Dover’s bloody Sunday with 2 two dead and 1 in serious condition for the normally quiet Capital City’s 2nd and 3rd murders is cause for concern. 3 murders have occurred in 31 days after only 1 murder in more than a year and a half. Two occurred in broad daylight and at least one may be linked to a Pennsylvania assailant. The other was a shooting as people were leaving a party. Two were injured, the two had no connection except being at the same location last night. Of course Wilmington had an issue this weekend as well. Speaking specifically to the fact that 3 black youth have been killed in my district in the past month, I think we have a real problem. Sure at least some of the problem is out of state criminals visiting people here, but why haven’t they been reported? A group has approached those of us on city council about alleged lynchings in the area. At least one person was indeed brutally assaulted and an attempt was made on his life. He has been of little help because of his changing story, which may have resulted from a head injury suffered in the assault or others point to his drug dealing conviction in past and question whether he is covering up a drug revenge crime. Regardless, he did not assault himself and it is disturbing the assailants are still at large especially in the light of pro-lynching flyers. However, it seems that from the crime statistics, the larger threat we have in the black community is internal. We need to fight the enemy within with at least as much passion as the one without. It appears the Klan, WAR, or any other racist group is much less of a threat than a culture mired in apathy, poverty, family breakdown and dependence. Let there be no doubt that I oppose racism everywhere it manifests itself. That however seems less of a threat to my constituents than the thug culture which devalues education, family, and respect for authority including the police. This discussion must be had soon. It is understandably sensitive but vital. I think we need a larger conversation about how we achieve deep cultural change. I believe it starts with spiritual change, relationship training, valuing education, achievement, and entrepreneurship. We need to honor our achievers and offer a hand to those who want to escape a criminal life. We need to stop grinding people into the ground who reach out for change. We need to have a system of rehabilitation not retribution, especially for non-violent people who are getting out of prison or off probation anyway. We are going to live with those people. We can either bring them back to the mainstream or push them further into the criminal subculture. Of course the big music industry promoting Gangsta Rap and other celebration of the criminal culture doesn’t help. The liquor industry, the predatory lenders, and the pop music industry are making money off of an enslaving of the mind or robbing of opportunity to succeed. Crime and violence is not a black thing and anyone who wants to make it so should be called out. Honor service, and dignity are our heritage. We need to celebrate that not just in February, but year around. Economic opportunity must be for all. Economic inclusion has to be part of the discussion. Until Rand Paul broached the issue of poverty, it has largely been lacking from both parties since Jack Kemp passed. We can no longer redline communities into areas of economic and cultural depression then hope for productive pursuits. Of course crime in Delaware is not an Urban or Suburban issue. Rural areas have it as well. A recent home invasion in Greenwood illustrated the issue. If you go into the background there, you will also find with at least one of the defendants (all three are white), there was a broken family and a cycle of dependency. I have not had the opportunity to look in all three backgrounds throughly. The same core issues exist. As we see the disrespect of marriage and the breakdown of the family grow across the board, we see the crisis of crime spread. Delaware needs to get back to basics of life, faith, family, basic fair play for all, and honor.