Archive for July 19, 2022

Slouching toward Philadelphia

Posted: July 19, 2022 by chrisharper in crime
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By Christopher Harper

It’s only been about a month since 73-year-old James Lambert Jr. died–one of the most disturbing murders in Philadelphia’s violent history.

But his death has almost faded from the media coverage and the public conscience as other brutal crimes continue in the City of Brotherly Love.

Here are the pertinent facts: surveillance video shows a teen hoisting a traffic cone above his head before striking Lambert. Then, a girl in her stocking feet with a pair of sunglasses atop her head can be seen retrieving the cone and appears to do the same thing. It looks as if she strikes the older man not once but twice. Another child seems to be holding up a phone to videotape what is happening as another rides his scooter. 

Lambert died while walking in a neighborhood about a mile from Temple University, where I worked for many years. 

Two “children”—a 14-year-old boy and girl—have been charged with murder for killing Lambert with a traffic cone that struck him in the head.

Back in the day, “the neighbors were the village. They policed you. They parented. They would tell your parents if they saw you doing something that you weren’t supposed to do, and before they told your parents, they would say something to you. You really couldn’t get away with a lot,” Christine Brown, director of community services for Beech Companies and who grew up near where the attack took place, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “Things are just different. Children don’t speak to their seniors, and seniors are afraid to live in their own community, and that’s sad.”

“Back in the day” was a long time ago. Maybe the early 1960s? Since that time, Philadelphia has become a mess, mainly because Democrats have led the city to the brink of despair and disparity. 

Philadelphia isn’t much different from a lot of cities. The school system is bankrupt, and a new superintendent seems more interested in an “anti-racist” curriculum than a formula for learning.

The police chief has neutered her officers.

The district attorney is a George Soros post child.

The mayor has given up even though he has a year left in his term.

The only change after Lambert’s death is a new curfew. Those aged 17 and younger must be indoors and off the streets by 10 p.m.; those 13 and younger must be home by 9:30.

If the schools don’t teach children much, the police chief and district attorney don’t enforce the law, and the mayor has given up, I find it unlikely a curfew, which won’t be enforced, will change Philadelphia’s slide toward anarchy.

A school superintendent who emphasizes learning may make a difference, but school vouchers would be a better solution.

A change in the attitudes of the police hierarchy and the prosecutor would make a difference. 

A new mayor—preferably a Republican—also might make a difference. The Democrats have run the city since 1952, and maybe 1952 was “back in the day” when times were, in fact, better.