By Mark Naison (June 5, 2018)
Two key areas where President Trump either distorts historical trends or cynically presents false information for political gain are the following:
First, the notion that our “ inner cities are plagued by crime” and face a terrible crisis which liberals have ignored. If this was 1995, those remarks might have been relevant, but in 2018, they show a failure to recognize major historic trends. In the last twenty years, murder rates in most American cities have plummeted, both because of the decline of the crack epidemic and gentrification. The majority of poor people now live in the suburbs and gang issues and poverty related violent crimes have migrated with them. Hempstead and Newburg, for example, small cities near NYC, are far more dangerous, and far poorer than Harlem or Bedford Stuyvesant
Second, the notion that immigrants, especially undocumented immigrants, bring crime and violence with them does not conform with statistical information or lived reality. In New York City, mass immigration to the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens has coincided with plummeting crime rates and the rebuilding of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Immigrant workers, store owners, health care providers, and valedictorians of are far more indicative of the immigrants contribution to NYC than drug gangs. MS 13 are outliers, dangerous, but despised by the hardworking self sacrificing immigrant majority.
I realize that many of the President’s supporters will dismiss what I just wrote as Fake News” but playing fast and loose with Demography and History is the essence of demagoguery, and if you are comfortable with that, well, that’s your burden to carry when you look at yourself in the mirror.