Thursday, July 28, 2016

Do Blacks Need Separate Police Departments?

I periodically float this thought experiment after high profile racial flare ups. Political homicide targeting police departments in Dallas, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana lend it new urgency. I begin the experiment by asking police reformers this question: Do Black areas need separate police departments in order to end profiling allegations; brutality claims; federal consent decrees, riots and recently, mass murder of officers? 

The question often offends active and retired members of law enforcement, which isn't its intention. The question is intended to show how heavy governance is-policing is an executive function-as compared to grievance and protesting. 

Imagine Black Lives Matter, the ACLU and inner city neighborhood associations forming and supervising urban safety agencies, or USAs for short. How would USAs differ from conventional departments regarding hot button issues like diversity; training; use of force; public information requests; civilian oversight and other headline-making topics? 

I think assorted advocates would rapidly concede it's far easier to criticize police than it is to supervise and bear responsibility for them. 

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist & SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadraenzi on twitter. Bro Al Mims, chaplin.

Updates @ GoFundMe

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Black Flight from Urban Decline

This morning, I was on Think Tank with Garland Robinette,  a leading New Orleans radio show, discussing Black flight from urban decline. It's a rarely discussed topic, overshadowed by the White version. An article written by Ed Pratt, a writer for the Advocate, a flagship Louisiana newspaper, initiated the episode. Pratt articulated middle class angst felt by Black expatriates who flew away to escape urban decline. It was a short interview for a lengthy subject, but I did hit a few salient points:

* Black flight is a direct response to ( shhh! ) inner city crime. This fact isn't openly admitted but often quoted as the number one reason why those who can afford it sprout proverbial wings and escape the Hood. 

We aren't a monolith and consequently all don't support the vile, violent place which is now the inner city. Black flight says more about the current inner city than all the pundits from outside our community. I cited the SWS method of addressing this inconvenient truth by uniting prevention and protection perspectives as the necessary first step for real change.

* Black flight is a state of mind. Geographic relocation doesn't equal ethnic dislocation unless one chooses so. Mentor programs abound where Black men who've escaped the Hood unite with youth to fill in much-needed developmental blanks. New Orleans has the Fatherhood Roundtable, among many other organizations, which daily fulfill this strategic role.

National Black male-led mentoring programs include: Concerned Black Men; Mad Dads; PeaceKeepers and 100 Black Men. The same social media and automobiles which allow virtual mobility and transportation enable these brothers to " fly back "at will to communities which need them.

* Often, Black flight participants need look no further than family for inner city hostages to help.  Taking flight from urban decline is a highly individualized matter. Your income doesn't magically share itself with less advantaged family left in your wake. The only barrier to this most intimate outreach is in ones mind.

I stated on air that I don't criticize those escaping urban decline. My long held position is there's no special obligation upon individuals to help the community. It must be freely chosen or else is doomed to fail. 

The right to be safe is the most basic human right and includes American Blacks too. The inner city is a profoundly unsafe place. Admitting this inconvenient truth is the first step in truly helping its hostages. I commend Garland for his usual prescience in having a conversation few dare openly discuss.

Black flight proves urban decline has forever divided a group once involuntarily united by segregation.

Admitting that violent crime prompts Black flight from urban decline is the only way to honestly address it.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadraenzi on twitter. Bro Al Mims, chaplin.

Updates on GoFundMe

Monday, July 25, 2016

Uniting Urban Protection & Prevention.

The SWS: Security Within SELF method seeks unity between urban stakeholders whose methods differ. The violence and values crisis in the inner city demands whose who defend to work beside embattled counselors and mentors. SWS leaves Left/Right debate over gun rights or mass incarceration to dueling cable tv pundits. Daily death and poverty of principle cheapens even the most well intentioned philosophical differences.

The weaponization of urban youth simultaneously challenges protection and prevention advocates to confront it together. I recall how Coach Frank, leading education reformer and math instructor, always cited public school failure as the root cause. He also calls the roll of stakeholders bribed to maintain this toxic process.While supporting his assessment at protests and as a co-host on his radio show, I also addressed discipline and security shortfalls at home and within New Orleans majority charter school systems. I didn't have to abandon urbansafetyism to support a legitimate proponent of prevention. This type of cooperation strengthens both wings of the community by providing much-needed reinforcements.

Uniting urban protection and prevention advocates isn't a publicity exercise. It's the grim recognition that there are too few urban stakeholders involved in either advocacy. Pooling precious human resources is the only choice as violence and vulgarity cause more erosion of once high community standards. Disunited urban protection and prevention are a united front awaiting creation.

