We’re #2

Flint, Detroit, then St. Louis.

Reading through yesterday’s Best of the Web, this on liberal populism and condescension:

When we clicked through to Crook’s piece, though, we were astounded to find this sentence qualifying his just-stated sympathy for pro-American populism: “Of course, not many black Americans and not many women long for the lives their parents led.” A whole world of condescension and presumption are wrapped in those 17 words, and we’d like to unpack it.

What Crook is saying more precisely is that blacks and women are grateful for the mid-20th-century liberation movements, which culminated in the 1950s and ’60s for blacks and in the ’60s and ’70s for women. When you put it that way, it’s hard to deny the statement is true for blacks, who were in fact liberated from an unjust system. It would be shocking to find a black person who longs for a return to Jim Crow.

Yet Crook’s disparagement of “the lives their parents led” is awfully reductive. There is more to a black person’s life than the way he is treated by the government or by whites. When one considers the social problems that have beset the black community since the civil rights era–the decline of marriage and rise of illegitimacy, drug abuse, the shockingly high incarceration rate for young black men–it’s not hard to imagine that many blacks might be nostalgic for the relative social stability of 50 to 60 years ago, as distinct from the undeniably oppressive political regime.

Yes, right. And so we come to Detroit and today’s paper:

In northwest Detroit, a grandmother clung to the casket of her 9-month-old grandson, who was killed by gunfire.

On the east side of town, an uncle sat on a porch stoop, clutching a family photo of his slain sister and her 14-year-old son, who is accused of killing her.

And in an east-side hospital room, a 6-year-old boy was fighting for his life after being shot in an attempted carjacking.

Those were three scenes Monday of the aftermath of violence in Detroit, which is experiencing a 25% increase in homicides so far this year compared with the same time period last year, according to Detroit police crime statistics.

More stomach-churning details

In recent weeks, the city has witnessed the shooting death of an infant, the shooting death of a 12-year-old girl, a 14-year-old boy accused of killing his mother and a 6-year-old critically injured after being shot with an AK47 in an attempted carjacking.

The suspects in the attempted carjacking are two 15-year-olds, who will be charged as adults. Police say they went on a violent crime spree, striking five times in less than 24 hours before being arrested on the city’s east side early Monday.

Free at last, right?

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2 Comments on “We’re #2”

  1. Svenster Says:

    Back in the old Coleman A. Young days when Detroit was Murder City or the Murder Capital the label had a certain panache. Now being #2 in murders per capita is mostly met with a yawn. White guilt over the plight of this crap hole is waning after being repeatedly bludgeoned by reality. No amount of money, no neighborhood fix-up brigades, and no marches for ending violence will do a damn thing to make Detroit a decent place to live. As bad as it is, the city could still be saved but don’t expect the dolts currently in charge to take anything resembling the steps necessary to do the job.

  2. Car in Says:

    Yea. Pretty much agree with everything you wrote

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