Broadway is still in lockdown, but across America the show must go on. For the last fortnight, Black Lives Matter (BLM) has played to packed crowds in US cities and around the world. Progressives love the fantasy that they care more about ‘people of colour’ than the money-grubbing Right. Yet every policy championed by the Left since the Sars-2 coronavirus leaked out of a lab in Wuhan last year, has disproportionately increased black deaths.
African-Americans represent 13 per cent of the population but 23 per cent of Covid-19 deaths and are 2.5 times more likely to die of Covid-19. Black or Hispanic children represent two-thirds of all paediatric cases. These deaths overwhelmingly occurred in Democrat-controlled states. New York, led by a Democratic governor and a Democratic mayor, has the worst Covid death toll in the world — 1,573 deaths per million. Nine of the ten states with the worst death rates have Democratic governors. Those who argue that it was simply the density of population haven’t been paying attention —Taipei, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Seoul are all more densely populated than any city in the US — and had death rates per million in single digits or less.
Leftist American health ‘experts’ simply ignored the academic studies and the success of African, Latino and Asian countries. In Senegal, for example, Professor Moussa Seydi of the Institut Pasteur ignored the calls of the WHO to abandon hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) — based on the fraudulent Lancet study I wrote about last week — because his institute had conducted its own studies on 559 Covid patients and found that it reduced hospital stays and deaths. The Covid mortality rate in Senegal is 3 per million. Costa Rica, which also championed early use of HCQ has a Covid mortality rate of 2 per million. Dr. Román Macaya, executive president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund attributed the success to early use of HCQ.
Progressives have also been champions of lockdowns, yet Taiwan, the country with the lowest Covid mortality rate in the world never locked down its economy; its death rate is 0.3 per million and its economy is expected to contract by only 0.2 per cent. Same story for South Korea which with a death rate of only 5 per million may still post growth of 0.1 per cent. The US had a national death rate of 340 per million and its economy is expected to contract 5.9 per cent, the sharpest annual decline since the end of the second world war. Yet, when Republicans wanted to reopen the US, the Left’s economist of choice, Paul Krugman asked, ‘How many will die for the Dow?’
In reality, Trump’s policies had brought unemployment to historic lows of 5 per cent last August, with the biggest gains to African Americans. But while the unemployment rate fell to 12 per cent in May for white workers, it rose to a devastating 17 per cent for black workers, who suffer even more because they are less likely to have savings. This led to a surge in black deaths. In Minneapolis, for example, violent crimes were up 16 per cent and property crimes increased by 20 per cent compared with the period from January to May 30 in the previous year including increases in car-jackings (45 per cent) homicides (60 per cent) arson (58 per cent) and burglaries (28 per cent). Who are the victims of these crimes? Who are the perpetrators? In 2018, 88 per cent of all black homicide victims were killed by other blacks. This is not news — 94 per cent of all blacks murdered between 1976 and 2005 were killed by other blacks.
Meanwhile, tiring of sheltering at home, the sanctimonious finger-wagging of the Left gave way to theatre of the absurd on a grand scale. Still outraged that anyone should leave their abode to go to church, health ‘experts’ have sanctioned mass rallies in Western cities to protest the death of the Left’s latest martyr — George Floyd, a criminal who once robbed a woman at gun point during a home invasion. Statues of Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi are vandalised because they are ‘racist.’ Statues have been toppled of slave traders, although so far no one has called for the pyramids to be razed because they were built by slaves.
The BLM rallies have given rise to calls for another policy that will disproportionately increase black deaths — the defunding of the police force. Just for starters, defunding the police would throw almost 100,000 black men and women out of a job where the average salary is almost $US 70,000. That is much closer to the median income for white households in Minneapolis of $US 85,000, than for black households, who eke out a living on $US 38,000. Ironically, the policy is one of the few times that the Left has endorsed a reduction in public spending that would inevitably lead to the privatisation of policing, with security guards for the wealthy and protection rackets for the poor; a case of the mob calling for Mob rule. Yet even that isn’t the worst of this appalling policy. The most violent period in the US wasn’t during Prohibition but between the 1970s and the 1990s, when leftist policing policies prevailed. Between 1960 and 1970, the US murder rate doubled from 5 to 10 per 100,000 and peaked again at 9.8 in 1991. It has been falling ever since, reaching 4.4 per 100,000 in 2014, but the reintroduction of ‘progressive’ policies inevitably increases crime rates. In Philadelphia, for example, District Attorney Larry Krasner was elected on a platform of criminal justice reform and directed prosecutors to impose lighter sentences and reduce drug prosecutions. Right on cue, homicides increased 10 per cent. In Chicago, May 29-30 was the most violent weekend in the Democrat-controlled city in 60 years — 25 murders — most of them young blacks killed by young black men. Yet black people weren’t complaining because there were too many police, but too few. The Rev. Michael Pfleger, a crusader against gun violence told the Chicago Sun Times that people everywhere said ‘Hey, there’s no police anywhere, police ain’t doing nothing.’
Martin Luther King, who would these days probably be decried as a ‘racist’ for espousing non-violence and refusing to judge people according to the colour of their skin, once said ‘The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ The failure of the fashionable Left —black and white —to stand up for policies that actually save black lives will haunt them. As King also said, ‘In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.’
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