Saturday, September 26, 2009

What the heck Winnipeg!

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/posted/archive/2009/09/25/graphic-violent-crime-rattles-winnipeg.aspx

29 comments:

D. Sky Onosson said...

Yep. Most of this happened a 5-10 minute drive from my house. :(

c-sad said...

Note most of the crimes are north of Portage and in impoverished areas. To that effect, this should be no surprise. These are incidents of poverty, desperation, and rage among youth who have few options.

TheBlueMask said...

5-10 min walk from my place :(

TheBlueMask said...

I grew up dirt poor, and made the option NOT to break the law. I credit this to a fear of being sent to jail.

c-dog said...

Your preponderance towards individual choice and responsibility amazes me BlueMask. From someone who grew up 'dirt poor', you'd think you'd want to alleviate that stress for others. Think about it, your life would be a lot easier if we had more socially oriented options: subsidized daycare, vision care, dental care, postsecondary education, etc. And you obviously had some good parenting or a healthy peer group, b/c a lot of these kids don't. While yes, an individual's choices are paramount, so are the individual's capacity to make such choices, and the social environment that patterns both.

c-preponderance said...

"You are personally responsible for everything in your life."

(it's really me, Dave. I thought that log-in name was more-funny).

TheBlueMask said...

Relax man, I'm just saying what worked for me (as an individual).I believe in tough love. This social experiment over the last 20 odd years does not seem to be working. You are ASSUMING I had a healthy upringing. I wanted to do bad things as a kid, but I had a fear of repercussions. I accidentaly started a field fire, and thought the military was after me for a week! Never did that again. Who bears the responsibilty of the kids lighting a man on fire?

...lol Dave

renamaphone said...

it's good that these kids aren't being sent to jail. It's been studied time and time again - people sent to prisons usually come out more troubled than when they entered them. Prisons are extremely violence places - emotionally and physically - and violence, whether inflicted on or by a person, never leads to a healthy and peaceful state of mind.

Prisons breed pain.

F yeah it's nice being back on this blog. Grad school = computer time. Love the dialogue.

c-individual said...

"You are personally responsible for everything in your life."

Which includes responsibilities to the group, whether individually or as a group (i.e. social investments).

And BlueMask, in North America, the social experiment began about 60 years ago, and the last 20 years have really been about its dismantling.

So the 20 odd years you speak of are a good indication of what a turn towards individualism at the policy level can do to us socially.

wolfBoy said...

I would argue the social experiment began sometime in the mid 1800's, when writers like Charles Dickens and John Stuart Mill began advocating against prisons as a catch-all for everything from debtors to homeless children.

It continued in the early 1900's with Christian reformers like J.S. Woodsworth in Winnipeg, who were mostly *socially conservative* but who saw the various social ills (crime, etc) as coming from poverty, and fought to eliminate the conditions that create crime rather than dealing with crime itself as being the problem.

It's a result of people like Woodsworth that we have kindergarten, legal aid, free language lessons and counseling for immigrants, public swimming pools and recreation centres, employment insurance, public medical care, parks, weekends, and almost everything that we take for granted in our day to day life in Canada.

wolfBoy said...

p.s. Texas has the death penalty, and a murder rate that blows MB out of the water.

And, interestingly, with the significant per capita increase in executions that began in Texas in the early 1990's, there was an immediate and equivalent per capita rise in the murder of police officers, and in the murder rate in general.

TheBlueMask said...

I'm all for social programs,and preventative measures. However, part of government's responsibility is to protect it's citizens. The current double credit times served provides NO such services. Yes, they are hanging out and breeding new criminal ideas in that circumstance. Make rehab programs mandatory before release. I'm not a fan of throwing kids in jail with hardened adults. However, the last two baby attacks were done by people who had breached court orders. Multiple times. This obviously can't be solved overnight, but in the meantime....get them off the streets!

TheBlueMask said...

If we keep taking personal responsibility away from these kids, how will they ever learn??

D.Macri said...

There's only one way. Teach them kindly before the fact.

We don't see violence the same way an animal does, I think, for the sole reason we've been taught to see it differently. I don't think it (non-violence)is an innate human characteristic. In fact, a much stronger case could be made for the opposite. If a person's only source of information is street gangs, or tv, the outcome should be obvious.

