Dec 27, 2021·edited Dec 27, 2021

First let me say that I have no access to any special scientific knowledge. What I have is 22 years of living in center city Philadelphia and an accompanying sense of what might be happening on the ground.

With Krasner’s election a few years back, many predicted doom, but what we got instead was sort of a very slow and unalarming, but still unmistakable uptick in crime reversing decades of virtually continuous declines. The handful of police officers I know forecasted drastic spikes, but they did not materialize, at least immediately. Still, things were trending in the wrong direction for the first time in decades, just not enough to make a big difference.

(To a lesser degree Kenney and Outlaw, while not affirmatively seeking to dismantle the Criminal Justice system, seem quite disinterested in defending the system and are happy to be stand byas Krasner and his allies dismantle it.)

Then we had 2020, the pandemic, and the George Floyd protests and the flood gates opened up and found some extremely fertile soil. To make a very long story very short, the authorities sent a clear message to all of us: these rioters have free reign to do whatever they want and we have no intention of providing any resistance to them or protecting private property or otherwise upholding the law. The riots went in for days and week on end and I ultimately lost track. Our city looked like a war zone with boarded up windows and burnt out police cars.

It was at this point, after 22 years of living in center city, I decided I had to move my family (2 young children) out of town. The signal sent was very clear to me: “We don’t care about you. Fend for yourself”

Forgetting about policy and trying to regress against whatever variable, the feeling in the air is quite clear. The script has flipped. If this was a movie, the cops are now the bad guys and the criminals are the righteous ones- oppressed by the bad guys. Everyone in the city can feel it. The cops have no moral authority and no one higher up is going to protect them if they stick their neck out. The ones I know have retired or are “sitting in the squad car with their heads down” trying to runout their remaining few years to retirement. If a criminal gets caught, they get let back out. The DA’s goal, to the extent he has one, is reduce prison population, especially for Black people. Criminal convictions do not advance his goal.

So there is no longer any real resistance to crime. The culture flirts with glorifying the poor oppressed criminal while demonizing the oppressive cop. The system has zero interest in public safety, only some notion of social Justice and ending mass incarceration. Crime is incidental. There isn’t one person in power that cares a wink about public safety and Krasner was just re-elected in a landslide. It is alarming that this is quite contrary to what we are seeing in NY and SF and others and yet our leaders look at far worse data and double down.

Needless to say, I don’t see Philly getting better for a long time. If they don’t fix it soon, the city will be hollowed out again a la the 70’s and 80’s.

Expand full comment

Independent of District Attorney policy on arrests, Equity may present a complaint to DA office and other offices if “too many arrests are made per racial group”. I read this somewhere but forgot where.

On the increase of police officers retiring or resigning, risks include not only career harm but possible criminal prosecution. With news media and activists stating speculation as “fact” before trial - and even after trial if verdict is not to their liking; police do not get fair/due process in the public eye. I witnessed a sudden increase of graffiti everywhere, busted shop windows, increased frequency of distress yells, menacing behavior and actual crime that I witnessed at stores.

Expand full comment

I agree with a lot of this. But nobody should be arrested for drugs in the first place. It's none of the government's business what I put in my body.

Moreover, the war on drugs is the cause of much of this violence. Black market profits mean gangs fight over turf. Dead bodies result. Same thing happened with alcohol prohibition.

Note that Coors and Miller distributors don't shoot each other in the street now.

Expand full comment

Regarding your conversation w/ Amy Wax:

1. You have the patience of Job.

2. Regarding White Supremacy: in our multi-cultural society, what are whites supreme at? Not sports. Not STEM. Not entertainment. Dominance at the top of the political and corporate structure for now but not in twenty years I wager as other higher performers take over. It's already happened at the top of most major tech companies.

3. Regarding Asians and their "threat" to American culture: America began w/ an Anglo Saxon base but a wide variety of cultures - African, Italian, Jewish, Asian, etc. - have always assimilated in most ways but also added to and improved our country. We're at our best when we take the best from all cultures and add it to the American amalgam. And you are for sure as much a part of the Western heritage as Amy. We Jews weren't originally from Europe either! And not all European populations made equal contributions anyway. Did England and Denmark contribute equally?

Expand full comment

I think Larry Krasner's heart is in the right place but he is just another victim of the leftist narrative. It should be clear now though, that his policies are not working. We all grasp at straws as to why these young black men have such a higher propensity toward crime. Is it lack of a father, poverty or bad schools? How are they nurtured into this behavior? but why couldn't it be nature? I am starting to believe like others have mentioned that it most probably is genetical.

Expand full comment

I agree with most of the points but object to the final phrase "from which they may never recover." I may be being a bit picky, but I think "can take generations to recover from" serves a couple of purposes: it avoids the level of exaggeration that is too common and is harming our ability to discuss, and second is actually supported by the cross-generational effects that are being studied in the research you are citing which also contributes to better discussion.

