Crime & Courts

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Activists see link in crime, social issues

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Black-on-black crime is a long-debated and often divisive issue.



Some argue that it only perpetuates racial boundaries to discuss the topic; others say it's a pressing issue that must be solved.

But with killings on Friday and Saturday, it's evident that something must be done, city activists say.

Early Saturday morning, Edward Cousette, 32, was shot to death outside Trinity Manor Apartments. That gives Augusta 20 homicides between June 13 and Sept. 18, the most in a four-month period since 2004.

Here's what the numbers show: Cousette was the 14th black victim out of 20, or 70 percent; 16 of the 21 people arrested in connection with the crimes were black, or 76 percent.

The question of black-on-black crime, its cause and its solution elicits many responses.

"Education" is a word that comes up a lot in the discussion. So do "parenting," "the church" and "drugs."

Keith New knows about education. He's a teacher at the Richmond County Alternative School, where the delinquents and trouble students are sent.

From his experience, many young black boys are labeled as hyperactive or diagnosed as having attention disorders. That's just a misunderstanding, he said.

"We are a different breed," he said. "We are loud people."

The students are sent to the alternative school where they must be challenged to keep their interest in school, New said. Fewer students would drop out of any school if the curriculum better met their needs, he added.

Once they drop out of school, they wander the streets without an identity or purpose in life, New said, except immediate gratification.

The attitude is "I see what I want and I want it right now," New said.

That's why young black men are stealing TVs, robbing and killing, New said.

The Rev. Larry Fryer adheres to a similar philosophy that he picked up from a meeting with Martin Luther King III. King told him that there remains a stigma among some that being black isn't beautiful.

"When a black man sees another black man he hates what he sees and tries to destroy it," Fryer quoted King as saying.

Fryer tries to counter that image and negative behavior by mentoring young children. Young mothers and a lack of responsible fathers "creates a cycle of pain," Fryer said.

New also believes that the lack of education is creating an identity crisis.

Black children are flipping through history books at school and they see no one who looks like them, except the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, New said. But New said when children go home and flip on the TV, they see three black men: the football and basketball player and the rap star.

"I have children who have never played organized basketball but their dream is to be in the NBA," New said.

Only a small percentage of exceptional players make it into professional sports, so black boys turn to rappers for their role models, according to New.

A lifestyle of flashy cars, designer clothes and beautiful women doesn't come cheap, so crime is the next step to gaining status, New said.

Former City Councilwoman Margaret Armstrong would add increased law enforcement to the list of solutions.

"Once you eliminate the availability of the drugs on the street, that's the best place to start," Armstrong said.

Armstrong proposes a funding boost for law enforcement, even if it means an extra 1-cent added to the sales tax for this area.

Community policing and improved visibility would serve as a deterrent against crime and bolster the confidence of residents too scared of retaliation to speak out against crime, Armstrong said.

"It's a fear factor," Armstrong said. "I'm not going to say I'm not afraid, but you have to stand up sometime."

CORRECTION:

- Because of a reporter's error, an article in Sunday's editions of The Augusta Chronicle misstated teacher Keith New's opinion about the Richmond County Alternative School. He believes that fewer students would drop out of any school if the curriculum better met their needs.

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Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 09/18/10 - 11:50 pm
0
0
We can't stop drugs use and

We can't stop drugs use and crime as long as the Constitution protects criminals. Hire all the police you want but criminals have rights that protect them. OBL told us this years ago.

Suzy Q
1
Points
Suzy Q 09/19/10 - 12:07 am
0
0
Keith New knows about

Keith New knows about education. He's a teacher at the Richmond County Alternative School, where the delinquents and trouble students are sent.
From his experience, many young black boys are labeled as hyperactive or diagnosed as having attention disorders. That's just a misunderstanding, he said."We are a different breed," he said. "We are loud people."

Horsefeathers! There is no misunderstanding about a young man who refuses to stay in his seat, pay attention to his teacher and attend to his studies. It's outright disrespect for the teacher and fellow students, and excuses like the one I read above do nothing to help correct the problem.
I'm just short of 50 here, but when I was in school, proper behavior wasn't the exception, it was the rule. Sure, we had a few kids who got into trouble, but there were far more who didn't. The school administration really didn't give a rat's fat rear how 'loud' you wanted to be and demanded better behavior.

These students are capable of proper conduct, and nothing less should be accepted from them.

bone1
0
Points
bone1 09/19/10 - 12:18 am
0
0
no way to argue this one: i

no way to argue this one: i won't listen to excuses; blacks won't listen to history. can we just agree to disagree and build some more prisons?