Prevention over cure seems the best answer to me, but I realize it's a teeny bit more complicated.

IMO Jail will lead to harder criminals. Rehab and counselling sound good.

IMO Fear of jail is weak compared to morals.

Solution: More Graffiti Galleries, rec centers, gyms, theatres, comic book stores, more interesting educational programming on tv' Maybe with rappers teaching about chemistry or something awesome like that =P.

c-money said...

In North America, the roots of the welfare state can be traced back to the mid 19th C, but formally, it is really a post WWII phenomenon. If one looks at federal/provincial social spending, they really don't start taking off until about 1946.

c-dog said...

And by providing safe and nurturing environments, one isn't taking personal responsibility away, one is facilitating its development.

And think about it, while criminality is a social product, at the individual level, it is one of the most selfish things one can do.

I just don't think you can get around the reality that both are at play, yet one has much more power to facilitate the other (social ----> individual).

wolfBoy said...

well, you're the expert, not me, but i don't think the post WW II welfare state exists without the welfare state that was already created before the first world war through private initiatives like the YMCA, Christian aid groups, and the work of social reformers like Woodsworth.

it was already happening, it was only after WW II that the state took over the machinery of it.

beyond that, back to the prison arguement, i heard a guy on the radio a while back who asked the question of: we've advanced/developed in every way in our social organization-- we've gone from being hunter-gatherers to flying around in rocket ships, we've gone from sending smoke signals to sending emails--- clearly we've incredibly innovative and inventive, and clearly we have incredible problem-solving capacity.

in that light, why are we still using the exact same (and obviously useless) methods for controlling crime that we've been using for thousands of years.

if we're so inventive, why can't we invent a better way of dealing with this problem than the knee-jerk "more police and more prisons" answer?

Quitmoanez said...

Point well taken WolfBoy, you're right, it's only after WWII that the state really stepped in and took over what was already in place. Although what was in place was miniscule compared to what would develop post WWII, meaning charity care cannot compare to the robust financing and delivery of health and social services that would develop.

And no kidding about prisons, I hadn't thought about that way.

wolfBoy said...

true, true.

and now back to NFL sunday. :)

TheBlueMask said...

Yes, I agree. Get involved from square one with preventative measures. I'm talking about the violent offenders walking our streets right now. What do we do about them?

D.Macri said...

Rapping scientists won't work?

renamaphone said...

What do we do about them? Honestly, I don't know, but I'm working on an answer. In the meantime I guess I'd venture to say that maybe we can start by treating them as human beings with troubles that are worth talking about. I think so many people live in conflict because they've been identified (by society and themselves) as f*ed up, bad people with nothing to offer.

True, they may be living in a bad way, and doing bad things. But I really do believe that some of us are just luckier or better equipped to deal with life. I know it's an unpopular view, but when I hear of these people I imagine all the pain and trauma that they've probably experienced so far. I can't help but wonder how it must feel to have so much anger, pain, and frustration living inside of me. So much that I would actually torture or kill someone? My god think about it. Yes it's true that we have a tendency towards violence. But it's also true that we have a tendency towards peace. I mean, if we didn't have a tendency towards peace and cooperation our world would be in total disarray. I'd argue that my entire day (and everyone else's that I come across) is made possible on the shared assumption that we are all going to cooperate with each other. Our human tendency towards peace makes life as we know it possible.

But back to my original point. This is all to say that so much of the social/individual responsibility that we're talking about stems from a sense that your life is valuable and that it can mean something to you as well as to others.

I don't know where this approach would take us in real terms. Indigenous approaches to healing seem appropriate, as do other processes that address violent acts as symptoms of deeper wounds. What's critical though is that we as a community are active (aka responsible) participants in the process.

TheBlueMask said...

Thank you for such an honest and moving response.I know I come across as "Mr. Fox News" in here sometimes. I prefer to think that I am only asking questions we don't like to deal with. I stress that I would much rather be in a world where removing people from society did not even exist. But when I think of a baby abducted from it's crib and smashed on a sidewalk...something needs to be done in the meantime. Let's face it, some of these people are beyond repair, and pose a threat to innocent vunerable citizens. I don't think imposing a mandatory rehab attempt before release is cruel or unusual after a violent act. We are at least providing an option.

cara said...

