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Two years ago, a 20-year-old student at the University of Chicago named Max Lewis boarded a subway car on the city’s Green Line. Lewis had just finished another day interning at an investment bank in downtown Chicago, and he was on his way back to his apartment. Then, without warning, a stray bullet tore through the subway car’s window and hit Lewis in the neck. Doctors quickly determined that Max Lewis had been paralyzed from the neck down. He’d never be able to eat or walk again. He’d need a ventilator, forever. But Lewis could communicate with his eyes. By blinking, and using a letter board, he sent this message to his family: “If I have to live like this, pull the plug. Please, seriously.” Doctors took Max Lewis off of life support, and he died in the hospital shortly afterwards.
It’s a horrifying story. But it’s not particularly unusual in Chicago. The same weekend that Max Lewis was shot in the neck, at least 100 other residents of Chicago were hit by gunfire, and 18 died. A few days later, Chicago’s mayor at the time, Lori Lightfoot, gave an extended interview with CNN in Chicago’s West Garfield Park neighborhood. She was surrounded by bodyguards for the whole thing. Lori Lightfoot did not offer any sympathy to the family of Max Lewis, nor did she propose any solution to the city’s rampant crime problem. Instead, in the interview, Lori Lightfoot made it clear who the real victim was in Chicago. It was Lori Lightfoot. “I’m a Black woman and I’m a member of the LGBTQ community,” she said. “It’s not okay that systemic racism, homophobia, and sexism still exist but I’m going to play the cards that I’m dealt.”
This pattern repeated in Chicago, over and over again, for years, until finally the residents of Chicago had enough of Lori Lightfoot’s malevolence and incompetence. Earlier this year, Lightfoot became the first mayor of Chicago to lose re-election in 40 years. Lori Lightfoot’s replacement was a former social studies teacher named Brandon Johnson. Like every other mayor elected in Chicago since 1927, Brandon Johnson is a Democrat. During the campaign, Johnson did not propose any serious solutions to the rampant crime in Chicago. Instead, he ran on a platform of anti-white racism and defunding the police department.
Brandon Johnson took office just over two months ago. One of the first major tests of his new administration came on Sunday night, when a mob began looting stores, fighting in public, and destroying property in the South Loop. This is considered one of the nicer areas of the city, for what that’s worth. The bar is pretty low, admittedly. Here’s what it looked like this weekend:
Chicago’s latest “teen takeover”
— Jack Elbaum (@Jack_Elbaum) August 3, 2023
Notice the media calls this a “teen takeover,” which is maybe the most innocuous possible term they could use. It sounds like a birthday party at the local swimming pool. In reality, as anyone can see, it was rioting. And by the way, not all of the criminals were “teens.” Many of them were, but certainly not all of them. At least one journalist didn’t want to whitewash this complete breakdown of public safety in one of America’s major cities. The reporter asked Brandon Johnson what he was going to do about the mob violence in the South Loop. Brandon Johnson responded by attacking the reporter’s choice of language. Watch:
It’s the Lori Lightfoot approach. Don’t blame the criminals. Blame the people who notice the criminals. They’re the problem, because they use the wrong language. We see this a lot now on the left. It’s one of the hallmarks of leftism, in fact: This preoccupation with language is everywhere. And every time they fixate on language, it’s always to obfuscate the issue. They’re not trying to be precise. In fact, it’s the opposite of being precise. They’re trying to confuse as many people as possible.
According to Johnson, the preferred term for what you just saw in Chicago is not “mob violence” or “riot,” but instead, “large gathering.” Yes, a large gathering — you know, like a concert or a Chick-fil-A drive thru. Is there a single person alive who thinks that’s the most accurate, useful terminology in this situation? “Large gathering” implies that nothing criminal occurred at all. A Thanksgiving dinner with 20 people could be described as a “large gathering.”
But Johnson insists that’s the “appropriate” way to talk about what happened. Then he says, with no hint of irony whatsoever, quote, “This is not to obfuscate what has actually taken place.” But of course that’s the entire point of what he’s doing. That’s why people like Brandon Johnson claim they’re “redirecting” funds from the police, instead of defunding them. It’s why they use terms like “gender-affirming care” instead of talking about double mastectomies and sterilizing hormones. That’s why they call the victims of abortion “Fetuses” instead of “babies.” The objective of Johnson’s movement, at every turn, is to obfuscate what’s actually taking place — which is the destruction of the foundational elements of western civilization. That includes the nuclear family, and it includes law and order.
What’s actually taking place, although you’re not supposed to talk about it, is that major cities in this country are careening so quickly towards total disorder that we’ll probably be seeing Koreans on the rooftops soon. These are not isolated incidents that we’re talking about. This is a pattern. Here’s what Chicago looked like back in April, just a few months ago:
🚨#BREAKING: Chaotic Scene Unfolds in Downtown Chicago as Teenagers Vandalize Cars and Gunfire Erupts
— R A W S A L E R T S (@rawsalerts) April 16, 2023
Another large gathering for you. That’s all it is, remember. A large gathering, like a church picnic. Now, Brandon Johnson, who was the mayor-elect at the time, responded to this violence with a written statement, saying it was “not constructive to demonize youth who have otherwise been starved of opportunities in their own communities.” Of course he gets this exactly backwards. The job opportunities are leaving these communities because these people are making the communities unlivable. They aren’t starved of opportunities. They are chasing the opportunities away. Any one of these people could walk into the local convenience store and ask for a job. Instead they’d rather loot the place. That’s their choice.
