It’s too late to save the Obama presidency. The shadow of ignominious failure is falling on the first African-American president. From the Middle East to Asia to the American economy, the list grows.
Only Wall Street, the energy business and tech oligarchs seem to have flourished under Barack Obama.
Among those who did not flourish were the members of minority communities, the ones who voted in near unanimity for Obama. Those who had the greatest hope were the most disappointed. And now, they are angry.
America’s inner cities have floundered during the Obama years. By now, one cannot reasonably blame it on the Bush administration, so Obama and his satraps have found a new target: white police officers.
The problem is not that anyone commits a crime. The problem is that they get arrested.
You would almost think that the administration is trying to foment a race war. It’s almost as though they went out looking for a convenient scapegoat to blame for the Obama failure.
If Obama failed, the fault must lie with white America. Now, white America will have to pay… in the person of its police officers. If the net effect of this last effort at community organizing is a spike in crime in minority communities, well… you can’t have it all.
This morning Heather MacDonald reports on the crime wave that the Obama administration has unleashed on the people who voted for it:
In Baltimore, the most pressing question every morning is how many people were shot the previous night. Gun violence is up more than 60% compared with this time last year, according to Baltimore police, with 32 shootings over Memorial Day weekend. May has been the most violent month the city has seen in 15 years.
In Milwaukee, homicides were up 180% by May 17 over the same period the previous year. Through April, shootings in St. Louis were up 39%, robberies 43%, and homicides 25%. “Crime is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said St. Louis Alderman Joe Vacarro at a May 7 City Hall hearing.
Murders in Atlanta were up 32% as of mid-May. Shootings in Chicago had increased 24% and homicides 17%. Shootings and other violent felonies in Los Angeles had spiked by 25%; in New York, murder was up nearly 13%, and gun violence 7%.
Those citywide statistics from law-enforcement officials mask even more startling neighborhood-level increases. Shooting incidents are up 500% in an East Harlem precinct compared with last year; in a South Central Los Angeles police division, shooting victims are up 100%.
MacDonald identifies the cause:
The most plausible explanation of the current surge in lawlessness is the intense agitation against American police departments over the past nine months.
This incessant drumbeat against the police has resulted in what St. Louis police chief Sam Dotson last November called the “Ferguson effect.” Cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity and the “criminal element is feeling empowered,” Mr. Dotson reported. Arrests in St. Louis city and county by that point had dropped a third since the shooting of Michael Brown in August. Not surprisingly, homicides in the city surged 47% by early November and robberies in the county were up 82%.
Similar “Ferguson effects” are happening across the country as officers scale back on proactive policing under the onslaught of anti-cop rhetoric. Arrests in Baltimore were down 56% in May compared with 2014.
And, of course, no one talks about the victims of black-on-black violence. Except MacDonald:
If these decriminalization and deincarceration policies backfire, the people most harmed will be their supposed beneficiaries: blacks, since they are disproportionately victimized by crime. The black death-by-homicide rate is six times higher than that of whites and Hispanics combined. The killers of those black homicide victims are overwhelmingly other black civilians, not the police. The police could end all use of lethal force tomorrow and it would have at most a negligible impact on the black death rate. In any case, the strongest predictor of whether a police officer uses force is whether a suspect resists arrest, not the suspect’s race.