How wonderful that Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser wants to limit the continuing spread of the coronavirus by arresting and fining anyone who travels outside their home for reasons other than trips to get groceries or medicines or even just because they might want to hang out on the corner and chat with a neighbor.
Enforcement will be nearly impossible — how will authorities know if I’m going to get groceries or if I’m going to a friend’s home? And once some liberal nonprofit group can demonstrate that the policy disproportionately targets minorities in the community, Bowser will probably abandon it anyway.
Since the national advisory for self-isolation began in earnest three weeks ago, the one consistent place that I’ve witnessed large gatherings of 30 people or more (three times the maximum of 10 the government is pushing) is around the project housing units two blocks from where I live in Washington. Nobody goes over to lecture these almost exclusively black residents about social distancing.
If Bowser is serious about her stay-at-home mandate, then it will entail locking up and fining these residents. It would disproportionately affect minorities — the magical phrase that invokes social justice rules and makes liberal lawmakers chicken out.
This is why it’s no longer a crime in D.C. to hop over the Metro transit turnstiles without paying the fare. Some liberal advocacy group found that policing the rule-breaking led to the apprehension of mostly black people. (Who would have ever thought that in a plurality-black city, such a crime might be mostly committed by blacks?!)
Even simple rules such as no eating while patronizing the Metro system was described by the Congressional Black Caucus as “systemic racism” after a woman back in February complained on social media that another woman, who was black and also happened to work for Metro, was eating while aboard one of the trains. The woman who complained, by the way, was Natasha Tynes, a Jordanian immigrant.
Two years ago, D.C.’s council also voted to no longer suspend the driver’s licenses of residents with unpaid tickets and who had missed their court hearings related to traffic violations. Why? Because the practice was deemed “discriminatory against the poor” — and that meant mostly Latinos and blacks, so therefore no more policy.
What did Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio do when he came into office? He immediately halted the “stop and frisk” policy that allowed police to stop, question, and search pedestrians suspected of criminal activity. Why? Because the neighborhoods where it was most used (which happen be the neighborhoods that most needed it) were predominantly nonwhite.
What did nearly every single Democrat who ran for president this year say about illegal border crossings? They wanted them decriminalized, because enforcement of immigration law at the southern border (indeed, acknowledgment that a border even exists) is now synonymous with white nationalism.
Civil libertarians will object to Bowser’s stay-at-home order. If they really want her to drop this mandate like it’s a hot rock, they should find a poor nonwhite D.C. resident who has been thrown in jail and fined for going out and hanging out with friends.