Many criminal experts define a shooting as a shooting of four or more people. Last weekend there were shocking numbers (at least 9) across the United States.
In Norfolk, Virginia, discussions outside the pizzeria led to shootings, killing two people, including a 25-year-old newspaper reporter who was on the sidelines. In the agricultural community of Dumas, Ark, a shootout broke out at an annual car show, killing one and injuring 27. In downtown Austin, Texas, four people were injured in a shooting last weekend at the SXSW Festival.
As my colleagues Tim Arango and Troy Crosson report, the outburst of violence over the weekend continues to tend to begin almost two years ago, early in the Covid-19 pandemic, and is a sign of mitigation. Can not be seen. According to recent data, murder cases have increased by more than 30% since 2019. They are still well below the levels of the 1970s, 80s and early 90s, but have reached their highest points in over 20 years.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said two shootings last weekend imposed a curfew.
What explains the wave of crime? There is no completely satisfactory answer, but experts point out some plausible partial explanations. They include: Social isolation and frustration caused by pandemics: Lawlessness due to police violence (like the killing of George Floyd). Cowardice of police officers against their recent criticism. And increased gun sales during the pandemic.
Still, the wave of crime seems to be clearly American, as one of these factors is too broad to be a proper explanation.
For example, gun crime is not the only type of violent crime. Also, the increase in crime is not limited to where police atrocities were the worst. When it comes to pandemics, crime is expected to surge in many countries if that is the only cause. Instead, it is fairly stable in the UK, Canada, France, Japan, etc.
History is the closest thing to my compelling answer. Criminologists and historians who have studied past crime waves, such as Gary LaFree, Richard Rosenfeld, and Randolph Ross, often say that they often occur when people are dissatisfied with society, government, and fellow citizens. I’m pointing out. This frustration can lead to the collapse of social norms and the rise of what sociologist Emile Durkheim called “anomie”.
“Feelings of friends”
Looking at murder rates in the United States and Western Europe over the last 400 years, Ross argues that crime tends to increase as people lose confidence in social institutions and fundamental equity. Crime increases as empathy for other citizens, or as Ross and others say, diminishes “companion feelings” and raises anomies. According to criminologists, the rise in American crime in the 1960s and 1970s was a good example.
Of course, most citizens do not commit crimes. However, social alienation makes some people break the rules and are willing to act violently. As The Atlantic’s Graeme Wood writes, a wider sense of disorder can create so-called moral holidays.
When talking about this idea with a colleague yesterday, Lopez of Germany, who wrote about the wave of crime in this newsletter, pointed out that anomie theory is temporary and unprovable and can feel unsatisfactory. But it also fits the facts better than any alternative, the German added.
By many means, Americans are dissatisfied with their government, their economy, and their fellow citizens. According to Gallup, nearly 80 percent are dissatisfied with the direction of the country. People spend hours yelling at each other on social media. Many Americans consider people with opposite political ideas to be so wrong that they do not deserve the right to express their opinions. Polls also show a surprising degree of skepticism about openness to democracy and political violence.
In addition to these signs of alienation, various behaviors are exacerbated. Alcohol abuse and substance overdose are on the rise. Blood pressure in Americans is rising and mental health measurements are falling. The number of vehicle collisions is increasing rapidly.
In each of these cases, the pandemic seems to play a role. The trend began or accelerated shortly after Covid overwhelmed everyday life in the spring of 2020. But the pandemic seems to be only part of the story. The recent dysfunction in this country is greater than Covid. It’s a dark new form of American exceptionalism.
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Where jazz lives now
When you hear the word “jazz club”, you get a concrete image. It probably contains dim lighting and a dense table. You can imagine it in New York, which is considered the capital of American jazz.
Most of New York’s traditional clubs (think Village Vanguard and Blue Note) have survived a pandemic. However, young bandleaders who have found a large audience on streaming services are also spreading jazz in different parts of the city.
Nublu, the venue for Alphabet City, calls itself “a small clubhouse where friends get together to play music,” and will host a combination of jazz, electronic music, and rock on Monday night. Cafe Erzulie, a Haitian restaurant on the border between Bushwick and Bed-Stuy, has turquoise walls with palm leaf patterns rather than the dark atmosphere of a jazz bar.
“Renewing our sense of where this music is happening may be the basis for reestablishing a place for jazz in culture,” Giovanni Russonello wrote in the Times. See some of the new artists and spaces here.