MSNBC Host: Societal Disrespect Causes Young Black Men to ‘Wear Pants in an Anti-Social Way’

Alissa Tabirian | August 5, 2013 | 1:00pm EDT
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( – “People who feel worthless in society because they cannot find meaningful jobs, or any jobs, and have interactions with police that are filled with disrespect, those people are much more likely to look at the law as illegitimate,” Touré said on The Cycle Friday.

“Those people just may be wearing their pants in an anti-social way because they feel rejected by society and see no value in following its rules. We don’t value black boys in this society if they can’t rhyme or play sports, and then we wonder why they reject the society that presumes them guilty and worthless.”

“The crack epidemic, and a rise in the number of police, and smarter deployment of those cops, especially hot spot policing,” are contributing factors to what Touré calls “a years-long nationwide historic drop in the murder rate” and Chicago’s “incredible progress in steadily reducing their homicide rate.”

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy said that Chicago's murder rate during the first six months of the year was "lower than in any year since 1965." A June 11 New York Times article quotes Mayor Rahm Emanuel crediting the “saturation" of police officers on overtime for the dip in homicides.

But Touré criticized the “counterproductive and potentially criminogenic” deployment of police “that leave communities feeling attacked and disrespected,” leading black men to disregard the law.

“They don’t need fake tough love, they need real love and respect,” Touré suggested as a solution. “The question isn’t what black boys need to do to be more respectable for us. It’s about what we can do to help them see more value in being a full part of American society.”

Among the nation’s 50 largest cities, Chicago ranked second in the number of gun-related homicides between 2009 and 2010, with 1,139 people gunned down that year. FBI data shows a 3.5 percent total decrease in violent crime and a 0.7 percent decrease in murders nationwide from 2010 to 2011.

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