I’m from Uvalde. I’m not surprised this happened.

  

Category:  Op/Ed

Via:  gullivers-island  •  one month ago  •  11 comments

By:   Neil Meyer

I’m from Uvalde. I’m not surprised this happened.
I was born in Uvalde, Tex., lived there recently and love its complex history and people. Like most, I’ve been struggling under the weight of grief to understand the violence that left 19 children, two teachers and a young killer dead last week. But I’m not surprised.

Neil Meyer, a retired lawyer, is a fifth-generation Texan, born in Uvalde, Texas. He now lives in Bethesda. He share's his insights about the recent tragedy.


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



I was born in Uvalde, Tex., lived there recently and love its complex history and people. Like most, I’ve been struggling under the weight of grief to understand the  violence  that left 19 children, two teachers and a young killer dead last week. But I’m not surprised.


First, you would be challenged to find a more heavily armed place in the United States than Uvalde. It’s a town where the love of guns overwhelms any notion of common-sense regulations, and the minority White ruling class places its right-wing Republican ideology above the safety of its most vulnerable citizens — its impoverished and its children, most of whom are Hispanic.




Second, at news of the shooting, I was struck to hear the words “Robb Elementary” because I knew of its centrality to the struggle in Uvalde over the past half-century to   desegregate its schools . Robb sits in the city’s southwest quadrant. So I knew the victims of the shooting would largely be Hispanic. They have been locked into that school for decades.




In Uvalde, simply put, everything north of Highway 90 is primarily White Republican, and everything south is mostly   Hispanic Democrat. The city has   about 15,000   residents; more than 80 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.



Most of Uvalde’s political leadership and the heads of the largest employers are White. At the center of town on the courthouse grounds, you’ll find a monument to Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president — installed when the Ku Klux Klan dominated Uvalde politics. (Some of us   tried to get the monument removed   after the murder of George Floyd, but that’s a story for another day.)




When I heard reports about the shooter, a young Latino, I winced at the reflexive disclaimer that he   wasn’t an “illegal immigrant.”   It wasn’t surprising to learn that he was   bullied for a speech impediment , may have come from a broken family struggling with drug use and had experienced problems in school. Drug use plagues the city, and the courts struggle under the weight of young people’s encounters with the legal system. About 1 in 3 Uvalde children   live in poverty .




The killer allegedly bought his guns at the   Oasis Outback , a popular lunch spot for wealthier Uvaldeans, known for its large buffet, hunting supplies and gun shop. On most days you’ll also see groups of Border Patrol agents and local law enforcement there. It’s a monthly meeting place for groups such as the Uvalde County Republican Women, whose Facebook page   includes posts   decrying “the border invasion.”



The Oasis reflects the establishment’s deep cultural reverence for guns, hunting and the Wild West mythology. I wasn’t surprised that an 18-year-old could walk in and easily buy tactical weapons without anyone being concerned.


I wasn’t surprised to see the   Republican panel of politicians   at a news conference the day after the shooting, almost all White and in top positions of power in the community and the state, taking the lead. In Uvalde, the custodians of order — the   chief of police , the   sheriff , the head of the   school district police   — are Hispanic, but here they were largely silent. Unsurprisingly, they now bear the primary blame for the disastrous response at the school.




Finally, I wasn’t surprised to see victims being flown to San Antonio for treatment. The   Uvalde hospital   was converted in recent years to a critical access facility, limiting its number of beds. The hospital   benefited financially , but many residents seeking health care must now travel to distant locations. The negative impact on a community with high rates of poverty — families who can’t afford this burden — is obvious.



President Biden and the first lady   visited Uvalde   on Sunday to offer comfort to the families of victims at Robb. But Uvalde and other towns like it need more than comfort — we need to know that American leaders will take the overdue steps necessary to keep these communities safe.




Let’s start with banning assault weapons and limiting young people’s access to firearms. The freedom to own weapons that facilitate mass murder is less important than the safety of our children, they’re not needed for hunting, and they don’t need to be sold to 18-year-olds. Most Americans and   many Texans   agree, despite the rhetoric of Republican leaders.




