It was in the early '80's that I came to know Dr. Witt. Like Dr. Witt, I had also worked in law enforcement but was moving on to the business world after obtaining a graduate degree at UWF. Sharing a bit of common background, we bonded.
As I look back from a subsequent career in the business world, I find that most American business people do not grasp the nexus between those worlds; the world of the courts and of the street, and the world of business. Where business people see balance sheets and income statements, the people Witt got to know do not exist, because they are first and foremost not customers. Those who run companies see only the effect, which is no money to buy their products. They do not see the causes; a poor educational system, lack of good jobs, and a decent chance in life. And they do not care because in many cases they have their own schools, housing, transportation, and security systems. In essence, they live a separate existence.
But Dr. Witt did. Dr. Witt sent people into the world to make a difference. To be sure, he was not a '60's bleeding heart liberal; anything but that. The message was personal responsibility but with a hand up in the form of things like good schools, a sense of community and a vibrant economy, not a hand out. Those days are over. You are now on your own, alone in a global crowd and unprepared for tomorrow.
Moreover, if the economic ladder still exists, then some of the rungs are surely missing. Unable to make the climb up that ladder, already fragile relationships crumble under the pressure to succeed. Although not himself a business person, Dr. Witt saw what frequently happens next because he understood the world of the courts, and of the street. Dr. Witt will be sorely missed.