Democrats Have Failed America's Cities and Saying So Isn't Racist

The situation in America’s urban centers that has developed over the last fifty is simultaneously a travesty and tragedy. The human cost in terms of lives and productivity is both heartbreaking and staggering. For decades, Blacks and Latinos in America’s cities have been told that if they vote Democrat, liberal policies will deliver equality, empowerment and opportunity. 

The failure of Democrats to deliver on those promises can be seen not only on the streets of Baltimore, but East St. Louis, the South Bronx, Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans, Los Angeles, liberal bastion San Francisco, Seattle and a large number of other American cities.  Smaller cities, without strong economies and anchor industries, have also seen decades of drugs, violence, poor quality education, substandard housing and populations entrenched in a culture of government dependency.

Apparently now to point that out is yet another dog whistle for racism, according to the very people who are largely responsible for the policies and the problems. 

It’s not racism. It’s government failure on a scale that fifty years ago Americans would have thought unimaginable.  For years, Democrats at the local, state and federal level have desperately tried to hide these failures with more promises that suggest more tax money thrown at a litany of problems would finally make things better.  With that, and the Republican Party’s indifference, Democrats have managed to absolutely control these largely minority communities with single-party-rule governments. 

According to the Tuskegee Institute, between 1882 and 1968 an estimated 3,446 Blacks were lynched in the U.S., the consequence of a culture of true racial hatred and ignorance.  In 2018 alone, 431 Blacks were murdered in Chicago, on the watch of President Obama’s first White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.  There were 242 homicides involving Blacks in Baltimore for the same period.

It’s a human calamity.  Calling it out isn’t racist. Not working to do something about it is to accept the notion that Blacks and minorities are pawns to be manipulated for political purposes, not lives to be saved or human potential to be realized. That’s the definition of racism.

In New York, where some 600,000 people live in government-run housing, taxpayers have spent billions to fix a system that today is still plagued with rats, leaks, mold, lead paint, rampant crime, bars on the windows and other deplorable conditions. The city’s own comptroller, another Democrat, was forced reveal last week that the government’s recent repair efforts were like “lighting money on fire.”

The liberal propaganda machine and the press want people focused on the treatment of illegals on the border, not the deplorable conditions of public housing that persist in cities with Democrat leadership.

In San Francisco, leftist policies (including providing non-residents with cash and services) that have served as a magnet for illegal immigrants, drug addicts and the poor, have created a staggering homelessness crisis. The city was recently forced to admit that the number of homeless on the streets has risen a shocking 30% since 2017. 

Democrat Governor Gavin Newsom, the city’s former mayor, just signed a budget to provide healthcare for undocumented immigrants.  San Francisco, also home to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, ranked 135th out of 137 cities nationally for the education college education gap between white and black, relative population share.  The city’s grand plan to handle these and other challenges? Create a new Office of Racial Equity.  Sure, that will do the trick.

Teachers’ Unions across America who support Democrat politicians and spend millions blocking proven innovations that would improve educational outcomes for urban minorities are also part of the liberal cabal preventing the upward mobility of minority communities for the sake of keeping power.

Democrats may spend time blasting Trump over the border and use the charge of ‘racism’ as a cudgel to scare people into silence, but Americans of all political stripes shouldn’t be silent about the challenges of our cities or the policies that are to blame for chronic problems that diminish all of us.

Democrats have failed urban minorities. They have no solutions only rhetoric. Republicans have largely ignored the problems. Democrats take these populations for granted. Republicans figure that they won’t vote for them, so why bother.  Both are despicable approaches.

Trump’s rants against Rep. Elijah Cummings came off pointless and personal. They were yet another example of the President playing right into the hands of his critics.  But he’s not wrong. Democrats, far beyond Cummings, pounding the table about impeachment and investigations have long been more interested in playing a self-serving and destructive political game than trying to address the problems of the urban communities they largely control.

For his part Trump needs to actually present an urban agenda. Minority unemployment is low on his watch and wages are increasing. However, that’s just the beginning.

It’s time we as a nation realize that urban decay and the challenges of the cities hold us back. For the sake of America’s future, we need to address urban education, opportunity and violence. It’s not about politics. It’s about people first. It’s the right thing to do.

Tom Basile