Friday, April 14, 2006

'Highway of blame' leads to shooting of rapper Proof - 04/14/06 - The Detroit News

'Highway of blame' leads to shooting of rapper Proof - 04/14/06 - The Detroit News

Frank Beckmann, Detroit News commentator and WJR AM radio host distributes blame for this week's shooting death of rapper Proof (Deshaun Holton) across the rapper, the club owners, liquor control commission, rap culture, rap lyrics, Detroit's budget and the cash-strapped police department, and a culture of violence inside the city.

Mr. Beckmann's list is too long. I agree the lists starts with Proof, but it also ends there. If early police reports are correct Proof was shot because he needed to be shot. No amount of bling and jaunt excuses behavior. Everything else on Mr. Beckmann's list is incidental.

Should the club still have been open at 4:30AM? No. But if no one stayed drinking the club wouldn't have stayed open. The club's liquor license should have been yanked long ago, but wasn't. Remember the INS approved visa application for 9-11 terrorists Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi six months after the attack. In the grand scheme of things a liquor license is small potatoes. It would be great if more police were available, but there already aren't enough to respond to 911 calls much less cruising blind pigs for bar fights.

Had any of the principles that morning made the choice to leave instead of agitate we wouldn't be discussing it. The club would still have a license it shouldnt', we'd still have too few police officers, we'd still have an unresponsive bureaucracy, we'd still have a derelict rap culture, and the city would still be too violent, but we wouldn't have a dead rapper and a seriously wounded soldier. More importantly, better considered individual choices and many more like them would cumulatively make Detroit a less violent city.

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