At any rate, it’s fair to conclude that this is the prepared talking point of Johnson’s administration, in response to mob violence. Every time his city is besieged by rioters, he’s going to lecture you for noticing. He’s going to police your language. Back in April, Johnson was asked about his written statement. Here’s how he defended it:
It’s hard to believe any elected politician would say something like that. “They’re young! They make silly decisions!” Like setting cars on fire, robbing stores, and beating people up. You wouldn’t understand. You’re not a former middle school teacher like Brandon Johnson.
It’s clear that, like so many other Democrats, Johnson is totally unequipped to handle rampant crime in his city. Leftist ideology has at this point left reality, and all of reality’s concerns, completely behind. These people aren’t living in the same universe as normal taxpaying Americans, let alone the same city. They hear about hundreds of shooting victims and they start talking about homophobia. They see a mob of hundreds of people robbing stores and setting cars on fire, and they say it’s just “silly.” It’s a fun prank. Like putting a whoopee cushion on someone’s chair. You know, that sort of thing.
That’s not to confine the problem to Johnson, or Lori Lightfoot. This is now the default position of the Democratic Party in response to mob violence everywhere. We see it anywhere Democrats are in charge, in an entrenched position of power. And it’s leading to predictable results. This was Compton a few months ago:
A “sideshow erupts into looting!” A huge crowd “taking part in a sideshow” suddenly got out of control, according to FOX 11. It sounds so innocuous. Who could have anticipated that the “side show” would “erupt into looting!” It’s as unpredictable as your neighbor’s backyard barbecue “erupting into a mass shooting!” What are you going to do?
As it happens, not much. As the anchor said, just one arrest was made. Imagine that. Of course, Chicago and Compton aren’t the only towns with a George Soros-backed D.A. where these kinds of “side shows” are common. We could show you similar videos out of Philadelphia and many other cities. In the case of Philly, a recent episode of mob violence was described by local media as a “flash mob.” What did this “flash mob” do? Did they perform a coordinated dance routine or something? No, they waved guns around and injured police officers. Just an innocent flash mob, our media reports.
Officials and media outlets can condone riots all they want. They can use whatever euphemisms they choose. At some point, stakeholders — people who own shops and homes — will fight back. And indeed that’s already happening. You may have seen this video from the other day. It shows store owners in California beating a guy with a stick, after he empties out their inventory of cigarettes. Here’s what happened as the thief tried to leave:
Whoop his ass … 7-Eleven workers stop California man who tried to steal trash can full of cigarettes
By Katherine Donlevy
August 2, 2023 9:40pm Updated
Two 7-Eleven workers in California took matters into their own hands and used a stick to wallop a man who tried to steal a… pic.twitter.com/DpB3IvFfii
— SubX.News (@SubxNews) August 3, 2023
I have to admit: I’m a sucker for a heart warming video. If you watch the whole thing you’ll notice that the narrator of that clip — the person recording it — starts out on the side of the robber. He tells the store owners that they can’t do anything, because they’ll get in trouble. “There’s nothing you can do,” the person says. And it’s clear why he said that. We’ve all seen the reports of store employees being fired or arrested because they tried to stop shoplifters. And in this case, the shoplifter claims he has a gun, so there’s even more reason for these store owners to stay back.
But they don’t. The store owners stepped up, regardless of whatever personal consequences they might suffer. And then — and this is the key moment — when the robber is subdued, the narrator celebrates. He takes the side of the store owners.
What does that tell us? It tells us that when strong people take action, everyone else gets the message really quick. All it takes is some bravery, and some decisive action, for everyone else to fall in line. Did you ever notice that the riots in Kenosha, Wisconsin stopped after that night Kyle Rittenhouse defended the local businesses, and himself, from the mob? There’s a reason for that. But the leaders of the biggest cities in this country have no interest in defending their communities or taking any decisive action whatsoever. Instead, they’re making excuses.
Let’s go back to that Brandon Johnson press conference from a few months ago — the one where he defends the mob. I mean, one of the press conferences where he defends the mob. Watch what he says about “root causes” of violence:
Brandon Johnson wants to “eradicate” the “root causes” of violence. What are those root causes? He doesn’t really say in that particular press conference, but you can probably guess. The root causes are white supremacy, and the police, and so on.
What Brandon Johnson didn’t reflect on is why all this crime and destruction in our cities is so pointless and arbitrary. Why are teenagers gathering to set cars on fire? What exactly are they gaining from that? Why are they gathering by the hundreds, for no apparent reason, to commit acts of violence? They’re not stealing food. They’re not doing it for survival. In many cases they’re not even doing it for money. This is destruction for the sake of it.
What Johnson and his party will never say — because it’s true — is that we’re seeing the results of multiple generations of children raised with essentially no moral formation, no parental guidance, and no sense of purpose. They come from fatherless homes. They’re taught by unionized employees who would rather be on vacation than in the classroom. They’re given smartphones before they learn their multiplication tables — if they ever learn them. And then, when they commit serious crimes, the people in charge blame everyone but them.
When Lori Lightfoot says it’s racist to criticize her, she’s also saying it’s racist to criticize the delinquents we see in these videos. But it’s not. People who form mobs to destroy property are behaving like animals. They should go to prison for a long time. And unless we can say that, we will never address the “root causes” that Johnson claims to care about. It’ll only get worse. More people will get beaten with sticks in 7/11’s. More college students will get shot on the subway. Eventually, law-abiding citizens won’t take it anymore. A critical mass of voters will demand the El Salvador solution: suspend civil liberties, round up the criminals and throw away the key. That’s the way these things always go. The lesson of history on this point is very clear: people can only take so much.