Progressives and the continued urban slaughter
By Frank Salvato
Over the Easter weekend, the City of Chicago experienced a rash of violence that eclipsed anything taking place on the battlefields of Afghanistan or in the uncivilized Taliban-held territories of Pakistan's border region. 18 people were shot in several incidents, 13 of them dying from their wounds. This is nothing new to Chicago where for years the annual body-count has rivaled, if not exceeded, the casualties reported from war zones in which our military have been engaged. What is new is the political leadership in that city.
Those familiar with Chicago will take issue with that last statement, but the fact of the matter is this. It is true. While the City of Chicago has been staunchly Democrat for decades, its new mayor, Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, is a Progressive. Where the Daleys (both Richard J. and Richard M.) displayed a sincere love for the city, Mr. Emanuel, by all accounts, sees it as a stepping-stone to either the political throne of "king-maker" or executive branch national office...perhaps both.
I can say with confidence, having spent a majority of my lifetime in the nearby suburbs of Chicago, that the Daleys understood that the mean streets of Chicago were just that: mean streets. To that end, while they saw the value in efforts to address the social issues contributing to the modern urban culture of urban violence, they also knew full well that a strong, effective and empowered law enforcement community, coupled with a citizenry supportive of personal responsibility, was necessary to execute the most important role of any chief executive - local, state of federal: the protection of the innocent.
Progressives have, for decades now, fomented a culture of victimization. Everyone is a victim. Where non-Progressives see the innocents affected by those perpetrating violence-as-a-culture to be the victims, Progressives include the perpetrators of said violence as victims as well. Progressives see the people who load the gun, carry the gun and illegally shoot the gun – killing innocents, along with those complicit – as victims: victims of circumstance; victims of culture; victims of social and economic "injustice"; victims of society.
The Progressives' answer to the modern day urban culture of violence is to create more community assistance, more community activities, and more community engagement. But while a fraction of those embracing the urban culture of violence would benefit from (or even engage in) the existence of these programs, the overwhelming number of those who embrace this culture not only know no other way, but see the lifestyle as glamorous, and who could blame them?
Black urban youth – and to a lesser extent but no less troubling, Latino, Asian and White urban youth – have come to see the urban culture of violence as a lifestyle "choice" (ironic that Progressives are all universally "pro-choice"). The urban youth culture is rife with violence; violence in its music, in its preferred art and entertainment, and in its counter-culture economic system. You can't go a quarter-hour listening to an urban radio station without hearing lyrics about killing police officers or rival gang-bangers, or lyrics about women being treated like whores; to be used for sex, with those arguably degraded women being painted as accepting it willingly because, hey, it's all about the money.
And when it all boils down to it, isn't that the truth? In a culture where our education system is more worried about instilling a false sense of self-esteem (no one is a loser, everyone is a winner; everyone gets a trophy) than in cultivating critical thinking skills, complete with lessons on how to learn and then capitalize from failures, haven't Progressives really trained an entire generation – if not two – to take the easy way out; that they are entitled to "the good life"; that it's okay to transgress the law because it is the "victim" inside of you that moves you to do the unlawful? Using the victim-mentality Progressive mindset, who in their right mind would work a degrading minimum wage job for $7.25 an hour ($290 for a 40 hour week) when selling cocaine for a drug gang can garner that same person 10 times that amount in a night?
Mr. Emanuel took to the airwaves after the weekend's carnage and expressed anger at the violence. That's where he and I agree. I, too, am angry at the violence. He acknowledged that community engagement programs are necessary. To a certain extent I agree.
But he also sees the issue as one facilitated by the existence of guns. It is with this mentality that I disagree, and vehemently.
For some bizarre reason, Progressives, including Mr. Emanuel, think – and it really is bizarre – that outlawing weapons will somehow keep the criminals from illegally attaining weapons. The stupidity of that argument is stunning. If someone is going to break the law by murdering someone, why would a gun law restrain them from acquiring a weapon? Additionally, study after study after study, based on law enforcement data; prove beyond any doubt that crime – even urban crime – is reduced in areas where lawful concealed carry gun laws exist.
To express my argument more bluntly let's do an experiment. Load a weapon and place it on the table. If you want to be daring, point the barrel of the weapon in your direction. Now, step back ten feet and command the weapon, "Shoot me!" I am going to bet the farm that nothing happens; that the weapon itself did not, of its own power, shoot you. This very basic experiment proves this thesis: Guns don't kill people, people kill people.
I will acquiesce to Progressives if they acquiesce to the rest of us (compromise is what the Framers intended for our system of government). I will sign on to community engagement programs for what they are worth in providing safe haven and deterrent to inner-city innocents and vulnerable youth, but only if Progressives cease with the stupidity of :
I would see this as a good trade-off, given the fact that employing this compromise has a better chance to immediately save lives in our urban areas than anything the Progressive victimization culture has ever come up with.
That said, I won't hold my breath waiting for Mr. Emanuel and his brethren Progressives – including the race merchants among them – to announce their willingness to engage in something so common sense. Progressives, after all, know what's best for all of us...always.
Frank Salvato is the Executive Director for BasicsProject.org a grassroots, non-partisan, research and education initiative focusing on Constitutional Literacy, and internal and external threats facing Western Civilization. He is featured in Because Our Republic Is Worth It. Mr. Salvato sits on the board of directors for Founders Alliance USA, a solutions-oriented non-profit organization. He also serves as the managing editor for NewMediaJournal.us. Mr. Salvato has appeared on The O'Reilly Factor on FOX News Channel and is a regular guest on talk radio across the country. Mr. Salvato is available for public speaking engagements. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.