Homelessness, drug abuse, high taxes, civil unrest, crime, lockdowns are forcing citizens to flee some cities en masse..
By John Friend
The one-two punch of the government’s tyrannical response to the Covid-19 pandemic, resulting in shutdowns and increasingly onerous business regulations, as well as the civil unrest and criminal mayhem unleashed by the out-of-control Black Lives Matter (BLM)-inspired protest movements in recent months, has been devastating for major U.S. cities.
Business districts and downtown core areas of dozens of major American cities have been crippled by rioting, looting, and destruction caused largely by what can now only be called radical leftwing terrorists who used the opportunity created by the ostensible protest movement against police brutality and so-called “systemic racism” and “white supremacy” to loot and pillage with impunity. Major metro areas, particularly in West Coast cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, have also seen increasing numbers of homeless people and widespread addictive drug usage for years now, with the Covid-19 restrictions and recent civil unrest complicating an already difficult economic and social environment.
In Chicago and other big cities, major commercial and business districts are boarded up, with many businesses relocating or completely shut down. Michael Edwards, the president of the Chicago Loop Alliance, one of the city’s largest business associations, described the recent looting as “a psychological gut punch,” and laments many businesses, large and small, may never recover.
Local residents have also expressed their uneasiness and outright fear for the future, particularly in the wake of the widespread looting and destruction and increasing criminality.
“It’s ridiculous; it’s impossible to live around here now,” Alan Freeman, a long-time Chicago resident, explained to the Associated Press in a recent interview. “I’ve lived here for 20 years, and it’s getting scary because you can’t walk out now. You don’t know if they’re going to start with the people walking on the streets instead of the stores. The stores won’t even re-open probably.”
In Los Angeles, the city’s upper and middle class are fleeing as the city has been transformed from a bustling, beautiful metropolis to an urban nightmare with rampant, out-of-control homelessness, drug use, and striking wealth inequalities.
“There is a mass exodus from Hollywood,” Danny O’Brien, a British-born business owner living in Los Angeles, recently explained in an interview with the UK’s Daily Mail. “Liberal politics has destroyed this city. The homeless encampments are legal and there’s nothing the police can do. White, affluent middle-class folk are getting out. People don’t feel safe anymore.” What they fail to admit is that it is middle-class Americans in general—black, white, Asian, and Hispanic—nearly all of whom worked hard for years to run businesses and try to achieve the American dream.
In Minneapolis, the president and CEO of the Minneapolis Downtown Council is warning that up to 10,000 jobs could be lost in the area alone due to public safety concerns, as BLM activists and their allies in local governments across the country work to defund and dismantle traditional policing, which has resulted in more crime and mayhem on America’s streets.
“Almost overnight, the brakes went on in downtown,” Cramer noted in a recent interview with a local ABC News outlet in Minneapolis. “The point where it all started to change was the day the Minneapolis City Council announced it supported defunding the police department.”
Trends in major cities across the country all point in the same direction—formerly thriving businesses are being shuttered or relocated due to civil unrest, lawlessness, and rampant criminality while wealthy and middle-class families flee, putting the working and lower classes in many urban areas in an increasingly precarious position.
You can thank the response of the Democratic leadership for most of this. Rather than condemning BLM and Antifa terrorists for attacking and sometimes killing police officers and innocent citizens, committing arson, looting, destroying public property and seizing sections of American cities, Democrat members of Congress are instead either denying this is happening or making excuses for the Marxist revolutionaries tearing down America in the hopes it will help them defeat Donald Trump.
John Friend is a freelance writer based in California.