The new crown epidemic in the United States is still spreading rapidly.
According to statistics from Johns Hopkins University, as of 16:21 EST on January 2, 2022, there were 189,092 new confirmed cases of new crown in the United States in a single day, 189 new deaths, and a total of 55,049,058 confirmed cases. cases, with a total of 826,005 deaths.
To make matters worse, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Justice not long ago, as of the end of 2021, 16 cities in the United States, including Philadelphia, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Louisville, Milwaukee, and Portland, have recorded annual homicide numbers. Breaking, among them, six cities have continuously refreshed this disgraceful record for two consecutive years. In addition, Houston, Memphis and Oakland are near record annual homicides.
”The country has lost its mind,” said Thomas, a retired police officer and criminologist at Florida Gulf Coast University. In his opinion, today’s American people are always “very angry, just a little bit”, especially young people’s “anger”, they can’t wait to “make an appointment on Facebook when there is a conflict, and then shoot guns at each other.”
Either get sick or die! In the new year, can this situation be effectively contained?
Multiple cities break ‘homicide of the year’ record
”We just stabbed that bitch in the heart! We don’t care!” In early 2021, a brutal murder occurred in a Walmart supermarket in the Lake Charles area of Louisiana, USA. The victim is a 15-year-old girl, and shockingly, the four suspects are all under the age of 15, one of them is 12 years old, two are 13 years old, and the oldest girl is only 14 years old.
According to surveillance footage from the supermarket, the four girls appeared in an aisle in the supermarket’s kitchen area and quietly stole a knife. Minutes later, the group of girls were photographed chasing after the slain girl. Subsequently, one of the 13-year-old girls stabbed the 15-year-old girl who was killed with a knife.
After the attack, the four fled the supermarket, jumped into a car, and fled in public. One of the teenage girls shouted out of the car window: “(We) just stabbed someone at Walmart!” What’s more heinous is that the 4 girls not only killed the 15-year-old girl together, but also on social networks The entire process of attacking and killing the girl was broadcast live.
After the incident, the police arrested the girl involved and made the case public to the media. At a news conference, District Sheriff Tony Mancuso said, “It’s very cold-blooded for a teenage kid, and the whole murder has even been posted on social media…our society. Such behavior will not be tolerated.”
But it backfired. Throughout 2021, many cities across the United States continue to refresh homicide records. In many areas with poor security, the local people are in a state of panic and anxiety to say goodbye to the old and welcome the new.
”The campus is like a ‘war zone’ full of drugs, guns and violence,” said Joshua, a 17-year-old student at Simon Gratz Middle School in Philadelphia. The reason is that nine students have been shot dead at his school in the past 12 months, especially in September last year when three students were shot.
And such a tragedy in Philadelphia is just the tip of the iceberg. U.S. police data show that as of December 18, 2021, Philadelphia, with a population of about 1.5 million, had had 535 victims of annual homicides, a 12 percent increase from the same period in 2020 and not only breaking the city’s highest since 1990 For the first time, it surpassed the two largest cities in the United States, New York and Los Angeles.
Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenny sighed about this. He woke up every morning and saw the news and data of the homicide, and he felt “terrifying”!
In Austin, which has a population of just 950,000, there will also be 88 homicides in 2021, breaking the city’s highest record since 1984. Oakland also had the highest number of homicides in nearly a decade last year — Oakland police investigated at least 127 homicides in 2021, tying the city’s all-time high of 175 set in 1992.
But Chicago remains the city with the most homicides in the United States. According to data released Jan. 1 by the Chicago Police Department, there will be 797 homicides in the city in 2021, 25 more than in 2020, 299 more than in 2019 before the outbreak, and the most since 1996. one year. Among the victims were Zheng Shaoxiong, a 24-year-old Chinese student at the University of Chicago, and Fan Yiran, a Chinese doctor.
The reporter noticed that the American non-governmental organization “Criminal Justice Council” also released a research report last year, analyzing the crime data of 27 cities in the United States in the first three quarters. The report shows that in the first three quarters of 2021, homicides, serious assaults, gun-related assaults, motor vehicle thefts and other types of vicious cases in the United States rose almost across the board.
Among them, homicides increased by 4% from a year earlier; aggravated assaults increased by 3%. It is worth noting that this rate of increase is on the back of an already “unprecedented increase” in crime in 2020.
