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The problem, newly discovered (!) is that black boys kill each other in alarming numbers. The answer, from a Northeastern U. academic, is clear:

Seizing on President-elect Barack Obama‘s incoming administration as an opportunity for more funding, Fox added: “There is an urgency for reinvestment in children and families. In essence, we need a bailout for kids at risk.”

And if you were wondering whom to blame, that’s easy:

The study partly blamed Bush administration grant cuts to local police and juvenile crime prevention programs for the surge in crimes by young black men and teens. Incoming Vice President Joe Biden has promised funding to put 50,000 new police officers on the street to help bring violent crime rates back to a decade-long annual decline that began in the mid-1990s, after then-President Bill Clinton provided local officials with money to hire 100,000 new cops.

Thank you, AP.  Wall St. Jnl, on the other hand, has an ameliorating quote:

James Alan Fox, co-author of the study, attributed the numbers to a variety of issues, including cuts in funding for local law-enforcement programs that were credited with lowering the nation’s record murder rates in the 1990s. “It’s hard to pin down cause and effect,” Mr. Fox said.

He adds, judiciously:

Mr. Fox said the cuts in law-enforcement programs and activities geared toward youth disproportionately affect African-Americans because they are more likely than their white counterparts to come from communities where there is inadequate adult supervision, high rates of single-parent homes, inferior schools and widespread gang activity.

“Cuts in support for youth have a much greater impact on black families who don’t have alternatives,” Mr. Fox said.

Mr. Fox, we hardly knew ye from the AP account, which operates somewhat sloppily out of its own preferred “narrative,” as rhetoricians would have it.  It’s why one can do better at Wall St. Jnl, every day in almost every way.