Monday, June 02, 2008

Nothin's changed in forty years.

A young, white, Marine Pfc. recently returned from a combat tour in the Middle East was robbed at a bus stop in his hometown of Cleveland, by two young Afro-American males. Wary of the dangers in his home town, all he was carrying was his military ID, an ATM card and eight dollars, all of which the two young black men took. They were unhappy at the meager take and told him so, then shot him in the base of the skull. He lived, paralyzed, for four and a half months, on a ventilator, with his swollen brain bulging out of a skull flap, before succumbing to a raging infection. He identified his attackers. They are in custody, awaiting trial. You can get a repossessed house in Cleveland virtually for free. I wonder why.

I knew a Vietnam vet that had the same thing happen to him in Detroit, in the late sixties, forty years ago. He lived, as a quadriplegic, after several months in a coma. I used to go over to his house on weekends, when his regular caregiver got a day or two off. He was able to identify his attackers after emerging from the coma. Unfortunately, during the interim, these men had been tried and acquitted, so they went free. You could get a good deal on a house in Detroit, at that time. You still can. Hell, you can buy up open space in downtown Detroit so cheap, that people are using the land for dairies and truck farms.

Nothing's changed in forty years, not one damn thing. Almost everyone living in Detroit receives income from some entitlement program or other. The high school dropout rate is 89%, although that's not really accurate. A lot of kids there drop out long before high school. No white people live in the city, or even in the close in suburbs. Living there is like bad post apocalyptic science fiction.

Let's forget about Iraq. Let's work on bringing peace, freedom, democracy and prosperity to cities like Cleveland and Detroit. There is a shitload of them. They are not ever going to get better on their own.

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