The Patriot Post® · Baltimore: A Democrat Model of 'American Exceptionalism'
“The mobs of the great cities add just so much to the support of pure government as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people, which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.” —Thomas Jefferson (1787)
A few years ago, I wrote a column entitled, “If Obama Ruled a Nation, It Would Look Like Detroit,” focusing on the urban decay and corruption in cities that have been under Democrat control for generations, as well as the national implications of that decay.
The most recent FBI crime stats bear out the relationship between Democrat “leadership,” crime and poverty.
For example, the 10 most dangerous cities in America with populations above 200,000 are all managed, top to bottom, by Democrats. They are: Detroit, Oakland, Memphis, St. Louis, Cleveland, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Newark and Kansas City.
Notably, most of these cities are also subject to some of the most stringent gun control laws in the nation. And five of them — Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis, Milwaukee and Newark — are among the most impoverished in America. (Not coincidentally, the other cities on that list are also managed, top to bottom, by Democrats. They are: Buffalo, Cincinnati, Miami, El Paso and Philadelphia.)
In fact, almost all of the top 50 most dangerous and impoverished cities have been under Democrat control for many years.
This week, Baltimore, the most recent site of urban upheaval, ostensibly to protest “police brutality,” is back in the news. In May there were 43 homicides in the city, the deadliest month in more than four decades.
And the rising crime rates — a reversal of almost two decades of decline in violent crimes — are plaguing other urban centers nationwide, including New York, Chicago and Los Angeles.
Heather Mac Donald, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute who authored “Are Cops Racist?”, is on the mark with her analysis on the crime reversal, calling it the “Ferguson Effect.”
She writes in The Wall Street Journal this week, “The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months. Since last summer, the airwaves have been dominated by suggestions that the police are the biggest threat facing young black males today. A handful of highly publicized deaths of unarmed black men, often following a resisted arrest — including Eric Garner in Staten Island, N.Y., in July 2014, Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014 and Freddie Gray in Baltimore last month — have led to riots, violent protests and attacks on the police. Murders of officers jumped 89% in 2014, to 51 from 27.”
Mac Donald continues, “Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder … embraced the conceit that law enforcement in black communities is infected by bias. The news media pump out a seemingly constant stream of stories about alleged police mistreatment of blacks, with the reports often buttressed by cellphone videos that rarely capture the behavior that caused an officer to use force. … Acquittals of police officers for the use of deadly force against black suspects are now automatically presented as a miscarriage of justice. Proposals aimed at producing more cop convictions abound.”
Of course there are some bad cops, just like there are some bad presidents, but Obama casts all cops who are “not of color” as racist bigots.
The net result of the “Ferguson Effect” is that police officers are backing off out of concern that they will fall into the bottomless pit of faux narratives like the “hands up, don’t shoot” charade propagated by Obama, Holder, their Leftmedia and leftist race-bait agitators. As a result, crime is rapidly rising.
In Baltimore, arrests in May were down 56% as a measure of active policing — and the simultaneous rise in all categories of crime is the result. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told Mac Donald, “The criminal element is feeling empowered.”
Indeed, they are.
Obama and his criminal co-conspirator Holder did a masterful job of converting the shooting of Michael Brown into race-bait fodder for their black constituency nationwide. (Given Obama’s abysmal economic record with respect to blacks, it’s no wonder he promotes “Black Privilege” as a diversion.) However, Team Obama did so with dire consequences — mostly for those same black constituents who are far more likely to be targeted by black assailants. As I wrote last year, their race-bait rhetoric would come at a very high price, both in terms of assault and murder of police officers and emboldened criminals.
When Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about the relationship between increasing crime rates and Obama’s relentless denigration of cops, he responded, “Anybody who has listened to the president over the last several months has heard [him] talk about the important work that local police officers do in communities all across the country.”
Yes, Obama always precedes his sweeping accusations against law enforcement officers with a token of praise about their charge.
But Obama has been condemning police departments and accusing police of racism and bigotry since day one. Recall if you will his remarks in 2009 after the arrest of his belligerent friend, Henry Louis Gates: “The Cambridge police acted stupidly. … There is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law-enforcement disproportionately. And that’s just a fact.”
Of course, there is also a long history of black folks committing crime disproportionately — and that’s just a fact.
