When, in everyday parlance, we speak of the Wild West, we are describing a chaotic, anarchic situation where people shoot each other at random, willy-nilly.
It seems fair to say that, in the real Wild West the gunfights were between law enforcement and outlaws. Or sometimes between outlaws and outlaws. If you did not belong to one of those groups you were generally exempted from the action.
It was like old Mafia neighborhoods. If you were not a “soldier” in one of the gangs, you did not have problems. The neighborhoods were known to be extremely safe for women and children.
Comparing the killing fields of in today’s Chicago to the Wild West is not entirely fair. It defames the good name of the Wild West.
Aside from that caveat, Heather MacDonald’s analysis of what is happening in Chicago today is accurate and frightening.
She shows what happens when cynical politicians and idealistic social justice warriors hijack law enforcement to impose a narrative on reality. In this case, the narrative is designed to shift the blame for inner city crime from the individuals committing the crime to the police. More specifically, the narrative exculpates minority group criminals and holds white police officers responsible for the crime wave that has infected those communities.
The larger narrative attempts to explain away the fact that the Obama presidency has been a miserable failure, especially when it comes to the lives of the inner city blacks who supported him so fervently. As with all things Obama, the president’s failures are explained away by racism.
As for the notion of exculpating criminals and terrorists, the response to the terrorist attack on the Pulse nightclub has shown us the pathetic spectacle of leftists, liberals and progressive shifting the blame from Islam, from Muslims and from the Obama administration… onto guns and on Christians. In their eyes it all comes down to white privilege.
MacDonald summarizes the state of Chicago:
Someone was shot in Chicago every 150 minutes during the first five months of 2016. Someone was murdered every 14 hours, and the city saw nearly 1,400 nonfatal shootings and 240 fatalities from gunfire. Over Memorial Day weekend, 69 people were shot, nearly one an hour, topping the previous year’s tally of 53 shootings. The violence is spilling from the Chicago’s gang-infested South and West Sides into the business district downtown. Lake Shore Drive has seen drive-by shootings and robberies.
How did this come about? MacDonald explains:
The growing mayhem is the result of Chicago police officers’ withdrawing from proactive enforcement, making the city a dramatic example of what I have called the Ferguson effect. Since the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in August 2014, the conceit that American policing is lethally racist has dominated media and political discourse, from the White House on down. Cops in minority neighborhoods in Chicago and other cities have responded by backing away from pedestrian stops and public-order policing; criminals are flourishing in the vacuum.
The new national attitude toward minority crime, actively fostered by the Obama administration and the Obamaphile mayor of Chicago, has set the community against the police. With the police now being the enemy, local residents refuse to cooperate with them.
In MacDonald’s words:
Police officers who try to intervene in this disorder often face virulent pushback. “People are a hundred times more likely to resist arrest,” a police officer who has worked a decade and a half on the South Side told me. “People want to fight you; they swear at you. ‘F--- the police, we don’t have to listen,’ they say. I haven’t seen this kind of hatred towards the police in my career.”
… the post-Ferguson Black Lives Matter narrative about endemically racist cops has made the street dynamic much worse. A detective told me: “From patrol to investigation, it’s almost an undoable job now. If I get out of my car, the guys get hostile right away.” Bystanders sometimes aggressively interfere, requiring more officers to control the scene.
Enter the ACLU. You might be wondering what an organization that pretends to be defending civil liberties has to do with making law enforcement policy. As it happens, the ACLU declared that Chicago policing was racist because more blacks were being stopped than whites. The question of which group was more likely to commit crimes did not seem to cross the mind of the defenders of civil liberties.
As MacDonald describes it:
In March 2015, the ACLU of Illinois accused the Chicago PD of engaging in racially biased stops, locally called “investigatory stops,” because its stop rate did not match population ratios. Blacks were 72% of all stop subjects during a four-month period in 2014, said the ACLU, compared to 9% for whites. By the ACLU’s reasoning, with blacks and whites each making up roughly 32% of the city’s populace, the disparity in stops proves racial profiling.
This by now familiar and ludicrously inadequate benchmarking methodology ignores the incidence of crime. In 2014 blacks in Chicago made up 79% of all known nonfatal shooting suspects, 85% of all known robbery suspects, and 77% of all known murder suspects, according to police-department data. Whites were 1% of known nonfatal shooting suspects in 2014, 2.5% of known robbery suspects, and 5% of known murder suspects, the latter number composed disproportionately of domestic homicides. Whites are nearly absent among violent street criminals—the group that proactive policing aims to deter.
The powers that be in the police department were so upset and so cowed by these accusations that they gave the ACLU the power to exercise oversight of police procedures:
Despite the groundlessness of these racial-bias charges, then-Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and the city’s corporation counsel signed an agreement in August 2015 giving the ACLU oversight of stop activity. The agreement also created an independent monitor. “Why McCarthy agreed to put the ACLU in charge is beyond us,” a homicide detective told me.
On Jan. 1 the department rolled out a new form for documenting investigatory stops to meet ACLU demands. The new form, called a contact card, was two pages long, with 70 fields of information to be filled out. This template dwarfs even arrest reports and takes at least 30 minutes to complete. Every card goes to the ACLU for review.
The arrangement had the intended deterrent effect: Police stops dropped nearly 90% in the first quarter of 2016. Criminals have become emboldened by the police disengagement. “Gangbangers now realize that no one will stop them,” says a former high-ranking official with the department. People who wouldn’t have carried a gun before are now armed, a South Side officer told me. Cops say the solution is straightforward: “If tomorrow we still had to fill out the new forms, but they no longer went to the ACLU, stops would increase,” a detective said.
This affirms that the ACLU program has been instrumental in causing the rise of crime in Chicago. Obviously, the ACLU will never allow itself to be held accountable for the outcomes of policies it champions. It will never accept even token responsibility for the killing fields of Chicago. Being good idealists and idolaters, ACLU activists do not believe in reality and do not believe that real events can ever discredit their ideas.