Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Killing Fields of Chicago

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.”

And also,

… 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.


Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

More collateral damage in Obama's America. The problem is always "out there." It's the police. No justice, no peace.

And the band played ragtime.

JPL17 said...

Effective local law enforcement? Just one of the many eggs Obama is breaking to make his delicious nationalized police force "omelette".

Sam L. said...

Ares, where are you? Surely you have some counter-arguments.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

It is amusing that President Obama views all our threats from Islamists as law enforcement problems. Meanwhile, he politicizes the Justice Department and scolds law enforcement working the beat in these urban hot zones. Two different standards for evaluation and tolerance.

Obama seems unwilling to call out social problems tied to minority populations, because he has a prejudice that demographic minorities get screwed in America. Evidence be damned!

Does he not see what's going on? It's open season in our urban centers because criminals are emboldened by Obama's rhetoric.

We have Islamists exploiting our freedoms, using them as the means to terrorize our society and curtail our freedoms.

ISIS operations are underway. The government cannot keep up with the threat, and we have an open border for political expediency while TSA pats down grandma at the airport. It would all be comedic if the threat were not so real. Obama's most important values are being utilized by Islamist militants to make mayhem in our country, and in turn we get scolded by Barack Obama that "That's not who we are."

What on earth is going on??? Who is our enemy? Why are we not talking about liquidating them? Who are we trying to impress? We make friends with Iran, we play war with ISIS. This is is coming to a head. You think about what coordinated attacks on civilian soft targets could look like in an open society such as ours, and it's downright scary. ISIS cannot fight us out in the open militarily, so they are going to engage using asymmetrical domestic guerilla acts of war to terrorize our civilian population. And what we get are DHS claims of equivalence for right-wing domestic groups, popping off at Trump, and "That's not who we are" admonishments to the citizens being terrorized? We are tasked with accepting and relocating 10,000 undocumented, unvetted Syrian refugees, while the Ummah takes none. It's absolute madness!

Wow, what a great, powerful country we are today under this man.

Ares Olympus said...

Just recently I attended a local block captain appreciation dinner at the police station, although after a nice dinner, it was more a chance for the police to show the problems of the community and their tactics in dealing with them. Illegal drugs covered a large majority of the discussion, meth and heron were the biggest problems.

So far our inner suburb city has only had very small problem with gun violence, although across the river in poor and largely black North Minneapolis is a different situation, and yet perhaps still small compared to much larger Chicago metro region.

And BLM had a big protest last fall and winter, occupying the land around a police station in protest of a police killing of a black man. This protest came forward at an April "MinnRoast" fundraiser dinner, like this monologue attempt by Minneapolis Mayor, and then Senator Franken. During the MinnRoast 2016 performances of Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, Rep. Keith Ellison and Sen. Al Franken, demonstrators in the upper balcony blasted air horns and shouted remarks to the politicians on stage. Here are the demonstrations and remarks by Mayor Hodges and Sen. Franken.
Mayor Hodges: And I'm grateful that there's people to remind us that there's much more to do about police community relations, and about racial equity, including the demonstrators in this theatre because there is more to be done.

I am proud of us as a city and a region that we're sticking with this difficult conversation, engaging with each other, challenging each other, challenging me, listening to each other, carefully and respectfully. It is hard and it is painful and it is necessary. So thank you for being a part of it.

Her words were understatements about the challenges. How do you listen to angry people who are only interested in seeing one side of a problem?

How do police officers deal with their own abuses of authority when they daily put their lives on the line to keep the peace? And when ordinary otherwise law-abiding citizens are verbally abusive towards you, it makes sense such rage will turn off police officers.

Like I remember when I used to bike home from work after midnight, often police cars would roar down a 30mph street at 80mph when they'd get a call, without lights or sirens and its actually scary to hear that roaring engine approaching on a small bicycle. Once I dared to talk to an officer when after his 80mph passing, stopped a mile ahead of me, and I casually asked him "Is it lawful for police to break the speed limit without lights or siren?" And his answer was defensive "I'll make sure to drive the speed limit when I get a call for your house." He didn't answer my question, so that satisfied me he knew he was in the wrong.

So if police officers think they're above the law, if they think it doesn't matter, then they're part of the problem, and when they shoot someone dead, their judgment is less likely to be trusted.

My own general answer when someone challenges "abuse of authority" is to see someone who feels powerless, and ask myself what responsibility they're ready to carry that they don't see. And once your failed judgment is on the line, things go full circle and you can see authority figures are not there to control people, but to protect people.

I'm not sure how to help the BLM activists see "Pigs in a blanket, fry them up with bacon." isn't a constructive way to improve justice, but whatever that is I'm sure it must involve encouraging blacks to participate in authority for community safety. And then perhaps then also they'll stop neglecting black-on-black violence as being a white oppression problem.

AesopFan said...

