Woke in the City That Never Sleeps

NEW YORK—The Big Bagel is getting so bad, even the baddies are demanding the fuzz do something. As the body count rises, it is obvious that the victims of violence are predominantly poor and minority. Last week, a woman killed in a drive-by shooting had been attending a vigil for a friend who was shot dead after stepping on a gunman’s shoe. A man mortally slashed on a Manhattan subway platform had recently been paroled for an attack on a Jewish woman and her mother. Brazen gunslingers are shooting the daylights out of each other in the Bagel, and there was a shooting spree in the middle of Times Square that left three innocents, including a 4-year-old girl, among the victims.

And yet, up here where I live, it could be Giuliani time, when crime disappeared and the numbers plunged like never before. One hears and reads about the daily gunplay, and compares the statistics to those of forty years ago. Robbery is up close to 30%, grand larceny 66%, and shootings 166.1%. Murder is up 32% from 2019. One wonders when the useless mayor will declare an emergency as the place is starting to resemble a war zone, and after the Covid crisis more and more New Yorkers believe the city is ungovernable and unlivable. Still, two of the numerous candidates running for mayor rant in their speeches about defunding the police. Violent criminals no longer have any fears, according to Pat Lynch, president of the Police Benevolent Association, and having done away with bail laws, criminals get booked and walk, free to continue shooting and robbing people. Cuomo and de Blasio, architects of these new laws, shamelessly go about their business, which is appearing on television and patting themselves on the back.

It all began, methinks, with the spiritual and moral bankruptcy of woke, an idea that establishes bad as good, legal as illegal, and unfair as fair. A false consciousness that sees criminals as good and cops as criminals prevails, especially among minorities, the trouble being minorities are now the majority in cities like New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Narcissism is now as American as apple pie, with the media and Hollywood feeding it and genuflecting to violent criminals while blaming society and white supremacy for the condition. Every message one hears nowadays, either in advertisements or by politicians, is geared to one’s ego, how great, how beautiful, how wonderful everyone is. Adverts on TV show extremely obese people announcing how happy they are in their skin while swallowing triple-decker hamburgers. And yet everything one reads or listens to nowadays is a complaint—life has become a battlefield; everything, especially work, leads to burnout; the government needs to step in and stop the slaughter. If one read or listened to online complaints—which I don’t, and wouldn’t even if I knew how to—one would be confronted only with despair, unfairness, and grief.

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