Monday 6 March 2006 12:11AM  Oakland

Tonight I am thinking about how I spent my childhood years. 
It seems that I spent much of my time getting into trouble.  I think that is what kids do.
Most of it was harmless. 
The rest of it left me thinking about how much trouble I could get into, if I got caught.
Of course, if you are smart, you won't get caught.
 I am thinking about how much different things are here, today.
If you are smart, you still don't get caught. 
But the "trouble" is street violence and rampant crime.
Not so harmless.

At the risk of sounding "old" I have to say these things.
Youth here in Oakland can be assured that they can get away with whatever they please.
There is no  law enforcement. 
The police are stretched so thin, they simply race from one crime scene to the next all day and night. 
An "involved parent" is almost as rare as a teacher who cares if you are in class. 
If a crime is committed, even murder, there is no one who is willing to act as a witness.
This is mentality is accepted, encouraged and reinforced by further violence.
Many fathers are dead or locked up.  Many mothers are simply missing.
An entire generation of children are coming of age.  They were born victims of the worthless suckers who unveiled the crack cocaine epidemic of the early 90's. 
And guess what?  These kids don't give a damn about anything or anyone.
Because almost no one gives a damn about them.

Fifteen years old and you can do whatever you choose to do, without consequence. 
You've got no money, no education, no parents, no future.
No one ever bothered to tell you what the RIGHT thing to do might be.
You can get away with anything.

Think about that for a second...

What do you think things would be like in your town? 
That is what it is like in Oakland.

And it gets scary real fast.