Ares Olympus said...I'm not sure how to help the BLM activists see "Pigs in a blanket, fry them up with bacon." isn't a constructive way to improve justice, but whatever that is I'm sure it must involve encouraging blacks to participate in authority for community safety. And then perhaps then also they'll stop neglecting black-on-black violence as being a white oppression problem.
June 16, 2016 at 4:32 PM

That's actually not a bad idea.
Remove all of the city PDs, and have the state authorize the local community to elect their own vigilante forces (that's how the PDs started, but now they have uniforms, unions, and bureacrats). It may or may not reduce crime, but it would keep the rest of the world out of their line of fire (so to speak).

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

That sounds like a great idea. It would be "Lord of the Flies" with young black men running around. That would build the kind of tolerant, unbiased, due process society Ares desires. No more "Fuck the police!" in that world. They'd have #%$&ed themselves.

Funny thing is that, without the Glowing Box, cameras, media, activists, community organizers, social justice clergy and politicians around, I have full confidence that these neighborhoods would get it together. If they didn't, they'd descend into the strong man ruling the roost -- with all the arbitrary power at his disposal -- which is the same condition they're dealing with now. Net zero.

Black Lives Matter is a phony cause with silly activists, ludicrous apologists and preposterous ends. It is a political stunt, just like Occupy Wall Street. It's just more agitprop. If the cameras didn't pay attention, there'd be nothing. But the Lefty media had to feed their favorite narrative... the one that reflects their ideology and gives all their friends high-paying nonprofit jobs.

Black-on-black violence isn't an "oppression problem." Criminals do what they do because they can... pure and simple. They look for the path of least resistance. The reality is that crime does pay, or that those engaged in crime are confident in earning sizable returns. Anyone who believes crime is caused by poverty is a fool. Anyone who claims that crime is committed by unintelligent people is an ass. And anyone who doesn't think that the vast, vast majority of people committing crime don't get away with it is an idiot. Perhaps Ares Olympus is all three.

Despite what the New York Times tells us, these are all true statements. If we believe that racism and poverty are structural, we must also be willing to accept that academia's sociological and _____ studies programs are structurally designed to deliver those data and analysis that feeds the nonprofit,advocacy and legal machine. No one is responsible. All the problems are "out there." Obama communicates this message every day in everything he does.

It is much easier to be a victim than be responsible. Unfortunately for the urban underclass, their leaders are leaving them in the lurch, as Heather Mac Donald's research amply points out. The beat cops are on a de facto strike because they can't win. Why go to jail for doing your job because the cell phone video footage doesn't look nice on television? It's just not worth it.

We're told it's the police's job to protect black people, but all cops are called racist pigs and hung out to dry by black leaders, media figures and the political class. Anyone hazard to guess how that turns out in real life?

Ares Olympus said...

AesopFan and IAC, myself I wasn't proposing anarchy but cooperation, identifying which functions currently done poorly by police officers can be better done in another way.

Of course anyone who attempts to express themselves as an adult authority figure in a community needs some training and some common sense. Everyone has "issues with authority" and if you don't understand your own issues, you will become the person you hate to someone else when you try to assert your will over others.

So obviously criminal gang activity, or unsupervised teens in general looking to see what they can do in general are a huge problem in many urban areas, and part of the solution can be for neighborhood assigned police officers to get to know the local youth face-to-face, but police are too important to become baby sitters. Equally, its bad style for people to hid in their houses tattling at 911 for every little noise the neighborhood kids make, so if there are kids that need some level of "baby sitting" in the sense of attention then communities need to identify adults who are ready and willing to step up to greater roles.

We can see George Zimmerman as "neighborhood watch leader", wannabe crimestopper with gun in hand as a WRONG way to protect a neighborhood. However much you want to blame Trayvon Martin for being a thug, its fair to say if someone treats you like a criminal just for walking down the street, stupid youth will sometimes decide to act out, and cowards with guns are going to make things worse, as GZ demonstrated.

I'm not even convinced the police are "properly trained" on how to confront people, at least my experience with police when I was younger is they lie. They make up laws that don't exist. They make up reasons for harassing you which are not their real reasons. So I respect people who tell the truth, and if someone thinks I look suspicious, then say "You look suspicious to me" is a good start, and then "I'd like to know what you're doing out here at 3am." or whatever.

One friend of mine who has no kids lives in North Minneapolis and he helps out at a community center that gets organized activities going for youth, sports and volunteerism like trash pick up. They've also worked with a mentoring program, connecting older men with time on their hands and individual teens boys, but it was pretty much a drop in the ocean of course. It's easy to give up when the needs far exceed resources, and I attended a couple outings checking it out, but wasn't brave enough to put myself forward as a mentor.

It is a little too easy to tell BLM that every one of their members ought to mentor one boy or young man, rather than complaining about police brutality, but I think they have to go together, and it has to be voluntary service.

It's also easy to say "It's not our problem" because all of this is the responsibility of fathers, but that's not actually true. Even if fathers are there, fathers and sons won't always mesh in a way that sons need, and so community matters.

