Recently in Social Factors Category
The cartoon on the left is by Benjamin Schwartz of the New Yorker. Click on it for a larger view.
Debra Saunders has this column in the San Francisco Chronicle.
While the defense attempted in this case is widely regarded as ludicrous, with its emphasis on affluence as a mitigating circumstance in a criminal case, the underlying problem of indulgent, permissive parenting is a much more serious and pervasive one. It is not limited to the wealthy.
Two weeks ago, Leonard Sax, a practicing physician, had this op-ed in the WSJ on the pandemic disrespectfulness of children today and the role of parents and popular culture in causing that problem. His article is titled "Parenting in the Age of Awfulness."
The preliminary report examined five cities with particularly high murder rates -- Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans, and St. Louis -- and found these cities also had significantly lower incomes, higher poverty rates, higher unemployment, and falling populations than the national average."There are none so blind as those who will not see." These are also cities where the police are under severe attack.
The puzzle is why these progressives are so intent on denying that such depolicing is occurring and that it is affecting public safety.The fact that spin from an ideologically driven organization like the Brennan Center has gotten as much credence as it has in the press is a symptom of a major problem in American society. There is a gross imbalance in the number and funding of nonprofit organizations interested in crime issues. The Manhattan Institute (where MacDonald works) and CJLF are outnumbered and outspent by the Brennan Center, the Marshall Project, the Urban Institute, the Pew organizations, the Death Penalty Information Center, and on and on. [Hint: If an organization is named for one of the two most pro-criminal Supreme Court Justices in American history, it is not a neutral source of information.] The capacity of these organizations to pump out reports that seem to support the leftist agenda but do not hold up to examination exceeds the capacity of organizations of contrary viewpoints to make and publicize the examinations.
The answer lies in the enduring commitment of antipolice progressives to the "root causes" theory of crime. The Brennan Center study closes by hypothesizing that lower incomes, higher poverty rates, falling populations and high unemployment are driving the rising murder rates in Baltimore, Detroit, Milwaukee, New Orleans and St. Louis. But those aspects of urban life haven't dramatically worsened over the past year and a half. What has changed is the climate for law enforcement.
In addition, both the press and academia are populated by people whose spectrum of viewpoints is shifted at least one sigma left of the American median, if not two. Assertions that fit with the general set of assumptions of the left simply do not get as much scrutiny as those that run contrary to those assumptions.
This combination of factors produces a dangerous situation where spin goes insufficiently challenged. If such spin leads to wrong policies in matters of life and death, the potential consequences are grave indeed.
Kemp's public record reveals that in the late 1970s the then-congressman persuaded his colleagues who were part of an initiative called the Opportunity Society to conduct a unique field hearing in the troubled Kenilworth-Parkside public-housing development in Washington, D.C. Kenilworth was at the forefront of a movement of associations of public-housing residents that strove to take on management duties for their developments, which had become crime-ridden, drug-plagued and dilapidated during years of neglect and opportunism under bureaucratic public-housing authorities.Poverty and crime have an interaction more complex than either causing the other, and a deficit of personal responsibility is a root cause of both.
Once the Kenilworth residents were empowered to take charge of their neighborhood, they drove out the drug dealers, reduced teen pregnancy and welfare dependency, and launched self-help initiatives.
But, in characteristic fashion, [Coates] goes beyond this, asking readers to think in new ways about disturbing phenomena that they may take for granted. Bringing together Moynihan's concerns about black family structure with the cold fact of mass incarceration produces a striking conclusion: Mass incarceration actually causes crime.
The great lie of the summer has been the Black Lives Matter movement. It was founded on one falsehood--that a Ferguson, Mo., police officer shot a black suspect who was trying to surrender--and it is perpetuated by another: that trigger-happy cops are filling our morgues with young black men.
