Tuesday, June 28, 2022 -
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There is no such thing as a crime, and no such thing as a jail.

Nor, for that matter, such thing as justice

Walk around the streets of Denver. You’ll see some occasional trash. You’ll see some homeless encampments. That’s about it. The city streets are pretty clean. We’re sure there are exceptions, but fundamentally we live in a clean city.

Walk around the streets of San Francisco, once considered the elite in West Coast beauty and class. You’ll see fentanyl peddled openly on the streets. You’ll see used hypodermic needles —not a few, but proverbial truckloads. You’ll, not see, but will experience soaring burglary rates; ditto for car break-ins. You’ll see “tent” encampments (notice, not “homeless encampments”; you no longer need to be homeless to assert the right to squat on public property).

Surprise, surprise. San Francisco voters got sick of the “see no crime, hear no crime, prosecute no crime” judicial philosophy of District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and roundly recalled him from office.

Under Boudin’s approach, if criminals were arrested at all, they were not sent to jails. They were sent to treatment centers. Surprise, surprise, it didn’t work. Anarchy was not appreciated — anarchy, perhaps the newest thread in the social justice legerdemain, as in Colorado House District 6 Democratic primary candidate Elisabeth’s Epps’ “You say ‘anarchy’ as if it’s a bad thing. It’s not.”

Speaking of Democrats, don’t think that the fierce objection to the policies of recalled San Francisco DA Boudin was a Democratic-Republican thing. Yes, San Francisco Republicans highlighted the failures in Boudin’s approach, but so diddyed-in-the wool Democratic liberals. The New York Times cites Mary Jung — a veteran of the George McGovern presidential campaign, of Planned Parenthood, and the current head of a realtors foundation that assists homeless people — who wondered what kind of city her grandchild would grow up in.

It was all there on video, clear as day. A mentally ill man punched an old Chinese woman in broad daylight. Jung thought, “Am I going to be able to take her [my granddaughter] out in a stroller?” For the liberal Mary Jung, as for many Democrats around the country, “anarchy” and “defund the police” and the invocation of every imaginable policy and principal to keep a crime from being called a crime, and to keep criminals out of jail, on the street, don’t work and aren’t right. It was not a Republican, but the liberal Democrat Jung who led the successful effort to oust Boudin.

Boudin ran on a platform of reducing mass incarceration. He certainly succeeded, but not by reducing crime. He simply let the criminals run unrestrained on the streets. San Francisco, under his tenure, had one of the lowest rates of arrests for reported crimes among major American cities. Voters saw through this Orwellian definition of “reducing mass incarceration.”

Too many blacks are incarcerated. But the primary reason is not because the criminal justice system is riddled with racial disparities, but because there are too many black criminals. Separate the major from the minor. Yes, there is racism among some police; no, this is not the major reason for high black incarceration rates. The solution to that problem embraces far wider — indeed community-wide — social, economic and family structure issues.

San Francisco DA Boudin won office in 2019 on a platform that the solution to high black incarceration rates was smoothed by the suspension of much of law enforcement. He failed even on his own terms. In San Francisco, his goal of ending racial disparities in the justice system seemed to exclude the racial disparities suffered by Asian Americans. In San Francisco, where Asian Americans are a major part of the citizenry, they feel unsafe due to the spike in hate crimes. The end to racial disparities in the justice system must mean their end for everyone, not just for favored minority groups (an oxymoron if every there was one).

Note: This is not just a San Francisco thing. The race for mayor in Los Angeles pits Republican Rick Caruso against Democrat Karen Bass. Both are running on a crack-down-on-crime platform. So did current New York Mayor Democrat Eric Adams, who is finding it difficult to implement his vision. But in two of the nation’s biggest cities, at least the issue has been joined, not redefined away. If remains for Chicago to take note.

Closer to home, it remains imperative for Denver police and politicians alike to keep their eyes on local conditions, to reject the import of delusional ideological lenses — such as “bail reform” and “anarchy” — that would threaten the safety of our city.

Copyright © 2022  by the Intermountain Jewish News

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