WHY OAKLAND IS THE BAGHDAD BY THE BAY
AND THE MINE-CANARY FOR AMERICA’S INNER CITIES
The Oakland crime problem is not just some aberration. Almost every major metropolitan area in the United States has suffered through governance by the soft-hearted social worker mindset; we all know the type – hand wringing liberals to a fault, who would never be caught dead having a drink with an off duty cop, and don’t support the services of front line police because police don’t “address the root problems of crime”.
A new conservative or blue dog democrat is made every time one of these kind hearted souls is mugged. Unless your local demographic consists of a mix of LDS families and Buddhists, any substantial reduction in your police services is an invitation to a thug-fest.
The lessons of Oakland are particularly relevant during a downturn when city governments face tough resource allocation choices. Oakland’s current problems began several years ago, when during a budget crisis, there were police layoffs and the Police Training Academy was shut down as a cost saving measure. I predicted disaster. I hate to be right about this kind of thing.
Oakland’s hapless mayor, Ron Dellums – the former heavy-hitter Congressman (an archetypical 60’s hate-the-military ideologue in those days), is profoundly disdained by most of OPD’s sworn officers. The posthumous wishes of slain officers whose funeral took place before a huge audience Friday were honored: Dellums was not a welcome speaker. To his credit the mayor did not speak, enduring a silent public humiliation.
Mr. Dellums’ nemesis is a courageous, African American truth-teller, Chip Johnson, whose column for the San Francisco Chronicle has pulled no punches where Oakland’s crime and the failed leadership of its mayor are concerned. It turns out that the mayor has a son whose story has been kept in the closet, like the proverbial crazy aunt in the attic. That son is a convicted murderer who, by all accounts, would fit squarely within the violence-prone subset of Oakland parolees if and when he is released. Reportedly, because Chip Johnson tried to interview mayor Dellums about is relationship with that son a few years ago, Mr. Dellums still refuses to talk to Mr. Johnson.
The rank and file members of OPD are acutely aware of Oakland’s parolee problem, the subject of my last posting and several other articles and OP Ed’s over the last several years. That issue surfaced in today’s column by Chip Johnson.
“I want to know why the mayor isn’t on CNN or a national news show talking about what happened here,” said Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association. “What the hell are we going to do about these parolees in our town?”
Ad quoted by Chip Johnson in the SF Chronicle– http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/03/31/BAIS16PMCR.DTL&hw=chip+johnson&sn=002&sc= b 910 .
Johnson also announced that a prominent democratic politician, Don Perata, California State Senate leader, will run for Oakland mayor when Dellums term is up in two years. I know Don Perata. He is tough and pragmatic, a long-time supporter of law enforcement. It should be an interesting race.