Oakland’s #1 Youth Killer: Murder

Last week the Oakland tribune reported the very depressing fact that homicide is the #1 killer of youth in Alameda County at about 3 times the national rate. Considering that there are many cities in Alameda county that have few or no murders, you can imagine that the statistics are actually even grimmer for Oakland and even more specifically Oakland’s young black (and to a lesser extent Latino) men.

So let me skip to the recent killing of Sean Bell in NYC by the NYPD, which is certainly an issue to be concerned about. Many progressives rightly bring up the issue about the (lack of) value for black life in America and in particular treatment of blacks by the police. I hope the family of Bell’s can achieve some modicum of justice in that situation.

Which makes me wonder, where’s the progressive outrage at the urban carnage taking place in cities like Oakland? For every unjustified cop killing there are hundreds of everyday homicides of urban residents, with young, black males the primary victims (as well as the perpertrators). Oakland is currently on an early 90’s and near record homicide clip this year. Again where’s the outrage?

to be continued later…. Here’s the tribune article. Here.

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2 Responses to “Oakland’s #1 Youth Killer: Murder”

  1. luisa Says:

    i know, i know. not too long ago, i wrote about this in san francisco’s mission district. (maybe i’ve seen you around the bay:)

    http://optout.wordpress.com/2006/12/07/killing/

    it is so frustrating.

    i think there is outrage in oakland. there is a monthly (or is it weekly?) peace vigil somewhere in fruitvale. if you walk around east oakland and talk to people, a lot of them will have lost someone and are deeply saddened and upset. those people just don’t get teh media exposure that many ‘progressive’ groups get. progressive groups that don’t know these kids, that see the news and take action against the cop killing. i find that many of these groups do not have the street smarts to take on this kind of issue (read: are nervous to speak on POC vs. POC violence) or that they would rather just look at a state vs. poor people bionary system.

  2. drydock Says:

    Hey Luisa– Thanks for your perceptive comment. Actually, I’m not perfectly comfortable speaking about POC on POC violence. But the consequences of putting our heads in the sand is that the already too high levels of bloodshed are getting even worse in Oakland.

    I know several people who were victims of serious violence in the last year. One guy shot, one guy crippled and another who had his face smashed in. I know several other people who were also victims of lesser but still serious assaults and I have frickin witnessed several violent incidents in the last year. The huge number of teenagers getting killed in Oakland is just tragic and should be totally unacceptable.

    I have no answers– I just would like to encourage people to dialogue about it.

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