The 1960s triumph of the Civil Rights Movement with the end of segregation in the South and the implementation of coercive social integration via the Civil Rights Bill of 1964 was supposed to end the Race Problem in America, but what actually occurred was a wave of rioting in every major city in the country. Fifty years of cultural, governmental, and institutional racial favoritism and the election of an African-American president later, we still have an unproductive and dependent black underclass, simmering with resentment and ready to riot at the drop of a journalistic meme alleging excessive use of force by the police against one of its own.
The Wall Street Journal argues that everyone, including the rioters, ought to be blaming the political leadership which has been in charge of those cities all these decades, not the police or the rest of America, for the inner city underclass’s lack of hope, inspiration, and economic opportunity.
Youâ€™re not supposed to say this in polite company, but what went up in flames in Baltimore Monday night was not merely a senior center, small businesses and police cars. Burning down was also the blue-city model of urban governance.
Nothing excuses the violence of rampaging students or the failure of city officials to stop it before Marylandâ€™s Governor called in the National Guard. But as order starts to return to the streets, and the usual political suspects lament the lack of economic prospects for the young men who rioted, letâ€™s not forget who has run Baltimore and Maryland for nearly all of the last 40 years.
The men and women in charge have been Democrats, and their governing ideas are â€œprogressive.â€ This model, with its reliance on government and public unions, has dominated urban America as once-vibrant cities such as Baltimore became shells of their former selves. In 1960 Baltimore was Americaâ€™s sixth largest city with 940,000 people. It has since shed nearly a third of its population and today isnâ€™t in the top 25.
The dysfunctions of the blue-city model are many, but the main failures are three: high crime, low economic growth and failing public schools that serve primarily as jobs programs for teachers and administrators rather than places of learning.
Letâ€™s take them in order. The first and most important responsibility of any city government is to uphold law and order. When the streets are unsafe and crime is high, everything elseâ€”e.g., getting businesses to invest and create jobsâ€”becomes next to impossible.
People also start voting with their feet. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has stated that one of her goals is to attract 10,000 families to move to Baltimore. Good luck with that after Monday night.
Read the whole thing.