No real villains

One memory that has leaped out at me was the involvement of Jack Murphy and I in a pilot program after the Newark riots. The relationship between the adolescents and the police was at an all time low, and both groups were very distrustful of each other. Because our parish had a relationship with the parish in Newark we were able to gather a group of volunteer teen agers and cops for a trial balloon experience. For nine weeks we had the individuals have face to face contact with the other group’s world. The cops saw things in the projects which were foreign to their lives. One cop was deeply moved by the chicken wire placed over a crib to prevent rat bites of a baby. The teen agers saw cops with their children and out of uniform. Together they performed acts of mutual charity and engaged with zest in a series of team sports. It was not magic wand time but at the end they could never see each other in the narrow view that had preceded the riots.
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