MPLSKids

Minneapolis Ignores the Real Problem Underlying Increase in Violent Child Deaths

4 ½ min

The city that witnessed the death of George Floyd is seeing more deaths this year, only this time they aren’t those of a full-grown man arrested for passing a counterfeit bill: they are the deaths of children caught in crossfire.

The most recent death was that of six-year-old Aniya Allen, who was shot in the head while riding in a car with her mother on their way home. Her shooting is part of a recent crime surge, the Star Tribune reports, which includes an elevated number of homicides and 22 shootings of children this year alone. Officials are desperately trying to figure out how to get things under control, but in so doing, they may have overlooked the root cause of the violence.

More policing is one of the first options to prevent the tragic end of innocent children’s lives. This is problematic, however as in Minneapolis “the department is badly understaffed — with dozens of officers having retired, resigned or gone on medical leave in recent months,” the Star Tribune reports. Perhaps one cannot blame officers for leaving the force, particularly when they experience beatings and other assaults while on the job.

Police are the favorite whipping boy in Minneapolis, which Aniya’s mother may have unintentionally highlighted when speaking to reporters outside of Aniya’s hospital room the day before her daughter died:

Pointing around the sidewalk where friends and family were gathered, Antrice Sease asked why so few people were there. If her daughter had been shot by a police officer instead of a gang member, as some have speculated, the story would've been all over the news and the street outside the hospital would have been filled with outraged protesters demanding that something be done, she said.
‘When is this going to stop? When is this going to end?’ she repeated.

Others argue that police are too toxic and would be better replaced with “violence interrupters.” In essence, this is just a fancy term for official peacemakers trained to de-escalate arguments before they dissolve into gun battles. Minneapolis is in the process of training these individuals and hopes to have them hit the streets soon to do their work. This sounds lovely in theory, but how feasible will it be in practice?

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey addressed these problems in a recent press conference, during which a resident highlighted another angle of this issue. “If you’re gonna stop [the violence],” he said, “it’s not the police, because the police come after the fact.”

Taken at face value, that statement is exactly right. One does not prevent all violence with police. Often violence is stopped long before police come on the scene, through parents being present in their children’s lives, teaching them right from wrong, allowing them to be a part of a stable, loving community, taking them to church, and letting them hear and see the benefits of moral, upright living.

As someone who has long worked with children and families in Minneapolis, I can tell you that in many cases, this simply is not happening. Homes are chaotic, headed by single mothers with strings of live-in boyfriends who regularly add to the group of half-siblings populating the house. Moving from house to house or from city to city, children have little chance to put down solid roots. Those who go to church and learn to live uprightly often see these principles contradicted within their own homes by parents who have little interest in living upright lives themselves.

Many in these communities grow up completely rootless, lacking a strong community, a strong family, and strong morals. It is this rootlessness that lies at the heart of today’s violence, a fact which French philosopher and Christian mystic Simone Weil explains in her 1949 book, The Need for Roots:

Uprootedness is by far the most dangerous malady to which human societies are exposed, for it is a self-propagating one. For people who are really uprooted there remain only two possible sorts of behaviour: either to fall into a spiritual lethargy resembling death, like the majority of the slaves in the days of the Roman Empire, or to hurl themselves into some form of activity necessarily designed to uproot, often by the most violent methods, those who are not yet uprooted, or only partly so. [Emphasis added.]

America has cast family, faith, and community aside—along with the values these institutions espouse—viewing them as unnecessary and old-fashioned in our modern high-tech world. In doing so, we have also cut off the roots of many, who lash out. In that sense, neither police nor community mediators will really be effective antidotes to our society’s increasing levels of violence. Only an intentional re-rooting in timeless institutions and values will do the trick, which will take years and great effort. Are we up to the challenge, or would we rather just watch our society slowly die, taking the innocent along with it?

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Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.

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Loras
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Minneapolis is a basket case created by the people of Minneapolis. Sad. Same thing is happening in a number of cities across the U.S. Good parenting is essential yet missing. Far-left politics certainly doesn't help.
 
 

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Shawn
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People need to be STOPPED from fornicating. It is WRONG, and it is leading to unjustified damage to children.
 
 

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Tionico
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I'm quite certain I have the answer figured out, but I'd still be curious about something. HOW IS IT that officials and others "trying to help" find solutions continually pass over this one thing: WHY are there never any REAL consequences for those who perpetrate this sort of violence and destruction? WHY was a guy like Floyd still on the streets, running about passing counterfeit miney, innpossession of VERY strong (lethally strong, in his case) drugs? I'd like to know the percentage of individuals accosted in Minneapolis in connexion with violent crimes against persons who are out on baill had plea bargains that let them off, are KNOWN to be involved in dangerous and desructive activities yet meet no consequences of any signficance? Then there is the other end of the pipeline: the welfare quens. Don't get offended now, this IS a major part of the root. /whenever government subsidises anything, we ALWAYS gt noreof it. When a female gets paid to haev nore babies, guess what she's gonna do Hav more babies, right? Pck a low number, maybe two or three, and mandate that whenever a woman reaches that number of offspring her welfare payments are frozen at that amount (having more will not get her a larger monthly check) AND a mandatory sterilisation, one of the long-lasting but reversible methods, in the event she finally wakes up and stops making her living on her back. . Along with that, figure out some way of holding the sperm donors accuntable for their progeny. Force them to support their offspring with mandatory work camp if they do not. They will NOT like living under a system of accountability at the camps. Holding these males accountable for their own part in the mess is the only way to reduce it. Remove the deadbeat males from the lives of the young and at least the way NOT to ehave will have less opportunity to infect the younger ones. Oh the bleeding hearet liberals will holler and screama nd stamp their little feets. So what?
 
 

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osbu0001
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Annie is right on target! Let's develop a citizen movement that dares to confront our country's elite with their refusal to tell the truth about healthy families and strong faith communities as the key to human thriving. As a practical step, please go to the website for Take Charge MN, and support their efforts to do exactly this.
 
 

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bcmike
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Annie uses broad generalities to blames single mothers. She chooses to ignore if single mothers had job skills, a decent paying job, affordable daycare and affordable housing. The mother and her children would have a stable living situation. It's not the mothers that are pulling the trigger to kill children. So stop blaming them for the murder increase. Gov Waltz has to take responsibility for closing the schools. Parent(s) working and kids home alone unsupervised, they are going to get in trouble. Supervised kids are more likely to join gangs and have access to guns
 
 

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