Lockdown and Black Lives Matter are the two most sacred agenda items of the Left this year. They also happen to be the two factors most responsible for the devastation to blacks in America – from record murders in inner cities to the closure of businesses thanks to the lockdown and riots. Yet, rather than running for reelection vehemently opposing both policies, Republicans continue to echo Democrats on both accounts, ironically, under the guise of pandering to the black vote.
According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, nearly half of all black workers in Minnesota applied for unemployment benefits at some point since mid-March as compared to 1 in 4 white workers. Even after businesses reopened again, over one quarter of black workers in the state are still on unemployment benefits as compared to 9% of white workers.
Where is the hope for these people?
What’s worse is that the shutdown also disproportionately also hit black business owners. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the number of black-owned businesses plummeted 41% from 1.1 million in February 2020 to 640,000 in April thanks to the lockdowns. White-owned businesses decreased 17% and Hispanic-owned slid 32%.
However, one has to wonder if the disparity is more acute in a state like Minnesota, which was the epicenter of the rioting. More than 1,500 buildings were destroyed in the Twin Cities area and many of them were minority-owned businesses.
All of this demonstrates that blacks are the hardest hit by the very two policies being promoted by our government now – lockdowns and the BLM war on law and order.
While blacks are disproportionately hit by the tyranny of lockdowns, they are almost exclusively the ones bearing the brunt of the death toll of anarchy. According to a Wall Street Journal analysis, homicides have spiked by double digits in 36 of America’s 50 largest cities since the beginning of the pandemic, which coincided both with the rioting and the coronavirus jailbreak of dangerous prisoners. From the usual suspects of Chicago, New York, L.A., Houston, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Kansas City, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Detroit and Memphis, to even more peaceful cities like Omaha, and Phoenix, murder has increased 24% among the top 50 cities.
Who are the biggest victims?
“Police say homicide increases are hitting low-income, mostly Black and Latino communities especially hard,” WSJ writes. “The crime maps published by many cities show homicides aren’t up in city centers where anti-police protests are happening, but instead in low-income neighborhoods outside of those city centers.”
Thus, the rioting has deterred police from taking an assertive stance even in other neighborhoods where there is typical gang activity.
Then, of course, the lockdown has played a role as well.
“Gangs are built around structure and lack thereof,” said Jeff La Blue, a spokesman for the Fresno Police Department. “With schools being closed and a lot of different businesses being closed, the people that normally would have been involved in positive structures in their lives aren’t there.”
He noted shootings and stabbings have soared in his community. “Nerves are high. People are short on money,” he said.
Hence, lockdowns and anti-police policies have all converged to create the worst amalgamation of lack of deterrent and lack of social structure of economic hope in black communities.
Why are these victims not as important as George Floyd and why do they not a have a voice in public policy? Zamar, Jones, a 7-year-old from Philadelphia, died Monday afternoon after being struck in the head Saturday as he played on his porch in West Philadelphia. Wilma Petty, a 63-year-old grandmother, was killed in Charlotte, N.C., when she was caught in a gang crossfire as she picked up her granddaughter from a birthday party.
How bad is the “new normal” in Minneapolis? Minneapolis police reported a 46% increase in carjackings and a 36% increase in robberies compared to this same time last year, according to WCCO. Rather than attacking it head on, police are left with no choice but to tell residents to comply with the assailants.
Why don’t Republicans propose a bold contrast from the Left and demand we do the exact opposite of lockdown and the BLM agenda? They should propose a reopening of our country and a shutdown of criminals. They should bar funding to states that release more criminals and restrict the police, as well as deny new coronavirus funding to those localities that continue to arbitrarily shut down businesses.
With the Left promoting tyranny and anarchy at the same time, shouldn’t Republicans stand for freedom and ordered liberty? If black lives really mattered, Republicans would speak with one voice against both the corona fascism and the BLM agenda.
Update: The 7-year-old boy shot in Philadelphia has died. His status has been updated in the column.