New York City’s far left progressive mayor, Bill de Blasio, and Public Advocate Jumaane Williams are rolling out what amounts to a legally sanctioned protection racket. The idea is to select potentially dangerous youths in areas of the city with high levels of gun violence who will receive individual mentoring. If they stick with the program, the city will pay them off with a stipend of $1000 per month.
Instead of facing prison time for committing a violent crime, the wayward youths will be paid not to commit a crime. Forget about adequately funding the police. Just send the money over to violent youths so that they have some more funds to buy their next fix without robbing someone at gunpoint.
“If giving a grand a month to violent teens — on the proviso that they receive ‘mentoring’ from older ex-cons — sounds like a good use of money, well, you’re in luck,” wrote Seth Barron, the managing editor of The American Mind and author of the book “The Last Days of New York.” Barron correctly blasted the idea of using local community activist groups with spotty records to disperse “$1,000 monthly stipends to gangster protégés of ex-con mentors” as “truly insane.”
The program, which is starting out in a pilot mode, is based on something called the Advance Peace Model. One million dollars have reportedly been allocated to pay for this travesty.
De Blasio tried to assure New Yorkers that the model “will guarantee a safer and fairer New York for generations to come.” What is he smoking?
The Advance Peace Model’s supporters claim that it has worked in other cities. But the statistics they cite for a reduction in violent crimes where the model was tried show mixed results and are somewhat misleading. For example, as Seth Barron explained, the Advance Peace Model program in Stockton, California “was a disaster. Murders rose from 28 in 2019 to 45 in 2020, up 60 percent, much higher than the 37 percent increase nationwide.”
The model’s boosters boast of a high percentage of participants who “are not a suspect in a new firearm-related crime.” But then there are those original participants who dropped out of the program and ended up being arrested, whom the Advance Peace Model boosters prefer not to talk about.
Aside from whether the program even works, it is based on an immoral foundation. While there is certainly nothing wrong with rewarding good behavior that extends beyond what one is required to do under the law, there is something perverse about rewarding someone for not committing a violent crime. This is far worse than giving kids participation trophies for just showing up. It is telling young people that the decision of whether or not to obey the law, including committing murder, rape, and armed robbery, is up for sale.
The commands “Thou shall not murder” and “Thou shall not steal” do not come with a price tag attached for obedience.
We’re living in an age of moral relativism. Firm standards of right and wrong are passé. It’s as if the infamous French philosopher Marquis de Sade was being channeled through the words that he uttered centuries ago: “There is no action, however bizarre you may picture it, that is truly criminal; or one that can really be called virtuous. Everything depends on our customs and on the climates we live in.”
Silence is violence, according to Black Lives Matter, but the actual looting of black and white owned businesses is excused as long as it serves the cause of “social justice.”
Racial discrimination and segregation today are justified to redress the racist behavior of past generations going back to 1619.
Terrorists who fire rockets at civilians, using women and children as human shields, are engaged in legitimate “resistance.” But a nation that defends its civilians against such attacks is considered the aggressor.
The list goes on and on. De Blasio is adding his ‘pay not to slay’ program to the list. Let’s hope that the next mayor – probably Eric Adams – has the good sense to get rid of this idiocy.