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Welcome to Gotham

A crime wave has been crashing down on our once serene city on the Hudson. The menace in the air is palpable.
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February 13, 2024
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Welcome to Gotham. If you look up into the gloomy sky, you will notice the Bat Signal. Yes, it’s meant for the Caped Crusader, and not the Wuhan Lab. 

Unfortunately, we’ve beamed it every night for the past several years. A crime wave has been crashing down on our once serene city on the Hudson. The menace in the air is palpable.

So far no superhero has answered the call. It might be that Batman is ill-equipped for this particular crop of villains, all operating in a culture that has a problem with accountability — especially when it comes to certain groups. Surely Bruce Wayne already suffers from enough childhood trauma to be called a racist as an adult.

Rumor has it the Batman has long abandoned Gotham for Florida, as so many other industrialists have done as crime and illegal immigration have soared. Batman’s new cave is a condo in Coco Beach where he can be found playing pickleball with the regulars. 

Actually, rumor has it the Batman has long abandoned Gotham for Florida, as so many other industrialists have done as crime and illegal immigration have soared. Batman’s new cave is a condo in Coco Beach where he can be found playing pickleball with the regulars. 

Over 170,000 migrants from the southern border have settled in New York City this past year alone — over 11 million in total now reside in the United States. We know very little about many of them, or their whereabouts. Most occupy homeless shelters, school gymnasiums, hotels, tent cities, office buildings, and public streets. A good number arrived with impressive rap sheets that instantly proved the obvious: Unlike doctors and lawyers, it’s easy for criminals from foreign countries to adapt their skills in America. 

Smash-and-grab vandals prowl Fifth and Madison Avenues. Some are graduates of the rogue faction of the Black Lives Matter movement; others are undocumented and not especially interested in anyone’s life. 

A week ago, a group of illegal immigrants ganged up on two policemen. The other day a shoplifting teenager in Times Square fired his gun at a New York City police officer, accidentally shooting a tourist. Men and women in blue are longing for those less hazardous days of merely “defunding,” rather than pummeling, the police. 

There have been an estimated 62 recent grand larcenies, all caused by a crew of moped-riding migrants snatching cell phones and purses from elderly New Yorkers, sometimes dragging them along the street.

No matter who they are or the scope of their criminality, soon after being apprehended, they rejoin the ranks of repeat offenders. Unlike the countries from which they come, America regards jail time as an archaic concept. It goes well beyond merely “broken” law enforcement and immigration systems: It’s bedlam and anarchy, writ large. Prosecutors in many urban areas simply refuse to punish those who break the law. Even worse, they aren’t even held in custody. Keeping tabs on criminals, apparently, intrudes on their privacy. 

First they’re paroled into the country; and later they’re released into the neighborhood of unsuspecting, law-abiding Americans. Offenders skip down courthouse steps and flash America the finger. Many falsely claim asylum, then hopscotch from one sanctuary city to the next, never to be seen from again until they commit another crime. A sanctuary city is now a euphemism for a lawless city. 

What’s the point of having grandmothers remove their shoes and undergo body scans at airports if anyone can simply cross the Rio Grande toting waterproof backpacks stuffed with fentanyl or harboring jihadist ambitions?

America isn’t faring much better with domestic crime. Mobs burn down police precincts and cars. Pro-Hamas demonstrators clog traffic, forcibly occupy bridges, museums, and train stations, turn universities into antisemitic petri dishes, threatening Jews and calling for the annihilation of Israel. Never before has the United States seen such openly seething, shameless, and ignorant displays of antisemitic hate. One protestor identified both the “River” and “Sea” that must be liberated from the Jews as Lake Michigan.

What’s really happening nowadays is straight out of the anti-racist, woke-soaked,white skin-stained handbook: the comeuppance of the privileged class. The best antidote to racial inequality and disparities in Black achievement is a redefinition of equity and a browning of America. 

During the George Floyd rioting where the police were ordered to stand down, a Jewish city councilwoman in Minneapolis smugly proclaimed that it’s high time white people finally experience the vulnerability of being unprotected by the police.

On college campuses students have been indoctrinated into a black-and-white worldview that worships whatever is Black and detests anything that smacks of white privilege. America has never been a force for good, decrees the 1619 Project. In the new course curriculum, Jew-hating has become an official major, one that apparently doesn’t require classroom attendance in order to graduate with a 4.0. Resisting oppression, chanting slogans, pumping fists, and handing out leaflets are today’s scholarly pursuits. A UCLA professor was suspended and nearly terminated for refusing to grade his Black students more leniently after the murder of George Floyd.

One of the reasons behind the reforms that dispensed with bail is the optics of disproportionately large African-American prison populations. Progressive prosecutors in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia simply believe that justice demands paring it down.

Instead, everyone is looking for a Norwegian with a Ph.D. in computer science who crashes our border and then instantly shoplifts. That guy is going to jail forever. 

What no one will say is that these past four years of border negligence will prove to be a boon for the Democratic Party, who have discovered the secret sauce to winning elections: flooding the nation with absentee, mail-in ballots. Millions will be printed to reflect America’s significantly enlarged population. Many ballots will be returned, some without signature verification, as a reward to politicians who aided in increasing the voter rolls. 

Call it the Democratic Party’s Asylum Strategy — those escaping from other lands will come to the rescue of anti-racist Democrats at the ballot box. Questioning the legitimacy of those ballots will be prima facie evidence of racism — and I say that as a lifelong Democrat. 

I understand that America is a nation of immigrants. I, myself, am only a first-generation American. The base of the Statute of Liberty welcomes “your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” I fear that today’s masses bypass Ellis Island and Border Patrol checkpoints, yearning not to breathe, but to destroy our freedoms.

You never know. Illegal migrants might surprise us yet; and citizens devoting themselves to a life of crime might change their ways. Against all odds, one could end up curing cancer.

And you can call me the Joker.


Thane Rosenbaum is a novelist, essayist, law professor and Distinguished University Professor at Touro University, where he directs the Forum on Life, Culture & Society. He is the legal analyst for CBS News Radio. His most recent book is titled “Saving Free Speech … From Itself.” 

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