Escape From Woke Metropolises


Last weekend in Chicago, there were 54 shootings, five of them fatal. This was one of the fatal shootings. Warning: it’s graphic:

Look at these two dirtbags, just standing there filming it:


Last week, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is black, declared that racism is a “public health emergency” in her city, and diverted $10 million in federal Covid funds to fight racism.

Clearly, Chicago’s mayor has things well in hand, and has no problem at all facing reality. The Chicago Bears are thinking of relocating to a suburb for a bigger stadium, and Mayor Lightfoot seems more concerned about that than mass murders.Two years ago, she blamed Texas gun laws for Chicago’s killing sprees. But Chicago’s police superintendent said that same summer that the problem was that the cops keep re-arresting the same thugs, whom the criminal justice system recycle back onto the street.

This is what happens when you elect Woke Democrats to run your city. By the way, Chicago’s DA Kim Foxx was backed by leftist billionaire George Soros, who has been pouring his money into electing progressive DAs in big cities. San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin is a Soros acolyte, as is Baltimore DA Marilyn Mosby. All those cities are overrun by crime. Reader Jonah R., who lives in suburban Maryland, left this comment:

On Thursday four young black men drove to a public elementary school in the mostly white, affluent DC neighborhood of Cleveland Park, where they fired more than 40 shots at the school in front of nearly 150 witnesses, hitting two construction workers who were renovating the building and fortunately not hitting any children only because they were in nearby trailer classrooms because of the renovation. The police chased them and caught them when they crashed their car. So far there appears to be no explanation for it other than four black dudes wanted to go randomly shoot up a white school. Let me know if this makes the national news where you live. I’m sure it won’t. But this is what happens when criminals feel emboldened by anti-policing rhetoric.

In Baltimore, where the DA has implemented a policy of not prosecuting misdemeanors and low-level crimes, criminals are starting to enjoy a free-for-all environment. The tourist/bar/restaurant neighborhood of Fells Point has seen multiple shootings in the past couple weeks, with one triple shooting occurring just 25 feet from a group of police officers. Some local businesses are refusing to pay their taxes and are putting the money in escrow instead. The neighborhood, already a place for a fun night out at the bars, has been looking like Mardi Gras in recent weeks, but without the cops enforcing laws like they do in New Orleans during Mardi Gras. There’s footage of drunks jumping on police cars while the cops just watch. About a week ago, someone went into Fells Point late at night and just randomly shot a bunch of cars. Some restaurants whose owners had been desperate to reopen are closing at 9 p.m. so their employees can get home safely. Some businesses are hiring private security. Police are not enforcing open container laws, parking and traffic regulations, or laws against people openly selling drugs and liquor on the streets. Only in the past few days have the cops come in, but in pointlessly massive numbers, and they’ve closed streets and manned checkpoints, going to the opposite extreme, as if to spite the neighborhood peons who complained.

I haven’t checked the news from Minneapolis lately. Is the community of activist hobos that formed around the site of George Floyd’s death still illegally “occupying” the site and inviting anarchy? There were three fatal shootings there in their “autonomous zone” in 2020 and one fatal shooting so far this year.

How about a year of activists trying to burn down federal buildings in Portland? Plus, staffing of the Portland police is at its lowest in decades, and there’s been a huge surge of brazen gang violence. According to the AP, Portland disbanded its special unit dedicated to curbing gun violence because activists believed it disproportionately harmed black people.

This is what happens when the “defund the police” chant–which is, yes, a fringe activist fantasy–becomes policy because people are too afraid to stand up to aggressive activists. I live in a safe multicultural suburb, so I’m fine, but my friends and relatives in cities like DC, Baltimore, and New York are freaking out. You can’t for a minute pretend that the rhetoric of the past year didn’t play a role in this surge of violence in our cities.



Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By LiesThe Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.


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