"For those of us with long memories of the pre-Giuliani New York, it feels like we’re in a time machine: The Guardian Angels are patrolling Central Park again. Crime in Central Park is up 26 percent this year," Jim Geraghty writes in his Morning Jolt email this morning.
The de Blasio administration on a local level and the Obama administration on a national level are playing hell with public safety. The president's seeming inability to distinguish between racism and a sincere desire to arrest people who are breaking the law has created a terrible atmosphere.
Heather Mac Donald has a piece in National Review about a police officer in Birmingham, Ala., who was beaten senseless during a traffic stop because the officer held back from taking justified actions–he didn't want to appear racist. Even so, the officer has chosen to withhold his name to protect his family from retribution. The driver, who allegedly pistol-whipped the officer before fleeing the scene, already was a felon (his convictions reportedly are for robbery and assault and attempted murder).
Mac Donald writes:
This reluctance to act is affecting police departments across the country, as virtually every tool in an officer’s tool chest — from traffic stops to public-order maintenance — is villified as racist. In Baltimore, following anti-cop riots and the indictment of six officers for the death of drug dealer Freddie Gray, arrests dropped 60 percent in May compared with arrests the previous year. In New York City, criminal summonses, a powerful gauge of proactive enforcement, were down 24 percent through July, compared with the same period the previous year; total arrests were down 16.5 percent. Arrests in Los Angeles are down 8 percent city-wide, and even further in some of the highest-crime areas. In the LAPD’s Central Division, home to the chaotic, squalid Skid Row, arrests are down 13 percent, while violent crime is up 57 percent. Some top brass are trying to counter what I and others have dubbed the “Ferguson effect.” “We ask our officers to stay engaged,” says LAPD assistant chief Michel Moore. Unfortunately, when officers do stay engaged, they often confront hostile, unruly crowds and resistance from suspects.
If the Black Lives Matter movement were correct that law enforcement is a scourge on the black community, this unraveling of proactive policing should be an enormous benefit to black well-being. Instead, the country is seeing the biggest violent-crime spike in 20 years, and the primary victims are, as usual, blacks. . . .
There are signs that law and order, and the moral support for such order, are slowly breaking down. Few leaders have the courage to speak honestly about the rising violence; even some police chiefs have caved to the false conceit that the police are racially abusing their power.
Affluent people–sure, they'll be affected but not nearly as much as low-income citizens who don't life in safe neighborhoods and can't retreated into gated communities. So the poor will bear the costs of President Obama's and his allies' rhetoric. Isn't that always the way it is?
Dr. Ben Carson deserves enormous credit for going last week to Harlem and saying the right things. He talked not about the problems with the police–who to be sure have some rotten apples but by and large are concerned with protecting innocent citizens–but with things that must be done in the African-American community to solve problems. Standing outside the iconic Sylvia's restaurant, Dr. Carson said this:
"What I feel, instead of people pointing fingers at each other and just creating strife, what we need to be talking about is how do we solve the problem in the black community of murder," Carson said. "For a young black male, in the inner city, homicide is the most likely cause of death. That's ridiculous."
"Most of those occur at the hands of other young black males. We need to be talking about, 'Why is that occurring?' We need to be talking about, 'How do we instill values into people again?' And those are family and faith."
If more leaders were as courageous and committed to the public good as Dr. Carson we would not have seen the "tragic and complete collapse of racial relations" in the U.S. over the last few years.