A response to the knifing in Oxford Street

Apparently the Somali-on-Somali murder on London’s Oxford Street the day after Christmas, spreading panic and chaos and stopping dead the shopping on the biggest shopping day of the year, was as shocking to Londoners as it seemed from the story and photos in the Daily Mail (see VFR’s coverage). In the below column from the Express, Ross Clark points out that the police did try to do something about the black knifing epidemic in recent years, namely stop and search (a.k.a. stop and frisk), and that it was fairly effective, but that it was stopped by the left. Only once in the article does Clark use the word “black,” sneakily, when saying that the left thought the stop and search policy was “unfairly targeting black teenagers.” He himself never states, in his own voice, the simple fact that blacks and other nonwhites are the ones doing all the knifings. He’s a coward.

The article as it appears at the Express is an appalling mess, with extra hyphens and missing capitalization all over the place. I’ve cleaned it up a bit, making it more readable.

Lessons We Must Learn from Horror in Oxford Street
By Ross Clark
December 28, 2011

JOY it was when the aggression at the post-Christmas sales was limited to a spot of shoulder-barging and a few sharp elbows in the ribs. But shoppers in London’s Oxford Street on Boxing Day got to witness a rather more extreme battle for discount goods: a knife-fight over trainers that ended in the death of 18-year-old Somalian Seydou Diarrassouba.

What should have been one of the most peaceful days of the year turned out to be a blood-bath. hours after the first stabbing another youth was injured in an attack outside a different oxford street store while Anuj Bidve, a student at Lancaster university, was shot dead in Manchester.

What makes these attacks so shocking is that they each occurred in places familiar to millions of Britons and at times we do not normally associate with vicious crime.

Tragically we have come to accept gang murder on grim, inner-city housing estates and become used to alcohol-fuelled violence in city centres on Friday and Saturday nights. But still it comes as a nasty surprise when Britain’s growing gang violence crosses the threshold into what most of us consider to be a part of our own ordinary lives: a packed shopping street in broad daylight.

But the arrival of gangs on Oxford Street is the inevitable result of years of crime policy that has sought to contain gang violence rather than eradicate it. For too long the government, the police and the courts have tended to treat gang violence as the sort of thing that goes on in Peckham or Tottenham but which need not concern those who do not live in such areas.

The failure to confront gangs head-on has left communities intimidated and eventually led to the inevitable: gangs taking a short Tube ride into central London and carrying on their blood feuds there too.

The tragedy is that a couple of years ago the police in London did appear to be beginning to get on top of the problem of knife crime.

As part of operation Blunt 2, launched in May 2008 in reaction to a spate of fatal stabbings, the police stopped and searched 287,898 people on London’s streets resulting in 10,266 arrests. at the beginning of the campaign three per cent of people stopped were found to be carrying knives. By the end that had fallen to one per cent. Meanwhile, the number of youths suffering stabbing injuries fell by 30 per cent.

Then, inevitably, came the usual complaints from the liberal Left that the campaign was alienating youths and unfairly targeting black teenagers. The European Court of human rights ruled that searching individuals without reasonable suspicion that they were doing wrong infringed their rights. The stop-and-search operation was eased.

By the beginning of 2011 the Metropolitan Police was reporting that the number of knife offences was beginning to creep up again.

However the stops and searches that were accused of “alienating” youths were in fact helping to keep them alive. youths living in inner-city boroughs do not merely commit a disproportionate number of knife killings, they are the main victims too. gang culture in some areas has been allowed to grow to such a level that membership of gangs is virtually mandatory.

Gangs develop where there is no effective official system of law and order. If the police and other authorities withdraw a gang will inevitably fill the power vacuum. after last summer’s riots it briefly appeared as if this had finally been taken on board by the government and the police.

David Cameron belatedly broke off his Tuscan holiday to deliver a rather good speech attacking the “moral neutrality” that had allowed the state too often to turn a blind eye to wrongdoing. The courts moved quickly to hand down severe penalties to those involved.

But then came the liberal backlash. In November, the government’s riots, Communities and Victim’s Panel produced a report that was a classic piece of academic hand-wringing. The riots couldn’t just be blamed on the thugs who threw the bricks and the thieves who walked off with the widescreen TVs; the real culprit, according to the panel, was “conspicuous consumption”. In other words it was the shops’ fault for tempting the rioters to attack them.

Presumably the panel will now blame Oxford Street’s Foot Locker store for the murder of Mr Diarrassouba. What do you expect if you sell cut-price flashy trainers?

WHAT really reduces crime is not crying out “we are all to blame” but targeting resources on the real offenders.

New York, a city which like London now was once apt to write off its worst suburbs as places beyond redemption, succeeded in tackling its horrific murder rate by adopting “zero tolerance”. The police in the nineties began to target gangs ruthlessly with simple stop and search methods. arrest a fare-dodger, went the theory, and if you delve deeper you may find that you have also arrested a gun-carrying gangster. It worked: the city’s murder rate plummeted.

