I have lived in Birmingham, Ala.; Columbia and Memphis, Tenn.; Washington, D.C.; New York City; Atlanta; and the Florida Panhandle. I can tell you what makes a city good, and how you lose a city to thugs and the crime they produce.
It starts with the mayor and an honest city council backing a district attorney and a well-intentioned police force. It is important that the DA not be George Soros-funded and political. Think about the Duke University lacrosse team prosecutor, or Glenn Funk, the Democratic DA in Nashville who prosecuted a Vanderbilt nurse for murder in what was a simple civil case of bad judgment.
The first sign that police have lost control of your city is when loud mufflers and vulgar music blaring from cars go unaddressed. What inevitably follows are "street racing" and crime.
It is up to citizens and voters to report and hold officials to account for enforcing laws where there is a true victim. But make sure what you report is correct. The first of this year, I did my civic duty: I called the police to report a suspicious package, but the cop rightly pointed out to me that I was just watching the NCAA women's swimming championships.
Race and the tragedy, born from a lie ("Hands Up, Don't Shoot") that spawned the corrupt BLM movement, have done more to damage inner cities than any government welfare program did. The resulting Democratic mantra, "Defund the Police," harmed many more families than the occasional rogue policeman.
When the liberal Los Angeles prosecutor did not prosecute Will Smith for hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars, you know how political a DA can be. This is the same town that had the O.J. Simpson trial. In the case of Will Smith hitting Chris Rock in front of billions, the Los Angeles DA looked at the tapes from the incident and called it "reasonable doubt."
If you are a comedic presenter at next year's Oscars, your swag bag should contain mace and an ice pack.
Expect no help from the hyper-blue federal system. The Southern District of New York's prosecutors are the most politically driven of all. If anyone in the Trump family jaywalks, they investigate and indict while the Clinton Foundation and Clinton family's seedy operations go uninvestigated. In the long, storied history of the Mafia in New York, Hillary Clinton will go down as the only Methodist to head a crime family.
It seems Joe Biden's family might have followed the Clinton model for graft. Joe is Catholic, but his son broke with the family religion and decided to become a Crystal Methodist.
Crime in Atlanta's Buckhead and Chicago is on the rise as much as gas prices are. Drive-by shootings have gone up, but not as much as pedal-by shootings, given that gas costs $4.85 per gallon.
My car was broken into three times in 13 months before I left Buckhead for good. After reporting the first break-in, showing the cop the Punch Line parking lot videotape of the person breaking into my car and the check he stole and made out to himself (which he tried to cash at a wig shop), I thought the case was closed. The Atlanta policeman said that check fraud is a federal banking crime and the video was not enough. I asked him if he remembered the day he stopped caring.
I had three break-ins but reported only one because I knew the police wouldn't act. I assume this is the case for other Democratic-controlled cities. Thus, crime stats are under-reported. Never believe the self-serving crime stats a politician gives you.
With COVID, we learned not to believe the CDC, either. Government and the CDC tell you wearing a condom during sex is "safe sex." But I had a friend who died wearing a condom when the husband of the woman he was with shot him.
Contact Ron Hart, a syndicated op-ed satirist, author and TV/radio commentator, at Ron@RonaldHart.com or Twitter @RonaldHart.