According to an NYPD report, shootings are up 82.1 per cent and murders, 30.2 per cent. Most of both murderers and victims are black or Hispanic.
In 2019, these groups provided 96 per cent of suspects arrested for shootings, with 57 per cent of murder victims being black. And the present NY Governor Cuomo admits that more than 90 per cent of the victims “are black and brown”.
One gets a distinct impression that black lives matter only when one of them is taken by a white cop. When hundreds of blacks are murdered within their own ghettos, no one really minds.
However, some people, such as Cuomo and NYC mayor de Blasio, claim they do mind. Yet they steadfastly refuse either to acknowledge the reasons for the surge or revert to the proven methods of putting an end to it.
The most important reason is therefore Messrs Cuomo and de Blasio themselves. The magnitude of the crisis shows that these gentlemen have successfully defanged the police, even if they haven’t yet complied with the BLM demand to defund it.
Actually, even though Cuomo grudgingly admits that policing is necessary, he has threatened to defund the NYPD should it fail to establish a meaningful dialogue with racial communities. He directly blames the surge on either the absence of said dialogue or at least its insufficient eloquence.
The subject of the mandated dialogue is the nitty-gritty of police reform, which, judging by Mr Cuomo’s ideas, is bound to convert the NYPD into an extension of the social services. For sensitive dialogue is the stock in trade for such services. Conversely, the business of police is, well, policing.
That mainly includes investigating crimes, arresting criminals and making good cases for the prosecution. Sentiment, and especially woke sentimentality, should play no part in that process. Yet now, rather than kneeling on criminals’ throats, cops will be expected to kneel before them, and not just metaphorically.
Any sensible politician genuinely concerned about black and other lives lost would look at history and see what has worked and what hasn’t in reducing crime rates. Thankfully, New York City provides a perfect basis for such a retrospective.
When I lived there (until 1988), the city was crime-ridden. New Yorkers used to heave a sigh of relief each time they got home safely and threw multiple locks on. Walking after dark even in some parts of Manhattan, never mind such hellholes as Bedford Stuyvesant, was all one’s life was worth.
Then in the 1990s Rudolph Giuliani took over as mayor, and things began to change. Violent crimes dropped by more than 56 per cent in NYC, twice the decline in the country as a whole – all thanks to the unsentimental ‘get tough’ policies carried out by the mayor’s administration.
Because Giuliani’s heart didn’t bleed, neither did the bodies of New Yorkers. Crucially, the mayor understood that crime rates have an escalator built in. If low-level infractions are tolerated, the law is neither respected nor feared. That encourages other crimes, including violent ones.
As Giuliani explained in 1998, “Obviously murder and graffiti are two vastly different crimes. But they are part of the same continuum, and a climate that tolerates one is more likely to tolerate the other.” Hear, hear.
Giuliani and his successor Bloomberg were aware of the inverse proportion between arrest rates and crime. Enacting their zero-tolerance policies, they filled the prisons to the gunwales, and the crime rate went down even in the absence of racially sensitive dialogue.
Governor Cuomo talks a very different language: “You want to talk about social justice? You want to talk about civil rights? You want to talk about social equity? How do you explain that [violent crime in racial areas]?” It’s the deficit in criminal justice, Mr Mayor, rather than social justice, that explains it.
Social justice is the modern for social injustice, giving some people more, and others less, than they deserve. The underlying ‘liberal’ belief is that the wrongs historically done to the blacks can only be righted by throwing billions on welfare programmes, while in parallel cultivating a climate of white guilt and black entitlement.
Children growing up in a family where no one has ever done any work, and where fathers have gone walkabout for generations, aren’t just likely but guaranteed to turn to crime in vast numbers. The ‘liberal’ response is to throw good money after bad, which is akin to treating syphilis by HIV injections.
In parallel, the police are widely portrayed as bigoted troglodytes out to do the Ku Klux Klan’s job. Each time they rough up a black suspect resisting arrest, screams of “Racists!!!” reverberate through the air. And when a black criminal is killed even in a shootout with the police, never mind accidentally, the rioting season kicks off.
Because Lady Justice is blindfolded, she has to be colour-blind. It’s as reprehensible to give blacks a special dispensation as it is to discriminate against them. Until that realisation sinks in, and New York reverts to Giuliani’s methods, the guns won’t fall silent.
We ought to remember that the lessons of New York are just as useful for London or any other major Western city. “Tough on crime, tough on causes of crime” was Blair’s campaign mantra. Alas, because the likes of him, Cuomo or de Blasio refuse to understand the true causes of crime, they are powerless to get tough on it.