Wealth & Poverty Review The New UntouchablesSeattle policymakers want to provide the city’s underclass with blanket immunity for misdemeanor crime. Originally published at City Journal
In October, the Seattle City Council floated legislation to provide an exemption from prosecution for misdemeanor crimes for any citizen who suffers from poverty, homelessness, addiction, or mental illness. Under the proposed ordinance, courts would have to dismiss all so-called “crimes of poverty”—which, according to the city’s former public-safety advisor, would cover more than 90 percent of all misdemeanor cases citywide. In effect, the legislation would create a new class of “untouchables,” protected from consequences by the city’s powerbrokers.
This is the latest and most brazen effort in the city’s campaign to establish what might be called a “reverse hierarchy of oppression.” The underlying theory is that society has condemned the lower class to a life of poverty and stigma, which leads to addiction, madness, and indigence. The poor, in the logic of Seattle’s progressive elites, are thus forced to commit crimes—including violent crimes—to secure their very existence. Therefore, as society is the perpetrator of this inequality, the crimes of the poor must be forgiven. The crimes are transformed into an expression of social justice.Continue Reading at City Journal