Let’s also recognize that Uvalde has a sufficiently large law enforcement presence, between the police department, the sheriff’s office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, Customs and Border Protection and the FBI. We won’t succeed in creating “hardened targets” by arming teachers and other civilians.



Finally, the social conditions that gave birth to deadly violence and the killer’s mental condition can be addressed through our support of community organizations, health-care systems and schools — by supplying resources and legal avenues to identify and deal with emerging threats such as the one posed by this young man.



The deaths at Robb Elementary were predictable and avoidable. Uvalde, the state of Texas and the United States of America failed the children and teachers who died there. We owe it to their memory and to current and future generations to avoid yet another, similar tragedy.




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Gulliver
Freshman Guide
1  seeder  Gulliver    4 weeks ago

From the article:

First, you would be challenged to find a more heavily armed place in the United States than Uvalde. It’s a town where the love of guns overwhelms any notion of common-sense regulations, and the minority White ruling class places its right-wing Republican ideology above the safety of its most vulnerable citizens — its impoverished and its children, most of whom are Hispanic.

Second, at news of the shooting, I was struck to hear the words “Robb Elementary” because I knew of its centrality to the struggle in Uvalde over the past half-century to desegregate its schools . Robb sits in the city’s southwest quadrant. So I knew the victims of the shooting would largely be Hispanic. They have been locked into that school for decades.

In Uvalde, simply put, everything north of Highway 90 is primarily White Republican, and everything south is mostlyHispanic Democrat. The city has    about 15,000    residents; more than 80 percent identify as Hispanic or Latino.
Most of Uvalde’s political leadership and the heads of the largest employers are White. At the center of town on the courthouse grounds, you’ll find a monument to Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president — installed when the Ku Klux Klan dominated Uvalde politics. (Some of us    tried to get the monument removed    after the murder of George Floyd, but that’s a story for another day.)

Extra Credit-

Can you find the examples of: (1) hegemony, (2) Structural Racism, (3) Cultural Racism, (4) Disparate Impact?

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2  Drinker of the Wry    4 weeks ago
the minority White ruling class

Half of the city council and the Chief of Police, School Chief of Police and Sherriff are Hispanic

places its right-wing Republican ideology

Most of the elected officials are Dems.  

to the struggle in Uvalde over the past half-century to desegregate its schools

Isn't NYC the most segregated school district in the nation?

 
 
 
Gulliver
Freshman Guide
2.1  seeder  Gulliver  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2    4 weeks ago
Isn't NYC the most segregated school district in the nation?

The NYC school system is a mess and some of the ideas to make it better are bad ones.

A recurring bad idea these days is to get rid of standardized tests that grant admission to gifted and talented programs and the specialized schools like Bronx Science which has a bit of a national reputation.

And then of course the school segregation reflects housing segregation in NYC.

Back in my day my parents sent me to Catholic School and then I went off to one of the specialized high schools. The neighborhood public schools in my area can be brutal if you don't fit in with the majority ethnic group.

And then there are charter schools and private schools bleeding off the brighter and more affluent kids from gen pop.

A lot of problems to fix and no obvious answers to me except that every student deserves access to a decent science education and not just ones who pass a special test.

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.1  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Gulliver @2.1    4 weeks ago
And then of course the school segregation reflects housing segregation in NYC.

How come all those dems live in segregated housing?

The neighborhood public schools in my area can be brutal if you don't fit in with the majority ethnic group.

Where is your area, what kind of parents do those kids have?

And then there are charter schools and private schools bleeding off the brighter and more affluent kids from gen pop.

Here in DC, most parents want to send their kids to charter schools.

every student deserves access to a decent science education and not just ones who pass a special test.

My wife teaches in Fairfax Count VA  Last week, a federal judge ruled against the County, Virginia, and the school board for discriminating against Asian students in admissions to the highly selective Thomas Jefferson High School  a public STEM school.

