No Memorial Day for inner-city dead

Race Issues
by Cal Thomas

Posted on Thursday, May 28, 2015, at 12:12 pm

While Memorial Day weekend featured the traditional parades, barbecues, and moments of silence at baseball games for those who gave their lives in wartime to preserve our freedoms, in some of America's biggest cities virtual shooting galleries produced the sort of carnage more likely to be found in the Middle East from Islamic State terrorists.

In Baltimore, Md., which was wracked by violence just one month ago after Freddie Gray, an African-American man, died while in police custody, 32 people were shot. Nine of them died. That brings to 35 the number killed in Baltimore just in May and the month isn't over.

In New York City, eight people were shot and killed.

In Chicago, where murder has become common, 12 people died and 44 were wounded.

Care to take a guess what these three cities have in common? They are all presided over by elected liberal mayors and majority liberal city councils.

In New York City, the murder rate reached a record low in 2013. Following the election of liberal Mayor Bill de Blasio, the murder rate jumped 20 percent in the first two months of 2015. Might the reason be de Blasio's order to dramatically curtail the stop-and-frisk program that had sharply reduced the number of murders in minority neighborhoods under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg?

In Baltimore, where Democratic Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake reportedly ordered Baltimore police to stand down during the recent riots, thus allowing the rioting to continue, police apparently are still obeying that order. Arrests in Baltimore have declined significantly, while incidents of criminal activity, including violent crime, are up.

There have been no visits by Al Sharpton and no investigations launched by the Department of Justice about these latest shootings. And predictably, only local media—not the national networks—have paid much attention to these murders because both the perpetrators and the victims are black. Only when the national networks see potential for a combustible racially charged story line do they seem to care.

Last year, following the riots and looting in Ferguson, Mo., Johnathan Gentry, identified by Fox News as a minister, appeared on TV to counter the message by Al Sharpton suggesting that white racism is to blame for most problems in the African-American community. Speaking of Sharpton, Gentry said, "You only come around when something happens with the police or Caucasians. You're not there for the black community so you need to stop fronting—and NAACP as well. I want to call them out as well! They're good for nothing. All they do is perpetuate hate."

You won't find that sound bite or that man on any other channel, but he speaks the truth.

Maybe what's needed is a Memorial Day for the victims of crime. Maybe that would help reduce the body count. President Obama says he was elected to "end wars, not start them." While he is retreating overseas, he might consider trying to end the war in America's inner cities. And those inner-city voters might benefit from ending their loyalty to liberal politicians who have done them little good.

© 2015 Tribune Content Agency LLC.

Listen to Cal Thomas’ commentary on The World and Everything in It.

Cal Thomas

Cal contributes weekly commentary to WORLD Radio. Over the last five decades, he worked for NBC News, FOX News, and USA Today and began his syndicated news column in 1984. Cal is the author of 10 books, including What Works: Commonsense Solutions to the Nation's Problems. Follow him on Twitter @CalThomas.

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