By John Ubaldi, “Ubaldi Reports”
For almost a year, the country has been consumed with relentless coverage of the coronavirus, the struggling U.S. economy, and racial unrest, but little attention has focused on the crisis engulfing American urban cities.
Since the killing of George Floyd, by a Minneapolis police officer, the country for months endured unmitigated rioting across America’s urban cities in the quest for social justice change, but virtually little or no coverage was given to how these cities are presently being governed.
The leaders of many of these American cities consistently blame a host of problems to why there cities are an unmitigated disaster from the economic shutdown from the coronavirus, lack of federal funding, systematic racism, educational disparities and other issues, but they never examine their own progressive polices which have failed their communities.
The media, which is supposed to be the watchdog against government, purports this in The Society of Professional Journalism Code of Ethics by stating that, “ethical journalism strives to ensure the free exchange of information that is accurate, fair and thorough.” Unfortunately, the media unequivocally fails to adhere to its own ethical standards.
Cities across America are reeling from a host of challenges, but blaming others their predicament, fails to address that America’s urban centers were facing problems way before COVID-19 engulfed this country.
The media by all accounts should adhere to its own ethical standard by being accurate and fair, but either by incompetence or blind loyalty to the Democratic Party fails to report or ask any of these U.S. city mayors why these problems persist considering the majority of major American cities have been run by Democrats for decades.
Take the example of Atlanta as a case study, this city has not had not had a Republican mayor since 1879.
Almost all of these Democratic controlled cities are governed by a strong-mayor form of governance. This means the mayor and the city council have direct control on who is appointed and serves on many boards and commissions. This especially includes school boards. With all the protests by parents in support of re-opening of school’s has any mayor been asked why they have supported many of the board members with political and financial support, but refuse to openly confront them on why they refuse to re-open the public schools?
One of the core challenges facing many American cities is public safety, especially after the killing of George Floyd, when many Democratic mayors have openly supported defunding of the police which has resulted in increased violence across their communities.
We have witnessed cities across America enacting criminal justice reform not at the legislative level but by progressive district attorneys, with bail reform at the state level. The state of New York State overhauled its bail law in April 2019 that reduced the number of crime’s judges can set bail for. This is a full listing of all the crimes that fall under the recent enacted bail reform law passed in New York State.
WCBS-TV (CBS 2) Urban Affairs Expert Mark Peters regarding bail reform, “they eliminated bail, but they never put in the safeguard we need of allowing a judge to assess dangerousness and the result is we’ve got some glaring loopholes that will go into effect.”
Peters continued, “so someone can walk up to someone on the street punch them in the face and if they haven’t done lasting physical injury there’s no bail available… they’ll be let out that day they can go punch someone the next day.”
Ever since Floyd’s death the Democratic Party’s progressive wing has been vigorously trying to defund city police departments or substantially reducing the law enforcement budget. The results have led to a sharp escalation of crime in urban cities.
Cities and states are aggressively defunding police departments, and with it they are releasing prisoners back onto the street because of the coronavirus. With the continuation of progressive bail reform, demonizing law enforcement, de-funding the police department movement, we are now witnessing a sharp increase in crime.
Last summer, the U.S. Attorney General William Barr delivered remarks during the announcement of Operation Legend which stated, “on one recent weekend in Chicago, more than 60 people were shot – 14 of them fatally. The murder rate in Chicago is up 48 percent over last year. In New York City, where the mayor has agreed to strip $1 billion from the police department, the murder rate is up 25 percent. Murder is up 42 percent in New Orleans. Albuquerque, New Mexico, had a record 82 homicides last year and is on pace to exceed that record this year. In Kansas City, there have already been 100 homicides this year, a 40 percent increase from the same time last year.”
This substantial increase in crime has only exacerbated urban violence to levels unseen in decades.
The question that should be asked and many American’s are unaware of is that many of these cities have been run by Democrats for decades. The progressive policies they have enacted have had a severe impact on the black and Hispanic communities, now many are clamoring for a federal bailout. Democrats claim to want to help “people of color,” but their own progressive policies have had a detrimental impact on these communities. Unfortunately, this is only one of many problems facing American cities!
At his contentious House Judiciary Committee hearing last July, Barr stated, “At the same time, I think it would be an oversimplification to treat the problem as rooted in some deep-seated racism generally infecting our police departments. It seems far more likely that the problem stems from a complex mix of factors, which can be addressed with focused attention over time.”
Barr continued to comment, “when a community turns on and pillories its own police, officers naturally become more risk averse and crime rates soar. Unfortunately, we are seeing that now in many of our major cities. This is a critical problem that exists apart from disagreements on other issues. The threat to black lives posed by crime on the streets is massively greater than any threat posed by police misconduct. The leading cause of death for young black males is homicide. Every year approximately 7,500 black Americans are victims of homicide, and the vast majority of them – around 90 percent – are killed by other blacks, mainly by gunfire. Each of those lives matter.”
As crime spirals out of control, many district attorneys and aspiring candidates have benefited and continue to benefit from the generous donations from liberal billionaire George Soros organization. Both Soros and other liberal organizations have sought to reshape the criminal justice system by implementing progressive socialistic reforms.
The surest way out poverty is with a solid education; unfortunately, all the attention has centered on policing in the inner-city neighborhoods. With all the focus on policing, literally nothing has been done about the state of the dysfunctional U.S. public education system. This despicable failure has led to an enormous educational achievement gap in black and Hispanic children who often attend public funded city schools; this is because these children and their parents have no other choice.