Arc
0
Points
Arc 09/19/10 - 01:26 am
0
0
I love the "it is not their

I love the "it is not their fault." I am tired of hearing that. I don't want to hear we are a loud people. I know plenty of black kids who were quite in class and did their work and made good grades. Those kids reserved that loudness for appropriate times. They did not get up and bother the entire class or whatever. They could have gotten away with it if they wanted to. There were the ones who did misbehave in class but it was because they knew the teachers were afraid to do anything about it for fear of being called "Racist."

Stepping up crime patrols will not help. It would just put our officers in more danger... 16 shootings in 4 months has proven that they are not scared to kill a person.

I did read one thing that is close to about 50 percent of the problem...the parents. I know some black kids whose parents made them behave, taught them manners, and made them do their homework. These kids are just fine they got the same education as all of the rest of us. The kids who are the problem kids (this goes for white and black alike) parents babied them, let them smart off, and told them they did not have to say thank you for a thing if they never felt like it.

I know white kids who have been sent to alternative school because they are obnoxious, constant distraction, and could not behave. It is not about color it is about society and parents and how much we are willing to let past actions govern what happens today. I think our society is past the point of saying it is because I am so and so color that I cannot do this. We elected a Black president. The End.

andywarhol
0
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andywarhol 09/19/10 - 01:56 am
0
0
If it isn't violent, are they

If it isn't violent, are they advanced? Have they progressed with the rest of the civilized world? Are they living in poverty? Please, just name one.

Asitisinaug
3
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Asitisinaug 09/19/10 - 02:38 am
0
0
Put violent criminals behind

Put violent criminals behind bars for life, period. The only other option would be to allow them the choice of death. Violent offenders deserve nothing but a 2 x 2 cell and their meals for as long as they remain alive - no chance of parole. The majority of crimes are committed by repeat offenders - remove all options of having a second chance after committing a violent crime of any nature and you will GREATLY reduce the number of crimes committed and those teaching new criminals. Ensure once in jail they can no longer communicate with any other criminals in any way, shape or form by any means necessary as many criminals are leading operations from behind bars. WE must take back our country no matter what race, sex or age the criminal is, especially those who commit violent acts. As for why so many black young males commit crimes, many of which are violent, I will not act as if I know the answer because I believe as with others there are many factors and most individual incidents are different. It probably has to do with lack of 2 parents or lack of parenting, lack of education, believing their is no opportunity to excel, peer pressure (which I belive to be very strong in all youths but especially with black males) because when many do well, behave, make good grades, etc. others say they "are trying to be white" and do all they can to bring them down. It also amazes me (not so much anymore) that generally speaking the only time you hear from black leadership is when a black youth or individual is in their opinion harshly punished or shot by the police. Black leaders remain silent when blacks shoot blacks on a continued basis but when a cop of any race simply doing their job is forced to shoot a black criminal large majorities of the black community are outraged. Where is the outrage at the day to day violence, drug use and criminal activity of the individual that brought the situtaion to a boiling point to begin with? Black leaders and even the NAACP continually try to get people off for crimes they have committed, seek weaker punishments, etc. as the NAACP is currently doing with 2 black females who are convicted of armed robbery. Since many in the black community don't want to listen to any other race the leaders within this community MUST take action and begin teaching personal responsibility, acountibility, etc. by any means necessary. Also, government social programs which work to keep people down and in need of the government need to end at once except for the handicapped and those completely unable to take care of theirselves.

dani
12
Points
dani 09/19/10 - 03:43 am
0
0
Does this mean that black

Does this mean that black children would fare better if the schools had not intergrated?

We should know by now that what we call "alternative school" is not working.

savoy_savoy
1
Points
savoy_savoy 09/19/10 - 05:21 am
0
0
I posted a comment a while

I posted a comment a while back about black boys...and basically, someone responded that "my ignorance speaks loudly"

I simply stated, that mothers of black boys, need to stop making excuses for their children bad behavior and short comings, stop thinking it's ok for your 6 year old to curse at you, stop blaming EVERYthing on "the white man" it truly is time to step up and keep these young men OUT of PRISON--I felt it needed to be said. Also, I mentioned that in 2008--some 48,000 black men graduated from college--816,000 were in PRISON!!! Also, I read (statistics) that 1 in 3 black boys, born in 2001, will be in PRISON by age 30---how sad. I wish I could do more, but sometimes, I feel the need to lock my door and check the clip twice.

