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Squires: Kanye and Krasner coddle criminals, promote chaos, empower a new Klan

Op-ed
Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

The most influential voices in American politics and culture have made criminals this country’s newest victim class, and their misplaced sympathies have made life very difficult for everyone else.

Larry Krasner, the district attorney in Philadelphia, raised eyebrows when he claimed his city does not have a crisis in violent crime. This came as a shock to most people, because the city recently surpassed its previous record of 500 homicides in a single year. Krasner was quick to dismiss the crime spike in his city because he knows many people blame his policies for contributing to the problem.

Krasner, a former criminal defense attorney, campaigned as a criminal justice reformer when he first ran for district attorney in 2017. He was aided by a $1.45 million donation from George Soros, the billionaire philanthropist who has contributed to the campaigns of several progressive prosecutors. He has done everything to live up to his reputation since then. Krasner dropped cash bail in 2018 for over twenty “low-level” offenses, including DUI and retail theft.

Krasner has also been criticized for his approach to more serious crimes. In 2020, the federal prosecutor with jurisdiction over Philadelphia detailed ten cases in which Krasner’s office offered lenient plea deals to defendants who were subsequently charged with murder. Keith Garner, a man with multiple prior felony convictions, was arrested for executing four people eight months after being given a plea deal on an assault charge. Another man named Tariq Grant was arrested for murdering a 19-year-old six months after receiving a plea deal for multiple violent offenses. A third individual with prior felonies, Francisco Reyes, allegedly murdered a man two days after pleading guilty and receiving probation on multiple drug offenses.

Despite the impact of his policy changes, Krasner easily won re-election in November. A month later, it was time for another criminal justice reformer to take the stage on behalf of America’s newest victim class.

Kanye West and Drake teamed up on December 9 to put on a benefit concert at the L.A. Coliseum for Larry Hoover, founder of the Chicago-based Gangster Disciple street gang. The event page said the concert would “raise awareness and support for Larry Hoover and the cause of prison and sentencing reform.”

Hoover has been in prison since 1973 on a combination of state and federal charges, including murder, conspiracy, extortion, and continuing to engage in a criminal enterprise. He is currently serving six life sentences but has allegedly renounced his association with the Gangster Disciples.

Kanye unsuccessfully lobbied President Trump for Hoover’s pardon in 2018. He also included a song about Hoover on his new album, “Donda,” called “Free My Father” that features Larry Hoover Jr. advocating for his father’s release.

Kanye is a Chicago native and could have chosen to use his immense influence to bring attention to any of the more than 750 people who have been killed in his city this year. One analysis of crime data in September found that more children had been shot in Chicago (261) than had died of COVID (214) across the entire country. Kanye could have done a benefit concert for those children.

Anyone who understands anything about how the ruling class thinks about crime and punishment knows why that didn’t happen. Both Kanye and Krasner, archetypes of American culture and politics, believe society’s primary criminal justice problem is a system of racist policing and incarceration that unfairly targets black people.

This is why Democratic politicians and Hollywood celebrities only bring national attention to black people when they believe the perpetrators are white police officers or vigilantes.

As a Christian, I am eternally grateful for a savior who took the punishment for my sins. But there is something important to be learned from the Old Testament laws that governed ancient Israel.

Four of the first five books of the Bible detail hundreds of laws governing Israel’s vertical relationship with God as well as horizontal relationships between people. These books also include punishments for lawbreakers, which are clear and commanded to be executed swiftly.

What caught my eye in the book of Deuteronomy was the frequent use of the phrase “and so you shall purge the evil from your midst.” The phrase is used when discussing punishment for breaking the law. That phrase was often followed by another: “And all of Israel will hear, and they will fear.”

The lesson was clear: Deal with sin quickly to stop it from spreading. Every parent understands this lesson. In general, what is rewarded is repeated, and the behaviors that don’t get corrected will only get worse.

This lesson has been completely lost on our culture, especially the liberal activists, celebrities, and politicians who are driving our national conversation around criminal justice reform. They think coddling criminality, whether through rhetoric or policy, is rehabilitative. But the recent crime waves across the country demonstrate that failure to purge evil has a multiplying effect.

Criminals, regardless of skin color, feel emboldened to steal when they know theft won’t be punished. They will run into stores, smash display cases, and stroll out with as many items as they can carry. The same dynamic exists in violent crime.

The left argues that when the people doing the shooting are black, moral problems will be corrected with material solutions.

Oddly enough, they don’t apply that principle to all groups. They would never argue that a jobless Klansman terrorizing a middle-class black family is simply in need of a new career and better housing. When it comes to that type of crime, they are quick to purge evil.

They claim that black lives matter but spend more time and attention on fake hate crimes than real street crimes.

The people elected to prevent and punish crime have incentivized it. Instead of purging evil from our midst, celebrities and political ideologues welcome it. We shouldn’t be surprised that it’s spreading.
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