The writer is in America.
‘A conservative is a liberal who got mugged the night before.’
The above quote, attributed to Frank Rizzo, former police commissioner and mayor of Philadelphia, has been much on my mind since news broke last week that Shivanthi Sathanandan, a vice-chair of Minnesota’s ruling Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) was the victim of a brutal carjacking outside her home in North Minneapolis.
According to Ms Sathanandan’s understandably angry and indignant Facebook post, on Tuesday evening, the day after the Labor Day holiday, ‘Four very young men, all carrying guns, beat me violently down to the ground in front of our kids. The young men held our neighbors up at gunpoint when they ran over and tried to help me. All in broad daylight.’ She added a photograph of her face covered in blood.
My heart goes out to this courageous woman. Violent crime, whether one observes it or is a victim of it, can have a lasting psychological impact, instilling in those affected feelings of fear and powerlessness, not to mention guilt and humiliation. I shudder to think how her two very young children must feel after seeing their mother being attacked by four violent criminals wielding handguns.
It speaks well for Ms Sathanandan that her maternal instincts kicked in so quickly during the attack. According to her own account, her only thought was to ‘let me run far enough and fight hard enough so that my kids have a chance to get away’.
Fortunately, her four-year-old daughter and seven-year-old son were not injured, at least physically, and Ms Sathanandan herself suffered nothing more than a broken leg and deep cuts to her head. I say ‘nothing more’ because she and her children could have easily been shot and killed. Indeed, as she wrote in her post, ‘You could have been reading the obituary for me and my children today.’
I hesitated to write about this sordid crime, a type all too common these days in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St Paul. But as is made clear by the opening quote, I have a point to make which is both political and redolent of the culture war dialectics that are now dominating discourse in the United States. I hesitated most especially due to the real trauma experienced not only by Ms Sathanandan but also by her young son and daughter. As someone who was born in 1955 and identifies as male, and having been raised by parents in their fifties who were products of the Edwardian era, I am also reluctant to make hay out of a woman’s very real distress. But make hay I must, because while Shivanthi Sathanandan is a brave woman and no doubt a fantastic mother, she is also an irresponsible and ideologically driven politician whose policies, if fully enacted, will do great damage to these wonderful cities on the banks of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers which I love and call home.
Strong words, I hear you saying, but the woman in question was one of the leading advocates for de-funding the police in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the late spring of 2020. In a June 2020 post, Ms Sathanandan thanked two Minneapolis City Council members for their ‘radical leadership’ in working to ‘dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department [MPD]’, adding, almost triumphantly and slightly dementedly, ‘We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department. Say it with me. Dismantle. The. Minneapolis. Police. Department.’ She also praised the University of Minnesota, her alma mater, when it cut all ties with the MPD. Significantly, the pabulum which counts as news reporting in this DFL-dominated city failed to mention in their accounts of the attack that she had called for the dismantling of the police, either completely ignoring it, or just saying that she had called only for ‘reform’ – an Orwellian sleight of hand if ever there was one.
Since 2020, the MPD is down nearly 300 officers and is losing more than it can recruit. As crime surges and what is called antisocial behaviour in the United Kingdom runs rampant throughout the Twin Cities, police morale is at an all-time low. Left-wing politicians such as Ms Sathanandan and their minions in the legal profession, the media and academia are largely responsible for this crisis. Happily, there were enough police to attend to Ms Sathanandan in her hour of need, although that did not stop her from complaining to Mayor Jacob Frey that it took MPD officers too long to arrive.
It is to her credit, however, that this rising star of the DFL has changed her tune since the attack – dramatically, as it turns out.
In her post referred to above, she uses impassioned language to express her ‘rage’ over what happened to her. Among other things, she thanks ‘the incredible Minneapolis 4th Precinct Officers’ who came to her aide during ‘this terrifying experience’. Referring to her attackers, who have yet to be apprehended, she laments that ‘they are still on OUR STREETS, killing mothers, with no hesitation and no remorse. These criminals will not win. We need to take back our city. And this will not be the last you hear from me about this’.
Well said, Ms Sathanandan! You are beginning to sound like a conservative. I am glad you survived this horrible attack, and wish you and your children well. Now stop supporting groups and individuals who demonise the police and make excuses for violent criminals, and start embracing policies that will keep our fair cities safe for all.