Another death, another day...and the rich get richer. Is it time yet?

We have to look deeper to see the real enemy and to rise above false divides.

Is it time yet, to wake up?  We have been conquered, as in divided and conquered. It's not that hard, really, when you think about it.  If you were a really diabolical person, and had two children...it wouldn't take too much effort to raise them to become enemies, each competing for your love, affection, food, money.

So...It's not that hard for what, for the pupose of this blog, I will call the Powers That Be....to divide and conquer us.  Let me be a bit more specific.  

Here in our lovely suburb, or almost suburb, of Evanston....we have rising crime, schools disintegrating into chaos, empty store fronts, and now...the death of a young man...Dajae.  All human beings are PRECIOUS, as was Dajae.  So our mayor is calling for a gun buy back, as the good people of Evanston are demanding a response.  However, I believe, as is our lot, we will react...not respond.  What's the difference?  Well...

When one is threatened, it takes a bunch of energy to respond, where a reaction doesn't take much at all.  Re-acting is about the "action"...not much about the philosophy or gnawing on universal wisdom in order to come up with a sensible response.  Responding however, has, in the etemology itself...response, responsible...as in we take responsibility...for our action.  This, of course, requires thought, and the affore mentioned gnawing on the universe a bit before entering into the action mode.

By that very definition, reaction is ineffectual.  Otherwise, we'd all have figured out the problem and the solution by now, no?  In this case, the supposed solution is the gun buy back.  This has already been shown to be an ineffectual fix.

Nevertheless, Evanstonians, being...dare I say??? knee-jerk "liberals," will all bandy about the mayor's solution...."yes, yes...let's buy back their guns...then we can be done with this nasty business and go back to sleep, secure in our belief that we are kind, unbiased and loving human beings that seek only to help mankind."  

In the meantime, former "hippie" liberal couples will secretly discuss whether or not to purchase a gun to defend their home, property and family from increasingly violent surroundings.  But wait...that would land them in enemy territory!  What to do?  How do I hold onto my "peace and love" self image and think about protecting my family?

Hello, we are in a brave new world, in case you hadn't noticed.  As my father told me over and over again..."Junie...it's going to come down to the haves and the have nots!"  And so it is.  

All of us, unknowingly, serve the elite class by killing one another in some circles, and marginalizing one another in the more "polite" circles...where Democrats and Republicans demonize each other behind closed doors.  The elites, those in charge of the monetary/banking/military/industrial complex...in the meantime, laugh all the way to the bank.  

They don't care what gang or party you belong to. They're going to get theirs either way.  And you, dear readers, will continue to waste your energy on fighting apparent foes who in reality could be your greatest allies against the creeping centralization and corporatization of power that is rendering this and other countries impotent.


