reading list

There has been so much going on this week that it was tough to choose just three items for the reading list, but I have settled on one from City Journal and two from National Review.

First to City Journal, where Heather Mac Donald continues her great work on how crime impacts on the lives of the most vulnerable. She takes on Adam Gopnik at the New Yorker who ‘purports to care about black lives’. In Looking Away from Urban Crime, Mac Donald believes that, for liberals, thousands of mostly black homicide victims are just a ‘bump’ in the numbers.

‘Up until 2015, crime had been steadily dropping across the country, thanks to the spread of data-driven, proactive policing and the use of determinate sentencing to lock away violent criminals. But as 2014 drew to a close, that 20-year crime drop stalled and then reversed itself.’

The victims of the 2015 and 2016 homicide increase were overwhelmingly black, but the liberals believe the increase scarcely exists.

The scene from Chicago has been particularly brutal. ‘Trump regularly referred to Chicago’s crime increase during the presidential campaign. In 2016, 4,300 people were shot in Chicago – one every two hours. The victims were overwhelmingly black. Two dozen children under the age of 12 were shot in Chicago in 2016, among them a three-year-old boy mowed down on Father’s Day 2016 who is now paralyzed for life, and a ten-year-old boy shot in August whose pancreas, intestines, kidney, and spleen were torn apart. Those child victims were also overwhelmingly black.’

Mac Donald: ‘Trump called those Chicago shootings and others like them in Baltimore and St. Louis “carnage”. What does Gopnik call them? A mere “bump or burp in the numbers”. If 4,300 white people had been shot in any city of the country, there would be a revolution. But because the victims were black, it would be dog-whistle racism to call attention to them. Racism once consisted of ignoring black-on-black violence as a fact of nature that was beneath concern. It is a bizarre twist in contemporary liberalism that drawing attention to the black victims of street crime is now the racist position. This deflection has come about in order to avoid acknowledging that the perpetrators of this crime are black, too. So, it is better to look away entirely.’

A sobering account of a shocking loss of life.

Next is Ben Shapiro at the National Review on the continuing fallout from the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In an increasingly bitter and brutal culture war, the mainstream media have taken to using survivors of the shooting as experts on gun control, believing that due to the personal trauma they have suffered they will be beyond criticism.

This student movement has since been receiving donations from ultra-Leftist operations, and Shapiro warns, ‘Leftists are parading traumatized teens to make an emotional plea about gun control. But we shouldn’t let young people make policy.’ I will do a full blog on this later.

Finally, we remember William F Buckley, founder of the National Review, who passed away ten years ago this week. In this re-published piece, Buckley himself remembers Johann Sebastian Bach.

Buckley: ‘Bach has the impact of a testimonial to God’s providence not because he wrote the most searingly beautiful church music ever heard (about The Passion According to St Matthew one can say only that it does credit to the Gospel according to St Matthew), but because he wrote the most beautiful music ever written. If one were to throw away the 300 cantatas, the 100-odd chorale preludes, the three oratorios, the passions, and the Mass (which would be the equivalent of destroying half of Shakespeare), still the other half would sustain Bach as a creature whose afflatus is inexplicable in the absence of a belief in God.’

Soli Deo Gloria