Wang Hao, an associate professor at the Center for American Studies at Fudan University, said in an interview with Xinmin Weekly that social security issues represented by frequent homicides have always been a “stubborn disease” in American society
. In this immigrant country, racial conflicts are deeply rooted and easily detonated, so a considerable number of homicides are often related to conflicts between people of different skin colors, cultures and backgrounds; second, the founding idea of the United States or the mainstream ideology is liberalism, and its The emphasis on individual rights has led to American culture and values often emphasizing individual-centrism, placing the so-called individual’s self-worth above others and society, thereby causing contradictions and conflicts between individuals; the third is the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution The case gives citizens the right to wear guns and other weapons. This highly controversial issue has not been resolved for many years. Fourth, the capitalist economy in the United States essentially serves a few people, and the social divide between the rich and the poor has become a frequent occurrence of social contradictions. important source.
On March 18, 2021, local time, the White House flag was flown at half-staff in memory of the victims of the Atlanta shooting.
Talking about the reasons for the further surge of domestic homicides in the United States in the past two years, in Wang Hao’s view, in addition to being rooted in the above four major causes, there are also three aspects of “resonance” that have become the specific reasons for the sudden intensification of social conflicts in the United States. .
”First of all, the traditional racial conflicts in the United States have been further intensified by the rapid rise of domestic white supremacy in the context of the sudden increase in the number of illegal immigrants in recent years. Secondly, the proportion of the white population in the United States has continued to decline and the proportion of ethnic minorities has continued to rise. The individual-centrism based on different individuals has triggered conflict of values and ideological confrontation, further tearing American society apart and making it difficult to form a consensus.” Wang Hao said, “Finally, in the United States, the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing, and the middle and lower classes of society are especially It is the ethnic minorities who are dissatisfied with the status quo. The outbreak and loss of control of the new crown epidemic have further exacerbated the economic difficulties they face, especially the rise in unemployment has become a ‘hotbed’ for the surge in homicides.”
Executive Director of the Center for American Studies at Shanghai International Studies University , Professor Lin Ling believes that the surge in homicides in the United States actually reflects the concentrated outbreak of various social ills in the context of the epidemic. , and drug crime and other issues are further highlighted.”
At the same time, Lin Ling pointed out that the rise of white supremacist and far-right organizations in today’s American society and the hate speech and ideological trends widely spread on social media have also led to impulsive and irritable social emotions, “the entire social atmosphere is in a state of immediate tension. , this kind of hatred, anger, and anxiety has undoubtedly caused a lot of impact on the public’s psychology.”
In addition, both experts agree that the above situation is common across the country, so the rise in homicides is not an isolated case of one region or certain state, but a problem across the country.
“Underlying Mutual Harm”
Another survey shows that violent crimes during the epidemic in the United States mainly occurred in poor communities where people of color gathered. In other words, these criminal activities embody the “bottom-level mutual harm” in the United States.
According to the US “Newsweek”, there are 14, 150 and 5 more shooting violence incidents, vicious wounding incidents and homicide incidents in low-income communities in the United States than in high-end communities, respectively. A survey and study on violent crime in 13 cities including Chicago and Boston from 2018 to 2020 showed that during the new crown epidemic, violent crimes in American cities surged, and poor communities with a large minority of ethnic groups were more seriously affected.
Coupled with the statistics on deaths from the new crown epidemic, the death rate of African Americans due to new coronary pneumonia is nearly 2.5 times that of whites, and the death rate of Latinos and Native Americans is more than 1.5 times that of whites.
Wang Hao summed up the social contradictions in the United States into three groups of opposition: “up and down”, “left and right”, and “black and white” – “up and down” refers to the class confrontation caused by economic problems, and “left and right” refers to ideologically liberals and conservatives. The opposition of factions, “black and white” is the opposition between different races.
”These three contradictions are often confluent and superimposed in reality. Since ethnic minorities are generally both the lower class and the liberals, there is no doubt that the surge in homicides has a more serious impact on ethnic minorities.” Wang Hao said, What attracted particular attention last year was the phenomenon of discrimination against Asians in the United States, which led to protests and dissatisfaction among Asian groups.
Lin Ling pointed out that in the previous large-scale anti-racism “Black Lives Matter” protests, there were two notable phenomena. “Extremist groups have emerged in the protests, whether it’s the far-left militant group Antifa or the far-right white supremacist militia, which has contributed to the riots in the protests and increased social unrest. Lin Ling further explained, “Secondly, in response to the systemic racism in the American judicial system and the police’s violent law enforcement, the protest put forward a strong demand for ‘defunding the police’, that is, cutting some of the police’s funds and transferring these funds to the police. It is used to improve the security and welfare of black communities and minority communities.”