I have been listening to the arguments about "fundamental changes" that are "the end of history" in some way for a couple of decades and it doesn't seem to be getting better. Every time Democrats win an election it is due to "demographic changes" that mean Republicans will never win again. We already know how this will go: cities are getting overwhelmed with violence and they will either change or people will continue to flee which will continue the spiral until collapse forces a change, so that folks 30 years from now will look back at this violence like we are looking back at the violence before Giuliani. This isn't the first round for these particular bad ideas.

Expand full comment

"The most violent criminals must be dealt with compassionately, as many are brought up in single-parent homes devoid of moral education and educated in dysfunctional schools (85% of young men in prison come from fatherless homes)." This is a hard way to grow up. But what is the imprisonment rate for children who are adopted into such homes and schools or adopted out of them? People who don't offer any moral education and send their children to dysfunctional schools are presumably genetically inclined to moral vacuity, child neglect, stupidity, and cruelty to children, and they pass on their genes to their birth children.

Expand full comment

"Culturally speaking, the more that impressionable youth are surrounded by gang members, the fewer chances they’ll have to transcend their environment and actualize their human potential."

One of the tools we as a society have to help teach kids empathy, kindness, and values such as honesty, integrity, and responsibility are movies. Believe it or not, for kids who don't have adults to guide them in life, good quality movies can step into that role because they can model pro-social behaviors, and because of that, have the potential to help impressionable youth "transcend their environment and actualize their human potential."

Here are some examples: Everyday Heroes In Movies (a list):


Expand full comment
Dec 20, 2021Liked by Rav Arora

My family is from Philadelphia and I lived there for many years, and I still love the city, but I have to say the voters of Philadelphia are responsible for this and only they can solve the problem. Just a few months ago Krasner won his primary 67%-33% and the general election 72%-28%. I can't explain it, but this is what the voters want.

Expand full comment

Greetings Rav and Dr. Loury -

I've followed Glen fairly closely since initially being exposed to him through a very thoughtful, open, and candid interview he did with Bari Weiss. I've been further interested in his thinking since subscribing, hearing podcasts, and seeing him speak in other venues. I find his thinking very compelling, and it's an informed perspective that I feel speaks to upholding standards during this phase of civil rights and race relations in America. I appreciate that these views come without malice. I hope he fully appreciates how his perspectives can be adopted by people who DO have malice.

I'd only ask that Glen, Rav, others be careful and humble in their own reporting and research on these topics.

A couple very important contributing factors to this spate of violence aren't even mentioned in this piece. First, I'd ask a very simple question, that nonetheless might be crucial: How has the pandemic impacted the situation? I doubt many reasonable people view it as a coincidence that we're seeing this kind of violence at the same time that we're seeing such a major disruption to normal life. We're also seeing insurrections, widespread unemployment, and other abnormal social conditions. Personally, I highly doubt we'd be seeing this degree of a spike if most people were able to safely work the jobs that they'd had before COVID. It would be interesting for those thoughts to be explored more earnestly.

Second, I'll add that the availability and acceptance this country has had for guns is also part of the problem. All the "2nd Amendment" types don't seem to have an answer when their own lives, liberty, or property might be threatened by others who feel free to own and use guns. The lack of legal attention to this topic over decades has been ridiculous, to the degree that we have people openly carrying assault weapons on American streets and more guns per person than any other country. I own a small gun myself, but will never join the NRA for their role in flooding this country with unregulated weapons of war. They've made this country look like Lebanon, when most of our history has just meant allowing responsible people to have simple weapons for hunting, pest control, and home defense - and with a higher degree of scrutiny on who should be allowed to own one.

I do believe you're both on to something, and making an important point. I'll ask, too, that you question your own assumptions with the same vigor that you're rightfully questioning the assumptions of various American establishments. 2020 raised a lot of important questions about how police are interacting with the communities they're tasked with serving. Even if most interactions go off professionally, there are too many excesses that have been unchallenged for far too long. And there is wisdom in the assertion that some police functions would be better served by unarmed agencies, hence the legitimate interests some Americans express about reforming the police.

Expand full comment

Early life check on Larry Krasner: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Krasner

Expand full comment
User was banned for this comment. Show
Expand full comment

The Obama people started this RaceWar but now that it's spiraled out of their control and provoked a sharp backlash, they're running scared. It's standard ghetto ideology in action, like forced integration, bussing, Affirmative Action, and now their Social Justice campaign which is a social engineering abortion brought to the American people courtesy of the Democrat's permanent and radicalized Grievance Culture.

Expand full comment

Democrats still live in the Ghetto. In fact, they have expanded the concept of the Ghetto to the "Sanctuary City." Now they want all Americans to

pay the tab for their cradle-to-grave welfare society. I would rather burn down those ghetto cities than pay for their survival. They are Parasitic organisms on the body of the nation, a cancerous growth.

Expand full comment

As long as you vote for Democrat machine politicians and their radicalized agenda - you get what you voted for.

Expand full comment

arrogant rich entitled white liberals and black radical counterparts in government institute policies that directly harm POC constituencies, while whites of means simply flee decaying cities for safer suburban/rural areas. nice job progs; you're looking out for the "oppressed", sure you are.....

Expand full comment