By David Mark Greaves

The killing of St. John’s University student Tiarah Poyau and 17-year-old Tyreke Borel at the J’Ouvert Festival before the Labor Day parade, in the presence of 250 light towers, 45 cameras and an army of police officers, says that of the 250,000 revelers, there were some who just don’t care and are intent on mayhem. And we cannot allow their dysfunction to become a new normal, where a cultural celebration is taken over by the actions of a few. These gangsters and their wanna-bes aren’t going to be deterred by more light towers and marches against violence. If they can’t settle their beefs that night, the killing will happen someplace else. Stopping the violence during the J’Ouvert festivities will come from work that is done all year by community groups, mentors, city agencies and the police. Getting guns off the street and enabling constructive paths to manhood for young men who were not raised to walk them, will go a long way to making both the event and the community safer year-round.

Presidential Politics

It is hard to believe that this presidential election is being reported as either a landslide for Hillary or a nail-biter. The oily Donald Trump, who can speak directly to Black people only when he’s working from a script and not from his brain, says he wants to help Black people when court records and transcripts of his real estate record shows that’s not true at all. Aside from that, he is generally a coarse human being who loves adulation and will say anything to get it. The thought of Donald with presidential power would be a national nightmare come true

Then there is Hillary Clinton, telling the FBI “I can’t recall” 39 times under questioning about her e-mail practices. It was as though she had something to hide. We had thought her e-mail troubles were over when Bernie Sanders said “Enough with the e-mails!” and that it would be a leak of the Goldman Sachs speeches that would come back to haunt her.   Whatever happens, whatever comes out, we have to put aside differences and cynicism and band together and carry Madam Secretary, and the very decent Tim Kaine, across the finish line.

Area Primary Races

Locally, we have Karen Cherry bringing her grass-roots mojo in a contest with Tremaine Wright and the Vanguard Independent Democratic Association (VIDA) machine for Assemblywoman Annette Robinson’s 56th AD seat. Michael Cox is facing longtime state Senator Velmanette Montgomery for the 18th District. Like all political contests, these will be won by the campaign with the superior organization or passion and by the truly fortunate, both.

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