September 16, 2020
A Low Point for America
This past weekend in Los Angeles will be remembered as a low point for this country…
Two young police officers, one a 31-year-old mother and the other a 24-year-old male, both recent graduates of the Police Academy, were ambushed and shot by a stranger while on patrol in Compton.
As they fought for their lives in the Los Angeles hospital emergency room, protesters stormed the sidewalk outside the hospital – blocking the entrance while shouting obscenities and chanting, “Death to police!”
Sadly, the hate in this country has escalated to such a level that protestors don’t view the police as human beings anymore. They think they are subhuman and somehow deserving of being gunned down and killed.
THIS is the state of America now. Los Angeles, once the home of so much optimism and an exciting movie industry, is descending into a lawless war zone… a land of anarchy… and a place where Antifa supporters consider it “OK” and even “just” to kill anyone wearing blue.
That is not the country we know and love.
The attack and its aftermath with the protestors at the hospital caught the attention of President Trump, who was campaigning Saturday night in Nevada. He tweeted the video of the attack writing, “Animals that must be hit hard!” He also wrote that if the two officers die, then “fast trial death penalty for the killer. Only way to stop this!”
Joe Biden didn’t respond until midday on Sunday, writing on Twitter, “This cold-blooded shooting is unconscionable, and the perpetrator must be brought to justice. Violence of any kind is wrong; those who commit it should be caught and punished.”
Ilhan Omar, the outspoken congresswoman from Minnesota and member of the self-named “squad” of freshman women that have seemingly taken over the Democratic Party, chose the morning after the tragedy to go on MSNBC and double down on the “Dismantle the Police” movement in Minneapolis saying that…
The majority of people in Minneapolis don’t trust the Minneapolis police. And when you have an institution that’s lost the trust of the people [that] it’s supposed to serve, then you have to make a big decision on what you DO with that institution…
One of the proposals in her community is for funding to be redirected away from police and into mental health experts instead.
Meanwhile, it’s worth considering what life would look like if some communities chose to abandon police…
No Man’s Land
Consider the favelas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil…
These lawless, poverty-stricken “shanty towns” in the hills of one of the most celebrated beach cities on Earth are effectively no-go zones for law enforcement. They’re rife with crime, and drug gangs and rival paramilitary groups act as the “authorities” in these neighborhoods.
With no police presence in these slums, it’s the gangs that enforce social contact… And that has led to massive amounts of chaos, violence, and other tragedies for the people. The gangs engage in regular turf wars with each other and any local law enforcement that dare to enter their territory.
I was in Brazil working on a story about the country’s economic development and was staying at a high-end hotel in the most luxurious area of Rio. Yet it doesn’t matter how luxurious it is… Anywhere you go in Rio, you are just steps away from the city’s notorious favelas.
I was tired after a long day of filming and had just climbed into bed around 11:30 p.m… As I dozed off, I began hearing what I assumed were fireworks… only, they sounded a bit different.
I decided to call the front desk. In my broken Portuguese (which was basically Spanish), I asked the desk attendant, “Are there fireworks tonight?”
“No,” he said. Then, he provided probably what the hotel chain would have considered a little too much information to an American tourist there on business… “It’s a street battle up in the favelas you’re hearing – most likely rival gangs.”
So much for a good night’s sleep…
The next morning, my audio engineer told me how his wife and he had to recently relocate. They had been in a very nice neighborhood in Rio, but were sandwiched between two rival gangs who would fight every evening… firing shots back and forth across the hills. A stray bullet hit their toddler’s window and that’s when they said, “Enough!” They needed to move, quite literally, out of the line of fire…
Favelas in the U.S.?
These anarchists who are trying to defund, dismantle, and even kill the police – what is their end goal?
Some Americans have embraced the idea of no police… There’s this popular, misinformed view that communities can better police without law enforcement getting involved.
A recent report in Brazilian newspaper Extra excited some members of the extreme Left when it was said that the gang members in Rio’s favelas had taken to enforcing curfews themselves. Per the report, gang members were broadcasting the following message to residents:
We’re imposing a curfew because nobody is taking this seriously… Whoever is in the street screwing around or going for a walk will receive a corrective and serve as an example. Better to stay home doing nothing. The message has been given.
There was praise effectively heaped on the gang members because they were doing more to enforce coronavirus social distancing than the actual Brazilian government. So, are we to assume that the gang members who are handing guns to 10-year-old kids and getting them to rob people are more effective than police?
We cannot pretend the police are perfect, and we cannot pretend they don’t have certain biases, especially in a time like this. But the answer is never to defund or dismantle the police. The answer is never to chant “death to police”… Instead, we must seek ways to cure the economic injustices that leave people in poorer communities more vulnerable to a life of crime, while simultaneously offering the best training to our law enforcement so they’re well-equipped for any situation.
Through better access to education opportunities (and I encourage everyone to read John Taylor’s outstanding piece we published last Monday on the hazards of not giving every child access to education during this pandemic) and MORE law and order, rather than less… along with tax policies and benefit programs that encourage the value of families and communities… we can start to resolve some of the economic inequities that lead to so many challenges.
The answer is not for our nation’s top athletes to turn Friday Night Football into a divisive moment. The solution is to demand (off the field) better accountability from lawmakers in poorer communities. America should be a full-fledge meritocracy – not a land of handouts and special considerations. But in order to achieve that true meritocracy, the playing field must be even… which means communities must be included. We must hold lawmakers accountable for crime rates, failing schools, and other problems plaguing America’s poor.
Meanwhile, we have to invest in the best training for our police so that they are prepared to handle the dangers on the streets each day.
As I write this, two young police officers… one with a little boy at home to care for… are fighting for their lives. It should never be this way – it must stop.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
Biggest Transfer Of Wealth In U.S. History Has Begun
A Maryland multimillionaire says the biggest legal transfer of wealth in American history has just gotten underway. Here’s #1 step you must take…
Five Reasons Stock Market Bulls Will Prevail in 2020
A better handle on COVID-19, market momentum, and increased earnings estimates are included in this strategist’s logic…
The Fed is Dr. Evil
Our central banks, rather than being the lenders and liquidity providers of last resort, are now subprime lenders and hedge funds. They are now the casino telling the gamblers to throw caution to the wind and go all-in.
The Billionaire Who Wanted To Die Broke… Is Now Officially Broke
It took decades, but Chuck Feeney, the former billionaire cofounder of retail giant Duty Free Shoppers has finally given all his money away to charity. He has nothing left now – and he couldn’t be happier.
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Executive Editor, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
September 16, 2020