It’s astonishing how regularly progressive “innovations,” especially in the name of equity, end up doing serious damage to already vulnerable groups.
Take crime. In New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia and elsewhere progressive DA’s and other electeds made sweeping “reforms” these past few years: ditching bail, decriminalizing quality-of-life offenses and hamstringing cops.
Crime, unsurprisingly, shot up. Here in New York major crimes are up 34.2% over the past year, reversing the trends of a quarter-century. Gun violence is nearly double pre-pandemic levels. In ‘Frisco, murders are up almost 37% from pre-pandemic levels.
The poor and minorities suffer most. In 2020, 65% of New York murder victims were black, though just 24% of our population is. Blacks and Hispanics were 63% of San Francisco shooting victims, though they combine for only 18% of the population.
On education, liberal public-school districts across America have been lowering or jettisoning standards entirely because they allegedly shore up white supremacy.
Mayor Bill de Blasio did his level best to end NYC’s Gifted & Talented program because of black and Hispanic underrepresentation in it. In Virginia, California and elsewhere similar programs were cut entirely or had their entry requirements lowered. Another “reform,” in parts of the city and elsewhere, is to re-engineer admissions to selective middle and high schools to “improve” the racial mix.
These moves did nothing for the “underrepresented” (unless you count being forced into a school where you’re not prepared to compete). They did, however, severely dent the prospects of another minority group: Asians.
How does that advance diversity and inclusion?
Add to that disastrous COVID school closures — demanded by the same crowd that wants to kill calculus and Shakespeare. Data shows only 37% of black 1st graders nationwide are on track to hit literacy benchmarks this school year, a massive drop from 51% in 2019. For Hispanics it’s 42%, down from 54%.
And on literacy, progressives have long sacrificed kids to ideology. Witness their decades-long war on phonics, which ensured that generations of kids failed to learn how to read well (or at all). Guess who was most affected?
Indeed, COVID itself was the perfect larger opportunity for progressives to test-run more new and terrible policies, like lockdowns and mask and vaccine mandates.
The results broke the exact same way. Poorer, less-white communities in cities around the country bore the brunt. National black unemployment skyrocketed from its historic low in 2019 and has not yet healed; the Hispanic/white employment gap also hit historic levels. (These aggressive measures did nothing to improve our COVID outcomes, by the way.)
For some of these innovations, time is running out. San Francisco DA Chesa Boudin faces a likely recall; LA’s soft-on-crime George Gascón faces a second recall vote. Manhattan’s own Alvin Bragg has walked back some of his worst policies, and the next governor may well remove him for refusing to do his job. Seattle’s Ann Davison is trying to undo the harm her predecessor caused.
Woke school-board members got the boot in San Francisco. NYC mayor Eric Adams is refusing to give into COVID alarmism and rebuilding the G&T program. Anti-phonics guru Lucy Calkins of Columbia Teachers College recently recanted her idiotic theories in the face of overwhelming evidence of how much damage they’d done.
And that’s all to the good.
But why are the people who suffer the most in these experiments always the same groups the left claims it wants to help?
Sure looks like woke policy is more about playing with lives of the powerless than making them better.