Marion "Suge" Knight found himself the target of Compton officials' efforts to rid their city of criminals. City leaders have gone as far as to map out a "Suge Free" zone of several blocks, where, if Mr. Knight were to appear, he could be arrested for a misdemeanor.
"I am an upstanding citizen, dammit."
To be fair to Suge, he's not the only person Compton's political elite are going after. Members of the Mob Piru are the ones meant to be rooted out of the community, with whom Knight is allegedly associated.
Putting aside the obvious civil liberty issues that will arise, this is a bad look for the CPT. Why, you might ask? Well, think about it. Chances are you didn't know that the city's largest employer was the manufacturing sector and it's undergoing revitalization with the help of a nifty senior center.
Being an urban planner, I understand the importance of "branding place." And when I think Compton, I don't think senior centers. I think this...
"Welcome to Compton, bitches."
So instead of banishing Knight and his associates, the city fathers should embrace them and work to build the New Compton on their community's solid contributions to gangsta rap. I envision it as sort of a thuggish Colonial Williamsburg. I know kids all throughout the world would want to come and see the streets where "100 Miles N' Runnin'" and "Express Yourself" were shot. How about the basketball courts The Game hooped on before going to Washington State, flunking out, and coming back to sell rocks? I'm sure there are numerous other attractions that could be included on the tour.
So to whoever is running Compton's economic development office, please urge city council to give up this unnecessary persecution of Suge. Seize the opportunity to capitalize on your community's notoriety by harnessing the potential of your gangster image and turning it into a tourist destination with Knight as a main draw. Screw Sunset Blvd. Take us to Central Avenue. I see a financial windfall.
I'm sure one of the Hub City's greatest former residents would agree...
A young "G-Dub" Bush cruising the CPT streets, circa 1949.
Any other thoughts?