Something I’ve noticed living in the city—especially a big blue leftist town like Philadelphia—is that many leftists wear their leftism on their sleeve.
‘Theater’ like this can take several forms.
First, as a costume: the men with weird hairdos; the women, especially those with dark hair in Morticia Addams Family drag (straight bangs), black clothing, prominent lipstick and (sometimes) big “artsy” earrings.
Although the above description is a gross stereotype, these trappings often have serious Marxist roots.
An example of this might be how leftist cult members have convinced themselves that because they know the ABC’s of “systematic racism,” they are therefore better able to deal with any situation involving the victims of this “evil.”
Consider how New York leftwing activist Ryan Carson and his girlfriend Claudia Morales paid no attention to the “signs of danger” as they left a street bench in Black Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn, the night that Carson was stabbed to death by Brian Dowling, 18, a black youth with a history of mental and emotional problems — or “a nice boy” (as Dowling’s defense attorney stated to the press.)
Videos show Dowling passing Carson and Morales as they sat on a sidewalk bench. Seconds after Dowling passes, the couple resumes their walk in the direction of Dowling despite the fact that Dowling has kicked over a number of parked scooters.
Rather than walking away in the opposite direction as quickly as possible, the couple continue walking as if nothing is wrong, with Carson suddenly stopping and looking at Dowling, as if to ask, “Why are you destroying those scooters?”
Leftist methodology forbids thinking that a crazy acting black man might in fact be crazy. ‘Racial profiling’ forbids thoughts like this. The idea is to prove you are “not a racist.”
And how do you do that? You do it by walking headlong into the web of danger.
After Carson’s brutal, tragic death, leftists complained that conservatives were “celebrating” his murder with comments stating that Carson died as a result of the policies that he supported.
While there were many inappropriate comments about Carson’s death, the criticisms voiced in The New York Intelligencer (in an article entitled ‘Don’t Celebrate When the People You Disagree With Get Murdered’) and ‘Teen Vogue’ (a magazine for leftist adolescents), took issue with “mean conservative” criticisms of the activist work that Carson was involved in, as well as two other left-oriented individuals who were murdered by black males between Sept. 28 and October 2, 2023.
But it is not unreasonable to call attention to the wrongheaded political views of Carson and his girlfriend, Claudia Morales, when discussing this tragedy.
Carson supported Antifa and BLM and was known to celebrate when right-wing conservatives died. At Rush Limbaugh’s death, Carson tweeted, “LMAO hell yeah.” I won’t quote the other tweets, but they are there.
Carson’s girlfriend, Morales, participated in a BLM riot in Boston in 2020 and firmly believed that all police were evil.
Some criticized Morales for her muted reaction as Carson was being stabbed. Perhaps she was in shock or feared for her own life, but since none of us know how we would react in a similar situation, it’s best to give Morales the benefit of the doubt.
But she cannot be given the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the Go Fund Me campaign she initiated one day after Carson’s death (it has raised $70,000 to date.)
Here we have what essentially is called a crass money-grab.
“We are a collective of Ryan’s close friends, reeling from a brutal loss,” the Go Fund Me header states.
“We are asking for your help on behalf of his partner in easing the burden and stress of this horrifying situation so that we can have space and time to grieve, and remember Ryan. Immediate needs are to offset the costs of working class people taking time off of work to properly mourn.”
“Working class people,” “We are a collective”: the language of socialism. Not a word, of course, about Ryan Carson’s immortal soul or a service to be conducted in his honor. No. What this “collective” is worried about is vacations for people that Ryan Carson knew, and then getting on with the work of “the collective.”
The collective mentality is clearly implicit in New York State Assembly member Emily Gallagher’s response to Carson’s murder, who told ‘The Gothamist”:
‘I know he [Carson] would have wanted people to use his death as a means to talk about structural wrongs in the city….What he would want to avenge his death is for us to fix how broken this city is.”
Another example of how leftist ideology can be dangerous in the face of reality, is the case of 26-year-old Baltimore resident Pava LaPere, a tech executive celebrated by Forbes in its “30 Under 30” list for (extraordinary) social impact.
LaPere, a firm supporter of BLM, was murdered after she entered her Baltimore luxury apartment building on the evening of September 19. LaPere’s killer was 32-year-old Jason Dean Billingsley, who had been granted an early release from prison under criminal justice reform policies.
Billingsely, who had been following LaPere in the street, somehow convinced LaPere, not a resident of the building, to open the door for him.
Surveillance cameras show Billingsley following her into the elevator. Her body was found three days later on the rooftop of the building.