Also, I was raised by a single parent and grandmother--they were BOTH positive forces in my life. My grandmother REARED/RAISED 10 black boys (by herself and caring neighbors) they ALL became PRODUCTIVE black men--who didn't beat/rape women, weren't in gangs, she didn't have to bail NONE of them out of jail for senseless crimes, they ALL graduated from High School and some went on to College, some made the Military their life--it paid off for her--BEING a REAL Parent to the very end. My mother was also taught good morals and values--still has ONLY 1 child she could afford--ME (36yrs later)...
GOD bless the teachers who have to deal with so many unruly children, and GOD help the parents who ACTUALLY want GOOD law-abiding, smart, and caring children that they can be proud of.
I will do my part in my community to help the police take these criminals off the street, I will tutor children with homework, but what will the parents do? And as far as black fathers--well, it's sad but some are doing the child a favor by staying OUT of that child's life because they are all screwed up themself--mine did a lovely favor because he is a mess. GOOD mothers, STAND up! --I've lost too many friends over black-on-black crime---AND Black is Beautiful when it's presented the RIGHT way.

seenitB4
93348
Points
seenitB4 09/19/10 - 05:59 am
0
0
Let's not psycho study this

Let's not psycho study this to death....black on black crime...It is here, it is real sooo black leaders step up to the plate. Take your neighborhoods back from the hoods..stop looking for excuses.

corgimom
36419
Points
corgimom 09/19/10 - 06:24 am
0
0
"Black children are flipping

"Black children are flipping through history books at school and they see no one who looks like them, except the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, New said."

Um...what about the President of the United States, Barack Obama? How about Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas? What about Condolezza Rice? What about George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. DuBois, Frederick Douglass, Marian Anderson, Jessye Norman, James Brown, all of the Georgia Assembly members that are black, black mayors, black senators, etc. etc. etc.

What about the black leaders of Augusta, both present and past?

Maybe they aren't looking at the right books?

fatboyhog
2082
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fatboyhog 09/19/10 - 07:06 am
0
0
We forgot a big one.

We forgot a big one. Responsibility and accountability. We have fostered generations if people who use the government to fix all their problems. You dropped out of school? Here, let me pay for your GED. You got pregnant out of wedlock? Here, let me pay for your baby. You want to go to the grocery store and get food? Here, you "qualify" for an EBT card. You want to go to college, even though you were a marginal student in High School? Here is a PELL Grant. You need a roof over your head? Here is an apartment. The problem stems from the fact that responsibility and accountibily are not required has helped get us inthis mess. If the government takes to support it's habit, why shouldn't the criminal? Why aren't we demanding parental involvement? When the police are seen as the enemy and drug dealers and thieves are the hero, something's wrong. The police cannot fix this problem. The community can. But, as long as we tolerate disrespectful behavior, this is what wr get . "We are a loud people". Really??? That's the best you've got?

redapples
672
Points
redapples 09/19/10 - 07:30 am
0
0
Thank you "corgimom" for

Thank you "corgimom" for setting the record straight. Excuses and "justifications" never solve problems. People and actions solve problems.

swhitman6
0
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swhitman6 09/19/10 - 08:01 am
0
0
The fact that it matters that

The fact that it matters that it was a black person committing a crime against another black person is not the problem and should not matter. The fact is that crimes are being committed and the criminals need to be held to the law. Something must be done about the crime but the fact that it is "black on black" should not be the focus. I cannot believe you would even quote someone as saying "We are a different breed...we are loud people". If a white person said that in Augusta, there would be rioting. That is ignorant and nothing but more excuses for why chidren are being raised without rules and without boundaries. What a ridiculous statement and excuse for people not knowing how to behave in an organized society.

It is NOT ok to steal, sell stolen property, use illegal drugs, sell illegal drugs, assault people, murder them, etc... That has NOTHING to do with race and it is ignorant to continue to push this angle through the ages. Regardless of race, if young men/women are "stealing TVs, robbing and killing" they should be arrested. It is NOT about race.

The more I read, the more irritated I get. How irresponsible to quote another separatist quote of black hating black because some people do not portray black as beautiful. There are plenty of ugly white people. I can assure you beauty is not a racial thing. Stop trying to separate people based on race.

