The Atlantic publishes billionth article about crime and the out-of-touch white liberals who love it.
Did you know that normal Americans don’t like crime? Not if you’re a stupid-ass, urban white liberal.
In the Atlantic’s latest and billionth article about crime, titled, “The liberals who won’t acknowledge the crime problem” Shadi Hamid primarily focuses on San Francisco and Philadelphia. In Philadelphia, he observes that homicides are up. In San Francisco, he points to the 45 percent jump in burglaries. Then he slams Chesa Boudin and Larry Krasner for presenting “facts”—such as the falling rates of violent crime in San Francisco—over addressing people’s feelings, which trend towards anti-crime.
So the job of DA should be to ignore facts and manage people’s false perceptions, created in part by panicky stories in the Atlantic? Look, tough-on-crime DAs already have that covered. Prior to the recall, Sacramento DA Anne-Marie Schubert practically talked about nothing but Boudin in her campaign for California Attorney General—even though violent crime in San Francisco dropped under Boudin’s tenure and went up during the years she was DA of neighboring Sacramento.
What Hamid doesn’t address is the fact that violent and property crime has gone up all around the country. Or the role of the pandemic. Or the fact that crime is actually worse in many cities run by tough-on-crime lawmakers. Instead, he takes aim at liberals who fail to address “normal people’s” fears.
But one can acknowledge this history without putting “crime” in scare quotes—as if voters should make do with the fact that overall crime is down but homicides are up. Presumably, homicides are worse, because it is more difficult to recover from death than from experiencing a break-in or witnessing creative acts of shoplifting at your local CVS.
Being forthright with the public when certain categories of crime are increasing is important, but debates over numbers obscure a more fundamental objection. The data miners, the journalists, and the otherwise well-intentioned people who believe—as one might believe in a religion—that all we need to come to the right conclusion is the right information seem unable to grasp that crime isn’t just crime.
It is also a proxy for a deeper malaise, that inchoate sense of almost-but-not-quite social collapse that’s in the air we breathe, impossible to measure with precision but unmistakably palpable all the same. The malaise draws on our own confusion, driven by the intuition that things aren’t as they should be. Burglaries and homicides are not the only sign that something is amiss. The tent encampments that have spread across our nation’s capital over the past two years suggest that something has gone very, very wrong. This is the most powerful city in the world, and yet people are living in makeshift tents in its richest neighborhoods, a stone’s throw from the White House and Capitol Hill.
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