How about Obama’s politicization of the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case in 2012 — “If I had a son he would look like Trayvon” — ahead of his 2012 re-election campaign, clearly a race-bait tactic to firm up his most loyal constituency. (More than 93% of blacks vote Democrat.)
Last December, Obama declared that bigoted and racist police officers are the result of “a combination of bad training, a combination of departments that really are not trying to root out biases, and in a lot of cases subconscious fear of folks that look different. All of this contributes to a national problem.”
Just ahead of the Baltimore riots, Obama said, “[T]he events in Ferguson and New York exposed a deep rooted frustration in many communities of color, around the need for fair and just law enforcement. … One of the things that frustrated the people at Ferguson in addition to this specific case of Michael Brown was this sense of, ‘You know what, we’ve been putting up with this for years.’”
“Communities of color”?
Kevin Jackson, a conservative commentator who is also black, notes, “Obama keeps using this term ‘communities of color.’ He acts as if black people got dropped in from outer space, and cops don’t know what to do with them. … Cops know how to deal with people who commit crimes. Every time there is talk about ‘communities of color,’ that they are overwhelmingly incarcerated, it’s communities of color that are overwhelmingly committing crimes.”
Amid the Baltimore fires, Obama insisted, “In too many places in this country black boys and black men experience being treated differently by law-enforcement in stops, in arrests, in charges and in incarcerations. The statistics are clear up and down the criminal justice system, there’s no dispute.”
Again, there is “no dispute” that blacks are subject to more stops, arrests, charges and incarcerations because a small percentage of blacks are responsible for a very high percentage of crime across our nation. According to the latest national FBI uniform crime reports, though blacks only represent approximately 13% of the population, almost half of all homicides were of black people, and more than 90% of their assailants were black.
Back to Mac Donald’s analysis. She is right that Obama’s politicization of cases like Ferguson is the catalyst leading to the dramatic increase in crime across the nation, but there are two points that should be noted about her analysis.
First, she fell into a trap that snares even the most objective policy analysts in New York and Washington. She wrote, “Gun violence in particular is spiraling upward in cities across America.”
Guns are not “violent.” Criminals, who use guns and other weapons to injure and kill, are violent.
Second Amendment supporters should not frame their arguments using the same “gun violence” language 2A opponents use. Even Fox News host Megyn Kelly reported last night, “Gun violence is up 64% in Baltimore.” No — criminal violence is up 64% in Baltimore.
The “gun violence” rhetoric comports with the errant Leftist assertion that guns are the problem and the Democrats’ next gun control measure is the solution. Most assuredly, the epidemic of crime in American urban centers is not a “gun problem,” but rather a cultural problem.
And the second point…
Mac Donald does not identify the foundation of that cultural problem — the fact that rising crime is the direct result of generations of socialist Democrat Party policies under the “Great Society” brand label, which have enslaved black people on government poverty plantations across the nation.
The great irony, of course, is that the Democrats’ most loyal constituency is blacks.
That monolithic voting behavior, and its outright betrayal of Martin Luther King’s dream, has long been condemned by a handful of bold black intellectuals like Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams, who were King’s contemporaries.
But there is a new generation of black conservatives who are rising across the nation, including outspoken critics of the welfare state like the aforementioned Kevin Jackson, author of “Race Pimping,” and Jason Riley, author of “Please Stop Helping Us,” which was recently reviewed by Walter Williams.
In my own hometown of Chattanooga, there are significant grassroots campaigns being waged against the Democrat machine by young black men and women — who are energetically spreading the inconvenient truth that Liberty is colorblind. On the shoulders of these brave souls rests the future of all people enslaved by the Democrats’ destructive social policies.
Amid a nationwide backdrop of surging crime and poverty rates, there was another tragic irony to behold. Barack Obama was the featured speaker for a forum on poverty at Georgetown University recently — just before more evidence of his failed economic policies emerged with the report that, in the first quarter of 2015, GDP was actually negative 0.7%, downgraded from an already anemic 0.2%.
The real crime is that Obama has duped a civically impoverished majority of Americans into electing him — twice — and the consequence is that the Baltimore fires are a beacon of Obama’s version of “American Exceptionalism.” There’s an old proverb Obama supporters should heed: “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” And another one: “There’s nothing to be learned from the second kick of a socialist mule.”
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