Jewish World Review Oct. 7, 2002 / 1 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763

Bill O'Reilly

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When children murder | Charlie Young had something in common with most of us. He was an American citizen entitled to basic freedoms, including the pursuit of happiness. But Charlie's pursuit was cut short last week when 16 boys between the ages of 10-18 savagely beat him to death in a Milwaukee neighborhood called "Little Beirut."

Charlie Young's fate was sealed when he pushed a 14-year-old friend of a boy that hit him with an egg late on a Sunday evening. The 10-year-old told police that he was hanging around the streets unsupervised looking for trouble. At 11 p.m.! On a school night!

The boy also admitted beating Mr. Young with a tree branch at the same time his gang beat the man with bats, chairs and wooden beams. All the boys watched and listened as Mr. Young's blood flowed out of his body and his screams filled the air.

In the courtroom, the 10-year-old boy's parents sat as he was arraigned. They do not live together. According to press reporters, the father denied his son had done anything, even as the boy confessed to the court.

If I were the prosecutor in this case, I would charge the 10-year-old's parents with criminal neglect. Maybe I would lose the case, but I'd definitely send a message.

The reason Charlie Young is dead is that America did not protect him. Our society allows neighborhoods like Little Beirut to exist all over the country. It is a sad fact of life that the police often do not enforce the law the same way in the poor neighborhoods that they do in the more affluent areas. Open-air drug dealing is tolerated in many places, as is vandalism, public intoxication and casual brutality.

But you don't see any marches to protest that. You don't see Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton demanding that crime be punished or that strict truancy laws be imposed. If it had been 16 white boys that had killed Charlie Young, mass demonstrations would have taken place. But because there is no racial component here, Charlie's murder is not worth a protest.

The brutal truth is that until the citizens of Little Beirut and other such places begin demanding accountability for acts that are destroying their environments, nothing will change. Until the "under siege" poor form an alliance with police and demand help from the media and the politicians, chaos will reign.

Society can impose order in these free-fire zones by doing the following: First, prosecute quality-of-life crimes such as street drug dealing, vandalism, child abuse and neglect, and public intoxication. Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and the NYPD accomplished an enormous drop in crime by doing this.

Second, mandate by law that all truancy be reported to the police by public-school principals.

Third, arrest parents for neglect if their children fail to attend school or are unsupervised late at night. Remember, every parent has an opportunity to contact the authorities if his or her child is uncontrollable. It is a parent's duty to do that.

Fourth, encourage church leaders in the neighborhoods to organize programs in which citizens can report criminal behavior directly to the clergy -- who in turn would contact the authorities. This sets up a "safe space" for the informer and gives people a sense of empowerment. After all, most Americans that live in these blighted neighborhoods are good people. They just need a system in place that they can trust.

All the pie-in-the-sky social programs will not impose order on streets dominated by criminals. Only force and organized resistance to irresponsible behavior will allow change. America has lost a legion of callow youths because their parents let them down. Now things must be stabilized in neglected neighborhoods so the next generation might have some safety and some hope.

If discipline is not imposed, the brutal merry-go-round will continue. But one rider will be missing. His name is Charlie Young.

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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author of the new book, "The No-Spin Zone: Confrontations with the Powerful and Famous in America" Comments by clicking here.


09/23/02: The death of outrage
09/17/02: Singing a different tune
09/09/02: Answering my critics about the Roush case
09/03/02: Let's misbehave
08/26/02: Money makes the world go 'round
08/19/02: Long live the King
08/12/02: A friendly reminder
08/05/02: Heaven only knows
07/29/02: Blood money
07/22/02: Suffer the children
07/15/02: Reaching critical mass
07/08/02: Believe it or not
07/01/02: Charity begins at home
06/24/02: Spinning a tale and the case for "Stupid White Men"
06/17/02: Blank those Europeans!
06/10/02: What does Bono want from us?
06/03/02: On fighting evil
05/28/02: A Tale of Two Churches
05/20/02: Crimes against humanity
05/13/02: Silence of the lambs
05/06/02: Hide the children
04/29/02: 'Paul, Paul, Paul!'
04/22/02: Barbarians in the Church
04/15/02: Pray for peace, polish the weapons
03/11/02: Do no harm? Time to spank "Dr. Phil"
03/04/02: Promoting the general welfare
02/25/02: Who's responsible?
02/19/02: Lay it on them
02/11/02: Buy dope, fund terror
02/04/02: Back room deals
01/28/02: From boom to bust
01/21/02: The Fairness Doctrine
01/14/02: Hey, Paula, take it to the bank and hush up
01/07/02: And justice for none
12/31/01: All that's left
12/24/01: Santa is appalled
12/17/01: Fight the power
12/10/01: The black challenge
12/03/01: How things have changed
11/26/01: Waiting in the Bushes
11/19/01: The sign of the Cross
11/09/01: Hollyweird strikes back
11/06/01: The fear factor
10/26/01: Show me the money
10/22/01: See no evil
10/15/01: Peace, but no quiet
10/08/01: The air war
10/01/01: I don't understand
09/24/01: We are all soldiers, and we have a job to do
09/14/01: Evil on display
09/11/01: Family matters!
09/04/01: End of summer blues
08/27/01: Summertime -- and the livin' ain't easy
08/20/01: The rap on rap
08/13/01: The truth hurts
08/06/01: Amnesty for illegals: Bush's political investment
07/30/01: The big picture on Condit-Levy
07/24/01: Silence of the Shams
07/16/01: Condit, Kennedy and cable news
07/09/01: Heather needs a childhood: The unnecessary loss of innocence
07/02/01: What would have happened if Steven Spielberg had recut "Schindler's List" for German audiences so they wouldn't be confronted with "emotional issues"?
06/25/01: Freak dancing
06/18/01: Work or die
06/11/01: Soundbite nation
06/04/01: Paying through the nose
05/29/01: Graduation Day 2001
05/21/01: Accepting the unacceptable
05/14/01: The Clinton legacy
05/07/01: Kerrey's ordeal
04/27/01: Is the party over?
04/20/01: Racism in public education
04/16/01: The fleecing of America
04/10/01: People who need perspective
04/03/01: Dubya's bottom line --- and ours
03/27/01: Don't tell, don't ask
03/20/01: Greenspan with envy
03/13/01: Clinton and Jackson
03/07/01: All that's left in America
02/27/01: The Letterman experience
02/20/01: Bread and circuses
02/06/01: How the Clintons do it
01/30/01: The Bush dilemma
01/24/01: I have been investigating Jackson's finances for the past two years
01/17/01: Sifting Ashcroft's record

© 2001 Creators Syndicate