Monday, January 19, 2009

WWRD ! ?: What Would Ray Do !?

Buz was very interested to read in Laura Vozella's column in the Sun recently that during the height of the winter violence several weeks ago, Ray Lewis had gone to police headquarters to offer whatever help he could to stem the attraction of gangs and gang violence among young people  in Baltimore, and in general to stem and stop some of the violence.

I think that anyone can, in their life, contribute somehow to something of a redemption. Apparently, Ray believes his time is now.

It sound as though the article indicated the police had not decided on what the best way to use Ray's fine offer of assistance. We've come up with a few ideas, though they are more in the arena of prevention, rather that policing. But here are some things Ray could do:
  1. Visit the House of Ruth, and hear first hand about the issue of violence toward women from battered ones themselves. Ray could take a stand against partner-on-partner violence, and would have a lot of credibility since he has been engaged in a very violent sport. He could speak to the batterers, and tell them to get themselves together and respect other human beings, that is the women they supposedly love.
  2. Ray could offer to fund, through a foundation, additional housing for battered women attempting to escape from circumstances of male privilege, anger, and frustration taken out on women--in the name of power and control. House of Ruth has to turn away lots of women and children each year who are trying to get away from the clutches of their "loved" ones.
  3. He could visit the Juvenile Justice Center on Gay Street and speak to the young people there ; find out why they're there; and suggest to them a better way. Offer them a free ticket to a Ravens game if they don't get arrested for three years, and 4 tickets for graduating from high school.
  4. Ray could hook up with Colonel Richard Hite of the police department's community relations section, and walk along (he could bring the rest of the team) with Hite's effort's to get people "out of the game". He could offer to hire as many as could qualify for his restaurant. He might have enough employees to open a second or third restaurant.
  5. He could partner with Dan Rodricks and ask each PSL holder who owns a business to hire one ex-offender--just one.
  6. We think he could meet with Dr. Ben Carson and visit neighborhood high schools (not Poly or City), and talk about the limits of athletics and the hope which lies in academics and science, and how gang stuff is ultimately stupid stuff.
  7. Ray would make a great Big Brother to some kid who's headed for a life of crime (Ray is pretty big, you know). And it doesn't take a genius to figure out which kids are headed for a wild ride of criminal behavior.
  8. Ray could take his bodyguards and all his teammates  and visit Viva House in southwest Baltimore, help serve a meal, and get a good look of the other Baltimore which is almost in sight of the Ravens Stadium. Hear some stories. Then, before they leave, Ray and his guys (except the poor underpaid bodyguards) could each leave an envelope with 40 $100 bills for Willa Bickham and Brendan Walsh to put in their checking accounts--and, no, they don't have to pay any of the Ravens' credit card bills.
  9. Ray could roll up to that guy on the corner of President and Lombard street who's missing 3 limbs (recently pictured in the city paper), put him in his car, rent him an apartment, hire a social worker, and try to keep him from begging on our city's streets.
  10. Ray could hook up with former police commissioner Frazier, and find out what's up with the Police Athletic League, and why it essentially went out of business as a 501c3, and find out how it made an effort to establish a connection between cops and kids, and keep kids safe in some real bad neighborhoods.
  11. Ray could go up to Pimlico and talk to the guys who are smashing the poor lady's windows out as reported by Peter Hermann--because they thought she was "snitching" on their nefarious activities. Ray and his guys could tell these thugs to, in language of the locker room, "leave the lady alone."
  12. He could film a "start snitching" video, featuring NFL touchdown dances before they were banned. In conjunction with that, he could start a Start Snitching hot line, where folks could call in and snitch on murderers and rapists, and guys carrying guns on the street robbing law-abiding people. In the video, Ray would urge gang members to be cool and help people out instead of knocking people out--or Ray might knock them out. Ray could even staff the line himself sometimes; just think: you could call the line with information about crime and spend some time chatting with Ray: sublime! {But ya gotta have info, though!}
  13. Ray could help expand the Safe Street initiative by talking to guys in certain neighborhoods who have beefs to cool it, to keep from getting penalized. Just like he did on the field. Keep your emotions in check.
  14. Ray could fund a full college or technical school scholarship for one student every year who graduated from a city neighborhood high school, starting with Reginald Lewis High School this year, then add a school every year--but not one of the city's elite high schools. Dr. Alonso could help him thru this process.
  15. Ray could consult with Hathaway Ferebee of the Safe & Sound Campaign, and learn what that group is doing to keep kids from joining gangs, and what he can do to lend a hand. It would not take a lot of his money, relatively, and his presence at some events would lend enormous credibility.
  16. He could escort a rape victim to court, so that she would not be intimidated by the suspect's friends and relatives.
Your consultant hopes this enough to get him started, but I'm sure many readers will have additional ideas.