Race is suppose to be irrelevant, but it is documented at every stage of life. I recently filled out a loan application and I refuse to state race and ethnicity. What matters is whether or not I have a history of paying what I owe on time and if I have the ability to pay the debt. Race will continue to be an issue in this country because we continue to make it an issue. Stop having clubs, schools, churches, events, government programs, business opportunities, etc... that are defined by race and maybe some of the tension would ease in this country. Why is there a need for Black Entertainment Television, Black College Football, Black Caucus, Black whatever... Race is an issue because we continue to make it an issue. If you took any of those and swapped out White for Black there would be an uproar in this country. Just stop.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 09/19/10 - 08:26 am
0
0
Black people just need to

Black people just need to love each other more and that can only come through a relationship with Christ and not through a church that tells you that power is the answer. Everyone; black or white, only change from the inside out.

airbud7
1
Points
airbud7 09/19/10 - 08:40 am
0
0
fatboyhog/well said Sir.

fatboyhog/well said Sir.

tango123
0
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tango123 09/19/10 - 08:44 am
0
0
Mr. Keith New, you should be

Mr. Keith New, you should be ashamed of making comments like the one you made to the Augusta Chronicle. I am a Hispanic that went to public school (High School) here in Augusta and I don't remember flipping through pages in Historic books. I do remember the teacher trying as hard as he/she could to teach everyone in the class where 99% of the class was African American. It is a shamed to put the blame on this issue on teachers or the educational system as a whole for the problems of a segment of our society. In those historic classes I learned about MLk, Malcom X, Booker T Washington, etc... By the way a great majority of my classmates are productive members of our community.

Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 09/19/10 - 08:50 am
0
0
"We are a different breed,"

"We are a different breed," he said. "We are loud people."

WOW, that is all I can say...

fred1
0
Points
fred1 09/19/10 - 09:00 am
0
0
Looking past the knocked up

Looking past the knocked up girl with no husband/life partner is the number one problem. Nearly 70% of births to African-American women are outside of marriage. This leads to overburdened moms and later under-cared for children who often feel unwanted. Problems will always follow this pattern. Shame needs to be reintroduced to this community.

disssman
6
Points
disssman 09/19/10 - 09:28 am
0
0
Just remember that the Boom,

Just remember that the Boom, Boom, Boom rust buckets on bicycle wheels are the Clarion Calls for drugs and ppiloted by the dealers. The real way to start is to stop these dealers or wanna-bes every time they start down the street. P.S. Don't do it if you don't want the black community upset. After all they love their heros and their music which has probably given most of the hearing problems.

soldout
1280
Points
soldout 09/19/10 - 09:31 am
0
0
The education system teaches

The education system teaches children they evolved from an animal and they act that way. Tell them they were created by a loving God who cares for them and wants to be involved in their lives and they will act that way.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 09/19/10 - 09:40 am
0
0
"We are a different breed,"

"We are a different breed," he said. "We are loud people." ....so all that "look at the person not the color" is a load of carp?...Blacks are different genetically?...............................

hopefulinaugusta
0
Points
hopefulinaugusta 09/19/10 - 09:42 am
0
0
There are so many reasons for

There are so many reasons for the state of our community and a number have been listed here, one thing that we have to be careful about is the action calls. We must look around the corner THIS time when we come up with solutions for this problem.

In the past we hollered "throw em in jail". Well lets see what we were left with; children being raised without fathers and mothers because of mandatory sentencing laws that we screamed for, when 80% of the problems could have been taken care of with rehab. Oh, not to mention the young men that went to jail at the age of 18 and spent 10 years under a mandatory sentence, well guess what, they have done their time and now they are out with no work skills, no education and no life skills. Their growing stopped at 18. Now they are 28+ and they are behaving like an 18 year old and they are coming to a neighborhood near you. Lets not forget that they are very unlikely to get a job with a felony record especially a drug charge. But they are hungry they must eat. But remember this is what you wanted to happen to them.

So now you say lock them up for life. Can you really keep them there that long? If a person has no chance to re enter a civilized society, why should they stay civilized. You are a witness to what no hope breeds right now, are you really ready to step that up a notch.