 
 
 
Gulliver
Freshman Guide
2.1.2  seeder  Gulliver  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.1    4 weeks ago
How come all those dems live in segregated housing?

It's not like NYC is segregated by law. But the history of redlining in real-estate in housing is certainly a public private partnership in segregation. People in NYC are really clannish. People tend to establish ethnic enclaves centered around their own churches. Historically, you would have an Italian neighborhood, a Polish neighborhood, an Irish neighborhood. These days the makeup of NYC is different but the same logic applies. One thing that is different is there is a professional class these days. They are sort of their own tribe. Insufferable white people who listen to NPR and know the language of injustice backwards and forwards but when you get down to it they are the gentrifiers more than happy to price people out of their neighborhoods.

Where is your area, what kind of parents do those kids have?

The area I grew up in was mostly Irish Catholic now it is mostly Dominican Catholic. There are a lot of good parents in that community. There are also gangs and drugs to contend with. NYC has a long history of gang trouble. It's something that goes hand in hand with dense housing. If you are a young person walking out in the street in your neighborhood you have to figure out how to deal with the people that won't be ignored.

Here in DC, most parents want to send their kids to charter schools.

I guess charter schools have their place. Maybe there is a magic number percentage wise that yields the greatest benefit. Charter schools can bleed resources from public school systems and the fact that they can reject students worsens the problem that public schools are overwhelmed with special needs and problematic students. Here in NYC charter schools have both been a tool for union busting and for shady investors. The bonds that fund charter schools in NYC have some unusual characteristics (I wold have to Google for a refresher on that) and the public school system has been forced to house charter schools for free in public school buildings.

Last week, a federal judge ruled against the County, Virginia, and the school board for discriminating against Asian students in admissions to the highly selective Thomas Jefferson High School  a public STEM school.

Nobody had a problem with Bronx Science when it was mostly (but not exclusively) Jewish. Now that it is very Asian people are suddenly complaining.

I went to Bronx Science when it was mostly Jewish and my gut tells me that there should be more than one way to get into the school. Some kids are good test takers and some distinguish themselves among their peers. It's not healthy to let a school become a mutual admiration society for one particular ethnic group. We need our doctors, scientists, and engineers to know to how to work in and lead diverse teams. 

 

 
 
 
Drinker of the Wry
Freshman Principal
2.1.3  Drinker of the Wry  replied to  Gulliver @2.1.2    4 weeks ago
It's not like NYC is segregated by law.

Do you think that Uvalde Is segregated by law?

People in NYC are really clannish.

Do you call it clannish in NYC and racist in Uvalde?

The area I grew up in was mostly Irish Catholic now it is mostly Dominican Catholic. There are a lot of good parents in that community.

Can you be a good parent and still believe in a sky fairy?

Charter schools can bleed resources from public school systems

Don’t public charter schools receive fewer dollars per pupil than district schools? 

 
 
 
Gulliver
Freshman Guide
2.1.4  seeder  Gulliver  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2.1.3    4 weeks ago
Do you think that Uvalde Is segregated by law?

I think both NYC and towns like Uvalde have equity and segregation issues in their public school systems to solve. And I think you will find a history of redlining, which is basically institutionally implemented housing segregation, in Uvalde and NYC.

Do you call it clannish in NYC and racist in Uvalde?

You were asking about NYC which has millions of people which is big and complicated and has lots of neighborhoods. Uvalde only has around 16,000 people. It should take an afternoon to figure out how to integrate the schools in Uvalde. NYC is going to take a minute.

Can you be a good parent and still believe in a sky fairy?

I'm an atheist (now) but the Catholic school and Catholic church in the neighborhood I grew up in are lynchpins of the community. I was active in choir and altar boys when I went to the Catholic school and I never witnessed any of the abuse that has plagued other parishes. Never read about any either. 

Don’t public charter schools receive fewer dollars per pupil than district schools? 

When I google this topic I find the answer gets complicated by school co-location, special needs students and state funding.