The other united front, of violence and vulgarity,ruthlessly exploits disunity among hostages.

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadraenzi on twitter. Bro Al Mims, chaplin.

Updates @ GoFundMe

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

The OIPM is Our Last Chance.

New Orleans Office of Independent Police Monitor ( OIPM ) has an August meeting with the Ethics Review Board, its regulatory body. At issue will be making the OIPM's emancipation from the city's Office of Inspector General ( OIG ) permanent, along with other critical issues. Supporting the OIPM, especially in a season of political homicide targeting police officers, offers a solution as communities reel under officer-involved shootings and violent public disruption. Unlike elitist office holders and appointees, the OIPM validates the poor and progressive as readily as others cater to the rich and conservative. 

This office, under the leadership of Independent Police Monitor Susan Hutson, has deep bonds with urban stakeholders normally ignored by the political class. Civilian oversight of police is the last chance to bind together a social order fracturing before our very eyes. If local urban stakeholders fail to support the OIPM, it's only a matter of time before New Orleans becomes the next Fergueson, Baltimore or more recently, Dallas and Baton Rouge. The stakes are that high. 

I support the Office of Independent Police Monitor for all these reasons. 

-Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. 504 214-3082. Bro Al Mims, chaplin. 

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Don't Take the ( Race ) Bait

I'm VERY somber about the ambush of Baton Rouge officers by Gavin Long, and lives lost. Legitimate law enforcement reformers and police supporters must speak in one voice that the solution to alleged bias can't be ambushes and holding a profession hostage. 

A war between Blacks and Blue ( police ) is methodically being rolled out. It's in society's best interests, from the Hood to the Heartland, not to play destructive racial roles being offered. We can't play into the bloody hands of those anxious to destroy everything held dear by law enforcement reformers and police supporters. 

Don't take the ( race ) bait dangled before us. Somebody wants a war between brothers and badges to happen soon as possible.

 -Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadraenzi on twitter. 504 214-3082. Bro Al Mims, SWS chaplin. 

Saturday, July 16, 2016

#BroAlMIms Calls For Two Front War on Violence

New Orleans #1 crimefighter & mentor Bro Al Mims ( SWS chaplin ) reminds us daily, personally and in media, that ceasefire isn't declared because White officers occasionally kill Black citizens. What I call the Urban Apocalypse of violent crime and homicide hasn't missed a beat. As Bro Al says, Black lives matter when somebody Black kills us too. To date, his life has been threatened twice in 2016 by those wearing blue jeans and Black skin, not blue uniforms and White skin. 

Let's adopt a two front war against public brutality AND police brutality! -Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist and SWS: Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship founder. @nadarenzi on  twitter. 504 214-3082.

SWS FaceBook page 

Friday, July 15, 2016

SWS Statement on Alton Sterling

Security Within SELF Urban Fellowship recognizes acute community concern over the officer-involved death of Baton Rouge resident Alton Sterling.

We also recognize the pressing need to maintain focus on our internal murder and violent crime rate by keeping it on the front burner of community advocacy.

We urge urban stakeholders to join us in a two front approach to lose of life where daily Black-on Black ( and other ) crime gets equal zeal alongside allegations of police brutality.  

SWS Urban Fellowship supports law enforcement and promotes partnerships which create safety for urban officers and citizens alike.

We absolutely promote peaceful protests ( founder Cap Black is a veteran parade marshal of many marches ) and urge participants to leave alcohol, guns and illegal drugs at home. Allow the investigation to proceed minus destructive distractions like event confrontations with police or worse, riots. 

Let's create safety, not excuses, together!

SWS Urban Fellowship FaceBook page.

Nadra Enzi aka Cap Black, Your UrbanSafetyist
SWS Founder
@nadraenzi on twitter
504 214-3082.

Brother Al Mims,
SWS Chaplin

#BroAlMims Everyday Hero

July 12th, 2016, story on SWS Chaplin Brother Al Mims!
by: Diana Samuels, Times-Picayune
Al Mims Jr.'s message is clear from the protest sign he's known for carrying at New Orleans funerals: "No child should be next. Stop the killing."
After serving as a consistent presence at funerals over the last three decades, Mims has put his sign down. The 62-year-old former champion boxer and kickboxer says after attending more than 2,000 funerals, he can't bear to go to more. But Brother Mims, as he's known, is still working to fight crime, a calling he came to after his father was gunned down in 1987. 

