Memorial Day Weekend in the City

By: John F. Di Leo

On Friday, May 24, as Chicagoans prepared for the Memorial Day weekend, Mayor Brandon Johnson and police superintendent Larry Snelling spoke to reporters, asking them to pass on a message to the public:

Parents, please, know where your children are. They’re out of school for the summer, and they should have fun, but they need to do so safely and responsibly.”

Fifty years ago, such a statement would have meant, “Make sure your kids don’t play with dangerous fireworks, or go joyriding, or risk breaking a window with a baseball, or running out in a busy street.”

No longer.

In today’s Chicago, and in similar big cities across the country, the dangers of summertime are all too often the kids themselves, as it’s the teenagers who start fights, deal and use drugs, and commit the property crimes and sex crimes that plague our many metropolises.

Not to say that the criminals are all young, but adult criminals aren’t stupid; organized gangs use youths to commit their crimes, because everyone knows that minors are more likely to get off easy if caught. So to direct the comments to the youth of the city makes sense.

Memorial Day weekend bears a host of cultural markers, all very different.

Its literal purpose is the serious, somber memorial to those members of America’s Armed Forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their nation. It is the weekend when those noble souls’ heirs visit cemeteries, decorate their graves, and honor their service.

But this weekend is also the traditional beginning of summer — the launch of vacations, the weekend when people dust off their white shoes or their pastel wardrobes, the weekend when people start looking for art fairs and church festivals and peruse the travel brochures and tourism websites looking for such road trips as their stressed budgets may allow.

It’s the time of high school and college graduations, the beginning of wedding season. It’s time for students home for the summer to start their summer jobs, or for recent graduates to start their careers.

And in America’s big cities, it’s time for the street fights and muggings, the corner drug deals and carjackings. Crime skyrockets when it gets hot. In 2023, for example, there were 59 people shot during Chicago’s Memorial Day weekend, eleven of them fatally.

And that’s just Chicago.

And that’s just one weekend.

So our cities hold press conferences. They announce “an increased police presence.” They declare that there will be more patrols downtown, “but don’t think that means we won’t be in the neighborhoods, too!”

Cities reinstitute curfews that they don’t have the staff to enforce. They remind people to keep their wits about them and remember that the police can’t be everywhere. They remind us not to park in a dark cul-de-sac; they remind us to stay on lighted paths, and maybe to avoid neighborhoods that just might not be the safest for you.

Chicago’s bosses announced that they’ll be doing everything necessary to keep the city safe — the extra patrols, the safety messages, the increased presence around shopping districts, the checking of bags at the beach.

Wait a minute. “The checking of bags at the beach?”

Everything necessary,” they say. Really?

Some of us remember when we were kids, going to the beach, whether on Lake Michigan or one of our country’s many other lakes or ocean shores. Police didn’t check our bags in those days, and we were infinitely safer then than now.

Perhaps they aren’t doing “everything necessary,” after all.

In the many American cities in which the chief prosecutor was elected on a George Soros bankroll, the cities don’t prosecute thieves if they steal less than a thousand dollars’ worth of property; they just set the perps free to steal again. Are they changing that policy this summer?

In rabidly anti-gun cities like New York, Chicago, and D.C., no matter how many thugs and robbers are heavily armed, the law-abiding citizen is not allowed to be, and he must walk defenseless if he walks at all. Are they changing that policy this summer?

In the blue states where the so-called progressives have proudly “eliminated cash bail,” even criminals who are caught and prosecuted are still set free to rob, rape, or brawl again, without so much as requiring a single dollar bond to make sure they ever return for trial. They are just set free as soon as the documents are filed for the last crime. Are they changing that policy this summer?

Every day, we read or hear the news: over a hundred thousand unknowns per month cross our intentionally porous border with Mexico, heading north. They aren’t all from Mexico, but that’s where they fly, from Asia and Europe, from Africa and Latin America and the Caribbean. They all come to Mexico so they can walk across the border and blend effortlessly into these United States, unfollowed and largely untrackable. Some are decent folks who mean no harm; many are hardened criminals, from more violent cultures than our own, either lone wolves or members of countless foreign crime syndicates. What about them, you pompous Democrat governors, mayors, and police chiefs, we ask? Are you doing anything to close off this dangerous spigot this summer?

For generations now, we have seen judges, governors, legislatures, law schools, and newspapers join forces to attack standard minimum sentencing guidelines; to attack the concept of capital punishment, no matter how richly deserved; and to push the spread of alternative punishment like “community service” in lieu of prison time. Anything and everything they can think of, to increase the odds that known criminals will be back through the revolving door, infesting our streets and alleys, our parks and beaches, within the hour. Are they changing this policy, too, this summer?


In fact, our big-city mayors — Democrats all, if such a reminder is needed — aren’t doing a thing to really reduce crime this summer, no matter how serious and thoughtful they pretend to be in their press conferences. Every step that would really reduce crime and make the summer safer for individuals and families, for residents and tourists, for workers and revelers, is absolutely contrary to official Democrat party policy.

Will this summer really be any safer than last year or the year before? Will the law-abiding, hardworking innocent potential victims of our cities have any cause for confidence in their security this summer?

There’s absolutely no reason to expect it. Not from the “progressive politicians” who are running our major cities into the ground from coast to coast.

It almost makes you wonder whose side they’re on.


The above article (Memorial Day Weekend in the City) is republished here on TLB under “Fair Use” (see the TLB disclaimer below article) with attribution to the articles author John F. Di Leo and

TLB recommends that you visit the American Thinker for more great articles and info.

Image Credit: Photo in Featured Image – Pixabay License.


Related Article:

President Trump’s Plan to Save America’s Cities [Newt Gingrich commentary]



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