To have refused Billingsley entry until he showed valid ID or provided absolute proof that he was not a villain would have gone against leftist group-think.
As an ardent supporter of BLM, and someone who spoke out quite frequently against alleged racism in the US criminal justice system, perhaps LaPere imagined that her alliance with people of color would shine through and “heal” anything that might be amiss in Billingsley’s character.
“I am your friend. I support you. I support BLM. I will go out on a limb for you. Here—I open this door in solidarity.”
LaPere, the founder of EcoMap Technologies, repeatedly stated on her Instagram account,
“We commit to being anti-racist in all aspects of what we do—from the team members we hire to the customers we serve. In addition to donations, we will commit our community service hours to organizations that promote and support black entrepreneurship.”
Baltimore’s mayor, the leftwing Mayor Brandon Scott, said of the LaPere case:
“When the police go out and do their job, as they did in this case…and the state’s attorney goes out and does their work, gets the conviction, the conviction should be a conviction. We are tired of talking about the same people committing the same kind of crimes over and over again…”
In February of 2020, I was researching an article on Philadelphia’s homeless population and emailed the Office of Homeless Services to set up a phone interview with its director, Liz Hersh.
Josh Kruger, the gay left-wing journalist who was murdered when he was shot 7 times inside his home on October 2, was Director of Communications there helped me arrange the interview.
About this time, Kruger was working for the city in various capacities, including in the Mayor’s Office, when the left-wing newspaper, Philadelphia Weekly, announced that it was reinventing itself as a conservative newspaper.
This was journalistic breaking news at the time: PW would go alt right as opposed to its alt left legacy.
Most city residents, nearly all left Democrats, could not believe that such a change was in the works.
In a Philadelphia Magazine interview, Kruger said,
“I’ve lived in poverty. I’m a Philadelphian. I’m gay. And thanks to these qualities plus, I suppose, DNA, I have a pathological inability to not speak my mind in the face of something wrong.”
(The Philadelphia Weekly did not last long in its conservative incarnation. It soon flipped back to its progressive roots but very quickly folded and became a became a barely functioning website. Kruger was the paper’s last editor.)
Many conservative outlets published reports of Kruger’s death as ‘exhibit A’ in the irony department. Meaning: here we have the shooting death of a left-wing writer who criticized conservative writers in print for insisting that Philadelphia is plagued by crime.
In one Tweet regarding crime, Kruger wrote:
“Today, I learned there is apparently a ‘crippling crime wave destroying all cities’ according to Stephen Miller, which includes presumably Philly. My house is not on fire and chaos is not reigning in the street. I saw a man get a parking ticket yesterday. My trash got picked up. “
There were a lot of mean tweets about Kruger after his murder. (1) “Oh well, the very thing that he voted for is what killed him.” (2) “He mocked people who were concerned about how dangerous Philly is.” (3) “One less propagandist.” (4) “Hillary Clinton did it.” (5) “The murderer was probably out on signature bond for some other violent crime in Leftist Larry Krasner’s Philly.” (6) “Another liberal owned.”
The respectful comments outweighed the negative, with fellow progressives Mayor Kenney and Larry Krasner himself weighing in. Pennsylvania Senator John Fetterman even commented, “A devastating loss.”
Celebrating someone’s death with whom we don’t agree is one of the nastiest examples of an inhumane humanity. Yet conservatives get pummeled too when they pass; the comments posted on social media are just as heartless and vicious. So this is not about one side being uglier than the other.
Yet Kruger, unlike Carson and LaPere, was a leftist in transition to something more middle-of-the-road, perhaps even conservative.
I say this because in reviewing some of the articles he wrote for The Philadelphia Citizen, I was struck by a piece he penned on homelessness, specifically the dictum from the leftist language police that the term “homeless” was no longer acceptable in describing “people experiencing homelessness” (the correct phrase.)
In that Citizen piece, he wrote:
“Shared experiences, even traumatic ones, can unite and create identifiably, trust, and support. This doesn’t mean we should view trauma or misery as a model worth replicating when creating our own communities. We can do better.”
Kruger then goes on to the question the woke language war concerning definitions of homelessness:
“Here’s the thing: We either have a crisis or we don’t. If we normalize it with supposedly softer language that makes it sound less alarming and more acceptable, then where will we be in 10 or 20 years? Should we stop calling poverty what it is? Disease? Bigotry? Where does this end?”
“Where does this end?” is the key phrase here, because it questions the leftist status quo.
Call it a conservative glimmer or a new root beginning to take shape in Kruger’s head, but there it is.
It is unfortunate that this 39-year-old writer never had the chance to grow and possibly shun the corroded coil of leftism.