"Too many of our youth, primarily African-American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action." -- Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory
Here's some bad news, Mr. Mayor: it's not just African-American youths who are "participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action." So are you. There are many types of destructive gangs, not all of which involve teens or hip-hop music. Sometimes it's just a matter of which gang, and which types of violence, people choose to fear.
In fact, one of the most powerful gangs on earth -- and certainly the most dangerous and damaging one in the United States -- has been operating right under our noses for a long time. It's only during the past six and a half years, however, that it's become clear just how destructive and deceitful they can be. I'm referring, of course, to Republican politicians, sometimes referred to as the Dubya-McCrory Gang, or DubMacs.
Like members of other dangerous gangs such as the Crips, Bloods or MS-13, the DubMacs can usually be identified by their clothing. When they're "at work" in an official capacity, DubMacs can be spotted by their "corporate robot" look, featuring Brooks Brothers suits with U.S. flag lapel pins, worn with either button-down or forward-point shirt collars, and usually accompanied by lace-up wingtip shoes. In casual situations, DubMacs favor khaki trousers and Lacoste polo shirts, with either Docksiders without socks or Cordovan tassel loafers. If you are unsure whether someone in your vicinity is a DubMac, look for the brand names listed above, along with the likes of Ralph Lauren or Oxxford. Once you've confirmed that you're near a member of the DubMac Gang, calmly flee the premises as soon as possible.
Why should you run? Well, here is just a partial list of the havoc and destruction wrought by the DubMacs since 2001:
Locally, DubMacs have:
• Let developers continue to have free rein to strip the land and fill up every available space with ugly suburban housing and strip malls. Results: Growing sprawl, traffic congestion and a wrecked ecology.
• Jumped on the Homeland Security gravy train, but sat by while the federal government did next to nothing to improve security at the nuclear plants surrounding the city. Results: McGuire and Catawba nuclear plants are still vulnerable to attacks by airplanes while citizens have little idea of what to do in an emergency, and, worse, generally assume that the county's established evacuation plans can actually work.
• Refused to pass a living wage law for city employees, to hold city-county employees accountable for their actions, or approve adequate funding for new schools. Results: Poorly paid workers delivering mediocre services; police officers getting away with killing unarmed civilians; and schools so crowded, the next step will have to be "bunk desks" for students.
On the federal level, DubMacs' actions have been disastrous:
• They handed over the executive branch of government to the gang's "moneybags" and cronies. Results: An energy policy that gives energy cartels and oil companies full authority to rob the public blind while polluting the air; shredded environmental regulations; suppressed scientific findings; and a completely botched federal response to Hurricane Katrina that resulted in the ruin of one of America's greatest cities.
• Ignored warnings from U.S. intelligence sources and foreign governments that al-Qaeda was planning attacks in the United States using planes as weapons, aimed at American icon targets. Results: 9/11 attacks killed 3,000 Americans, destroyed the World Trade Center.
• Responded to 9/11 by launching a half-assed war that failed to capture the terrorists' leaders; invaded a country that had nothing to do with the attacks; and gave scant action to security at U.S. chemical plants, ports and nuclear facilities. Results: Nearly 4,000 American soldiers dead, tens of thousands wounded, maimed or mentally damaged; tens of thousands of Iraqis dead and more than two million refugees; America's international image is in the toilet; Islamist terrorists are stronger than ever; U.S. armed forces' readiness has been shattered; private contractors have looted the federal treasury; the federal debt hit new, record heights; and the United States is as vulnerable to attack as it was on 9/11.
• Wiretapped phones and snooped into personal computer files of everyday Americans; encouraged torture as a national policy; kept people in jail indefinitely without charges; and removed all sorts of constitutional guarantees of due process of law. Results: An America that is now unrecognizable as "beacon of freedom."
• DubMacs in Congress handed over the lawmaking branch of government to the highest bidders and pandered to religious fundamentalists' archaic views. Results: Lobbyists wrote laws while having drinks in Senate Majority Leader's office; the disgraceful Terri Schiavo saga; and endless gay bashing.
So parents, do your family and your country a favor: tell your children about this public menace -- and look out for any signs that they may be attracted to the DubMacs' type of dress, attitude, behavior and action. And kids, for heaven's sake, have enough self-respect to steer clear of these carelessly violent, destructive thugs.