( – promoted by Patrick)
Tomorrow is the funeral for Steven Odom, a thirteen-year-old African-American from Dorchester who was struck down last week by a bullet not meant for his body. Odom’s murder has galvanized the city, horrifying Bostonians in a way few murders seem to do. It’s a horror that will linger–but unfortunately, it will only linger for a limited time.
Yesterday, Odom’s death became a politicized event, as Odom’s parents held a press conference demanding that Governor Deval Patrick play an active role in stemming inner-city violence. The grief of Odom’s parents is understandable–but sadly, their argument is absurd. There is little that Gov. Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, or any other state or local public official can do to reduce the bloodshed in Boston.
One cannot avoid viewing the Odom tragedy against the backdrop of political and cultural changes that have destroyed Boston and other major cities in this country. Conservatives (and even some non-conservatives such as Bill Cosby) are shouted down when they criticize the lawlessness, disdain for education, and illegitimacy that has plagued America’s urban regions–and because their criticisms are demonized as thinly veiled racism, their proposed solutions are ignored, and the violence continues unabated.
The “root cause” of inner-city violence in Boston and other areas must be laid squarely at the feet of LBJ’s so-called Great Society–that deranged idea designed to keep poor people poor and black people trapped in the ‘hood under the guise of helping them deal with life’s difficulties. The Great Society was a great scam and hoax perpetrated upon inner-city blacks, a deceptive deal that convinced too many that a life of handouts and dependence was preferable to a life of hard work and diligence.
The Great Society encouraged fatherlessness and triggered the anti-education mentality that has gained far too much prominence among the urban underclass. With the rise of the Great Society came increased poverty, increased despair, increased hopelessness–and increased violence.
The liberal instinct is to shut up anyone who rightfully blames the Great Society for its cancerous contribution to urban sorrow. It is time to tell those liberals to shut up.
However, while it’s said to be impolite to “blame the victim,” there are times in which the victim must in fact be blamed. The “victim” in this case is not Odom, but the folks who have repeatedly voted for the same liberal politicians who created and contributed to the destruction of the inner city.
Odom happens to be a minister’s son, and thus one can’t help thinking about this tragedy in religious terms. Odom was let down by the members of his community–the ones who repeatedly voted to advance the destructive liberal agenda, the ones who ran to the polls every election day to express support for the likes of Ted Kennedy, John Kerry, Michael Dukakis and others who either caused the destruction of the inner city through their support of dependency programs or who had no solutions for the problems facing urban areas.
I’ve long been mystified by the phenomenon of supposedly religious African-Americans putting their faith and trust in secular politicians who believe that the state is God. I’ve never understood how folks in depressed urban regions can continually vote for the likes of Kennedy and Kerry, how they can revere them as God-like figures.
Thus, I can’t help wondering if, on some level, those who put their faith in these destructive politicians are not reaping what they have sowed. If members of Boston’s inner city voted for those who either created or perpetuated the plight of the ‘hood, it will be virtually impossible for these residents to receive much public sympathy when innocents are struck down as a result of the circumstances created or perpetuated by those wayward politicians.
It’s sad that Steven Odom had to die. It’s sad that so many promising young men and women died on the streets of inner-city Boston before they had a chance to reach adulthood. However, it is time for all of us to confront the truth: that inner-city Boston and other inner-city areas of this country were destroyed years ago by the Great Society–and that the politicians who created or perpetuated the Great Society, as well as the folks (including residents of these inner cities) who kept returning these corrupt politicians to office, have a hell of a lot to answer for.
We’ll hear a lot of sound and fury over the next few years from Bostonians demanding that the violence be stopped, a lot of calls for men and women in inner-city Boston to be soldiers in a war against urban violence. However, if these men and women voted for the Kennedys and Kerrys and Dukakises and other fools who either created or perpetuated the suffering of the inner city, then these men and women will be, for all intents and purposes, phony soldiers.
My heart breaks for Steven Odom. However, my heart turns cold when I think of the sadistic solons who destroyed inner-city ambition with the horribly misnamed Great Society, and the folks who kept these politicians in power all these years. Steven Odom did not die in vain. However, it’s clear that he died because of other people’s sins.