Las Vegas Sun

December 12, 2017

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letter to the editor:

Idle minds in Ferguson

Some say an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Are the residents of Ferguson, Mo., at the workshop’s epicenter?

What has become clear about this community, two-thirds of which are black Americans, is the incredible level of unemployment. With 50 percent of the younger working-age population unemployed, why wouldn’t that population feel disparaged, set upon, mistrustful of authority?

When the flame of hope is extinguished, what else is there to do except lash out defiantly at every negative turn of events? The situation whereby a young black man was shot and killed by a white policeman was simply the latest spark that ignited a long-festering resentment.

Historically, many of those residing in predominantly black communities are poorly educated, unable to find meaningful employment. This is both a societal and a geographical problem.

For generations, too many blacks have been corralled and caught up in an endless circle of poverty, unable to break out. As a group they suffer, proportionately more than others, from generational deficiencies, poorly educated parents, too many single-parent homes, understaffed and underfunded schools.

The majority of black Americans residing in cemeteries from homicides are not there because cops killed them. The problem is really about the plight of too many black Americans who find themselves marginalized by their geography, lacking a quality education and no jobs.

In Ferguson, idle minds did become the devil’s workshop. Now that we know the origin of the problems, perhaps we should find better and more innovative ways to fix them. Certainly Franklin Delano Roosevelt did.

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