Only in a world as insane as ours, could a headline published in a major newspaper attempt to highlight the 'sanity' in normalizing the pathologies of the underclass.
No, scratch that.
The headline and accompanying story is an attempt to celebrate the momentary liberation from those pathologies, praise from a maladroit individual hoping no one actually reads the extraordinary measures necessary for a peaceful black event to run 'violence free' [Black Expo's big weekend passed quietly for the third year in a row. Is this the new normal?, Indy Star, July 21, 2013]:
For five years, ministers and lay people with the Ten Point Coalition have been walking Downtown streets on the final weekend of Indiana Black Expo’s Summer Celebration to help keep the peace.
At times – such as when 10 people were shot in 2010 – it looked as if the efforts might be a lost cause. But after this weekend – when Summer Celebration crowds were calm and the event remained trouble free for the third year in a row – Ten Point leaders, city officials and others were almost sensing a victory.
“My hope,” said Rev. Charles Harrison, president of the Ten Point Coalition and an organizer of the peacekeeping patrols, “is one day we don’t have to come down here anymore
Veteran observers of the event say the crowds around Summer Celebration this weekend were among the lightest and calmest they can remember. And the peace prevailed despite the fact the city has been in the midst of a deadly summer, when homicides have been a common occurrence. That includes a shooting death Downtown early Sunday that police say was unrelated to Expo.
Exactly what accounts for the new calm around the event isn’t entirely clear, but there are some obvious places to start.
First, the police presence Downtown this weekend was massive, almost Super Bowl-like. Parking spaces along most of the core Downtown streets were lined with police patrol cars and more were on the move. Uniformed officers were on foot, horseback, motorcycle, bicycle and helicopter. There was even a cop on a golf cart. Undercover officers were in the crowd, too.
Why not take a look at what those efforts by black churches to provide supervision for unsupervised black children actually entails? [Faith patrols on Downtown streets look to be buffer tonight between kids and police, Indy Star, July 20, 2013]:
Second, an effort by the city, churches and Expo itself to keep unsupervised children out of Downtown seems to be paying off. There’s been a 3-year messaging campaign to dissuade parents from dropping their kids off and leaving. It seems to be working. Expo even changed ticket prices to events in the convention center so children, accompanied by an adult, could get in free.
Amid the crowds of people jamming Downtown Indianapolis tonight, a small army of orange-vested ministers, concerned citizens and retired cops will be roaming the streets, looking to stamp out trouble before it starts.
These “faith patrols” organized by the Ten Point Coalition are part of the overall plan to keep the peace Downtown during the biggest night of the final weekend of Indiana Black Expo, which has been marred by violence in the past, though none in the past two years.
“We kind of want to be the buffer between the kids and the police department,” said the Rev. Charles Harrison, a United Methodist minister and an organizer of the patrols.
Ultimately, as many as 120 volunteers are slated to patrol an area in the heart of Downtown that’s been carved into seven zones. Each zone has its own designated patrol teams, and a couple of additional teams will roam wherever situations warrant. In some cases, the free-roaming teams may even follow gangs or neighborhood cliques with the potential to cause trouble.
These extraordinary measures to keep the peace at the Indiana Black Expo can't be replicated every weekend in not only Indianapolis, but other major cities throughout America besieged by the same violence.
In the coming days, we will explore the central message of Robert Heinlein's masterpiece Starship Troopers, which discussed a future world where the disorder of XXth Century was finally put down for good.
That disorder is raging in Indianapolis.
"Faith Patrols" are hardly a way to appeal to 'better natures' of thugs, for this will hardly spark their moral sense. They are already doing what they know is the best manner in which to survive.
But go ahead and congratulate the black attendants of the Indiana Black Expo for behaving in a collective manner that one should expect in a civilized society -- it only took an army of police and "faith workers" to make it happen.