- - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

At 9:30 the other night I was about to be presented with a tragic lesson regarding one of our country’s pigheaded policy errors, devised ever so quietly by President Obama in league with liberals all over the country. Most Americans are unaware of this policy. They never voted for it. They never debated it. The progressives are just imposing it on us through stealth. This is the Democrats’ latest advance in democratic process.

I had retired early that night after a long day of writing when suddenly my wife shook me. Had I heard the disturbance outside the window of our townhouse, she asked with some urgency. Well, I had heard a thud, and so I rushed to the front window a few feet away. There, one story below, in the dull illumination of the streetlight, a man in a gray hoodie was leaning over what looked like a stovepipe. On second glance, the stovepipe was actually a male victim lying on his back with blood streaming out a wound on the left side of the back of his head. The lout in the hoodie was frisking his upper body. As I opened the window he furtively withdrew leaving the man alone on the sidewalk.

By the time I threw on some clothes, my next-door neighbor, a health care worker, was bending over the man and, cellphone in hand, she was calling the police. She was expert in telling the victim to remain still and not to move his limbs. I urged him to remain calm, though calmness was not much of a problem. He was badly hurt. We tried to reassure him when suddenly there were about 20 first responders flooding the scene. They were superb in attending to the victim. The gentleman was, he told us, 67. He was a black man who, it turned out, was a mere block from the security of his home when the attack took place. His wallet was still on him. Apparently, we had interfered with what was a random robbery, at 9:30 at night on a busy urban street. The assailant was extremely reckless and he is still at large.

A couple of days later, the police had questioned everyone in the neighborhood. They told us that the victim had died four days later from his wound. He was of North African origin and left a grieving family a block away, next to a famous Baptist church. Presumably the pastor, a very energetic man, offered the family the comforts of faith. The day before the attack President Obama had attended Easter services there. Security was tight.

Now to return to my original point regarding one of the progressives’ most pigheaded public policies. The neighborhood that the victim lived in is a racially integrated one. It is not a posh neighborhood, but it is hardly a slum. It is a place where the man and his family could feel safe, probably safer than the neighborhood they inhabited when they first arrived in America. The victim did not anticipate the random violence that killed him a block from his home. Yet as a matter of public policy today, neighborhoods are being engineered so that they are not homogeneous. Government bureaucrats are quietly mixing together the upper class with the middle class with the working class with the impoverished and, of course, the clients of the welfare state. Populations are being mixed together by government edict so neighborhoods are wondrously heterogeneous, mixing classes, races and ethnic groups. Who knows — maybe there is a quota for gays and lesbians, or whatever the next trendy American lifestyle might be. It is a perfect prescription for social unrest, even violence. Just the other day it was reported that the city of Baltimore is setting aside millions of dollars to implement such social engineering in its suburbs.

The law-abiding are to be mixed with the lawless, the peaceful citizens with thugs — thugs who will no longer have to walk great distances to commit their crimes. A generation ago, busing did not work toward homogenizing America. So now the liberals are more ambitious. They are extinguishing property rights and freedom of association in pursuit of their noble vision. In fact, when it comes to where you choose to live, free choice is being extinguished. Now adult America is being treated as our children are in our deplorable public schools. Adult America is being coerced into diversity. It is a value that has been imposed on us in the name of political correctness, which many of us thought was a joke.

This venture into social engineering has never appeared on a ballot anywhere I know of. It is abhorrent to the workings of a free society. Oh, and one more thought about the decedent. It is a shame he had to die, but as was said by progressives in the 1930s, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. Precisely who said that first is a matter of debate, but a leading candidate for this grisly witticism is Stalin.

• R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is editor-in-chief of The American Spectator. He is author of “The Death of Liberalism,” published by Thomas Nelson Inc.

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