by Reid Fitzsimons
On Nov. 18, 2016 a black youth, 15 year-old Javon Wilson, was shot to death in his home in Chicago. The suspects/culprits were inside the house when apparently an argument over a pair of shoes ensued, and 17 year-old Dijae T. Banks (a female) handed a pistol to 16 year-old Tariq M. Harris (a male) who then shot Wilson. News accounts summed up his short life with a depressing “he liked basketball and rap music.”
His death was not particularly out of the ordinary, sadly. In the progressive world we’ve created, life, per se, is not of inherent or specific value, lest we sound like Pro-Life nut jobs talking about the “sanctity of life.” This especially holds true with black people, where there exists no innate value, but rather the meaning and matter of life is largely determined by the manner of death, with a few exceptions such as black sports and music figures, celebrities in general, and inaptly described civil rights leaders. Had young Javon Wilson been shot by the police his life would had found great significance and been marked by ecstatic outrage, marches, riots, and perhaps other murders. Typically, however, a black person murdered by another black person rates at best a candle light vigil, a makeshift monument of teddy bears, and a few pro-forma words from a local politician of how we have to stop the violence.
Actually Wilson was not a complete non-entity in that his grandfather, Danny Davis, is one of those perpetual congressmen who represents the Illinois 7th district, covering portions of west and south Chicago. He has all the prerequisites to be a fully qualified progressive: he’s a member of the Black Congressional Caucus, the Progressive Caucus, and the Democratic Socialists of America. There is not a progressive cause he does not support: unlimited abortion, gun control, green energy, higher taxes, open borders, etc. He has earned a 95.13 lifetime progressive grade by one of those political scorecard groups (Paul Ryan, who is not robustly conservative, earns a 4.64).
Needless to say, Rep. Davis found opportunity in tragedy to offer social justice platitudes and to urge more government intervention- increased gun control, more “investment” in poor areas, and the like. Progressivism is similar to the creepy guy who truly believes if he shows up just once more at his beloved’s workplace with a dozen roses or leaves even another romantic sonnet on her windshield she’ll finally realize they are meant to be together. For Danny Davis and his fellow travelers, if the last incarnation of a “jobs program” didn’t do the trick surely the next one will. If the quarter million black children aborted every year in the US hasn’t given the desired resolution to social problems then perhaps half a million will. Since feeding $14,000 a year per student into the Chicago public school bureaucracy seemingly hasn’t worked then try $16,000. How about more pay and benefits to public sector employees? Endless outrage, attribution of violent behaviors to other entities (animate and inanimate), perpetual victim hood, and dependency on government programs have never really achieved the oft-promised goals, so obviously the answer is we haven’t tried these approaches enough, there can be no other possible conclusion.
It’s a fair bet that the killers of Javon Wilson, whose own young lives are pretty much destroyed, didn’t regularly attend a church-synagogue-mosque with mom and dad where the message was don’t covet, don’t steal, don’t murder, turn the other cheek, love your neighbor and all those other Biblical admonitions (I suspect there are houses of worship in Chicago that offer a more culturally tailored message, so to speak, such as the church Barack Obama was caught attending and had to denounce for political reasons). I’m no Christian but it’s difficult to believe the Christian exhortations of Martin Luther King, for example, are best set aside for the relativistic message of Danny Davis and his fellow progressives, the idea that right and wrong are fluid and just seem to appear out of nowhere, like the celebrity of Lena Dunham. Woe to those who don’t equate moral good with sensual and emotional pleasure and celebrate whatever social justice mores spontaneously generate and are trending now on Yahoo!
As a closing aside, I can’t help but think of the perpetual political corruption of New York State when considering Rep. Danny Davis. In the 25-some years I lived in NY there was never-ending fraud and sleaze in Albany that seemed to be exposed every five years or so. The response was always predictable: demands for an ethics commission to study the situation, new ethics laws proposed and occasionally passed, a few prison sentences handed down, then everything forgotten until the next time. It never seemed to occur to anyone that the lack of laws wasn’t the underlying problem, but rather somehow the good citizens (or perhaps non-citizens) of NY voted people into office who somehow failed to learn that stealing, embezzlement, cronyism and similar activities are wrong. Rep. Danny Davis’ lament that teenagers with murderous intent shouldn’t have access to pistols is not controversial, but sadly he fails to see that Dijae T. Banks and Tariq M. Harris didn’t kill Javon Wilson because there aren’t enough laws but because somehow they were taught in his congressional district in Chicago that a pair of basketball shoes has more value than a life, or at least a black life. To actually consider the real reasons for this doesn’t fulfill the requirements of the progressive narrative, hence the body count of murdered young black men will continue to rise.