**The Great Black Hope **
The decline in crime between 1994 and 2000 may have been the greatest in American history. Not only was the drop pronounced, it was nationwide and embraced all serious crime categories. Between 1990 and 2000, the nationwide murder rate–one of the most accurate crime indicators–fel 41%. And the federal government’s crime victim survey revealed over the same decade a 38% drop in nonfatal violent crime.
The reduction in murders alone saved over 5,400 lives a year. The resulting change in many cities was palpable. Until the recent economic slump, tourism was thriving, and downtown hotels, restaurants, and theaters were flourishing. People no longer were afraid to go to business districts or park their cars on city streets. Remember those makeshift “No Radio” signs in car windows? Nowadays, so many carms come into Manhattan that New York’s mayor wants to charge an entry fee. Our urban centers are safer, and perhaps as important, they feel safer.
Oddly, despite all of the effort to study crime when it was soaring, from the late 1960s through the early '90s, the great crime decline caught the experts by surprise. Not only did they fail to predict it, but even now they cannot quite explain it.
A big reason for this inability is the academy’s refusal to deal candidly with questions of race. Although African-Americans are disproportionately involved in violent crimes, non-academics will no doubt be amazed to learn that few criminologists analyze in a frank, straightforward manner the role of African-Americans in crime. For instance, Berkeley criminologist Franklin Zimring’s The Great American Crime Decline (2007) barely discusses race and does not even have an index entry for blacks or any other racial category. Zimring is not atypical, and the failure to examine or even identify the race factor is not accidental. Now that crime has declined and African-Americans are leading the downturn, perhaps we have an opportunity to present a more honest anaysis of America’s crime situation.
Interesting, the author seems to conclude that “negative role models” spurred a large-spread cultural change in behavior. This gives far more weight to the idea that cultures can change and may actually be a very and extremely interesting subject for anyone who wants to significantly reduce crime in any population anywhere around the world. Instead of spending money on programs, it seems that culture can be shifted as well and is highly important! Empirical evidence supporting that idea is kind of profound and new in my non-humble opinion. :eek:
Sadly, it seems that “negative role models” are more powerful than “positive role models.” It almost sounds like human nature. Eve and Adam couldn’t just theoretically accept that eating the fruit would lead to death. They had to have the negative practical experience of being kicked out of the Garden of Eden before they could accept God’s laws or commandments and so humans have been suffering ever since.
Maybe the best remedy for suffering people is to let them suffer and suffer until they’ve had enough - tough love - while encouraging as many people as possible to live a highly ethical and moral life and taking care of them when they return. (i.e. adopting a Parable of the Prodigal Son/Parable of the Good Samaritan model for actions in society in lieu of actively going out and ministering). After a long period of time, they may come to their senses and commit in their hearts to living an ethical and moral life in line with God’s will.
It is good to hear some message of positivity. Sadly, I rarely hear genuine reasons for real hope in society today so this one may be a cause for celebration!! :):D:p