But Why?

So, I am thinking about this attitude I am seeing among the political parties. Republicans are the traditionally conservatives. Democrats are the compassionate liberals.

So they say.

I feel compassionate. I feel liberal. But why don’t I feel very much affinity for the Democrats? I feel like I should like them more than I do.

Democrats are against war, right? So am I. But I still feel there are times when it is necessary. Those times should be determined with careful consideration. I think force is justified in certain thoughtful circumstances. Yet, I am not hearing as much thought from the anti-war protestors as I need to be intellectually satisfied.

And even more than war, which is a once in a while activity, I am concerned about people who are oppressed. People who may not have had the opportunities that everyone deserves. The litany: women, minorities, etc.

And the democrats are the ones supposedly for the underdog. The party for women, the party for the minorities, that’s what they think they are.

And yet, something about it is sounding funny to me. It’s a little too canned. Political correctness is getting stale. Affirmative action, women’s rights, all those things may or may not be sincere. The question is, are they working?

This is feeling wrong to me. Is the goal truly to have an equal playing field or not? What is the exit strategy to the war on civil rights? Is there a reason why we want to have a set of underpriviledged people to help?

Okay. It’s hard for me to understand. I just don’t get it. Where I grew up…I don’t know. Maybe everyone was underpriviledged. It just felt very equal.

So here’s the thing that gets me thinking. I look around at the neighborhoods here in Los Angeles. I started thing when I wanted to become a home owner. Which areas have good schools? Which ones will keep their value?

Chris grew up in Claremont. Claremont is one of the snootiest ordinary places I have ever seen. These people have a sense of how superior they are. I didn’t get it. They talk about the surrounding areas, Laverne and San Dimas and Upland and Rancho Cucamunga and Pomona.

The voice changes. When they talk about the different cities. But it’s not just the people from Claremont. Everyone who is from LA talks about cities with different tones of voice. And the tone of voice depends on the person talking. Baldwin Park is not a scary place to a brown person. And Long Beach and Inglewood is comfortable to an African American.

But to a jewish friend, Silver Lake can be scary, depending on where you get out of the car. But then, maybe she worries too much.

I find this confusing, and I am not really sure what to thing of these different tones of voices. What are all these people talking about? Are they just being prejudiced?

I found a website talks about it. What are we really talking about, when the tone of voice changes? Bottom line is crime.

Chris grew up in Claremont. In 2002, Claremont had no homicides. Next door, the city over, San Dimas, had 0 homicides. One city over from there, Pomona, had 18 people killed.

What the hell just happened here? Why does Pomona kill people? Why does San Dimas live peacefully and Pomona not?

Chris told me that there were a lot of Hispanic gangs in Pomona. THe houses are a lot cheaper in Pomona. Pomona had 448 incidents of robberies and 805 incidents of aggravated assaults. What is going on?

I do not think that Hispanic people are more inclined to violence and killing. I think that people do the things that make sense to them.

Somehow, San Dimas and Claremont have a society where killing people does not make sense. Why does killing people make sense to the people in Pomona?

Have the police come to expect that assault and robbery and murder happen in Pomona and not in San Dimas? What the heck are the police doing over there?

And Pomona is not the worst. Long Beach had 67 homicides, and Compton had 52. What the heck are the police doing?

Why is this an accepted thing? Why does Compton kill people? Why does Pomona kill people?

I can’t tell you. I don’t know. But I do not believe it has anything to do with a person’s ethnicity. I know it has to do with what those residents believe, the story they tell themselves about what is necessary to get through life.

And what story are the liberal types telling?
“You’re going to need help. You’re pathetic.”

I reject that condescion. I don’t believe in liberality that disempowers.

You know what I think? I think that this whole thing is a lot more about economics than almost anything else. Having money is having independence, it’s having choices.

But money comes from hard work. Protestant work ethic, “he who shall not work shall not eat.”

Handing out money for disempowered people does not empower them. Getting anything for free does not make a person better on the inside. Hard work and challenges are what make people grow, you grow to meet the challenges you face.

So, I am not impressed with the flavor of compassion I am hearing from liberals. If a helping hand is required, and I do not reject the idea of a helping hand, let’s give one that allows for decency. Let’s find ways of letting people exercise their own power, their own dignity growing.

THe problem is large, but so are most that are worth solving. I can’t help thinking, what does San Dimas know that Pomona doesn’t?