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I’m writing to commend Paul Ruffins’ piece (“Finding Hell on Wheels,” 9/29) and cannot resist commenting on some of the comments about it (The Mail, 10/6). Joe Libertelli rounds up the usual suspects, no doubt trying to get at the “root causes.” The root causes of crime are criminals. If the black community continues to admire the in-your-face behavior of its male progeny, the logical consequence is the “feral” product so well articulated in the article.
Michael Wilbon’s recent article about Latrell Sprewell in the Washington Post puts the myth to the poverty argument as an explanation of this malignant behavior. Maybe some of these homeboys have too much self-esteem. After decades of attributing defensive behavior, like crossing the street or clutching your purse to “racist” motives, the ugly truth is that it is a totally rational response, based on experiences like the one Ruffins described. Jesse Jackson’s defense of the thugs in Decatur, or Willie Wilson’s heated rhetoric about Korean store owners, or Al Sharpton’s rails against “outsiders” and “interlopers” is the verbal equivalent of and the precursor to our “scary young men.” Leaders use the homeboys’ all-too-well-known reputation to bludgeon the broader community and extort money for their “outreach” programs.
As for Thomas L. View: Even Jesse Jackson couldn’t take the behavior of the Le Droit Crew. Wasn’t it while living in Le Droit Park that he made his now famous remark about hearing footsteps, and being relieved after turning around and seeing a white face?! I’m sure he feels his “domesticated ass” is safer back in Chicago where he can no doubt go about his business without getting “chumped.”
Unfortunately, pointing out the obvious in this city will earn you the undying enmity of the chattering classes, the clergy, media, and the rest of the PC elite who have the luxury of having little contact with the described pathology. No doubt proceedings are under way to revoke Ruffins’ credentials as an authentic black. He will then be banished to that nether world inhabited by Clarence Thomas, Sandra Seegars, and Keith Richburg. Beware those who commit truth.
(Put me on the list for one of those posters, I’ll put it next to my “First Alert” sign.)