Wilmington, Del., has a big problem: Large groups of black people are going crazy. And this collective “mental illness” is causing record levels of crime and gun violence in this heavily black city of 70,000.
According to the Wilimington News Jounral, that is the diagnosis of the city council which, by unanimous agreement earlier this month, asked the Centers for Disease Control to investigate this wave of psychological mayhem that has turned this historic and once-charming community into an unrecognizable shell of its former self.
Chief diagnostician of this crisis in public health is city councilmember Hanifa G.N. Shabazz:
There is a well-known fact that the African American community here in the United States of America is still suffering from the traumatic syndrome of slavery. That is compounded with the many effects that are happening in today’s society with our young people and the things they are seeing, and there is definitely a shift of mental capacity of their ability to make good decisions. That results in gun violence.
Shabazz went on to talk about the “mental illness that our young people are suffering in order for our young people to be able to take life so aimlessly.”
She pointed to the recent movie “12 Years of Slavery” to illustrate. In one scene, a slave is hung from a tree with a rope around his neck and must stand on his tip-toes for a long period of time to survive. Many people saw the slave in distress but did not help him.
Shabazz says that is the situation with black people today. “That mentality is still going on,” she told her council colleagues. And it is “not a natural phenomena [sic]. It is not in the nature of the African American to act in self-destruction.”
She does not explain who is playing the role of slave masters or what they are doing to endanger so many black people in Wilmington. She also fails to say whether the black men and women who serve as mayor, city council president, and city councilmembers are also afflicted by this disease, which would seem to call into question their ability to continue to serve the community.
The councilwoman’s comments came after a series of news stories and violent incidents in Wilmington that left the council grappling for new solutions to what are now old problems: Shootings. Stabbings. Violence. Drugs. Mayhem.
Wilmington has seen a record 150 shootings this year, with 22 fatalities. Most of the shooters are black, as are the victims.
Other council members lined up to support the Shabazz diagnosis and co-sponsor her resolution. Some offered their own visions in council chambers — or on Facebook.
City Councilwoman Maria Cabrera posted an article on her Facebook page with a complementary point of view that is also very popular in Wilmington political circles and sometimes known as the “Freeway Did It” analysis: She points to the destruction of several hundred homes in Wilmington 50 years ago to make way for Interstate 95 as the tipping point that led to the epic levels of crime and violence in the city.
City councilman Trippi Congo, one of two funeral directors on the council, blamed police. Congo says they are not friendly enough. Congo also blasted the local newspaper and radio station WDEL for not reporting enough good stories about the city and lamented that several national news organizations have reported that Wilmington is one of the most dangerous in the country.
Congo said the stories about violence somehow encourage and create more violence and said other council members agree with him that local media should report fewer crime stories.
“I wish the newspaper headlines would read: A majority of the kids in this town are good people not trying to break the law,” said councilmember Loretta Walsh, who has opined elsewhere that people who do not support Barack Obama are racist.
Earlier in December, a suburban resident was robbed and attacked while visiting one of the city’s older Italian restaurants, Mrs. Robino’s. Several commenters to the story at the News Journal website were upset the paper wrote about the incident at all:
“I do not find an article about the incident in the News Journal is warranted,” wrote reader Jackie Chrimbes. “She gets to back to lovely home in Hockessin, when, the people who live in Wilmington put up with this everyday.”
Others were unhappy that the local newspaper appears to be complicit in covering up this vast wave of mentally-ill induced racial criminality. Said John Engleman:
The News Journal thinks it is contributing to racial harmony by not reporting the truth that the vast majority of violent crimes committed in our violent city are committed by young black men. It is not fooling anyone. I woke up from Martin Luther King’s dream when two black teenagers robbed me at gunpoint. Since then I would like to wake up from the nightmare of black crime. Unfortunately, it is not a dream. It is a reality.
In November, a state police officer was shot on the streets of Wilmington in the middle of the afternoon. Some said it was an ambush. Others said the trooper wandered into the middle of an otherwise routine gun fight. The police responded with dozens of cars, more than 50 officers from several agencies, and at least one helicopter.
Several council members echoed comments in a video at the News Journal site from people who live near the shooting. One person said he did not like the fact that more police responded to the shooting of the officer than when a regular citizen is shot.
“I ain’t happy because I lost a couple of friends and we did not get this much attention for nothing,’ said James Warner. “He [is] human just like us. So we should all be treated equal. They are not better than us,” he said.
Councilwoman Cabrera said the response was “excessive.” Other council members echoed her comments. The shooters are still at large.
Marlin Newburn said he does not have to ask the CDC who is responsible for the lawlessness that dominates Wilmington life: He says the people who ignore it, condone and excuse and deny it are the ones at fault — as much as or more than — the criminals themselves.
Newburn is referring to the Wilmington City Council — where one party rule has dominated city hall since at least the 1940s.
During his 30-year career as a prison and court-appointed psychologist, Newburn has seen racial violence and denial — on personal and collective levels. As is the case with the Wilmington City Council:
This is the zenith of denial, a complete rejection of personal responsibility. Center for Disease Control? Are you kidding?! Just how ignorant are these “leaders?
The character of the citizen creates a community atmosphere. If a kid knows someone in power will make excuses for their predation, they will be empowered.
Just keep this hard and fast rule in mind when addressing government ‘caring.’
Whatever behavior is defended, financed, excused, and where personal responsibility is displaced, you will get more of the behavior.
It is not be fair to place blame entirely at the feet of the city council. The message of racial oppression is also heard from the pulpits of the city’s black churches. Rev. Lawrence M. Livingston, pastor of one of the largest black congregations in the state told the News Journal:
This violence in our community – you don’t think it has something to do with the last 400 years? We didn’t create this stuff – all this mess.
The comments came just a few days after a crowd of black people beat a white clergyman near Livingston’s church in Wilmington.
Follow Colin Flaherty at his website, White Girl Bleed a Lot.