, WAOD, and the counter protest was the message board comprised of about 75 Black bloggers and not on his blog, it wasn't public. In other words, he isn't courageous enough to attack me, WAOD, and the Dunbar Village counter protest publicly, he'll reserve his attacks for the "privacy" of a 75-member Google Group.

Hmmm, Nothing on the internet is private and I find that interesting that he thinks I am going to be quiet about his tirade. I've chosen not to further engage with this IIT on the Google Group. I've got to wade through plenty of irate e-mail, why am I going to add wading through profanity -laced Google Group attacks to my ridiculously long list of things to do. Don't worry y'all I got the screen capture of the whole exchange. I'll share it at the time and place of my choosing. Maybe I'll put the screen capture in my book. "Private" my eye!

But this male blogger's response to our continued coverage of Dunbar Village is probably indicative of many other folks's beliefs as well (for every one that says something 1000 think it). So I'm going to address "Why We Can't Wait on Dunbar Village"

SO why make a big deal out of one crime? Why be willing to *GASP* potentially embarrass Black "leaders" publicly about their silence on the matter?

When I ask why national leaders are silent about Dunbar Village, I am talking about the horrific nature of the crime, but included within that is the massive governmental ineptitude before the crime, ie the security cameras not working, the outside lights being shot out, a lack of police protection despite an alarmingly high crime rate in a single housing complex, the Housing Authority's failure to keep track of who actually lived in the complex, including violent criminals, the Mayor of West Palm Beach saying she was keeping her eye on Dunbar Village while allowing it to wallow in decay while she put up a 164 million dollar office building, the survey from residents prior to the crime saying that the overwhelming majority of them felt unsafe, the neighbors ignoring the screams of the victims during the crime, the neighbors not offering to help after the crime, the neighbors saying "so what a lady got raped, crime happens here all the time" and not helping police in the aftermath of the crime. Not to mention the age of the alleged perpetrators (14,15,16, 18 and counting), the police Chief (Delsa "Do Nothin'") saying $1000 is a big enough reward, the Housing Authority Director being an incompetent boob, the City Commissioners of West Palm Beach fighting like cats and dogs while residents rot, including what I think was an extremely cynical decision to pass up a 20 Million Dollar grant from HUD to revitalize Dunbar Village ( I think they did that because it sits on prime real estate and they want a condo tower on that site instead of mixed income housing JMO). Dunbar Village is a massive failure of government to carry out its most fundamental responsibility, to keep the peace. The crime is a crime against humanity, and when these criminals are prosecuted, the entire STATE will be the one prosecuting the case.

Sometimes folks forget that there are hundreds of people still stuck living in Dunbar Village. The Dunbar Village rape victim got out, but what about the folks who have been left behind? What is going to happen to them when folks stop talking about them? And what about communities all over this country where the ingredients for this tragedy currently exist? Or the six rapists that are currently running around and a threat to us all?

Local Media Attention Having Little Affect on Bureaucrats and Politicians

Now the nation may not know about Dunbar Village, but the local papers in West Palm Beach and the local TV stations report on it probably twice weekly or so. The City Commissioners have been battling about security and the local state representative has even weighed in. But even with all of this local attention, it still took FIVE MONTHS to get security cameras:
The West Palm Beach Housing Authority, which operates Dunbar Village, has been eager to have the camera installed, particularly since an assault on a mother and her son inside the community on June 18. As many as 10 attackers were involved.

Laurel Robinson, the authority's executive director, said the camera will be able to swivel 360 degrees and allow police officials to observe a large area, including Tamarind Avenue, a crime-troubled street that borders Dunbar Village.

"It adds a layer of confidence-building for the residents," Robinson said. The camera will be attached to a light pole near the community's basketball court.SOURCE
They were eager to have them installed and it took almost a half a year... how long does it take to do the things they AREN'T eager to do?

Maybe security cameras would have been helpful last week when Corndog Jones Lawson broke into an apartment in Dunbar Village and beat his pregnant girlfriend with a crow bar. By the way, do you know where police apprehended Corndog Lawson? Corndog Lawson whose name and photo was all over the news down in West Palm Beach? They found him where???? In DUBAR VILLAGE!
Cornard "Corndog" Jones, of West Palm Beach, was picked up Monday in Dunbar Village, the same complex where he allegedly struck the woman in the head and face with the bar he used to pry into her home on Oct. 30, police said. She escaped from him by running out the door. Police said that Jones screamed, "This ain't over!"SOURCE
Yes folks, even with the long arm of the law after him, Corndog Lawson returned to a place where he would feel safe from law enforcement, Dunbar Village.
Investigators tracked Jones down in Dunbar Village as he hung out with another acquaintance Monday. SOURCE
FIVE MONTHS LATER after all of the political wrangling, hemming and hawing and $900,000 spent on security by the housing authority, the criminals still know that Dunbar Village is their safe haven. Um Paging Police Chief Delsa Bush... That's a problem.

Whether we like it or not, sometimes the only thing that will prod politicians and bureaucrats into doing their jobs is the glaring lights of a TV camera and having microphones shoved in their faces. This is one of those cases. Not to mention that clearly in the face of local government ineptitude, the Governor has remained mum although it looks like at the Federal level, at least HUD is taking a look at the Housing Authority Board.

I'll Stop Talking About Dunbar Village When "Leaders" Start

So what does this Black male blogger propose I do? Move on with my life as if I never knew about it? Remove the banner? Forget about asking our African American leaders to acknowledge this? You see the point is that a group of BLOGGERS SHOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT DUNBAR VILLAGE AT ALL! The Mayor should have talked about it instead of throwing a temper tantrum. The Governor of Florida should have at least sent a letter saying his thoughts and prayers were with the victim. Civic organizations should have stepped up and demanded that the West Palm Beach City Commissioners and Housing Authority stop acting like three year olds and provide some modicum or security and safety or get out of the landlord business for good.

So I will be more than happy to stop talking about it when the people that should be talking about it START. You think I want to remember this madness every day or have to repeat the story to some reporter who apparently doesn't know how read the AP wire or do a simple Google search?

When the Universe tells me to shut up about Dunbar Village, I will be more than happy to move on. Until then, I'll keep talking about it. Some things shouldn't be forgotten.

I hope this clarifies my position, if not, I really don't care. When I reach the end of my days, I'm the one that will have to account for everything I did and everything I didn't do. The Universe told me to move so I did. I'll stop when the Universe tells me to, not some Black male blogger who wants the "little wimmen" to sit down, shut up, and be quiet... unless we're talking about the Jena 6 or Genarlow Wilson of course because raising hell and direct action for some folks is only appropriate on behalf of Black males.

Let that marinate!