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Is “Harm City” Contagious?

Lawless Baltimore: Foreshadowing Things to Come…

Geographically well situated at the mouth of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, Baltimore was one of the most important places in American history. As the site of Fort McHenry, where the Star-Spangled Banner was inspired, the song that eventually became the United States national anthem helped to foster American exceptionalism. This helped galvanize and grow a country destined to lead the world. Can Baltimore again foreshadow things to come…?

Many years later, Baltimore adopted the nickname “Charm City,” partly due to its beautiful waterfront, shops, and an assortment of tourist attractions. According to Baltimore Magazine, it was also pitched its catchy nickname as a means to “will a new identity into existence.” In the early 1970’s Baltimore was going nowhere, so creating the idea of “charm” gave it a sense of appeal–whether it was accurate or not. 

Today the term “Harm City” is a more apt nickname. Writing in the City Journal, my friend, Dr. Maury Richards, tells us why. Describing a violent “Brooklyn Day” celebration, Dr. Richards explained why the worst mass shooting in Baltimore’s history was both tragic and predictable. Just over a month ago, on July 2nd, the Brooklyn Homes Housing project was the scene of a mass, wild wild west type shooting, where 30 people were shot, including two fatalities. Shockingly, the police investigation that followed revealed shell casings from at least 16 guns used in the shooting.

Why oh why…

Guns. That was reason given by local officials. Some blamed “ghost guns” before anyone was even arrested and before any of the multiple guns used in this incident were recovered. Unrecovered guns, ironically, are not what the term ghost guns was meant to convey!

Dr. Richards pointedly explains the why… as policy failures on several levels. These include what many cities around the country are facing: understaffed and demoralized police, criminal justice “reform,” violence-reduction initiatives, such as “violence interrupters,” and similar social-political experiments. Incredibly, those citizens, optimistically called violence interrupters, hired by the city to prevent violence failed to prevent the worst mass shooting in Baltimore’s history. They also refused to cooperate with the police investigation–and remain nameless and anonymous, though they are effectively on the public payroll. These outrageous attributes of unproven, ill-advised “theories” are intended. This is so they can “maintain their credibility with the community.” Dr. Richards goes on to flesh out more about “Harm City” here:

Policies have Consequences

People fail to connect policies to politics, often because “politics” is often seen as too controversial. Not wanting to wade into the political fray is the default position of many. Yet, we get what we ask for–or what we deserve. The beleaguered citizens of Baltimore become crime victims because certain “leaders” desire to experiment in progressive theories. Unfortunately, Baltimore is not an isolated example.

On the other side of the country, in another seaside city, San Francisco is quickly gravitating toward another desperate nickname: San Fransicko. This name, taken from a 2021 book by Michael Shellenberger, shows how homelessness and crime emanating from progressive policies result in ruined cities. Other progressive cities are following this policy driven road to disaster. How long before Gotham City will become GetOut City? Or maybe it already is? Of course, Chicago has been another forerunner. Taking the nickname Chi-Raq–mimicking violence of war torn Iraq, this spurred a 2015 movie by the same name. Consistent with the theme of this piece, the New Yorker describes the highly acclaimed Spike Lee movie as being “radically patriotic in its demand for American practice to live up to American principles, American realities to live up to American dreams, and American residents to take up the challenge of distinctively American virtues.”  

Though the New Yorker wasn’t connecting this dot, but could it be that America’s principles, realities, and virtues have been turned on its head? Could it be that this new radically patriotic thinking that once birthed the Star-Spangled Banner that has now adopted Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, 1619, Systemic Racism, and a host of other WOKE “theories” will inevitably result in disorder, conflict, and lawlessness?

Lawlessness has a “Logic” & Momentum

Using this thinking, I articulate the logic and momentum that is gaining steam across the country. Liken to cancer in a human organism, lawlessness grows until it is treated and arrested. But unlike progressive “treatments,” such as violence interrupters, I advocate policies with proven success: law and order. As obvious as this sounds, law and order has now become almost too controversial to try. Though we must try. Public Safety Policing is my antidote to disorder and lawlessness. Hopefully this new policing model will become “contagious.” Unfortunately, failing to apply this antidote will result in a contagious cancer that we will live to regret…

To get a quick overview of what Public Safety Policing looks like, click on:

If you want to go deeper, check out my new book:

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