I'm not a fan of charter schools and generally not a fan of vouchers for private schools and homeschooling. At least I think they should be kept to a size that doesn't undermine the entire system. (NYC has a pretty big problem with Yeshivas that don't teach the basic reading, writing and arithmetic.They are designed to lock people into their communities without giving them the tools to make their own lives for themselves.)

The NYC school system is large. I think it also creates opportunities for administrators with particular visions to start actual public schools which aren't charter schools per se. (My wife is also a teacher.)

I'm less of an ideologue about this stuff than I am an incrementalist and someone who worries about unintended consequences.

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
2.2  Ronin2  replied to  Drinker of the Wry @2    4 weeks ago

Don't hit them with facts. They hate facts. They would rather play to political hate filled rage than deal in facts.

They have a leftist lawyer that used to live there; and he knows everything; but can't back up a damn thing!

 
 
 
Ronin2
Professor Quiet
3  Ronin2    4 weeks ago
Let’s start with banning assault weapons and limiting young people’s access to firearms.

Like most people wanting to ban assault weapons; this fool couldn't identify one if he tried. Or tell why one type of gun is supposedly so much deadlier than another.

As to limiting young people's access to guns; are they going to set an age limit. I am sure the military would be thrilled with that. They would have to teach all new recruits firearm safety; and how to shoot. Won't leave much time for CRT, gender acceptance, and all of the other leftist bull. I suppose we could make a law that all gang members are automatically conscripted to the military. That would solve some of the problem; because we all know criminals don't care about the law.

The freedom to own weapons that facilitate mass murder is less important than the safety of our children, they’re not needed for hunting, and they don’t need to be sold to 18-year-olds. Most Americans and many Texans agree, despite the rhetoric of Republican leaders.

Again, willing to bet this clown doesn't know shit about guns; and would back a law banning weapons based on looks and reputation; rather than destructive power. As for his tripe; most Americans agree with gun law reform- background checks, mental health checks, gun safety training, etc. Not banning guns under some loose damn definition that will be impossible to enforce; despite the Democrat's and leftist BS tropes. Also, most Americans want the gun laws on the books enforced; which is not happening now!

Let’s also recognize that Uvalde has a sufficiently large law enforcement presence, between the police department, the sheriff’s office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Rangers, Customs and Border Protection and the FBI. We won’t succeed in creating “hardened targets” by arming teachers and other civilians.

Seems they don't; or they weren't trained well enough- because they waited far too long to track down and take down an active shooter. Also; seems the school administrators weren't versed in safety precautions; because the shooter knew exactly where to enter the school- and it wasn't by the main entrance. Why was that door left unlocked? Why with reports of a shooter in the area did the school wait so long to go into lock down? There are other things schools can do other than arm teachers. Security guards come to mind. When I went to school there were two at every school. Getting on or off school grounds you had to pass them. Automatic door locks. So when a school goes into lock down all it takes is the push of a button. No staff running around with keys to lock every damn door; and confirm it- with and active shooter around. Camera's on every entrance and main hallway; so they know exactly where a potential shooter is. Of Democrats will scream that I want to turn schools into prisons! We take these precautions as state and federal courthouses. We take these precautions at banks; jewelry stores; and other areas where precious goods are stored. Aren't children worth more than all of these?

Finally, the social conditions that gave birth to deadly violence and the killer’s mental condition can be addressed through our support of community organizations, health-care systems and schools — by supplying resources and legal avenues to identify and deal with emerging threats such as the one posed by this young man.

"This young man" wasn't going to school. He grew apart from friends. He was isolated. The ones he needed to identify the problem and get him help (his parents) weren't around; by their choice. He was living with his grand parents; but they didn't report the problem either. The few friends he had were online; and even if they suspected something was wrong- didn't say anything. Besides doing the normal Democrat thing and throw money at the problem- how are you going to fix it so that those that are slipping throw the cracks are found and helped. Better still how are you going to deal with the massive lawsuit when the system inevitably tags a shy, loner, who doesn't have many friends, and doesn't socialize much? Anyone in these "programs" will instantly get a stigma attached to them; which will follow them everywhere. Think kids, and parents, won't find out one way or another who are in these programs? Think their won't be an uproar over the safety of their kids by the schools keeping kids attending these programs?