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Procrustes' Foil September 29, 2012 at 11:35 AM
June, what's equally scary is the number of people who defend the uber-wealthy, thinking that they will become uber-wealthy, too. They won't. These delusional people don't understand that they will never be anything more that employees or servants of the corporate rich. The U.S. is becoming a de facto monarchy!
Jennifer Fisher (Editor) October 01, 2012 at 03:02 PM
June, thanks for another thought-provoking post. If gun buy-back isn't the solution, what do you think it is?
Sully October 01, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Ooh, I hate to do this, but I must- you gotta use your spell-check! I don't think gun buy-backs are the solution either. I agree whole heartedly with your assertion that this country is owned by the oligarchs/plutocrats. We've gotten to a point where the wealthy don't even pretend to not be in control. Citizens United and super pacs have made it that much easier for the money to be donated in the millions. The Kochs are doing their darnedest to get republicans in office, as is Sheldon Adelson. Why? Less regulation means even more money for them at the cost of human lives and living conditions. The dems. aren't much better because they too are owned by corporate cash. That leaves us, the "regular" folks, out in the cold. Because propaganda is so easily sold and bought, we do the bidding of our "superiors".
june shellene October 01, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Jennifer, I like to look at the context in which these details exists. In the case of gun violence, the bigger picture is very complex. Our culture is really a conglomeration of many cultures, some more marked by race than others (i.e., there are lots of poor caucasian people with no hope, just as there are those in the middle, and those at the higher reaches of the corporate culture which holds the money, power, influence and hopefully in the near future, a heap of legal cases against them as we not-so-dumb people start putting together this puzzle.) Dajae might not have been part of the gun culture, but his race and proximity to it led to his death. We're not going to change that culture by buying back guns, either by force or through a voluntary program. I think anyone can see that would be a rather empty gesture. The only solution would be to change not just the subculture which subscribes to gun violence and gangs as a way of life, but to address the ruling culture beneath the boot of which it came to be. This ruthless corporate/government culture is what is behind our current woes, be they social, educational, economic, medical or military. It won't be too long now that people will, in great number, give up hope that either political party will have any impact on what could be a dire future. Both parties were bought and paid for long ago.
Eric Lieberman October 01, 2012 at 05:13 PM
June quoted her dad's saying, and I will quote mine. Archie, a photographer, would tell his students in a Zen-like way: 'Don't photograph the tree, don't photograph the forces that made the tree". June is right - the gun has nothing to do with the forces that made the violence, poverty and hopelessness that some of our citizens live in. No, too many of our citizens live in. When the Mayor announced the possibility of a gun buy back, I commented "A study by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that "the theory underlying gun buybacks is flawed and empirical evidence demonstrates the ineffectiveness of these programs...." (You can see my whole comment here: http://evanston.patch.com/articles/mayor-we-must-work-to-get-guns-off-the-street#comments). Joblessness in a community has a high correlation with crime in a community. Job creation is one of the single most powerful things we can do to attack violence and the sense of dispair that leads to violence. We cannot wait and don't need to wait for government to do this. We in Evanston must pick up this torch ourselves. Personally, I am exploring the opportunity to help by creating an Evanston based call-center business that would tap into the growing dissatisfaction with off-shore call center and customer support services. I believe that there is a growing need for domestic call centers. Bring the jobs back from overseas and place them solidly in Evanston, Illinois. More later....
june shellene October 01, 2012 at 07:38 PM
Eric, I'm pretty sure you meant, don't photograph the tree....and DO photograph the forces that made the tree. But thanks for the thought. There is this pathological mind set that expects the government to solve our problems...more and more. It's great to hear someone talking about the only real creative force that is available to us...that is our selves...OUR ideas, OUR ability to act on our ideas, OUR visions. The government is not a creative force. It is, by nature a parasitic force, that first conspires to "take care" of us, only to enslave us to the uninspired and dumbed-down culture they're so good at creating.
Jim October 02, 2012 at 05:38 PM
June's comments are good and mostly apt but expansion on them would take more than comment space allows. History is full of lessons about the subject and advice on how not to repeat the same errors.But human nature being what it is, cultures don't seem to learn. Why do the rich want wealth? The same reason The powerful want power, to control environment and avoid the nasty aspects of life and dealing with the "masses". I have said many times that there are three basic groups in the US today. All of them are anxious about the fabric of American society on many fronts. The rich and powerful deal with their angst by insulating themselves with money to deal with the coming chaos.The non-powerful who have given up on he situation and the future and are arming themselves. People like June, who are neither rich, powerful or resigned, speak out rationally hoping someone will listen and that man's transcendental better side will somehow win out. I for one see disaster coming. The disease has been doing it's dirty work for too long.
John October 02, 2012 at 08:10 PM
I didn't see anything about the value of intact families. Families led by a mother and father have a much lower level of gang participation, higher academic achievement and a much lower level of incarceration. Promoting intact families will be better for the community than any gun buyback program.
Jim October 02, 2012 at 08:57 PM
John, you are absolutely correct but doing something to educate folks as to your point is much more difficult than advocating a gun buy-back. The truth is that the Mayor while well intentioned does not know what to do but has to say something to look mayoral. You know, getting and staying married, having and raising children responsibly requires hard work, self sacrifice, fidelity, wisdom, kindness, etc. These are not qualities commonly found or applauded in our culture. So saying that guns are the problem is much simpler though. as you said, not very effective.