Fathers day is coming up, and everyone is happy most fathers work so hard to provide a home for their kids. Trying to encourage fathers to "do more" than they already do is similar to trying to encourage BLM to "do more." No one has the right to say "do more" to others unless they're also rolling up their own sleeves and offering to help.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Wow, Ares, I can see it all clearly now... Not only is all this stuff my fault, but it's also my responsibility. Funny thing is, that's patently ridiculous. If that's your idea of "community," then you can count me out. I am a citizen, not a charity or sugar daddy. I work for a living. You make the choice to roll up your sleeves, but I am not going to be castigated by some shakedown operation. Blacks have succeeded from within under the worst conditions. Since freedom and assistance came in the 1964, the black family has been virtually wiped out in urban America. Nowadays you can't tell people to get married, have babies after they get married, and have dad get a job. That's racist. If that's racist, then the entire enterprise is doomed... there isn't enough government assistance to make up that void. No, I've lived under this incontinent guilt regime long enough. I'm not going to be hated and told it's all on me. That's a load of crap. All lives matter... so start acting like it!

JPL17 said...

"We're told it's the police's job to protect black people, but all cops are called racist pigs and hung out to dry by black leaders, media figures and the political class. Anyone hazard to guess how that turns out in real life?"

OK, Ignatius, I'll take the bait. I see 3 possible outcomes in the mid-to-long term:

1. Nothing changes. Since neither the forces favoring smart local policing (a la NYC before Mayor Benito [or whatever his name is]), nor the forces favoring essentially fascist nationalization of local law enforcement (a la The Obamunist), are strong enough to defeat the other, cities simply continue their current descent into chaos and crime, middle class families continue to flee, and urban tax bases continue to shrink supported only by a small number of super-wealthy who remain. Some states change their laws to force their suburban tax bases to pay city taxes. In response, middle and upper class *suburbanites* begin to flee those *states*, and sometimes the *country*.

2. A strong political leader emerges favoring smart local policing (a la NYC before Mayor Capone [or whatever his name is]), is elected President, is smart and strong enough to purge the federal government of all Obamunists, and supports local politicians and helps build local coalitions favoring smart local policing. As a result, most major cities return to smart local policing and lower crime rates (except San Francisco, Chicago and Washington, DC, of course, and possibly Detroit, assuming it still exists as something other than a hay field or Farmer's Market by then).

3. The forces favoring essentially fascist nationalization of local law enforcement prevail, political correctness becomes the *only* priority in police work, and scenario #1 continues, but this time on steroids. Freed from the traditional police work of protecting people from violence and property crimes and enforcing drug laws, the nationalized police force turns its attention towards enforcing new laws against "hate speech" (formerly known as "free speech" and "independent scholarship"), "homophobia" (formerly known as "Christianity"), "Islamophobia" (formerly known as "common sense"), and "illegal possession of firearms" (formerly known as "ordinary citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights").

At this point I think scenario #1 is the most likely of the 3, but #3 isn't so far-fetched, either.

Did I leave anything out?

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

JPL 17: Actually, I was thinking the simplest answer -- the beat cops stop policing, or do the least they have to do because there's little upside in the face of constraints imposed by activists and amateur combat videographers.

I really hadn't considered any kind of federal intervention or stringent oversight. This is a relatively new concept to me, though I can believe it's being floated out there... simply because centralized control is the Left's wonnt.

So that's what I meant about how it "turns out in real life." The Left believes everything happens in a vacuum, and all they have to do is imagine something different and it will be so. They are victims and complainers, not responsible contributors.

Again, the problem is always "out there," with no self-awareness or looking in the mirror. They're the heroes in their epic battle against human stupidity (which they exempt themselves from, of course). I myself wish to improve my corner of the universe as best I can, and be a hero to those I care for. I don't pretend that I can take care of everyone. So I do not live under this tyranny of guilt and "shoulds" in the macro-sense the Glowing Box demands. That's what keeps me sane and happy.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

Ares, I have a though my experiment for you, being that you're a good ol' Minnesota lad...

Actually, isn't not a though experiment, it's a request for your opinion. Image that!

It concerns men's ice hockey, a Minnesota favorite.

What is your opinion of fisticuffs -- drop-the-gloves, bare-knuckled fighting -- in men's ice hockey?

Many have asserted it is a part of the game... some say it's a factor, some say it's important. Some say it's a disgrace. What say you?

To focus your response, I'd like you to respond to the following wide-ranging,graduated response. Is fighting in hockey a/an:

(A) Inevitable part of the game?

(B) Necessary part of the game?

(C) Tolerable/tolerated part of the game?

(D) Occasional happenstance in the game?

(E) Vanishing part of the game?

(F) Unnecessary part of the game?

(G) Unfortunate part of the game?

(H) Disgrace to the game?

(I) Great part of hockey's past, present and future fan allure


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