The National Rifle Association sells a popular sticker to be affixed to members’ front doors. It reads, “We are not helpless.” The sticker communicates to any possible hoodlums that the occupants own firearms.
There could be an apt sticker for Berkeley residents as well. It would read, “We are helpless.” This is not just because only an infinitesimal number of residents are armed. But because the attitude and behavior around here unintentionally exude helplessness.
For one, horrific crime happens on a regular basis with nary a peep from the citizenry. For instance, when the head gardener at the Berkeley Zen Center (1) was stabbed and killed in an apparent carjacking last October, the silence was deafening. http://www.berkeleyside.com/2014/10/08/emeryville-woman-dies-weeks-after-berkeley-stabbing/
There were no letters to the editor lambasting the horrific rates of black on white/Asian (2) crime out here. No one had the audacity to show up at a city council meeting and demand more hiring of police. There were no protests, no riots, no Occupations, not a peep out of the populace. It was business as usual, which in this region means complete and utter denial. And the result? Helplessness.
Part of the reason for the silence may be that horrendous crime happens all the time around here. Murders are (generally) reported. But the attacks, muggings, assaults (sexual and otherwise) — infrequently. The campus newspaper — the Daily Cal — wouldn’t be able to cover the news about tuition hikes and football games with Stanford if they were devoting their space to all of the campus and city crime.
And it’s just not Berkeley that is ravaged by random street crime. The nearby cities, particularly Oakland, Richmond, Emeryville, El Cerrito, have a barrage of bloody, gruesome crime of its own on a regular basis. And, yet, one wouldn’t know it from the attitudes of the people who live around here.
This is where helplessness comes in. Because if people don’t actually talk about reality, then terrible things happen. It’s simply common sense: if bad people aren’t stopped from doing bad things, they do more of it. They become brazen. And they attract more bad people to do bad things as well.
So why, then, can people not see what is going on before there eyes? Given that a local, beloved, gardener at the Zen Center can’t walk to her car after a wedding without being bludgeoned to death, why do people not see the danger to them and their loved ones?
I imagine much of the denial is the massive social programming that has been inflicted around here since the l960s. We have a well-trained populace of aging Baby Boomers, their offspring, and even the next, groomed generation, all who have been thoroughly trained in “tolerance.” Tolerance around here means putting up with the most antisocial behavior — street swindlers, illegal aliens selling strawberries in your front yard (3), crime to you and your children — all in the service of being nice and tolerant.
Put bluntly: people are terrified about actually stating the obvious for fear of being called racist. Therefore, no one asks legitimate and reasonable questions:
“Hey, I know that most black people are law-abiding, good citizens. Berkeley, Oakland, etc. have a large, population of wonderful, often affluent blacks. But, gee whiz, I can’t help noticing that there is a large black ghetto population raised in terrible life circumstances. While most of them are law-abiding as well, too many take their rage out on white people. This translates into an obscene amount of crime. And I can’t help wondering if this black-on-white crime is not just opportunistic, but racial, given the whipping up of blacks by the media and the schools to hate white people. Anything we can do about this? I mean, wouldn’t people be concerned if the situation were reversed, and innocent black people were being preyed upon? Wouldn’t Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, even Obama, be all over it?
Isn’t everyone’s life valuable — black, white, and every color under the rainbow? Aren’t we all children of God, deserving of protection, safety, and respect? It scares me and hurts me to see so many innocent people bloodied, raped, beaten, or even murdered.”
But nope. No one will say a word. It’s almost as though people would rather die than be politically incorrect.
My friend, the conspiracy theorist, thinks that all of this insanity is being manipulated from beyond. She thinks that Berkeley is a massive, social experiment in cultural conditioning and programming. She thinks “they” are trying to prove how a populace can be controlled to forego their own safety, and that of their loved ones. . and that this is being done in preparation of the same twisted social experiment being perpetuated on the rest of the population.
Whether this is true or not, I don’t know. I haven’t a clue whether the madness of Berkeley is spontaneous or by design. Perhaps there are people “out there” studying us, like rats in a cage. Or maybe Berkeley is simply the inevitable consequences of pure, unfettered liberalism.
No wonder that the adage says, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” But the unique absurdity of Berkeley is that the residents around here (unlike those in other crime ravaged cities, such as, Newark and Detroit), think that they are in living in paradise.
(1) It’s supremely ironic that the woman murdered worked and meditated for decades at the Berkeley Zen Center. The real Buddhism, as taught by the Buddha, focused on being mindful of what is actually happening. But American Buddhism has, for about l0 years or so, been co-opted by the left to be an extension of the social conditioning. There are massive amounts of money, from foundations and the government, pouring into the universities and public schools and even places of employment to train people in the so-called “mindfulness.” It’s common for our school children to undergo the training. But rather than mindfulness being about awareness, the focus is on becoming more “generous,” “kinder,” etc. etc. Mindfulness has become just another code word for mass hypnosis, that is, turning much of the populace into mindless sheep, particularly youth.
(2) A few years ago, a brave San Francisco Supervisor, of Chinese descent, held a press conference to publicize the astronomical amount of black on Asian crime in the city. Nothing came of it. I think it has partly to do with the racist idea that since so many Asians are successful, they don’t need protection when targeted as a racial group.
There is the same racial targeting of Asians in Berkeley and the surrounding cities, with occasional widespread, takeover robberies of Chinese and other Asian restaurants. Again, the silence was deafening when two Indian brothers, recent immigrants, were murdered in their Richmond restaurant. Nothing was stolen, leading to the suspicion that it was a gang initiation, all too common around here.
Same silence for the Indian immigrant taxi driver who was murdered around the same time and in the same area. The taxi driver was sitting in his cab between fares. Incidentally, the location of his cab was across the street from the police station.
In addition, an elderly Asian woman was taking her morning walk in the very same area, the El Cerrito/Richmond corridor, when she was raped, beaten unconscious, and dumped into a big pile of tires at a local tire store. She died about a year later. She never regained consciousness.
(3) A new-ish trend: illegals selling strawberries on street corners, sometimes right on people’s lawns. When police are summoned, they say they can’t (or won’t) do anything about it (despite the strict laws around here about selling food on the street). Apparently, many of the sellers are being brought in illegally and then become virtual slaves to the various cartels and others who will use them. Again, just another example of the chaos and mayhem that inevitably follow when laws are allowed to be broken.