Among other efforts, the Central City resident is a vice president at The Fatherhood Roundtable, a mentorship program that promotes better family relationships. He volunteers with Victims & Citizens Against Crime, helping counsel crime victims. He served on the Louisiana Parole Board. And he speaks out against crime at every chance he gets, at schools, churches, and more.
ROOTS: "My daddy had a 6th grade education but he taught us values. He stressed education. He knew the word of God. He had a handshake and he said 'I gave my word.' Now, people sign contracts and they're not worth the paper they're made on. I learned being a man from him. I saw my daddy cry, I saw him pray. I saw him treat my mother with respect."
CAREER: "I fought in nightclubs, barrooms, wherever they wanted a fight I'd give a fight. Most of the opponents I fought were white. I was the token. Wherever I could make money, I went. We had to run after we'd get our check, but it was fun."
FIGHTS: "It wasn't no shooting, it wasn't no knives, it was like Walker, Texas Ranger. We had good fights. I went to the dentist the other day. I got 29 of my regular teeth. I'm 62 years old and I've had over 70 fights not counting the barrooms and the nightclubs. Do you know how many people coldcocked me, hit me with barstools? You had to fight your way out of the place."
MURDER: "My dad was my coach, he was my trainer, he was my friend. I was at the top of my game at the time when he got killed on Bienville and North Galvez. There were 20 people who saw my father get killed. It was an argument and he was walking away and the guy shot him in the back four times."
WHY: "People die for foolishness. Most of the shootings are nothing worth killing nobody. In over 2,000 funerals, 99.5 percent of the killings were about nothing."
AFTER: "I lost the desire to fight anymore. The killer instinct. Part of me was missing. It was God's message to me that I'm going to let you fight for people that can't fight for themselves. Murder victims, children that have been abused, people who are being killed."
LESSON: "Life doesn't put pads on you. We got to be ready to fight and get down knuckles to fight for our children and for what you want." 
HERO: "I met Muhammad Ali in '83, at the Landmark Hotel in Metairie. I was in awe. He was cocky, he was confident, but he stood for something. He knew my name. When we went into the room he said 'Mims, come here.' He would say the fight in the ring is nothing compared to the fight in life. It's amazing how something that somebody said to you stays in your mind. He changed my life."
FUNERALS: "It became a calling to me. 'We're doing this funeral, but this should never happen again. We've got to learn something from this.' A lot of times I stood by myself. I was telling the truth and a sometimes the truth hurts. How many times are we doing this over and over. I was a reminder, a conscience of what's going on."
NEED: "My heart hurts. I see things and I say 'Lord, you gave me a heart and it's breaking. I'm not a prophet but I don't know how some of these kids are going to wind up if they keep doing like they're doing" 
PRISON: "I've got a grandson in the federal penitentiary. He robbed a bank. He was the getaway car. He was an honors student but didn't listen. I could have gotten him on probation, but he wouldn't have learned anything. Three more years he'll get out, now he'll know something."
PAROLE BOARD: "I was there with geniuses. They have ABC degrees and I have a high school education and a couple of years of college in construction. But I was in my element because I knew about crime. Most of the people that came before us looked like me. There were a lot of things I didn't like because the system didn't play the way it ought to have. There were people in jail who wouldn't kill a roach. They let some bad guys out that shouldn't get out."
US-ISM: "Everything ain't racism. We've got some problems with us. We don't want to see anybody get ahead. We don't want to see anybody get any credit. We can do better."
FAMILY: "When I talk to churches and schools I say my son is not going to call me Al. He better call me 'daddy' or 'father.' I love him to death but he's got to have respect for me. That's what my father taught me. You've got homes where the child's running the house."
SUCCESS:  "There was a young man that is in college now. He got in a little trouble and I spoke up for him and he got on probation. He's advocating now, telling people about 'friends' or 'so-called friends.' I've had a lot of good stories over the last 30 years. I've had some hard things happen, I've had some disappointments. But I'd do it again."
MOTTO: "Do something. When you've done all you can do, do some more."
SHOUT-OUT: From Nadra Enzi, who works with Mims through the crime prevention group Security Within SELF. "Since the unsolved murder of his father decades ago, Brother Mims has relentlessly championed personal responsibility, mentorship and support of law enforcement in places where the lack of such advocacy is a literal matter of life or death. He has shouldered this burden gracefully and energetically with the help of faith and family."
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