Op-ed by Howard Eagle
The Democrat & Chronicle (D&C) is making mischief, reporting fake “news,” and creating an image of ‘not-on-the-same-page’ (if not division) between Mayor Evans and Interim Police Chief David Smith.
For example, with regard to rampant, wild-wild-west-like, continued local shootings, the D&C reported that: “While guns flowing into the [Rochester] area from [other] states do show up at some area crime scenes, a bigger problem has been stolen guns that become a major segment of the weapons pipeline.”
The latter grossly distorted, mystifying, convoluted statement flies in the face of, and in fact contradicts the Mayor’s assertion that: “It seems like every, one [gun they] take off the street __ another two come in. And we know the bulk of them are not coming from Rochester. They’re flowing in here, and we have to find a way to stop that choke point.”
Obviously, if the illegal weapons “pipeline [is] choked off,” then there probably won’t be much need to worry about “stolen guns that [so-called] become a major segment of the weapons pipeline.” Surely legal gun owners’ weapons are NOT being stolen to the extent that seemingly nearly everyone who wants one, has one.
Also, clearly the Mayor is whistling Dixie regarding his declaration that we “will see unprecedented partnership with all of [their law enforcement] partners.” Surely, he must know that we have heard it all before, in fact, not that long ago.
It was only a little over eight months ago that representatives of the United State Attorney’s Office; Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms; Drug Enforcement Administration; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Homeland Security Investigations; United States Marshal Service; Rochester Police Department; Monroe County District Attorney, and Monroe County Sheriff’s Office stood before the community (as the so-called Viper Task Force), and swore that they would bring an end to rampant gun violence. Two months after its formation the Task Force melted into oblivion, and (once again) the affected community was left asking, ‘whatever happened to Viper?’ So, what’s going to be different this time around?
I digress, it appears that the D&C is acting as the corporate voice of confusion and division, and possibly intentionally evading and distorting the crux of the real issue and problem, which absolutely is the longstanding, dire need to stop the flow of illegal guns __ period.
Again, what I have been asking (literally for decades), and what nobody seems able, and/or willing to answer is: How is it that all of the so-called law enforcement agencies listed above, combined (with all of their super-sophisticated intelligence, technology and fire-power) __ can’t seem to locate and stop the illegal guns that flow (not only through Rochester), but through predominantly Black neighborhoods throughout this thoroughly racist, white supremacist-based nation-state (in every direction __ North, East, South, and West), like water flows from High Falls? Yet, the youth, as well as older people, know exactly where to find them, e.g., it seems that every young person, or older person in decrepit Black communities who wants an illegal gun, has one, or can easily get one, which they are using, and have been using (for many decades) to commit socially, economically, politically, and culturally-induced/engineered fratricide — on a daily basis.
There’s nothing in the world that can ever convince me that if this was happening (for decades) within predominantly lily-white neighborhoods throughout this thoroughly racist, white-supremacist-based nation-state __ the problem wouldn’t be solved by now. This represents an exemplary sample of how institutional and structural racism functions. We need to understand this __so that we’ll know (exactly and specifically) what, and who to protest against, as opposed to attacking the ultimate, manipulated victims, rather than the real systemic-culprits and perpetrators.
When I think about this issue, I’m always reminded of something that I heard the Late Dick Gregory say __while speaking at SUNY Brockport (at least 30 years ago). He had noted that “the U.S. Government has satellite technology that can spot a gnat on a dog’s behind, from out of space.” Then, he asked (rhetorically of course), “but you mean to tell me they can’t find illegal guns in our community __ are you out of your bleep-bleep mind?”
Howard Eagle is a longtime educator and local anti-racism advocate, known for his campaigns for the Rochester school board and prolific political and social commentary. Eagle taught social studies in the RCSD for 23 years, before retiring in 2010, and is now an adjunct professor in the Department of African American Studies at SUNY Brockport.