And as a side note to those of you that keep saying "we elected a black President" shut up. He is number 44!! How long have we been free and look how long it took . You haven't done anything to brag about.

fatboyhog
2082
Points
fatboyhog 09/19/10 - 11:42 am
0
0
Hopefulinaugusta, in what

Hopefulinaugusta, in what culture is it acceptable to be criminal? What culture glorifies the "thug mentality"? What culture only things about today and not the future? Whose fault is it that rather than staying in school, some people would rather make a quick buck? What culture is it that respects criminals? What culture is it that is quick to always blame others? Whose fault is it that some people have no marketable skills? Whose culture thinks it's cool to act and talk different than what society deems "normal"? What culture shuns those and calls them names when they actually try to do better fir themselves and get an education and a good job? They are hungry & must eat? This is the mentality that we deal with on a daily basis. Stay in school, keep you legs closed, stay away from the criminal element, take responsibility for your actions, and stop making excuses.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 09/19/10 - 10:23 am
0
0
Augustaresident: "We can't

Augustaresident: "We can't stop drugs use and crime as long as the Constitution protects criminals. Hire all the police you want but criminals have rights that protect them. OBL told us this years ago." If the Constitution did not protect the offenders' rights, yours wouldn't be protected either. That's why there is a Due Process clause in the Constitution; it affords them a fair and just trial. The heavy use of illicit drugs exists because folks aren't motivated to do anything about it...until they are, it will continue. Parents and schools no longer teach character building and psychologists keep providing excuses as to why a person commits a crime, therefore, no one is responsible except the agenda or persons who are blamed. In other words, "it's momma's fault," "I didn't have a dad," "I'm poor and don't have a tv (or whatever the item is)," "Society is at fault," "it's prejudice," and so it goes. The truth is, an individual is at fault by virtue of the decisions they make and until they wear that decision, responsibility is not a consideration. As for the article, itself, Mr New needs to readdress his thinking---it promotes the blame game, which absolves all from accepting responsibility for one's actions. Who cares what one's color is, it has nothing to do with with building character (honesty, integrity, acceptance of one's behavior, courage...etc).

Riverman1
90141
Points
Riverman1 09/19/10 - 10:42 am
0
0
The Hundred Black Men of

The Hundred Black Men of Augusta work miracles currently. Mentors provide positive role models. This would help: http://chronicle.augusta.com/latest-news/2010-04-01/lawmaker-proposes-au...

hopefulinaugusta
0
Points
hopefulinaugusta 09/19/10 - 10:45 am
0
0
Fatboyhog, do you really

Fatboyhog, do you really believe that it is acceptable to be a thug, a drug dealer and a criminal in any community? It was said once that we are judged by the least of us and this is exactly what is happening. I stated in the beginning of my post that there were a number of reasons for the state of our community, some lie within and some are placed there by the laws and mandates that are voted on by the citizens of our country that effect our community primarily. 15-18 year olds do not vote. They don't make rules and they don't raise themselves. Most of you have no idea what is really going on in life and what young people are faced with that we didn't have to deal with. I am not making excuses, I am naming m ore reasons why . Bottom line is the solution and that was my purpose in posting. Because you THINK that my community upholds thieves, drug pushers, thugs and criminals, because you think that my children and the children of my children have no value and never will, you will not come up with a solution to preserve my community. Just like people came up with the projects, (you thought you could corral them and the would stay there). IT DIDN'T WORK.

Be careful of the solution that you suggest. It will effect the rest of society as well. The criminal element is the least of us but the solution will effect all of us.

FedupwithAUG
0
Points
FedupwithAUG 09/19/10 - 10:56 am
0
0
Parenting is the key. A few

Parenting is the key. A few years ago there were 3 young black kids (9, 11 and 12) that were throwing rocks at cars parked at my business. They broke 4 car windows out. I chased them to their grandmothers house 2 blocks away. They banged on her back window, of her locked back door, so hard that they broke it. The cops arrived and so did the mother. She got hysterical that I chased her babies across the streets of Harrisburg! " they could have been runned over". She also stated that I was responsible for the broken window at the home. Needless to say the only car window the mother paid for was the only black victim.

dani
12
Points
dani 09/19/10 - 11:00 am
0
0
Clinton's Global Initiative

Clinton's Global Initiative Project meets next week. Global Initiative! What about an American Initiative project, wouldn't that be the American thing to do.
If the stats on poverty and education in this country are true then why not start at home.

dani
12
Points
dani 09/19/10 - 11:02 am
0
0
riverman1..Maybe they can

riverman1..Maybe they can make it hundreds...they are badly needed.

hopefulinaugusta
0
Points
hopefulinaugusta 09/19/10 - 11:05 am
0
0
A few years ago there were

A few years ago there were two little white boys in my neighborhood, their mother was on drugs and their father was no where to be found they reeked havoc in the neighborhood. They lived with their grandparents but they were so bad. I took a knife from one of them and took a gun from the other one. Each time I took the weapon to the grandparent or the parent I got cussed out, not thanked and told that they were tired of everyone picking on their kids. Bad parenting comes in all shapes, sizes and colors.

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