The Klan Was Never This Effective
The New York Times, of all things, has this quite revealing story about who’s getting murdered, and who isn’t, in a city, Chicago, with a prominent “progressive” mayor and an activist “progressive” prosecutor.
The Times begins with two paragraphs whose candor immediately caught my eye (emphasis added):
Thirty-five people were killed in mass shootings in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa over the past few weeks, focusing national attention on America’s unique gun problem.
In that same time, around 1,800 people were killed and almost 500 wounded in nearly 1,600 other shootings in the U.S., including at a Los Angeles warehouse party over the weekend. Mass shootings account for less than 4 percent of gun homicides in a typical year…
Right there, I knew I was seeing something different. To advance its gun control agenda, the MSM has covered — and covered and covered — the mass shootings in recent weeks as if they were the country’s bloodiest problem. They are no such thing, and when the NYT leads off by telling us this in direct language, you know to keep reading.
So I went to Chicago, where shootings are a daily occurrence in some areas, to see what more-typical gun violence looks like.
There, I met 24-year-old Jomarria Vaughn. After spending time in jail on domestic violence and weapon charges, he has tried to rebuild his life. But his past haunts him.
The last time he was on Facebook, he found out his best friend had been shot to death. He now tries to stay off the site, out of fear that posting the wrong thing could anger the wrong people — and make him a target.
In his neighborhood, he tries to avoid spending too much time “out on the block,” he said. Even if he is not a target, violence is so common there that Vaughn worries he could be hit by a stray bullet….
This is what daily life looks like for many Black Chicagoans. Across the city, the murder rate for Black people is higher than it was from the 1980s through the 1990s — a violent period that drove a nationwide push for mass incarceration.
A small timeout here. You need to understand that the NYT can be on good behavior for only so long. The county never had a “push for mass incarceration.” After a three-decade long crime spree, in which the murder rate approximately doubled, yes, it got more serious at the end of the Eighties, as any sane country would. And although incarceration certainly increased over the twenty years starting in the early Nineties — as it needed to — at no point has the United States been the prison camp implied by the corrosive and intentionally deceitful phrase, “mass incarceration.” In fact, only one in every two hundred people in this country, or one-half of one percent of the population, is in prison. One-half of one percent isn’t “mass” anything.
Still, after that lapse, the Times delivers this bombshell:
Black Chicagoans are nearly 40 times more likely to be shot to death than their white peers, according to an analysis by the University of Chicago Crime Lab.
There’s just no dressing this up. The reality depicted here is a disgrace and a scandal. If Alabama or South Carolina or some other “Trump” jurisdiction had a murder rate of black people forty times what it is for whites, do you think that might get, say, at least a smidgen of the anguished publicity the MSM gave the recent mass shootings, grotesque as they were? Do you think Merrick Garland might be able find his way to the microphone? Or Joe Biden?
Still, the gross imbalance in the Left’s well-hyped outrage, revealing as it is, is not the main problem. The main problem is murder, and specifically the out-of-control murder of black people. Although the problem is particularly awful in Chicago, it exists to a lesser but still appalling extent in the country as a whole. Overall in the United States, blacks are 12.5% of the population but 53% of the murder victims.
So if we thought — to pick a phrase out of the air — that black lives matter, what would we do?
We wouldn’t knock down statues or re-name streets or hold long-faced academic symposia about 1619. We would reduce the murder rate. We would do what we know works to accomplish this: (1) hire more police rather than defund them, (2) do more aggressive policing rather than less, (3) focus on the specific neighborhoods where crime is concentrated, and (4) lengthen prison sentences for those convicted of violent crime before rather than after it escalates into murder.
Those are exactly the four steps to save black lives that the Left and the “criminal justice reform” movement have spent years furiously opposing, on the grounds that — ready now? — they’re racist. In fact, as the title of this entry implies, the Klan was never as effective as the Left has been, and continues to be, at putting black lives at risk. Chicago is the worst of it but, tragically, only the tip of the progressives’ bloody iceberg.