Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, April 8, 2016

It's A Crime

The Big Dog sometimes lets his bark get away from him.  The 1994 Crime Bill has many flaws, and he's acknowledged such, which is why barking at the BLM protesters was counterproductive.

However, as Pierce notes in this piece, many of the BLM movement weren't alive in the 1990s when crime was arguably the single most important domestic political issue.  I can remember - living in the LA for three years in the early '90s - being mugged once and having my car broken into at least four times.  The ability to maintain public order - as Thomas Hobbes would remind you - is the essential prime directive of any government.  While the Crime Bill prioritized penal solutions instead of broad based social results, recall that what small efforts that were made at the time to help divert criminal activity (midnight basketball) were roundly pilloried not only in the right wing press, but in the entire media.

Pierce's headline is also misleading.  First of all, it posits that there is a single agenda for BLM.  There isn't.  Secondly, having talked to Deray McKesson, I can say that - on his part, at least - BLM does very much care about the murder rate in African American neighborhoods.  As McKesson explained, the problem with bad policing extends beyond Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice.  It means that police don't respect their communities and vice versa.  It is too easy to characterize BLM as simply being against bad cops or harsh sentencing for African Americans.  It is precisely because African American MURDER victims are also invisible that has created the energy around BLM.

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