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Liberty City Is Like Baghdad

Liberty City Is Like Baghdad
C. Stiles

The violent conflict in Iraq and the street violence in Liberty City share a common, disturbing theme: Governments in both places have systematically disenfranchised a class of citizens to the point where they have nothing to live for. When that happens, people become all about survival. They develop a "kill or be killed" personality.

And that's why we experienced another tragedy in Liberty City when last week unknown gunmen with assault rifles sprayed a crowd gathered in front of an apartment in the Pork 'n' Beans projects. After the smoke cleared, two young men were dead and another seven victims were seriously injured.

It's a scene that plays out every day in predominantly African-American neighborhoods across America. This is happening from Miami Gardens to Detroit to Compton.

In Iraq, rebel factions fight over control of the towns. In Afghanistan, the Taliban protects its opium fields. In Liberty City, African-American drug dealers battle for control of the best dope holes. The difference is that Liberty City is part of the United States, where our government, from the local to the federal level, is supposed to provide everyone with opportunities for a brighter future.

Black neighborhoods are in a perpetual state of self-destruction because they get stuck with the worst schools, the highest unemployment rates, and the lowest number of government contracts.

Instead of spending billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan, how about addressing the terror war in America's inner cities? It's unacceptable that black people can't live and thrive in their own neighborhoods. Mayors in every major city suffering from inner-city gun violence need to provide things like more trade schools and more contracts for black contractors, as well as make sure public construction projects built in predominantly black neighborhoods employ 80 percent of the workforce from those areas.

Giving people pride in their community goes a long way in erasing their apathy and despair. Liberty City will stop being like Iraq when everyone in Miami — white, Hispanic, and black — comes together to create opportunities for the disenfranchised.

Follow Luke on Twitter: @unclelukereal1.


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