The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

More Baltimores

When Eric Holder's justice department issued a report on the Ferguson, MO riots, the report suggested that a lack of diversity among the Ferguson police department lead to "racist" behavior that drove resentment, and therefore, the riots themselves. Many questioned Holder's findings, but let's take them at face value.

But if we do, how can Baltimore be explained?

Jason Riley asks the same question:
Broad diversity is not a problem in Baltimore, where 63% of residents and 40% of police officers are black. The current police commissioner is also black, and he isn’t the first one. The mayor is black, as was her predecessor and as is a majority of the city council. Yet none of this “critically important” diversity seems to have mattered after 25-year-old Freddie Gray died earlier this month in police custody under circumstances that are still being investigated.

Some black Baltimoreans have responded by hitting the streets, robbing drugstores, minimarts and check-cashing establishments and setting fires. If you don’t see the connection, it’s because there isn’t one. Like Brown’s death, Gray’s is being used as a convenient excuse for lawbreaking. If the Ferguson protesters were responding to a majority-black town being oppressively run by a white minority—which is the implicit argument of the Justice Department and the explicit argument of the liberal commentariat—what explains Baltimore?
Democrats continue to contend that a lack of economic opportunity drives the crime rate in the inner city, resulting in tension between the police (black or white) and the residents of the inner city. That much is undoubtedly true, but a lack of economic opportunity is a symptom, not a cause.

The "solution" posed by the most Democrats is the same tired approach that has been attempted for almost 60 years—more government programs and more government spending. The definition of insanity (and delusional thinking) is trying the same thing (that results in failure) over and over again while expecting a different result each time.

Within major cities (with a few exceptions), the blue model of governance isn't working. This from the Wall Street Journal editorial board:
You’re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.

Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Maryland’s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, let’s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.

The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are “progressive.” This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was America’s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isn’t in the top 25.

The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.
Are there "solutions?"

I think the answer is a qualified yes. You can only solve a problem once you clearly understand what the problem is and what it is not. The current problem of the inner city is cultural, educational, and familial, and as I wrote yesterday, it can only be solved by the black community and its leaders, and only if frank and painful discussions occur within the black community. I'm afraid that won't happen, and as a consequence, there will be more Baltimores.