The reality is that Michael Brown is dead because he robbed a convenience store, assaulted a uniformed officer and then made a move for the officer's gun. The reality is that a cop is six times more likely to be killed by someone black than the reverse. The reality is that the Michael Browns are a much bigger threat to black lives than are the police. "Every year, the casualty count of black-on-black crime is twice that of the death toll of 9/11," wrote former New York City police detective Edward Conlon in a Journal essay on Saturday. "I don't understand how a movement called 'Black Lives Matter' can ignore the leading cause of death among young black men in the U.S., which is homicide by their peers."
...that crime is generated by a lack of values that has largely gone unaddressed in our nation as a whole and in the black community in particular. Soaring unwed birthrates, absentee fathers, an aversion to work, an unwillingness to embrace societal standards and time-honored discipline -- all these factors have contributed to the problems we must now confront.
1. Donald Trump when he thought the microphone was off2. The head of the Tea Party3. The John Birch Society4. The Imperial Klud of the KKK
In the boldest endorsement of a growing national trend, the University of Tennessee is urging incoming students and teachers to junk references to "he," "she," and "them," in favor of gender-neutral "ze" and "xe."
We need to be concerned, then, that the ladder of opportunity always be there and that those who want to climb it be able to do so. Unfortunately, people pretending to have the best interests of low-wage workers at heart are busily sawing off the bottom rungs.
[Leftist author Alice] Goffman contends that it is the legal system itself that is creating crime and dysfunction in poor black communities. Young men get saddled with a host of allegedly petty warrants for having missed court dates, violated their parole and probation conditions, and ducked the administrative fees levied on their criminal cases. Fearful of being rounded up under these senseless procedural warrants, they adopt a lifestyle of subterfuge and evasion, constantly in flight from an increasingly efficient and technology-enhanced police force. "Once a man fears that he will be taken by the police, it is precisely a stable and public daily routine of work and family life . . . that allows the police to locate him," Goffman writes. "A man in legal jeopardy finds that his efforts to stay out of prison are aligned not with upstanding, respectable action but with being a shady and distrustful character."
Goffman's own material demolishes this thesis. On the Run documents a world of predation and law-of-the-jungle mores, riven with violence and betrayal. Far from being the hapless victims of random "legal entanglements"--Goffman's euphemism for the foreseeable consequences of lawless behavior--her subjects create their own predicaments through deliberate involvement in crime.
Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley apologized on Saturday for saying "All lives matter" while discussing police violence against African-Americans with liberal demonstrators.
Several dozen demonstrators interrupted the former Maryland governor while he was speaking here at the Netroots Nation conference, a gathering of liberal activists, demanding that he address criminal justice and police brutality. When they shouted, "Black lives matter!" a rallying cry of protests that broke out after several black Americans were killed at the hands of police in recent months, O'Malley responded: "Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter."
The demonstrators, who were mostly black, responded by booing him and shouting him down.
When the President of the United States hypes racial grievance at every turn, this is what you get.
Welcome to the 1970s! In New York, anyway, one of the decades Tom Wolfe denominated "purple" has made a stunning comeback. Consider crime. After a precipitous decline that began under the mayoralty of Rudy Giuliani and continued under Michael Bloomberg, violent crime has soared in the city. From May 2014 to the end of May this year, shootings increased almost 10 per cent while murders jumped a stunning 19.5 per cent during the same period. Meanwhile, Central Park has once again become a haven for thieves and muggers. "Police are investigating another mugging in Central Park," begins a May 20 story in the New York Post, "the latest in a string of robberies that has residents on edge."
The centrepiece of Bill de Blasio's mayoral campaign in 2013 was a promise to end one of the most effective weapons against violent crime: "stop and frisk", the practice by the police of stopping, questioning and, in some cases, frisking suspicious characters. De Blasio wanted to end the practice because the overwhelming majority of those stopped and frisked were Black. The reason for this was that the overwhelming majority of suspicious characters that the police encountered were Black, but that reality did not prevent de Blasio from pretending that the practice was inexcusably racist. Former Police Commissioner Ray Kelly warned that "people would suffer" if the prophylactic practice was abandoned. No matter. It was too good an opportunity for a left-wing demagogue to ignore.