The deaths at Robb Elementary were predictable and avoidable. Uvalde, the state of Texas and the United States of America failed the children and teachers who died there. We owe it to their memory and to current and future generations to avoid yet another, similar tragedy.

We owe it to them; but not letting idiots like this have anything to do with the reforms needed to protect children. Democrats turned schools into soft target "No gun zones"; and we have been paying the price ever since.

 
 
 
Jeremy Retired in NC
PhD Guide
4  Jeremy Retired in NC    4 weeks ago
The Oasis reflects the establishment’s deep cultural reverence for guns, hunting and the Wild West mythology. I wasn’t surprised that an 18-year-old could walk in and easily buy tactical weapons without anyone being concerned.

An AR-15 isn't a tactical weapon by any stretch.  There isn't s a military in the world using it.  But I can LEGALLY buy actual military weapons and nobody would bat an eye.

Let’s start with banning assault weapons and limiting young people’s access to firearms. The freedom to own weapons that facilitate mass murder is less important than the safety of our children, they’re not needed for hunting, and they don’t need to be sold to 18-year-olds. Most Americans and      many Texans      agree, despite the rhetoric of Republican leaders.

I challenge ANYBODY to define an "assault weapon".  Could this misidentification be due to the AR-15 looking like an M4?  

Finally, the social conditions that gave birth to deadly violence and the killer’s mental condition can be addressed through our support of community organizations, health-care systems and schools — by supplying resources and legal avenues to identify and deal with emerging threats such as the one posed by this young man.

This is the real problem and nobody is really willing to do much about it.  They'll talk about it but I honestly don't see much coming of it.

Finally, the social conditions that gave birth to deadly violence and the killer’s mental condition can be addressed through our support of community organizations, health-care systems and schools — by supplying resources and legal avenues to identify and deal with emerging threats such as the one posed by this young man.

It is not just the social conditions, family conditions cannot be ignored.  There were failures in all aspects of this kids life.  Honestly I don't see anywhere he could have turned for help.  As a whole we all need to pull our heads from our asses and pay attention to what's going on around us.  We need to communicate better.  Look out for each other.  Until this happens, I don't see any solution.

 
 
 
Transyferous Rex
Freshman Quiet
4.1  Transyferous Rex  replied to  Jeremy Retired in NC @4    4 weeks ago
Honestly I don't see anywhere he could have turned for help. 

I've been thinking on this for a while now. I've always had a problem with the "it takes a village" mentality. No, no it doesn't. It takes the people that are in a child's life to raise that child. The "village" mentality is contributing to some of the problems we are seeing, because the village cannot replace the role of a mother and father. Teachers can't replace a mother and father. Social workers or school counselors can't replace a mother and father. Wonder why our youth is getting more and more messed up? At every turn, a good chunk of our society is attempting to diminish the importance of parental influence/support/input, etc. 

The bullying aspect of this story is troubling as well. In my day, punching a bully in the mouth, in the school yard, was an acceptable response. Now? Not a chance. The 'mark' gets bullied. The 'mark' reports the bullying to an adult at the school. The school brings everyone together to try to "understand" why the bullying is occurring, and even investigates what the 'mark' is doing to the bully to instigate the bullying. The school then sends everyone off, only to keep rinsing and repeating the process. 

Is there really any wonder why the victims of bullying, more and more, believe they have nowhere to turn? Clearly, they have nowhere. Retaliating against a bully is treated as worse than what the bully is doing, and the bullshit methods of handling a bully don't discourage continued bullying. What is the subject of bullying supposed to do? Nothing. That's the real answer. Sit there and take it, and let the "village" handle it.

 
 

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