Lin Ling said the data shows that in the past two years, some state legislatures have begun to cut police funds on a large scale, resulting in a large number of police officers in some places. New York has a record 5,000 police departures. This has also contributed to an increase in crime rates, especially homicides. ”
While the number of homicides continues to rise, a verdict of “not guilty of murder” has sparked huge controversy and ongoing protests in the United States. In August 2020, two people were shot and killed during an anti-racial demonstration in Wisconsin. Kyle Rittenhouse, a white young man who injured one person and injured one person, was found not guilty of the five felony charges he faced and was released in court in November last year.
This once again caused serious confrontation and tears in American society . Exposed to the world.” In addition to the racial rift between left-wing and right-wing people, the right to self-defense with guns has also become a focus of controversy. “Lin Ling pointed out, “Last year, 6 states in the United States abolished the requirement to obtain public gun licenses, the most over the years. In addition, more than 30 states in the United States have introduced the “No Concession Act” to support the right to self-defense with guns. Although Wisconsin, where the Rittenhouse case took place, did not promulgate this law, its final acquittal verdict also complied with the endorsement of the law on the right to self-defense with firearms, thus causing social controversy.” The
data shows that the population of the United States only accounts for 5% of the world, and 30% of the world’s mass shootings occurred in the United States. According to the statistics of the American Gun Violence Archives website, as of December 19, 2021 local time, the number of people who have died from gun violence in the United States has reached 43,200 this year. people.
But the paradox is that after every mass shooting, the American people condemn it in attitude, but in action, they will see an increase or even a surge in gun sales. “There are a lot of people who are a little bit panicky about gun control, and for them, owning a gun can bring enough security. We call the surge in gun sales after mass shootings the ‘Sandy Hook phenomenon’ , This allegation comes from the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that shocked the United States in 2012, after the shooting, gun sales did not drop but rose.” Lin Ling told reporters that due to the influence of gun-owning interest groups such as the “National Rifle Association”, the increase With this ingrained gun culture, gun control has become a long-standing stalemate in the United States.
The record-breaking homicides in the U.S. are due to the collapse of American moral values, and other reasons include lower criminal penalties and government-allowed gun ownership.
In one survey, 21 percent of respondents said the record-breaking homicides in the U.S. are due to the collapse of American moral values, while the rest include lower criminal penalties and government permission to carry guns.
In fact, the soaring crime rate has become a “worry” for many Americans.
In a poll released by Fox News, 77 percent of respondents said they were “extremely” or “very” concerned about the surge in crime rates across the United States.
”This concern even surpasses concerns about the federal government’s deficit and the epidemic, and is second only to concerns about inflation (84% of the population).” Lin Ling said, it can be seen that the American people are also aware of the health situation of their own country. problems, and that there is no hope in sight.
As a result, in response to the surge in hate crimes against Asians, in May 2021, US President Biden signed a bill aimed at combating hate crimes against Asian Americans under the new crown epidemic at the White House “Anti-New Crown Hate Crimes Act”. A month later, the Biden administration also released the United States’ first-ever National Strategy to Combat Domestic Terrorism. According to the White House, the two deadliest elements of the domestic terrorism threat in the United States today are violent extremists who advocate white racial superiority, and violent extremists who are anti-government or anti-authority, such as militia violent extremists. The strategy calls for more information sharing between the federal government and the tech sector, domestic law enforcement agencies, and other countries.
”But these measures seem to have little effect.” Lin Ling said, for example, there are some substantial obstacles in the implementation of the “Anti-New Crown Hate Crime Law”, such as the definition of hate crimes. The data for 2021 shows that crimes against Asia continue to rise, and the risk of violence faced by Asian ethnic groups has not diminished. “These long-standing social ills in the United States, such as racism and the proliferation of guns, have become ‘dead knots’ and intertwined, and even a vicious circle has emerged, showing an intensifying trend.”
Wang Hao also believes that the attitude and practice of the U.S. government has always been to treat the symptoms rather than the root causes. How to make the relationship between ethnic groups more equal; how to make economic development not only serve the upper class of the minority but more equal, narrow the gap between the rich and the poor; how to truly realize the control of guns from the perspective of the constitution and law. There is no doubt that the U.S. government is helpless on these issues, especially in the context of political polarization and social division, any bold move will encounter great political resistance, including vested interest groups and interest groups. Therefore, under the existing political system and institutional arrangement in the United States, these problems are almost insoluble.”