Last week liberal pundits and social media commentators had a conniption over Hungarian PM Viktor Orban, adding that his rhetorical pounding of Hungarian-born progressive philanthropist George Soros is anti-Semitic. Why? Soros is Jewish, and spends a fortune trying to make Hungary progressive, so naturally (in the liberal mind) to criticize him must make one anti-Semitic. Right? Right? Never mind that Orban has explained that if Soros were a Gentile and spent his money to ruin Hungary, he would go after Soros just as strongly. Libs have to Maintain The Narrative.
Today in the Wall Street Journal, Soros exposes why so many sane people think of him as a menace to society. He pens an op-ed attempting to justify why he throws so much money behind electing woke prosecutors. Excerpts:
Like most of us, I’m concerned about crime. One of government’s most important roles is to ensure public safety. I have been involved in efforts to reform the criminal-justice system for the more than 30 years I have been a philanthropist.
Yet our system is rife with injustices that make us all less safe. The idea that we need to choose between justice and safety is false. They reinforce each other: If people trust the justice system, it will work. And if the system works, public safety will improve.
We need to acknowledge that black people in the U.S. are five times as likely to be sent to jail as white people. That is an injustice that undermines our democracy.
Is he talking about “five times more likely” when convicted of the same crime? Or is he talking about “five times more likely,” period? Because if it’s the latter, here’s news for Mr. Soros: blacks are massively overrepresented as perpetrators of violent crime (and their victims are overwhelmingly other black people). Everybody knows this, except those who make it their business not to know. This happened in Quincy, Mass., the other day. The pregnant woman is white; her accused attackers are black. From CBS News:
Two men have been charged with attacking a pregnant woman in Quincy.
The Patriot Ledger reports 19-year-old Tyrese Johnson-Nurse and 18-year-old David Russell were arraigned on aggravated assault and battery charges Thursday.
The Quincy teens have been in custody since the Tuesday evening attack outside a downtown post office.
Prosecutors say the woman had been walking with her boyfriend when she suddenly vomited. The two men laughed and spat at her and a scuffle ensued.
A video from an eyewitness played in court shows the two men punched the woman in the head and kicked her in the stomach. The woman says she screamed she was pregnant but Russell responded: “I hope he dies.”
Here are the urban youths charged with this crime. I hope they go to prison for a long time. I’d bet money that neither one of them grew up with a father in the home:
Similarly in the past few days:
These are the kind of thugs that George Soros, who lives in a mansion on Long Island, think we ought to pity as Victims Of Racist Society™. Who you gonna believe, George Soros, or your lying eyes?
In recent years, reform-minded prosecutors and other law-enforcement officials around the country have been coalescing around an agenda that promises to be more effective and just. This agenda includes prioritizing the resources of the criminal-justice system to protect people against violent crime. It urges that we treat drug addiction as a disease, not a crime. And it seeks to end the criminalization of poverty and mental illness.
This agenda, aiming at both safety and justice, is based on both common sense and evidence. It’s popular. It’s effective. The goal is not defunding the police but restoring trust between the police and the policed, a partnership that fosters the solving of crimes.
Some politicians and pundits have tried to blame recent spikes in crime on the policies of reform-minded prosecutors. The research I’ve seen says otherwise. The most rigorous academic study, analyzing data across 35 jurisdictions, shows no connection between the election of reform-minded prosecutors and local crime rates. In fact, violent crime in recent years has generally been increasing more quickly in jurisdictions without reform-minded prosecutors. Murder rates have been rising fastest in some Republican states led by tough-on-crime politicians.
There’s no link there, so it’s impossible to check the work, but the sophistry is clear enough. The people of San Francisco got so sick of the soft-on-crime policies of their progressive DA Chesa Boudin that they recalled him and chucked him out of office. The Washington Examiner says that criminal justice reform is sensible when it comes to reducing prison sentences for non-violent crimes, but that’s not why people are made at progressive DAs, many of whom are financially supported by the billionaire. More:
Until recently, people of all political stripes supported criminal justice reform. But there cannot be a more clueless person on Earth than Soros when it comes to solving the problem he identifies. The problem with Soros-backed prosecutors is that they consistently support releasing and pleading down the worst and most violent career criminals, heedless of the consequences to the communities they prey upon.
The current spike in crime in some of the nation’s formerly beautiful cities serves as a testament to Soros’s folly. It is genuinely saddening and pathetic to see district attorneys such as Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg, who routinely lets violent criminals out without bail but goes to the mat in order to persecute those who exercise the God-given right of self-defense against those same violent criminals who are being released without bail.
Soros claims to have seen academic studies showing that his handpicked prosecutors are not the cause of the spike in crime that is occurring chiefly in the cities where they operate. He even claims, without offering any specifics, that “murder rates have been rising fastest in some Republican states led by tough-on-crime politicians.”
We would like to direct his attention to Baltimore, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, New York, and other cities where his money has gone toward preventing justice for the victims of hardened career criminals. Soros claims that he is backing an agenda “based on both common sense and evidence.” People watching Los Angeles’s George Gascon and Philadelphia’s Larry Krasner release violent repeat offenders in their cities are not fooled by this. Although Soros did not fund Chesa Boudin, it is instructive to see that the former San Francisco district attorney’s similar philosophy has been repudiated by the voters of the Golden City despite their legendary left-wing leanings.
As George Orwell said, it sometimes takes immense effort to see what’s right under your nose. Just as liberals and progressives nearly pop their eyes out of their heads to avoid coming to the obvious conclusions about gay male promiscuity and the spread of monkeypox, they do the same thing in trying to avoid coming to counter-narrative conclusions about race and violent crime. It is not a myth that black men are vastly more likely than men of other races to commit violent crimes. One can argue about why that is (though study after study over the decades has correlated fatherlessness with violent crime more than any other factor), but for ordinary people who stand to be the victims of these criminals, this matters. (Especially given that those far more likely to be victims of black male criminality are other black people.)
