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March 1, 2013

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POST-GAZETTE, MARCH 1,2013 Page 3 POST-GAZETTE Pamela Donnaruma, Publisher and Editor 5 Prince Street, P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 617-227-8929 617-227-8928 FAX 617-227-5307 e-mail: Website" Subscriptions in the United States $30.00 yearly Published weekly by Post-Gazette, 5 Prince St., P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 USPS 1538 - Second-Class Postage paid at Boston, MA POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the POST-GAZETTE P.O. Box 130135, Boston, MA 02113 James V. Donnaruma Caesar L. Donnaruma Phyllis F. Donnaruma 1896 to 1953 1953 to 1971 1971 to 1990 Vol. 117- No. 9 Friday, March 1,2013 OUR POLICY: To help preserve the ideals and sacred traditions of this our adopted country the United States of America: To revere its laws and inspire others to respect and obey them: To strive unceasingly to quicken the public's sense of civic duty: In all ways to aid in making this country greater and better than we found it. GUEST EDITORIAL Gun Violence Across America's Black Community by Sal Giarratani As far as I am concerned, gun violence within Boston's black community differs very little from Detroit or Chi- cago or New York. In city after city across the country, killings within the African American community far out- number deaths among whites or Latinos. There appears to be a generational dysfunction of hopelessness and a partnering pathology toward violence as a means to re- solve issues and survive the mean streets of America. Many people believe the media only highlights African American murders when it hits the wider community of people. African Americans killing African Americans, they say, seems never that important for the media. They ask, "Why does our mainstream media overlook those inner city killings?" Perhaps it MIGHT be because too often violence seems the social norm in so many com- munities of color? Often, some observers want to under- stand why good news within communities of color often gets under-reported. When was the last time you saw good news printed on page one or highlighted on the evening TV news? As someone who grew up in the so-called 'hood in Roxbury back in the '50s and '60s, I remember the old days and the violence that quietly began to erupt decades ago. I saw racial animosity. I saw fear. I saw anger. I saw the roots of what was to come. Often I drive through Boston's communities of color and wonder why so many families put up with so much violence all around them. Every time a murder takes place, community members ask all kinds of questions. Where are the police? Do we need more police? How do we end the gunfire? Folks won- der why endlessly. When young men lay dead in the streets, others say, he was such a good guy. No one ever says we need to do something as a community to stop the violence and bring peace to the streets of their com- munity, for them, their parents, their children and the future that looks so bleakly ahead. Community strength comes from within and it cannot be imported by outsiders. Peace comes from inside the hearts of folks who believe in peace and who work for peace. I get tired at headlines in community newspa- pers blaming everyone but community residents for all the bad that has become commonplace. When I grew up in Roxbury, it wasn't perfect but it wasn't yet a killing field. Parents were still looking out for their children and folks were looking out for each other. That kind of bond is the cement that strengthens communities and cre- ates shared neighborhood values. Today too many accept their victimhood as the norm of life. It isn't. As long as folks remain victims trapped in their victimization, they will always be victimized. Vic- tims need to take back control from those who abuse them individually or as communities. When predators rule there is no order and without order, there is hope for change. I recently saw an episode of Cr/m/na/Minds where two predators kidnap folks, tum them into prey, set them free and then hunt them down. Those victims who kept running away never made it out of the woods alive. The one who turned from hunted into hunter did not die. When victims shed their victimhood status and take back control of the situation, they can actually win. Why? The good among us will always vastly outnumber the bad lurking about in the shadows. When folks draw the line and say this community is ours, miracles can happen. Community control will bring peace to the streets inside the killing fields. The credit will go to the people who act rather than the police who can but only react. The first step needs to be taken and it needs to begin now. CONNOLLY READY FOR MAYOR RUN I am not often caught off-guard when it comes to electoral politics but the announcement on Tues- day by City Councilor John Connolly that he has decided to run for may this year regardless of what politi- cal decision Mayor Thomas M. Menino may eventually make. When asked, I hesi- tated about the prospects of a Connolly run this year. Mayor Menino has been in office since March of 1993 when Mayor Ray Flynn re- signed to go off to the Clinton administration as ambas- sador to the Holy See. When Menino was sworn in, Con- holly was only 20 years old. He has seen Menino win over and over again. Against Rep. Jimmy Brett, D-Dor- chester in 1993, he won 64 percent of the vote. The clos- ,est the mayor has come to losing is in 2009 when he won 57 percent of the vote ever Michael F. Flaherty. Menino is Boston's longest serving mayor having beat one challenger after