The Wealthy Progressives Funding a Massacre
It has become apparent over the past several years that many of those devoted to the progressive movement taking over the Democrat party are divorced from reality and ignorant of history. This is particularly true when it comes to criminal justice policy. In 1994, more than twice as many Californians were victims of violent crime than in 2011. Murders in the Golden State dropped by 60% during that period. There were comparable reductions in New York, Texas, Illinois, Florida and most other states. There have been mountains of research devoted to finding out why this occurred. Perhaps the best compilation of data on this phenomenon is Professor Barry Latzer’s 2016 book, The Rise and Fall of Violent Crime in America. Latzer concluded that while differences in culture between different racial and ethic groups have historically influenced crime rates, societies’ response to crime plays a major roll in the level of violent crime. In the mid-1990s Americans of every racial and ethnic group demanded a stronger law enforcement response to the criminals dominating its cities during the crime wave of the 1970s and 1980s. That stronger response, including major improvements in policing, delivered two decades of vastly safer cities and neighborhoods, disproportionately benefiting to those living in high-crime urban neighborhoods. None of the thousands of young adults who joined the Black Lives Matter protests last summer know anything about this.
This cohort of mostly middle-class whites and black activists came out of college believing that crime is caused by racism, poverty and money-grubbing businesses. They have been taught to hate this country and that all of its institutions and its history must be torn down and replaced to create a socialist utopia. These progressives were small children when their parents voted out soft-on-crime politicians and adopted ballot measures such as the Victims Bill of Rights and Three Strikes and You’re Out. These children grew up in a much safer America because of this.
I believe that most college professors, politicians and reporters, certainly those over the age of 40, know the truth. But they don’t care about it any more than they care about the lives of working class poor and urban minorities they claim to champion. While it’s difficult to understand their motives, it is clear from their actions that they are committed to a cause that includes advancing policies that are allowing the slaughter of thousands of mostly urban black men, women and children by remorseless criminals primarily of the same race.
From a distance, one could make the case that what’s happening in black urban neighborhoods is genocide. The formula seems clear: convince the targeted population that the system is rigged against them. Enact policies that take down the guardrails of civil society including de-emphasizing nuclear families, education, religion, a work ethic and personal responsibility. Provide a subsistence income and services to discourage employment and make them totally dependent. Then denounce law enforcement efforts to control crime and remove criminals as racist, and implement policies that reduce policing and eliminate consequences for crime. The result; urban criminals are left free on the streets to indiscriminately murder, rob and rape the law-abiding people who have no way out of the neighborhood, while the professors, politicians and journalists live safe in places with private security and where police are welcome.
Progressive hedge-fund billionaire George Soros has spent millions to enact these policies, popularly known as police and sentencing reforms. He has bankrolled the election of progressive (read pro-criminal) District Attorneys in the American cities with the highest levels of violent crime. But there is a group of uber-wealthy Californians funding this movement as well. A recent article in Politico identifies four multimillionaires in the San Francisco Bay Area that have joined Soros, collectively giving $22 million for criminal justice reforms and to elect progressive DAs. Patty Quillin, wife of Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, Quinn Delaney, wife of Bay Area real estate developer Wayne Jordan, Elizabeth Simons, daughter of hedge-fund billionaire James Simons and Kaitlyn Krieger, wife of Instagram co-founder Mike Krieger joined together in 2017 to launch Smart Justice, an independent committee that can raise unlimited sums to fund social justice projects. Apparently, none of these people have any idea what urban life is like for the people of color they claim to care about.
One of these places is Los Angeles, where District Attorney George Gascón’s campaign was bankrolled by the progressives. His policies to release suspects without bail, reduce charges and seek the lowest sentence possible coupled with California’s progressive sentencing reform laws have turned parts of LA County into war zones. According to the Sheriff homicides are up 95% so far this year. Auto theft is up 40%, arson is up 22%, rape 8% and aggravated assault by 13%. The overwhelming majority of murder and assault victims are black, as are the perpetrators committing these crimes. Compare this with Florida’s Miami/Dade County with 2.7 million people. Without California’s progressive criminal justice reforms or anti-law enforcement State Attorney, homicide and rape are up 13.7%, and 12% respectively, but assault and auto thefts are both down. Violent crime overall is down by over 16%. Blacks and Hispanics are far safer there.
So what is the endgame for progressives? Does it look like minorities are receiving social justice in Los Angeles or San Francisco, Baltimore, Chicago, New York and DC? I doubt that anyone actually living in the high crime neighborhoods of these cities would think so.