Meanwhile, with murder rates soaring in his city, Chicago, and with both victims and perpetrators overwhelmingly black, the old shakedown artist Jesse Jackson has turned his efforts to fighting the real enemy of black Americans: costumed Sesame Street characters who ignore black children at Sea World. From a letter he wrote to the Sea World CEO:
Classic Jesse Jackson: avoid the hard challenges, go for an easy lay-up, and demand shakedown money and policies from guilt-ridden business executives. Jackson built a financial empire on this. Ever heard of the Wall Street Project? I wrote a lot about this profitable racial grift Jackson carried out twenty years ago (a brief summary is here); my main source of inside information was an elite black financier who was sick and tired of the shakedown. It never ends, though — and a big part of its success is the refusal of the liberal media to cover issues of race, crime, and discrimination fairly and accurately.
If you are a black American living in a crime-infested city, George Soros is not your friend. In New Orleans, Soros dumped money into the campaign of progressive DA candidate Jason Williams, who scored an upset victory in a low-turnout race, and who promised to institute the kind of soft-on-crime policies Soros favors. New Orleans is a black-majority city, and Williams won by working hard to get a large turnout in black precincts. Well, folks got what they voted for: violent crime (especially carjacking) is out of control, and Williams has no idea what to do about it. This spring, an elderly white woman was carjacked by four black teenagers, and dragged when her arm got caught in the steering wheel; she died when her arm was torn from her body. It turns out that one of the teenagers had been arrested for a similar crime when he was 15, but let off by DA Williams’s office.
Statistics show that the number of black Americans killed since the Summer Of Floyd and the anti-police movement has skyrocketed. From FBI data:
George Soros, from the safety of his mansion, can blame “racism” for this, and Jesse Jackson, who has become wealthy from a lifetime of professional activism, can spend his time going after Sesame Street characters, but actual people — black, white, and everybody else — who live in cities where black crime is out of control cannot afford the luxury of sustaining the Narrative. Their lives, and the lives of their loved ones, are at stake.
One more thing regarding Orban: liberal critics slapped him for saying the other day that he wanted to keep Hungary from turning into a “mixed race” country — by which he meant (this is clear in context, as you can see by reading the speech itself) that he wanted to keep migrants from outside of Europe, who bear a different culture from Europeans, from settling there. Why might he have said that? Take the crime rate in Sweden, which, since turning itself into a haven for Third World migration, has seen an explosion of rape and other violent crime. Why on earth should any European politician have to apologize for not wanting to embrace liberal policies that have turned other European countries into sinkholes of violent crime? Similarly, why shouldn’t American district attorneys and their financial backers, like George Soros, not have to answer for their liberal policies that contribute to making their cities sinkholes of violent crime?
The answer is that it is more important to live by lies that support the Narrative than to deal with the world as it actually is. The other day, in a post I made defending Orban’s remarks (which conceding that they were somewhat problematic), I asked my friend the liberal critic Damon Linker, who had condemned Orban and criticized me for standing up for the Hungarian leader, I posed these questions to him:
Do you think that Europeans have a right to be concerned about mass Islamic migration to Europe?
And if so, how should they respond, both in terms of rhetoric and policy to avoid being guilty of racism?
If you believe that there is no morally acceptable response that involves halting mass migration, why should people who want to keep things the way they are not turn to illiberal politicians who promise to defend the nation from mass migration?
In a similar way, let me pose these questions to liberals regarding the crime wave and progressive DAs’ policies:
Is it possible that the disproportionate number of black men involved with the criminal justice system has to do not with racist prosecutors, but rather with the disproportionate number of black men who choose to commit violent crimes?
If the only way to make the public safe from these criminals is to send them to prison for a long time, why wouldn’t you support that?
You can’t fool people forever. People who recognize a disconnect between what they read about in the papers and see on TV, versus what they see in real life, are going to quit taking the media and other authorities seriously, and start listening to politicians and others who, whatever their flaws, at least try to deal with the real world’s problems.
Prisons are a necessary evil. People aren’t wrong to lament the huge numbers of black men incarcerated in this country, but the progressive DAs are inadvertently reminding us of why prisons exist: because some parts of America are failed societies that produce criminals who prey on innocent people, and who must be locked away from the law-abiding. In June of this year, a black community activist in New Orleans said:
As violent crime continues to dominate headlines in New Orleans, tensions in the community are at a fever pitch and public concern is turning into public action.
Actor and Anti-crime activist Ameer Baraka says the community is fed up with the city’s violence.
“People are running amok in the streets. There are videos with kids holding AK47′s in their hands with long clips. They will kill you. So you’re allowing the next generation of young boys to see these young guys do this,” says Baraka. “The community has always been concerned, but now they see that we’re not getting results from the NOPD and it’s time for us to step up.”
Fair enough: call the NOPD to account. And call the DA’s office to account. But understand that until and unless the root causes (e.g., fatherlessness) that produce “videos with kids holding AK47s in their hands with long clips” are effectively dealt with, the crudest but most effective way to remove those menaces to society is to build more prisons. Nobody wants that — but what is the alternative? We can’t all live in the safety of George Soros’s Long Island estate.
Here is a 2010 video from a Baton Rouge rapper named (at the time) L’il Boosie, who went on to achieve national fame. This video was shot in north Baton Rouge, one of the most violent and crime-ridden parts of the US. This video gives you an idea of why things are so bad there. You tell me how a culture that valorizes this kind of male is supposed to become law-abiding and stable by socializing its young men properly. Go ahead, let’s hear it. Helpful hint: it’s not the tough-on-crime policies of the District Attorney.