Saturday, May 30, 2015

A Long Hot Summer Begins

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.

In particular:

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.


Sam L. said...

"You would almost think that the administration is trying to foment a race war." I'm past the "almost".

Sam L. said...

Leftists hate blacks, even/especially leftist blacks hate blacks, in order to remain in power over the masses.

Ares Olympus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ares Olympus said...

Its easy enough to blame the messenger, but harder to hear a message you don't want to hear. That's true on all sides, here the police forces and black communities.

What I don't like about reports like this is it only focuses on the short term negatives, rather that what's coming out of this messy process.

Unnecessary violence needs to be faced, and police have to police their own, and black communities have to face the inconvenient truths of what they don't want to look at, so let's look at those stories rather than simplistic blame games that tell one side what they want to hear.

Children know how to blame, and some never grow up. They apparently learn to write newspaper commentaries that offer simple solutions - that eventually if we let the police have their way all the inconvenient people will no longer bother us.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Black lives matter as long as there is money to be made and power to be gained. Look at what's going on and you'll see this is as self-evident an inconvenient truth that exists in America. The bobo slogan-sayers and all-consuming social welfare structure are destroying the middle class and, with it, middle class values. If you think this is 1950s nostalgia, think again.

Jesse Jackson is already talking about "investments" and "development" in inner-city America. The Federal government is throwing millions in already for Baltimore. Who do you think will get those lucrative contracts? The Justice Department is on the prowl to deal with "structural" problems in Ferguson. The mean, awful police are racists, particularly when 3 of the 6 indicted officers in Baltimore are black. This is a ridiculous situation. Maybe we need to "bring people together" or offer more "sensitivity training." Do you think the community activists will be attending that sensitivity training... or leading it?

Heather MacDonald is no simpleton. If her commentary offers "simple solutions," pray tell what the complex solution would look like. Lefties are always complaining about simple solutions, as though the horrifyingly complex, bloated and redundant federal welfare leviathan has produced heaven on earth. We have no Great Society after thousands of programs and many trillions of dollars spent with good intentions and devastating results from a silent assault on our core social structure: the intact nuclear family.

There is a complete social breakdown in inner-city America. There are precious few fathers, few jobs, an all-cash economy, etc. despite abundant social programs. If that's what you mean by complexity, I will counter that the problem is vast, but this is not unsolvable. Most of what we've done in the development arena is transfer payments and subsidies going directly to social program consumers -- the money is spent, and then it's gone -- meaning vast sums that don't go to capital expenditures, job-creating STEM skills education or infrastructure investments. Our social welfare policies have destroyed families by incentivizing social disintegration through subsidies for single parenthood. We have administrations and unions running school systems that educate no one because we have abandoned standards for achievement and matriculation. We have no true, sustainable economic development going on in urban America because there are few economic reasons to open and operate businesses there. Land acquisition, permitting and use is too expensive. Labor is locally unskilled, and good labor is mobile. Capital is best deployed by relocating to greenfield areas where taxes and crime are lower, there's a populace that is qualified and able to work, and city services are sound. And outside the inner city there probably isn't a city council or civil service steeped in the lunacy of postmodern identity politics founded on cultural isolationism, and churches offering liberation theology that liberates no one. All of this serves to create and perpetuate slums, but the main cause is the disintegration of the family. Yes, I believe it is that simple, and we subsidizing antisocial behavior is a choice. The family is the core socializing unit in any society... not government, not schools, not churches. Government, schools and churches should support the family unit, not try to replace it.

Cont'd below...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Cont'd from above...

I don't hear sane voices saying "if we let the police have their way all the inconvenient people will no longer bother is." I don't hear anyone saying police officers are God's Angels. But when we have a social breakdown of the magnitude we are seeing in our major cities, we amplify the risk to our police officers. Urban policing is a rough-and-tumble, life-or-death profession. And when we put our police officers in an impossible position, and forbid them to stop rioting, and indict them in the face of speculation, why should we be surprise when they answer with a "slowdown" in arrests? Why should they put their jobs on the line? Who's going to face the "unnecessary violence"?

If it's such a great idea for police to wear body cams for the sake of transparency, why don't we require our politicians to wear body cams? Why doesn't "the mostly transparent administration in history" [Obama's words] wear body cams?

This is not a "messy process"!!! There is no process! There is reactive pandering. The mayor of Baltimore has absolutely no clue what she is doing. These "protesters" are not protesting anything. They're thugs.

Meanwhile, black people continue to be shot and killed by black people. And there is a vocal crowd that wants to pin it all on the police, lest they do the hard work of looking in the mirror. I don't expect much of journalists, because "if it bleeds, it leads." But I do expect elected officials to realize what's at stake and put an end to the violence quickly, and then we can have a dialogue about rebuilding and next steps in "the community." With what we have right now, who wants to live in such a community?