Matteo: Yes, I’m prejudiced

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

I know this isn’t something that most people are willing to reveal for fear of being judged, canceled or criticized. However, I am neither ashamed nor embarrassed by my admission. So, who am I prejudiced against? That’s easy, the group is criminals. I despise anyone who victimizes good, decent, innocent people. This is not based on race, religion, sexual orientation or any other factor, but it is solely based on my perception that criminals are a selfish, vicious individuals who have no regard for what causes pain to others who just want to live life and not have to worry about being robbed, raped or murdered. For anyone who has ever been robbed, raped, assaulted or had a cherished family member murdered, the feeling of violation is a memory that can never be removed from one’s psyche. The emotional impact on victims of the kind of despicable behavior perpetrated by those who live by the predatory code of “I’m stronger than you are, so I can abuse you,” is intolerable in a civilized society. 

I believe in respect for others, for laws and institutions and as I observe the lawlessness that is prevalent in so many cities in America, it sickens me. It is the government’s job to provide its citizens with a safe environment, and too many government officials make excuses for criminals and criminal behavior. Politicians who screamed “Defund the police” are now regretting this demand because cities like San Francisco, Chicago and New York have become urban jungles where excuses are made for criminal behavior and victims are victimized by both criminals and also by a system that refuses to protect them.

As I see video after video of good people of all races who express fear for their lives because they have either been victimized by criminals or they fear being victimized, it makes me wonder why this situation exists. Yet, the answers for the recent spikes in criminal behaviors in many places are threefold: 1) The knee-jerk reaction to defund police departments 2) Liberal prosecutors who refuse to prosecute criminals and 3) Woke politicians who blame society, poverty, systemic racism, capitalism and the man in the moon, instead of those who make conscious decisions to commit crimes.

It’s ironic that the left embraces the victim culture, but instead of supporting tougher sentencing, and supporting the police, they vilify law enforcement and do little to help real victims who are actually the people who have suffered real losses due to criminal behavior. How many more businesses need to be looted before politicians realize that this type of behavior happens when you fail to prosecute and punish lawbreakers? As a former business owner, I find it unconscionable for politicians who encourage shoplifting by telling would-be criminals that they won’t be prosecuted, and when someone attempts to stop it with force, it is the employee or owner who risks being prosecuted. This is warped, topsy-turvy thinking. In Chicago, teenagers looted a convenience store and the mayor, Brandon Johnson (who may actually prove to be worse than Lori Lightfoot, which is a difficult task to accomplish) chastised the press for calling these lawbreakers a “mob.” He referred to their felonious activity as a “gathering.” No, Mr. Mayor, a gathering is a picnic with friends or when my family comes to my home for a holiday.  This was a riot and they were a mob.

In New York there was a large “gathering” of individuals who got so out of control because of the promise of a giveaway that police arrested dozens of criminals who decided that looting was an appropriate response to not getting what they were promised. Several months ago in New York, a homeless man who had been arrested numerous times was put in a chokehold after threatening passengers on a subway train, and he died. The person, a former Marine, who put him in the chokehold will go on trial for standing up against a criminal.

I grew up in New York, which has had its share of time periods where crime was seemingly out of control. I remember as a kid going to the movies and seeing the movie Death Wish, a movie about a man who took the law into his own hands after his daughter was savagely raped and his wife murdered by thugs. As the lead character, Paul Kersey, was killing muggers, people in the theater began to cheer. Why? Were these audience members sadists? No, they were simply tired of lawlessness and it was cathartic to see this make-believe vigilante kill those whose sole function in life is to do evil things to innocent people. 

Human behavior is quite simple. Most people behave by being reinforced by rewards and being deterred by punishments. Some people will always take the moral high road, but others need to know that if they do something bad, there will be consequences, and it is these consequences that keep them from breaking laws. Sadly, lawmakers, mayors, governors and those in executive positions either don’t comprehend this or they simply want society to be the scapegoat for criminal behavior.  

In addition to the complacency that spawns criminal behavior, we have an administration that has turned a blind eye to the problem, and is actually allowing criminals to flood cities from other countries. The cartels are flourishing under the Biden administration and decent Americans suffer from the policies made by those individuals who are protected by bodyguards, which is a luxury that the majority of Americans don’t possess.

Wokesters were outraged by Jason Aldean’s song, Try That in a Small Town, however, it became a bestselling song because so many people are tired of the kind of lawlessness that permeates so many American cities. Instead of moaning and groaning about a song that has a message about communities standing together against crime, perhaps these liberals need to wake up and realize that it is their policies that are causing so many people to be victimized by bad people.  

Any society that does not protect its citizens from serial felons or that gives criminals the message through legal ineptness that they won’t be punished is creating a path to anarchy. Weak enforcement of laws cultivates criminals.  So, no I don’t make any excuses for my prejudice against evil people who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of others. Life is both precious and short, and we all deserve to live in an environment where we are safe to walk the streets, ride subways and run businesses without fear of being harmed by moral degenerates whose sole function in life is to hurt others.  

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