Far too often the rallying cry has been that “Black Lives Matter,” but if this is the case why do black and Hispanic children have the most dismal educational achievement gaps? With the recent protests in support of re-opening of public school’s why hasn’t President Biden or any other Democratic mayor been challenged over there financial support from the teacher’s union who oppose re-opening?
As I learned in my youth from a father who never achieved education beyond the 5th grade, that the surest way out of poverty is with a solid education. One only has to exam the National Assessment of Education Progress and the dismal progress of black and Hispanic children. Over 70% of black and Hispanic children cannot do English or math to grade level. The media has failed to mention this or press Democrats on this issue since they have controlled the major U.S. cities for decades.
If you look across America at the cities of St. Louis, Detroit, Baltimore, Oakland, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham, Newark, Buffalo and Philadelphia all of them are governed by liberal Democrats. If one does just a basic rudimentary internet search, they would find that many of these cities haven’t had a Republican mayor in over sixty some years, with some dating back to the late 1800’s.
Don’t expect the educational opportunities for black and Hispanic children to get better under a Biden administration, or that their schools will improve if Joe Biden becomes president.
The Democratic Party has sealed its fate by aligning itself with the powerful teacher’s union who oppose any and all charter schools or any form of school choice for black and Hispanic children who are forced to attend chronically failing schools. Just examine how the Democratic Party and President Biden have failed to stand up to their teacher union benefactors. The one’s suffering are American children you have lost almost a year of quality education.
According to Opensecrets.org, almost all of the teacher’s union’s donations go exclusively to Democratic candidates and liberal causes.
The Biden-Sanders Unity Task Force double downs its strong unwavering support of the status quo by reinforcing its commitment to public schools, and its strong opposition to charter and private schools.
In the unity task force document its states, “we have learned that there must be guardrails on them if they are to receive federal funds.” Biden and Democrats don’t want “guardrails” they want to use any mechanism they can to prevent the expansion of charter schools no matter that black and Hispanic families favor them and are retaining from them.
This unity task force document put out by Biden contains this proposal: “Require that federal funding for charter schools in any district be conditioned on a district’s review of the financial and academic impact of a new charter school or a charter school that wants to expand on that district or neighborhood. The Education Department would have the ability to deny federal funding for charter(s) if the district’s analysis shows that it is (1) financially distressed or (2) the charter would systematically under-serve the neediest students.”
A Federal Department of Education staffed by appointees of Joe Biden would find every conceivable metric, use every bureaucratic mechanism to withhold any federal funds for charter schools, and severally weaken if not eliminate any existing charter schools.
Wall Street Journal Deputy Editor Daniel Henninger remarked, “the outlook for school-choice programs would be more dire. These programs, which depend on private philanthropy from liberals and conservatives, have been a godsend for inner-city parents desperate to get their kids out of chaotic public schools and into explicitly values-conscious Catholic schools—such as the Partnership Schools system in New York City and Cleveland—or Jewish and secular private schools.”
Last year Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, announced the closure of 20 Catholic schools, now these students will have to attend the dysfunctional New York School system. As these students re-enter the New York School system, they will be facing a system where only 30% of black and Hispanic children are able to do English or math to grade level far below their white or Asian peers.
An example of the impact of charter schools verse public schools, the Manhattan Institute reported that on the 2018 exams, the percentage of New York City charter students who scored proficient or better exceeded the average for all other public schools in the state by 12.8 percentage points in ELA and by 15.8 percentage points in math.
Jason Riley a Wall Street Journal columnist and Manhattan Institute Fellow wrote that with the majority of students returning for the 2019-20 school year, the majority of the students can’t do basic reading or math, according to state standardized test results released last week. And the numbers get even more depressing when broken down by race and ethnicity. Black and Hispanic students make up 67% of the system, while whites and Asians are about 15% and 16%, respectively. Only 28% of black students passed the math exam, versus 33% of Hispanics, 67% of whites and 74% of Asians. On the English exam, the passage rates were 68% for Asians, 67% for whites, 37% for Hispanics and 35% for blacks.
Democrats routinely sound the alarm of income inequality and racial injustice, but their own education and economic polices contribute to the low educational achievements of black and Hispanic students.
Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser had consistently spared with former President Trump but she is never asked why over 70% of black students cannot do English or math to grade level? Considering the last Republican mayor of Washington D.C. was in 1910.
Crime isn’t the only problem facing American cities, dysfunctional socialist Democratic polices that perpetrate failed educational achievement for black and Hispanic children. Democrats are never asked this nor has the media reported on the failure of urban American cities that have been run by Democrats for decades.
Democrats always claim systematic racism such as Stacy Torres an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, San Francisco who wrote a commentary in CalMatters on the chasm of two cities Alameda and East Oakland. One prospers and the other sinks in misery.
Torres states, “East Oakland reflects systemic racism that harms residents’ health with polluted air, food deserts, violence, inadequate health care, substandard housing and toxic stress. Such structural inequities cause higher rates of asthma, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and lung disease, increasing the risk of Covid-19 complications and death.”
What Torres doesn’t mention nor does the media follow up on is that Oakland has been governed by Democrats for the last 56 years. Maybe one needs to ask Democrats, why do your polices keep black and Hispanic families enslaved to a lifetime of poverty?