Monday’s horror in Oxford Street must serve as a turning point. Either we bear down on gang violence at source in Peckham, Tottenham and Moss side or one day it will extend its reach to the places where we currently take peace and safety for granted.

A reader in England, who sent the article, writes:

Clark mentions black youth only in the context of stop and search. He doesn’t mention that a huge majority of the perpetrators of knifing crimes, gang related crimes etc. are black/mixed race. That’s the first lesson we need to ‘take in’. That most violent crime is committed by blacks/mixed race blacks. The second lesson is that we have to keep African black youth from immigrating to the UK as they will probably commit disproportionate amounts of violent crime when they arrive here. Ditto Carribean black youth. The third lesson is that we have to give much longer jail terms to black youth who commit crimes. The fourth lesson is that we have to show black youth/mixed race youth that we will not tolerate their barbaric behaviour. The fifth lesson is a sort of liberal one: we have to ensure there are more positive black role models around who will lay down moral guidelines to black youth.

December 30

Matt writes:

The reader in England wrote:

“The fifth lesson is a sort of liberal one: we have to ensure there are more positive black role models around who will lay down moral guidelines to black youth.”

I don’t think we should concede that positive role models are “sort of liberal.” In fact, to the extent those role models are liberal they aren’t positive. One might think I am picking nits, but in the liberal war of attrition against Western Christendom there are no nits. Liberals have been winning one concession at a time like that since before any of us were born.

December 31

A reader in England writes:

Regarding the reader’s (Matt) criticism of my ‘sort of liberal solution’:

I shouldn’t have used that phrase.

I was inferring that that sort of solution (role models) has been associated with liberalism.

But as I think it over I realize there is no reason that it has to be.

People from all sides of the political spectrum have a vested interest in the participation of black/mixed race role models within the black/mixed race community.

By role models I mean black/mixed race men who discourage violent and disruptive behaviour by black/mixed race youth. These role models will attempt to instill morals and decency in black youth.

These role models can and should come from any part of the political spectrum as long as they can ‘do the job’.

For example, Obama, a leftist, is a good role model for black male youth.

His children are not going to be violent criminals.

That liberalism as a political/cultural philosophy has played a strong role in the spread of black violent crime is not the relevant point here. Nor am I saying that liberalism in general should not be continually condemned as one of the prime causes of black crime (along with black youth themselves and aspects of black culture).

The relevant point is that decent liberal black/mixed race fathers/male role models can and should play a crucial role in instilling moral values and decency in black youth despite the fact that liberalism itself has a lot to answer for.

Ditto the likes of Thomas Sowell and Bill Cosby who identify as conservatives.
They too can and should play a crucial role in instilling morals and decency.

Louis Farrakhan and the Black Muslims may be deplorable in certain aspects but they instill in black youth a sense of morality which results in polite respectful behaviour. In other words Black Muslims don’t mug and rob. Nor do ordinary Muslims who are black. Nor do they drink or take drugs. Black Muslim and black Muslim male role models are defintiely part of the solution when it comes to preventing black violent youth crime.

As Deng said in China: If the cat catches mice, we shouldn’t care which colour it is.

Black violent crime is one of our most pressing problems (and one which most impinges on daily life).

On an everyday personal level, liberals, conservatives and Muslim fathers need to be part of the solution in terms of stopping this ‘plague’ of violent crime by black youth.

VFR conservatives should be supporting liberal black male role models in the same way as they should be supporting Muslim male role models, despite their opposition to liberalism and Islam/Muslim immigration. Islam has had very good results in terms of preventing violent crime from taking hold among Muslim children (as have Jews with Jewish children and many Christians with Christian children).Of course for VFR readers and conservatives in general it would be preferable to have conservative Christian black male role models in place. But the reality is that many black male role models will not be conservative and some will not be Christian. But they still need and deserve conservatives’/’Christians’ support.

And the reverse hold true as well: liberals, for the greater good, should support conservative black male role models.

And both groups should unite in support for Muslim black male role models (either Black Muslims or black Muslims) as well.

Perhaps a formation of a group of conservatives, liberals, leftists, Muslims etc (whichever ethnic group they come from) working together to encourage black male role models to emerge would be part of that solution.

I would leave hardcore white nationalists etc. out of this equation for the simple reason is that the black community will not respond to them in any positive way and it would be a waste of time for white nationalists to talk to the black community about encouraging black male role models.

As for the specifics of what these ’ black male role models’ will actually do and how they will do it, that is a subject for another blog entry. Ditto for how a hypothetical mixed group of liberals, conservatives, Christians, Muslims etc would actually support these black male role models on an everday level.

I reiterate that black male role models and the moral education that they would be imparting to black youth are hardly the only ingredients in the soup so to speak.

