Writing on the painful racial tensions unfolding in Ferguson, Missouri, Kevin Williamson of NRO pointedly asks who has been running the political cogs for the last 10 years in such places as Newark, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, or L.A.? Philadelphia, for example, has not had a Republican mayor since President Truman was in office. These cities share a common ground. Most of our nation’s large, failed cities are where “the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions.”
Ferguson is no Garden of Eden, and the shooting of Michael Brown just emphasizes how much is wrong with many of our troubled cities. About two-thirds of Ferguson’s residents are black, 28 percent of which live below the poverty line, and, as Mr. Williamson points out, Missouri in general is not exactly a shinning light of economic growth. Furthermore, in the city of St. Louis, about 60% of births are out of wedlock.
From Kevin Williamson:
The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black. The most pronounced economic inequality in the United States is not in some Republican redoubt in Texas but in San Francisco, an extraordinarily expensive city in which half of all black households make do with less than $25,000 a year. Blacks in San Francisco are arrested on drug felonies at ten times their share of the general population. At 6 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested for homicides. Whether you believe that that is the result of a racially biased criminal-justice system or the result of higher crime incidence related to socioeconomic conditions within black communities (or some combination of those factors) what is undeniable is that results for black Americans are far worse in our most progressive, Democrat-dominated cities than they are elsewhere. The progressives have had the run of things for a generation in these cities, and the results are precisely what you see.
Rather than encouraging economic growth, functioning education systems and community security, Mr. Williamson argues that our most progressively governed cities are saddled with “feckless schools, self-serving bureaucracies, rapacious public-sector unions pillaging the municipal fisc, and malevolent political leadership that is by no means above exploiting racial sentiment in order to hold on to power.” Read more from NRO’s Kevin Williamson here.