There were so many shootings over the weekend in Chicago that the city’s CBS affiliate didn’t have all the particulars until after 8:00 a.m. on Monday morning. The station then added another shooting to the list just before going online with the depressing news: Eight people were killed and at least 33 others were wounded in Chicago between Friday evening and Monday morning.
The first homicide occurred at about 11:30 p.m. Friday night with the shooting death of 18-year-old Louis Rodriguez; the last shooting occurred at 4:30 a.m. Monday morning when a man standing on a sidewalk in Chicago’s West Side was shot by someone cruising by in a vehicle. At press time the victim was listed in serious condition.
One of the many weekend shootings involved the death of a man attending a vigil for another who was shot the day before. He was killed by two men in a grey minivan who then sped away. The case is under investigation.
Heather Mac Donald, author of The War on Cops: How the New Attack on Law and Order Makes Everyone Less Safe, explained the reason why: the “Ferguson Effect.” First coined by Sam Dotson, chief of the St. Louis Police Department in 2014, the term describes the increasing reluctance of officers on the beat to confront criminals owing to fears that they might be charged themselves with criminal activity. As a result, wrote Dotson, “The criminal element is feeling empowered.”
In an article in the Wall Street Journal in May of 2015, Mac Donald claimed that, thanks to the “Ferguson Effect” — named for the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri — “cops are disengaging from discretionary enforcement activity,” leading inevitably to that criminal empowerment.
In the Journal on Sunday, Mac Donald expanded on her theme, claiming that “Chicago officers have cut back drastically on proactive policing under the onslaught of criticism from the Black Lives Matter movement and its political and media enablers.” As a result, she wrote, “criminals are back in control and black lives are being lost at a rate not seen for decades.”
By September 8 nearly 3,000 people had been shot in Chicago since the first of the year — an average of one shooting victim every two hours. A total of 516 people have been murdered while gun homicides and non-fatal shootings jumped by half from the same period a year earlier.
Mac Donald claims that the media blames poverty, racism, and lack of government services as the cause behind the Chicago horror, while Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson blames lenient prison sentences that release violent criminals back on the street. Any attempt by the state’s legislature to impose stricter sentencing is successfully blocked by the legislature’s Black Caucus.
In April Mac Donald spoke at Hillsdale College, blaming the Movement for Black Lives (50 organizations including Black Lives Matter) as the primary driver behind the anti-police movement. The group, according to Mac Donald, promotes the lie that racist police officers represent the greatest threat to young black men today. This has led to riots, murder, and attempted murder of police officers and a campaign to eliminate traditional grand jury proceedings when police use lethal force.
This lie has led to the spreading of the Ferguson Effect, where “police officers are backing off of proactive policing in the face of the relentless venom directed at them on the street and in the media.”
What Mac Donald failed to tell her Hillsdale audience about is far more sinister: the agenda and the forces behind the BLM. Founded by Marxist revolutionaries in 2013, BLM is closely affiliated with a vicious hard-left communist revolutionary outfit called the Freedom Road Socialist Organization (FRSO). This is a Marxist-Leninist organization that calls for the overthrow of capitalism, to be replaced by a communist dictatorship. The BLM is informed by the FRSO’s view of America as an inherently and irredeemably racist nation where “white privilege” is ubiquitous and “national oppression [of blacks] is at the heart of [the nation’s] economic, political and ideological traditions, and the oppression of the African American people in particular have been central to the U.S. class struggle.”
The FRSO calls for “a social system where … wealth is not in the hands of a few billionaires, but is controlled by the people.” Of course, the FRSO intends that, following the destruction of capitalism, it will represent “the people” in setting up the new dictatorship.
To get there, however, local police must be replaced by federal police, and the best way to do that is to create distrust among the citizenry over local police, leaving the way open for a federal “gestapo” in charge of keeping the peace and removing recalcitrants and other anti-communists in the process.
Making the point, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin announced last week that the Chicago Police Department will be receiving more than $2.3 million in taxpayer funds that will, he said, “help equip those officers with the best, most up-to-date tools to do their jobs effectively and keep residents safe.” It will also come with the inevitable strings which, over time, become ropes and then hawsers, turning the CPD into a mere substation of the national police force in the making.
Mac Donald expressed dismay and frustration at the success of the BLM to create the vacuum to be filled by federal intrusions and eventually the takeovers of local police. She closed her speech at Hillsdale with this observation: “I don’t know what will end the current frenzy against the police. What I do know is that we are playing with fire, and if it keeps spreading, it will be hard to put out.”
“We” are not playing with fire, Ms. Mac Donald. “We” are the target of the revolutionaries, as are our local police. “We” will keep our freedoms only to the extent that we truly understand the war against those freedoms, who its enemies are, what their intentions are, and then take action. For 50 years The John Birch Society has been in the forefront of that battle, forming its first “Support Your Local Police” committees in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Unless and until awareness and understanding is sufficient to expose, neuter, and then eliminate that threat, it will indeed “keep spreading.”