Hart: Another Obama legacy: The Ferguson Effect
This week I head to Cuba to see what 50 years of socialism have done to that country's economy and to the well-being of the citizens. I want to get there before "normalization," when there are a CVS and a Pure Barre on every corner.
Cuba is a great lesson on how bad, central command-and-control, populist policies ruin a country. Historically, refugees from Cuba come to America for safety, opportunity and freedom. Obama is doing all he can to change that.
The decline of dysfunctional cities like Ferguson, Baltimore, Chicago and Flint has accelerated under Obama, much like what happened to Cuba. All four cities have in common long-time, socialist/liberal, Democrat rule; inept and race-obsessed government; teachers’ unions whose members get paid more for lesser outcomes; and high city taxes that run businesses out of town.
Since the criminal Michael Brown was justifiably shot after committing a crime and attacking a police officer, the riots and the St. Louis area community's reaction, in concert with Obama’s White House, have led to further economic demise. Property values are down another 30 percent, the St. Louis Rams pro football team is leaving, and business owners are scared to reopen for fear of further looting by residents. Obama has fanned the fires of racial divide every chance he could.
From injecting wrong opinions on the Cambridge, Mass., police arrest of Professor Skip Gates, to Trayvon Martin, to taking control of the Ferguson police — and now Baltimore — Obama has divided us. He was in a unique position to heal racial wounds. Sadly, he chose instead to inflame them with thin "facts" in cases like these. He has sold more Americans guns than pawn shops and made us all less trusting of each other.
Obama has turned our Midwest into the Middle East, with gun violence climbing in cities like Chicago. He blames Republicans, not the thugs and gang-bangers shooting each other in the streets in these “gun free zones” he so loves. Chicago is now saying it will be a sanctuary city for Syrian refugees. Haven’t those people suffered enough? Chicago is not a refugee oasis; it’s a social studies lesson.
The only signs of racial unity in America are pictures of an African-American and an anarchist white guy together carrying a flat screen TV from a looted store.
The result of Obama blaming the police instead of condemning criminals who riot and loot has led us to what is being called the "Ferguson Effect.” Police officers who daily risk their lives in crime-ridden neighborhoods, only to be vilified and second-guessed by liberal politicians like New York Mayor de Blasio, simply slow their efforts. It’s a reasonable reaction to the lack of support from Democrat politicians.
Breitbart reported that gun violence was up 60 percent in Baltimore and that May 2014 was the deadliest month in 15 years. Chicago shootings were up 24 percent and homicides 17 percent. Good thing these are “gun free zones.” St Louis saw a rise of 43 percent in homicides, 39 percent in shootings and 43 percent in robberies. In de Blasio’s NYC, one East Harlem precinct reported that shootings were up 500 percent.
Imagine how hard it is now to get a conviction from juries who nullify police cases under the notion of "social justice."
Business does what it can. Drew Carey brought his show The Price is Right to Baltimore after the looting. It worked on two levels, it supported the city and help looters put a price on the things they stole.
Crime predictably rises when you persecute the cops and justify rioting, thus sanctioning criminal behavior. In essence, Obama says, "Blame the cops." The result is chaos, danger, and more dependence on big government in D.C. Stoke misplaced anger and act like you are there to "save these poor people from the oppressive local police," and you undermine the people who are most in need of empowerment. You make them more dependent on you. Liberals have a name for it: the "Cloward-Piven Strategy."
So prepare for the next wave of riots and looting after the Baltimore police officers charged with causing Freddie Gray's death are found not guilty. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake will urge her citizens to be sure to make a list of the items they want to loot. Nothing makes you feel more embarrassed than when you loot iPhone 6 cases, and you get home and realize you have an iPhone 5.
A libertarian op-ed humorist and award-winning author, Ron’s a frequent guest on CNN. He can be contacted at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.