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Thursday, March 21, 2024

The Rise Of The Police State - When Defunding Turns Very, Very Bad

A number of municipalities like Washington, DC have defunded the police, reduced penalties for serious crime, ignored petty crime, and asked residents to have understanding and compassion for those whose poverty, years of racist oppression, and lack of opportunity have forced them to look elsewhere for survival.  

The bloody murder of black men at the hand of white, transgressive, brutally racist police must be atoned for.  The black community should never again suffer the indignity of arbitrary search and seizure, arrest, and 'driving while black'.  The police must be decommissioned, disarmed, and re-educated. 

The DC City Council made it clear that the police were the enemies of the community not their friends, and the sooner black-and-whites disappeared from inner city neighborhoods and that jackbooted police thugs never again showed their lily white faces in the 'hood, the better. 

Within months of such rescission of force, the law of expected consequences took hold - crime rose precipitously in the District, and once again Washington became The Murder Capital of the Nation.  Gangland shootings, drive-bys, savage homeboy vendettas, and assassinations were once again frequent and common. 


Crews of ski-masked thieves raided top-end stores en masse and were videoed hauling Armani, Bulgari, Dior, and Chanel clothes, perfume, and jewelry out the door.  Stores were told not to harm the intruders, for physical violence in face of petty theft was unconscionable; and since most thefts were reduced to misdemeanors, thieves asked themselves why stop at looting toiletries at CVS when Ralph Lauren presented the same minimal risk. 

Carjackings increased disproportionately.  Since police were off the beat and since all criminal penalties had been reduced to insignificance, why not hijack a lawyer, take his BMW, and send it down the Anacostia for onward shipping to Venezuela. The old Jamaican coke crews were being replaced by Venezuelan 'refugee' gangs let in to the Unites States with priority status and hookup with the ghetto street was the first step. 

Crime was at a new high in the Nation's Capital; and as result retail stores, restaurants, bars, and cafes were closing.  Owners could simply not guarantee the safety of their patrons.  Because of some of the strictest anti-gun legislations in the country, armed guards such as those common in New Orleans, were not even considered. The downtown, already half empty because of COVID and the working-from-home exodus, was now even emptier.  Concern over carjacking, mugging, and murder kept people away. 

Washington is a homogeneously liberal Democratic city; especially the white, affluent neighborhoods west of Rock Creek Park.  Lawns there are festooned with Hate Has No Home Here, Black Lives Matter, Democracy Matters, and St. Fauci signs.  To a man, the neighborhoods are Trump-hating, black-loving, and inclusive.  Although these communities are nearly 100 percent white, sympathies are with the black man, conveniently living many miles away in the slums of Brentwood and Anacostia. Affluent whites helped vote in the most radically liberal city council in recent memory. 

When these white residents started to get carjacked, mugged, assaulted and raped, they began to change their tune. Calls for more police patrols in Spring Valley and Cleveland Park became more insistent, and fewer and fewer residents took the chance of retail shopping and went online. 

Now, the pendulum always swings both ways, liberal political commitment is only skin deep, and 'what's-in-it-for-me' self-interest always right beneath the surface; so it wasn't long before the same white residents sympathetic to black causes thought again.  Fund the police became their mantra, and the Republican Congress, still with authority over the District's finances, responded in kind.  Unless the District put police back on the streets, revised their playpen attitude towards crime and punishment, and manned up, money would be withheld. 

Now, American cities are still far cries from Rio de Janeiro where phalanxes of armed, paramilitary police squads storm into the favelas and clean out the slums.  It is what the majority of Rio's residents have always wanted.  The favelas on the hillsides were always festering, violent, anti-social, murderous ghettoes where at least people killed each other and not the white residents of Copacabana.  Once the aggressiveness spilled down hills, death squads were mobilized.  

The old socialist Luis Lula da Silva is back in power, and with him comes a more tolerant, inclusive approach to the Rio slums.  Once again the gangs, crews, and thugs have free rein, are a protected species, underprivileged poor, subjects of systemic racism.  The nastiness of the favelas has been reconstituted; but this will not last.  Another conservative President like Bolsonaro is in the wings. 

The former President of the Philippines took a similar hardline approach to crime and his approach worked.  In his campaign for President Duterte ran on his tough stance on crime during his tenure as mayor of Davao and when he was elected began a similar campaign in Metro Manila.  The US press remarked on his rise to power:

Popular with the locals due to his successful zero tolerance policies against criminals, he earned the nickname "The Punisher". Vigilante groups tied to Duterte are thought to be responsible for the execution of drug traffickers, criminals, gang members and other lawless elements. Over a period of 20 years, he turned Davao City from the "murder capital of The Philippines" to what tourism organizations now describe as "the most peaceful city in southeast Asia," and what numbeo.com ranks as the world's fourth safest place  

The new government of El Salvador has similarly responded to the persistent, endemic crime in the country with similarly draconian tactics with thousands of criminals, gang members, and social terrorists rounded up and put in prison. 


The howls from the American left about such tactics have become predictable; but when violent crime persists and becomes a threat to polity and community, consideration of extrajudicial measures is not surprising.  Of course, the risk to authoritarian overreach is not insignificant.  Port-au-Prince under the Duvaliers was a peaceful, violence-free city thanks to the Ton Ton Macoute police state.  After the last of the Duvaliers left Haiti, the country descended into inchoate violence, and it is now a wild, chaotic, frightening place.  Haitians look back on the Duvalier days with not insignificant nostalgia. 

'It can't happen here', say most Americans; but of course it can. If left uncontrolled the violence endemic to the inner city will break out into the general population as it has done in Washington.  Ordinary citizens will not stand for it, and will find army vehicles and SWAT militias calming not disturbing. 

'Democracy Matters' say the signs in liberal Northwest Washington, but they refer to a wild, fantastical notion of the coming of the new Stalin, Donald Trump, not that democracy is under threat from the Left. 

The ethos of America's progressive Left is DEI - diversity, equity, inclusivity- and under that aegis illegal immigrants are let in to the country in their thousands, urban crime is ignored, the dysfunction of inner city ghettoes accepted as a normal outcome of white racism, and the scrapping of traditional moral and religious standards extensive. 

The tide will turn and quickly.  America will not, as the Left fears, become an authoritarian dictatorship, but will certainly move towards militancy - a military stance the southern border, a dramatic increase in funding of the police, a reinstatement of severely punitive court judgments, long periods of incarceration, a crackdown on violent protests, and a more visible police presence in both crime-ridden and safe neighborhoods. 

In the early days of European Islamic terrorism, Parisians and Londoners grew accustomed to soldiers in full combat gear, armed with automatic weapons everywhere.  It was the normal, natural response to violence.  It was not, as might be claimed in the United States today, racist and discriminatory.  It was necessary. 

So a police state of mind - not a police state - is what is called for in America. 

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