The video is horrible. A young white man is bound and gagged on the floor, huddled in a corner. A group of black men and women beat him, kick him, and cut his hair until his scalp bleeds. One of the men yells, “F*** white people. F*** Donald Trump.”
It happened in Chicago. It was all streamed on Facebook Live. Chicago, of course, is the city that’s become the “nation’s abattoir,” with more murders than Los Angeles and New York City combined. And this is the second Chicago video in two months showing black suspects beating a white victim while yelling about Trump.
Yes, I’m sure that if the roles were reversed, and four white people tortured a bound and gagged black man while screaming about his race and cursing Barack Obama, that the press and police would make similar claims. I’m certain that attacks like this wouldn’t be grist for the leftist mill, proving that “Trump’s America” is a racist horror show.
But let’s not discuss double standards. Let’s discuss standards. Enough with the “narratives.” Enough with the notion that the American people can’t handle cold, hard truths.
It’s all part of underlying liberal squeamishness about attacking anything that can be labeled authentically “black.” Music “from the streets” is worshipped, no matter its content. Here’s Rolling Stone fawning over the rapper Young Thug, in its “50 Best Albums of 2016” story
Anyone who claims that Young Thug is an incoherent “mumble rapper” isn’t listening hard enough. The heavily tattooed Atlanta iconoclast has a vocabulary that expands the terrain of getting high, having sex, copping cash, and doing dirt.
We live in an upside-down world when white racism and “climates of hate” are such a problem that we now police microaggressions, yet the same cultural mandarins who shudder when they hear “make America great again” positively thrill to the beats of songs that celebrate spilling blood in the streets. When you celebrate thugs, you get more thugs.
To take another example, policing matters. When a culture breaks, it falls to the police to keep order. When they pull back, people die. That’s the lesson of Chicago. On January 1, 60 Minutes ran an extended piece, Crisis in Chicago, that’s must viewing for those who believe black lives matter.
An entire police department is in full retreat. The numbers don’t lie:
As killings rose, police activity fell. In August of 2015, cops stopped and questioned 49,257 people. A year later those stops dropped to 8,859, down 80 percent. At the same time arrests were off by a third, from just over 10,000 to 6,900.
Police, afraid of becoming the subject of the next “viral video” and subject to onerous new ACLU oversight, are reducing themselves to mainly answering 911 calls.
Chicago has had problems with police brutality and racists in uniform (it’s paid out a staggering sum in civil settlements), but the answer isn’t to restrict effective policing but rather to better police the department.
When a culture breaks, it falls to the police to keep order. When they pull back, people die. That’s the lesson of Chicago.
But don’t tell that to anti-police activists. They’ll use incandescently idiotic statistics to try to “prove” racism by comparing police activity to overall demographics, decrying “disproportionate” stops and “disproportionate” shootings — when everyone knows that criminal activity doesn’t break down neatly along racial lines.
And of course speech matters. But it’s time for a little consistency. Why is it dangerous to speak about problems with illegal immigration and Muslim terrorism, yet somehow totally fine to condemn millions of white Americans as horrible racists simply because they voted for Trump? If allegedly insensitive speech is apparently all that’s needed to set off white racists, then won’t insensitive and inflammatory speech set off black racists? Do we need more filmed beatings before hysterical leftists start to apply their own rules to their own speech?We can’t look at the filmed Chicago beatings and the hundreds of Chicago killings as distinct, with the beatings “political violence” and the killings just crime as usual. They’re both the product of a depraved culture, and they’re both facilitated by the breakdown in law and order. It’s time to stop celebrating depravity. It’s time to stop crippling the police. And it’s time to speak the truth.
Our nation’s social fabric is fraying — nowhere more than in Chicago. This is the Left’s city, a foundation of its national power. How many more people have to die before it changes course?
— David French is a staff writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and an attorney.