Monday, August 25, 2008

Fear of Crime

I'm reading Richard Perlstein's mammoth book, Nixonland, on how defeated Nixon in 1962 won a landslide second term to the Presidency a decade later and the political transformations of the American public that coincided with that rise (a review will have to wait time to complete the more than 700 page tome). A big component emphasized by Perlstein was the perception that violent crime in America's large cities was galloping out of control.

It is hard not to feel political chills picking up the morning paper in 2008 to read of the East Bay's continuing series of armed robberies of restaurants and the growing public and political response. In the SFChron staff writers Henry K. Lee,Tyche Hendricks summarize the recent developments to include the pistol whipping of employees at a nail salon in North Oakland and 5:15 in the afternoon, robberies at a seafood restaurant Sunday night, and a pizzeria Saturday, a protest in affluent Rockridge after the robbery last week of a pasta restaurant especially popular with families, and the fact that the City of Oakland has openly asked the retro vigilante organization, the Guardian Angels, to help patrol the city.

Holy Cow Batman, is it 1968?

1 comment:

Glen Graham said...

A fear of crime could be studied from a larger sociological and political perspective and probably has been by social/political scientists.

In the 60's and 70's, I think of the George Wallace for President supporters in the Democratic party and later the Reagan Democrats in the 80's who in reaction to a Democratic party that was perceived to be out-side the main stream caused "conservative" democrats to flee to "conservative" candidates. {Reagan himself a former Democrat who switched parties in the early 60's}

Wallace, (racist), was once quoted as saying something like "let one of those long haired or pointed headed [college professors and hippies] people get in my way and see what happens" referring to the motorcade that was blocked by protestors in I think California [critizing Reagan}?

A fear of crime is in a larger sense is a fear of change. A fear of social protestors. A fear of "long-haired hippies." A fear of people rebelling against the rules of society. It is a fear of social change. Daughter and mother disagreeing. Son and Father disagreeing. Young people disagreeing with older people. A structural and economic and political change in the way people live their lives.

Predictions of the peak oil crisis coming in about the year 2015 or a little sooner or later, will lead to a fundamental change in the way people live their lives.

The ability of people to change, evolve, and adapt to their environment will assure the survival of our people.

The larger picture of crime would be what works? Getting people actively involved in comming up with ideas --- and community involvement --- maybe --- hiring more community service officers --- helping people obtain social services for basic needs and food, shelter, counseling, jobs, etc. Really, for Christians, what would Jesus do?

Yours in the Defense of Fellow Human Beings,
Glen R. Graham, Tulsa Criminal Defense Attorney, Tulsa, Oklahoma