Sally October 02, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Getting guns out of the hands of potential criminals is an outstanding idea which certainly has no risk of making things worse. While the person likely to commit a crime may not sell back the gun, perhaps the person they steal it from will. I don't understand how you people can continue to criticize what IS being proposed yet make vauge suggestions like "promoting intact families" - who by the way, include same sex couples as well as unmarried couples. And this whole idea of people arming themselves ... seriously? Do you have some sort of statistics to support that fact that Evanstonians are rushing out to the gun store?
Frank October 02, 2012 at 10:28 PM
John, usually that is the case except in this case Mr. Woodson's mother and father were both there and they lived in a decent house in a decent neighborhood. And still their son got involved with drugs, guns and gangs. It seems to be more and more a culture now than just the ol' stereotypical single parent, bad neighborhood scenario...
Winnetka October 02, 2012 at 11:20 PM
Ohhhh Yes all that ails American society are the "successful among us", the "oligarchs/plutocrats". Most of the comments on this article are nothing more than a socialist circle jerk. I have a question for June and her "cronies"...what happens when the ever expanding taxes taken from the "successful" aka working Americans, isn't enough to keep the bloated out of control generational entitlements going? What then? I'll tell you what..take a look at Greece...only multiply by the 46 million currently dependent on "the government" aka hard working tax payers. The takers are fast approaching the point of outnumbering the makers thanks to spendaholic gov't. I'd like to know how that is the fault of US "white corporate culture" who way pays the highest corporate tax rate in the world?
Jim October 03, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Sally, I was speaking generally. It is a fact that there are 300 million guns in private hands in the US. Not all are for hunting. Go to a gun show sometime and watch what is being bought. I can tell you that mostly it is assault weapons, hardly a hunting gun. I have no idea how many guns are in private hands in Evanston. Many studies have concluded that gun buy back programs do not work. What would work is a safer, sane culturre in which folks don't feel the need to defend themselves. We are not moving in that direction sad to say. Would that things were nice and cozy but alas they are not.
june shellene October 03, 2012 at 10:28 AM
Winnetka, I have no cronies, that I know of. I don't believe in either the republican or democratic parties. I am not a socialist or communist...I like the idea of a free market and the tiniest government possible. I believe the welfare state we now live in is part and parcel of a fascist state. Power lies in the hands of a tiny elite...lead by the banking class, not by the Howard Roarks or John Galts of the world. This class has not EARNED IT THE OLD FASHIONED WAY...meaning honest, hard work, but through generations of making itself indispensable to governments which need its monetary wizardry in order to keep its military growing. I have written many blogs about our corrupt monetary/banking system. But if you're interested in the real stuff, I suggest reading Matt Taibbi's books and articles. He is our most thorough and prolific researcher. Also Jim Rickards book, Currency Wars which came out in 2011. The study of our economic/monetary system is not for the faint of heart, but is necessary should you wish to rise above the dog-chasing-tail exercise of left/right, republican/democrat, conservative/liberal mind-numbing arguments.
Sully October 03, 2012 at 02:29 PM
Winnetka, there are a great many "successful" people who do not seek more money or power, who do not want to profit off of polluting the sky and water, who do not want to make conditions barely manageable so they don't have to pay more for something that will be safer. People can actually be successful and not greedy at the same time. They actually care about the human condition rather than hiding money in off shore accounts and sending jobs overseas so the workers don't have to be paid as much. If you really believe corporate CEOs are the job creators, and would pay taxes if they just weren't so high, you're very naive.
june shellene October 04, 2012 at 03:25 AM
Can you imagine people, today, walking around with visible guns in Evanston, like in an old Western? The Evanston Police would be getting 100 phone calls a minute! Just speculating,and inviting dialogue. Yes, the world is very different now than it was in the mid 1800's. So how do we really become clear about what's at stake here? We have several subcultures in Evanston, but the two that seem to be at play in the current patch debate regarding the gun buy back program are the "progressive" or "liberal" whites...who, by and large, have jobs, security, and maybe a nice house and an intact family. OK, this is NOT perfect...so forgive me for not being politically correct here. Frankly, Scarlet, I don't give a damn! Then you have the "minority" or black community, in whose cross-fire Dajae was killed. So, roughly speaking...is this a clash of cultures? I'd have to say, well, yeah, it is. But, let's be fair. Who has the upper hand? Well, duh...the white folks with the money do, and we know that...so...ok...we want to take the guns from those black folks. OK...play fair then, and go into every home, regardless of race or wealth, and get their guns too. Otherwise, this is just a plan to disarm the poor, no? After all, most white folk around here won't be motivated to sell their guns for a few bucks, now will they? Come on now, play fair y'all.
Sally October 04, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Please tell us how you get a "safer, sane culture in which folks don't feel the need to defend themselves". Where are the studies showing that vauge slogans are more beneficial than gun buy backs?
Sally October 04, 2012 at 03:39 AM
I'm confused. Dajae was part of the "minority" community that you refer to and his alleged killer was part of the same community I presume, but from an "intact family". You seem to want to put everyone in a box and it's much more complicated than that.
june shellene October 04, 2012 at 04:04 AM
Sally....I'm confused because of Sully's presence, so I'm assuming you're Sally, not Sully.... The last thing I want to do is put anyone in a box...so, Dajae got caught in the cross fire...not saying he was part of that subculture. And...let me add, if he was, I have no judgement to pass on that. I myself don't fit into a box...as I do not subscribe to any "party" line. I'm just a human being out here, trying to make sense of a world that doesn't make sense. However, I try not to get into self-defense in these patch exchanges. My goal, really, is to challenge and invite dialogue beyond the boxed-in left/right paradigm people have bought into via a hopelessly compromised media. So, my time is very limited right now, and I will not seek to defend myself any further. I've written over 50 blogs or so on patch. If you want to know more about my point of view, you can access it there. If you want to challenge me, that's fair...just forgive me if I do not respond.


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