I think the conversation here in some ways highlights an interesting tension: immedicacy vs distance.

In the education world, you often hear the criticism: Researchers theorize while the school house is burning.

I think that the criticism overstates the tension, but I can see threads of this in some of the conversation we are having. I've been in both positions: deliberating about problems while people feel the heat, and burning up while others deliberate about the ways of framing the problem, possibl solutions, and possible futures that are of no real value in the present moment of my life(that was in the classroom)
what do I do about the kid who lights the couch on fire in my classroom (true story)

So...it has led me to believe that there are two sets of "solutions" that are needed in most situations-ones that are applicable for the way things are now, and solutions that are applicable for a potential, better future.

(and I don't think of solutions as some end point, but rather always shifting and changing and negotiated)

D. Sky Onosson said...

Interesting conversation, indeed.

I like that concept of two kinds of solutions... but there are inherent problems with that, too.

The kinds of solutions needed to address immediate problems will, by focusing on the need to protect the innocent from becoming victims of crime, inevitably lead to some level of punishment coming down on those who perpetrate crime. That much seems obvious - whether the punishment is the traditional incarceration-style (which seems so futile), or anything else, the criminal will be forced against their will to participate at whatever level.

But, if the root of all of this is some kind of inequity (lack of money/power/control/choice - take your pick), then not only do the immediate solutions not address this, they in fact only exacerbate it, by removing money/power/control/choice to an even greater extent.

I don't know what the solution to *that* is - but I think we need to look at that fact long and hard before we start enacting any changes.

So there are really three matters to deal with... 1. Protection for the majority of society from crime, in general (two ways to achieve this - preventative and punitive, both are needed in the long run). 2. Solutions that create greater equality in society - and the will to see them through even though they won't have any immediate effect. 3. The question of what to do with the criminals of today, who necessitate #1, and won't probably ever feel the benefits of #2.

jimmy james said...

Not to make light of a serious subject but...

Notice, that Transcona isn't part of the map on this study. That's because violence in Transcona, as Macro suggested earlier, is instinct. In Transcona, these animals rage through the streets but it's not recorded as crime, rather, they make a map which includes all the places where people do nice things for each. This map is much easier to document, since there is less of it.

I'm not sure why I typed that.

Maybe my word verif will explain...what the? there isn't one!

I'd agree too is closing the gaps in people in the community through places like Art City and Graffiti Gallery, and give kids something to do, keep those hands and minds busy.

I honestly do think that crime, like jails, have been around a long time but certainly now it's much more apparent thanks to the media. I think that we've always been pretty violent...although I don't think pointing it out on the news is the solution. News like that should be banned. Why not report all the rainbows and unicorn sitings?

When babies get hurt that really pisses me off.

c-dog said...

And don't get me started on when unicorns get hurt.

Anonymous said...

I thought he said "unicorn stingings". =O

Seriously people, not one "lol" about the rapping scientists? Am I a big jerk for not being serious? Anyway, I have to agree with James that the media does make it even more horrifying/sensational. I also agree with bluemask's questioning. What are we going to do? And I love Rene's optimism about humans. Those are my ideals too. That's how I want them to look.

BUT.

We can all see what's happening, and are so hung up on the details the "school house is burning" (=P). The real issue never gets addressed. We talk about crime rates, global warming, pollution, corruption, war, the economy, and we still always seem to miss the big picture. In grade 9 we learned about the foxes and the hares, and how there is a cycle. We try and kill all the bull frogs, swamp rats, or lung fish when they are aliens, throwing everything out of wack, but we ignore the effects of our own exponential population growth. I think social structure and good will are just tasting the very beginning of some major challenges.

I'm not without hope, but I think we are going to have to do way more radical thinking to solve the simple problem that we grow too fast.

Here is an example. What if we change how we think about death and reproduction.

Does everyone have to have a baby or more? Even ask the question and you will meet heated resistance. But I'm not suggesting taking away the right, just to normalize non baby making would be a start.

Ok even harder. Change people's ideas about death. Death is as much an honour as life. When someone dies, they go to Valhalla. When someone displays a capacity for violence, they get sent to the army. War of the Roses kind of stuff.

Ok, crazy ideas, I'm totally going anonymous on this one.

Anonymous said...

While I'm at it, has anyone heard about the extradition of Marc Emry?