an- other. Many younger politi- cians have tried to no avail such as City Councilors Peggy Davis Mullen and Maura Hennigan. Menino has become Boston's version of legendary Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley. As Con- nolly steps into the ring, he is facing a champion politician at the polls in by Sal Giarratani Menino. Many Boston voters today, both transplants and natives, have never known anyone but Menino as Mayor of Boston. In order for Connolly to be competitive and win, unlike Menino's last three challengers, he will have to win over younger Bostonians ready for a change at City Hall. But if it happens, it will be a sea-change in attitude about what citizens are looking for in their mayor. Maura Hennigan says, "I give him credit for being willing to put it on the line." After all, Connolly could continue to wait out for the mayor's retirement but ap- parently is ready for the challenge now. Connolly, on Monday, told the citizens of Boston that he is in the mayor's race in November whether the mayor an- nounces a re-election bid or not. Connolly told report- ers, "I don't even know if he's going to run again. I made this decision to run independent of what he's doing." Hennigan has given this advice for Connolly. He needs to tap into those young voters who elected Elizabeth Warren to the U.S. Senate. She also thinks this spring's special election for U.S. Sen- ate between U.S. Reps. Ed Markey and Steve Lynch could be very beneficial for a Connolly run. She says that Connolly will have to tap into the electoral excitement going on and you "have to get the turnout up because if you don't, the mayor wins every time." Greg Selkoe, founder of the nonprofit Future Boston Alliance and other entrepre- neurs have already been meeting with Connolly and are "energized for new blood and new ideas in Boston." Although many Menino in- siders call Connolly a strong candidate who would make a worthy opponent, one has to go back to 1949 the last time an incumbent mayor (James Michael Curley) was defeated at the polls. Connolly says, "Any run for mayor is going to be incred- ibly tough and an uphill battle. It's going to be hard but I think I can do it." We shall see. We shall see! I'm Startingto Feel Like an Occupy Radical the Older I Get by Sal Giarratani Thomas Jefferson once wrote, "A country needs a little revolution every so of- ten." Can you image a mod- ern-day politician saying anything close to that? How- ever, you know, Jefferson has a point. He must have had a crystal ball and saw the possibility of a future in which a nation forgot its roots. I am sure his "revolu- tion" was one at the ballot box where the people could re-take hold of its runaway government. Our forebears fought a real violent revolu- tion against the British monarchy over the right to be free. Folks like Jefferson and John Adams and even Sam Adams all viewed the fight against tyranny in dif- ferent perspectives but they all understood that big gov- ernment was dangerous to all. When I was born in 1948, America was still basically a small government demo- cratic republic. Today, our nation has grown and grown into mirroring the oligarchy we overthrew. We have Big Government, Big Business and Big Oil where all the biggies are embedded with each other. The Occupy Movement was right in one way; we have a small per- centage at the top that run things for their benefit and not ours. I am a conserva- tive who believes govern- ment is us and not them. Our Founding Fathers were not about creating a large and distant government that preyed upon its citizens through rules, regulations and taxes. I used to think it mattered whether or not we had a Republican or Democrat sit- ting in the White House but I no longer think it does. What really got to me about what is transpiring today in what used to be the land of the free and home of the brave is how so many of us have settled into being quiet sheep. We don't protest or scream from the highest mountaintop, we just follow orders. It seems easier that way but is it really? Recently, I came to realize up close and personal how embedded Pennsylvania Av- enue has become with Wall Street. Remember the big bailouts and talk about how some companies were too big to fail? Government propped them up with our taxes but forgot about us in the process. We weren't even being counted as victims of the financial crash that gov- ernment actually aided and abetted. I was ripping mad the other day when my credit card bill came in the mail. I owe approximately $5,000. According to my credit card company right there in front of me in black and white, they are telling me if I paid only minimum monthly payments, it would take me 22 years to pay off my debt and in the process would be handing them over $16 thousand, where is our government? Remember we are the government. Where are our governors from the Oval Office on down who work for us? why are credit card companies allowed to act like loan sharks and with the blessing of our leaders? Sounds like the robber-barons that Teddy Roosevelt fought have come back from the dead. Our nation is in trouble. We are crumbling finan- cially. We are crumbling culturally. We idly watch our constitution crumbling without a peep. America used to be a great nation but we can't be that with- out first being a good nation. This is still the greatest government known in world history but we should be better than what we have settled into being. The opinions ressed by our co|umn eonuters not necessarily the same th of The PostQazette, its publ acted by th Post-Gazette ded they are .cr, original $5 sub. tos can  submi: vla mai postgazette@Lm.  retur.ed,