Stiffer prison sentences with no get out clause, tougher jail conditions, tougher police action (zero tolerance) will surely be part of it.

Black males who don’t stick around and support and help raise their children would be ‘punished’ (more on that ‘punishment’ another time). Black couples who legitimately stay together to raise their children would be rewarded with tax incentives etc. (The same policy would apply to any other sort of couple). Those tax incentives would decrease after a certain number of children. Admittedly some of those black males who ‘stay’ might be less than appropriate role models for their children. And that would be a problem in itself. But that is a risk we need to take. My guess is that most black males who stay and raise their children will be a positive force for good.

Schools would be required to teach moral education from elementary/primary school onwards. Black male role models would be encouraged to teach morality to those children in a school setting, even if those black males weren’t schoolteachers themselves. Morality and decency would be at the top of the educational agenda.

Black rappers and black celebrities black sport stars of many political persuasions would be called upon to get involved. Again, some would be inappropriate but this is a risk we must take.

OK, you get the picture.

VFR readers, if you want to stop black violent youth crime, you need to be part of a realistic solution which works with people from many sides of the political and religious and cultural spectrums. That doesn’t mean giving up your view that liberalism has played a large role in fostering black violent crime. Nor does it mean that you should stop talking about that view in public. Nor am I suggesting that you need to be in a love-in with blacks and black culture. Black culture has a lot to answer for in creating the conditions for bad black behaviour to thrive. But it does mean working with and supporting liberal parents/liberal role models especially black liberal fathers/black role models as they attempt to instill morality and decency into their youth.

LA replies:

The reader indicated that “role model” was not a good term, then he changed his mind and used it a great deal. He should have stayed with his original position. “Role model” is a terrible term and should be avoided. It connotes a social-engineering replacement for several indispensable and irreplaceable things: marriage, fathers, father figures, authority figures, social authority. The reader never once mentions marriage. He wants black fathers who are not married to the mothers of their children to “stick around” and be “role models” to their illegitimate children. This is unreconstructed liberal fantasy.

He also says, incredibly:

“Perhaps a formation of a group of conservatives, liberals, leftists, Muslims etc (whichever ethnic group they come from) working together to encourage black male role models to emerge would be part of that solution.”

A multi-political, multi-racial coalition of nonblacks “encouraging black male role models to emerge” will somehow make them emerge?” I am surprised that the reader, who has sometimes shown a realistic understanding of black violence and other pathologies, would utter such drivel. He is toiling under a set of unexamined liberal/left assumptions that leave him incapable of seriously confronting the problem being discussed.

Matt writes:

I agree with Mr. Auster’s point that the very term “role model” has problematic connotations. The need that the reader in England has identified is very real though: it is a need for father figures and mother figures. What I object to is liberalism’s cooption (even in the minds of traditionalists!) and corruption of this positive good—“role models”—and the pretense that this is something which springs from liberalism or uniquely liberal sentiments.

It doesn’t. Androgynous, modern, equally-free “role models” are what you have left over when liberalism, the ultimate social parasite, infects the concepts of father figure and mother figure. In order to fight the parasite, traditionalists need to identify the (illiberal) good as illiberal and not allow it to be claimed by liberalism as its own. We need to avoid attributing the good thing to the parasite: we need to reject the conflation and claim the good, the true and the beautiful—the things traditionalism stands for—as our own. The fleas are not the dog; the cancer is not the man.

LA replies:
Matt writes:

“traditionalists need to identify the (illiberal) good as illiberal and not allow it to be claimed by liberalism as its own.”

I think that what Matt is saying is that fatherhood, like all substantive goods and values, is not a liberal thing per se. Liberalism has to do with the progress of freedom and equality and the elimination of discrimination, not with substantive goods per se. In fact, Liberalism is fundamentally opposed to all substantive goods, values, customs, and institutions pertaining to traditional and natural human order, because such goods and institutions are not equal, because they are “discriminatory.” Liberalism doesn’t take over and destroy all these things all at once, it takes them over and destroys them gradually and progressively. Thus in 1965 no one remotely dreamed that equality and non-discrimination required homosexual “marriage” or the official welcoming of open homosexuality in the armed services; today, homosexual marriage is law in several states (not to mention other countries) and the official welcoming of open homosexuality in the armed services is an established fact. Marriage and the military—two traditional, non-liberal institutions—have been taken over by liberalism.

Similarly, fatherhood and authority figures (except for the totalitarian Nanny State type of authority) have been taken over, greatly weakened, and in many cases done away with by liberalism. If black children are to have fathers and other authority figures operating effectively in their personal lives and in society in general, these things must be restored. But they can only be restored through an act of resistance to liberalism, not by allowing liberalism to co-opt them yet once again, in the form of, e.g., “multi-ethnic coalitions” encouraging the emergence of “black male role models.”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 28, 2011 08:51 PM | Send

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