Lawlessness and Chaos at UCLA, NYC, Los Angeles: All Signs of the Downfall of Our Major Cities?

Stormy Petrel, the dark harbinger. (Credit: Ward Clark via AI - Night Cafe Creator)

It's a sad time for America's major cities. It's a sad time for people living in our major metropolises in the areas where lawlessness has taken over. It's an equally sad time for the poor kids who are attending some of the nation's major universities, the serious ones who are trying to gain skills and knowledge that will make them valuable in the employment marketplace, only to see their campuses shut down by idiots.

But that's what's happening. Here, in a thread on X, you can see independent journalist Cam Higby assaulted while covering a pro-Hamas protest - arguably a riot - at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) campus.

Earlier on Tuesday, my RedState colleague Bob Hoge covered the UCLA debacle; I will not attempt to duplicate his superb coverage, which you can read at the link below.

Previously on RedState: Happening Now: Protests Rage at UCLA As Pro-Hamas Mob Bloodies Security Guard, Drags Around Fake Corpses

Twenty-five people were arrested at the UCLA event. One may very well ask, "What consequences will these people face?" Sadly, the answer is predictable: "Probably little or nothing."

The arrestees were cited for willfully interrupting university operations, according to an emailed statement from the UCLA Police Department to the Daily Bruin, the campus newspaper.

CBS 2 reported multiple people were seen being detained or arrested during a clash with officers from several police agencies around 8 p.m. Officers also confiscated wooden shields that some of the demonstrators carried.

Graeme Blair, a member of Faculty for Justice in Palestine at UCLA, said in a statement sent at 10:25 p.m. via text message that male protesters detained by law enforcement were released from custody, the Daily Bruin reported.

Also in Los Angeles, during a "street takeover" early Monday morning, traffic was blocked and an Autozone auto-parts store was looted; as of this writing none of the perpetrators are in custody or even have been identified, except one person who may have been involved who was arrested after a vehicle chase. The looters stole with impunity, as is too often the case these days.

A wave of looting occurred early Monday morning at an AutoZone in South Los Angeles, following a street takeover incident. KTLA reported that the Los Angeles Police Department received a call about a street event at the intersection of Century Boulevard and Hoover Street shortly before 4 a.m., with another report of approximately 50 people breaking into the nearby Auto Zone store coming minutes later.

Across the nation, in New York City, similar chaos is unfolding, and as we might expect, another RedState colleague, Margaret Clark, has covered that event:

Previously on RedState: CHAOS: Pro-Hamas Group Orders 'Day Of Rage' on NYC - Violence Erupts, Authorities Nowhere to Be Found

New York's justice system, I may add, has time to gin up a bunch of phony-baloney charges against a former president of the United States but not to deal with mobs of people blocking streets and preventing the law-abiding people from going about their daily business.

Not to mention that these same useful idiots are even forming mobs in front of the White House.

Previously on RedState: Biden Campaign Has a Very Revealing Response to Pro-Hamas Mob's Actions at White House

If you'll forgive me for being very direct here: What the hell is happening with our cities?

Granted, many of our smaller cities are still pleasant places to live, and there remain large areas even in the aforementioned urban areas where people can live peacefully and go about their daily business - for now. But chaos generates chaos, and if the college campuses and the certain urban areas where this chaos is unfolding go unchecked, mark my words, this will spread. 

The United States used to have the greatest cities in the world. I've written before about how my father visited San Francisco in 1945, not long after V-J Day, and how he described it as a beautiful, clean, friendly, and prosperous city. And not so very long ago, I would have said that if any of the world's great cities could be considered the capital of the world, it would be New York. Now? I'm not so sure. While I'm not a fan of cities, I have had occasion to visit a lot of them, and today, right now, I would feel much safer and more comfortable walking the streets of Tokyo - where I can neither read the signs nor speak the language - than Los Angeles or New York.

Look, I know I'm biased. I'm a farm-country kid from Iowa who now lives out in the woods in Alaska. But that doesn't mean that I can't look at what's happening and see chaos unfolding. Something as big, complex, and interactive as a major city, if it is going to be livable, requires predictability and control. The citizens of our cities have to know that every morning they will be able to go to work unimpeded, to do their jobs, to go home again; they have to know that their children are safe walking or riding the bus to school, that they can go to a store without worrying about a flash mob showing up to loot the place. Young people in college have to know that they can go to class without being confronted by pro-terrorist useful idiots or being caught up in a political demonstration turned into a riot.

And while I am and always will be an advocate of minimal government, this is one of the government's few truly legitimate roles: To protect the liberty and property of the citizens. In that, the government of these cities has failed.

I do not place the blame for this on the law enforcement officers who stand by and do nothing; they have been all too often shackled by policies that neuter their effectiveness in maintaining basic public order. Many of them are doing the best they can with what they have, and, unsurprisingly, many have given up and left for smaller, safer jurisdictions. No, the blame can only be placed on the elected officials in those cities, the ones who make policy - and, yes, on the voters who elected them.

In 1919, in his poem "The Second Coming," W.B. Yeats wrote:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

He may well have been prophetic. In these places in our cities, the center, such as it is, is not holding. The best, I feel certain, are not lacking all conviction, but the worst certainly are full of passionate intensity. Times are troubled in our major cities, and I'm afraid things will get worse before they get better. In this, I would be delighted to be wrong, but I suspect I'm not.

My advice: If you live in one of the nation's major cities, get out if you can.


Trending on RedState Videos