This past decade drugs and violence exploded in rural America reaching all-time highs, as crime already at historic lows; continued to plummet in metropolitan areas. Even with a slight increase in 2020, crime was and still is significantly lower than a decade ago and in 2015. Without context or common sense applied, the political capitalization continues off the uptick in crime in 2020 when compared to 2019. They seem to have already forgot that all this occurred in the midst of pandemic, the highest unemployment rate since 1938, rising right-wing violence and the largest Civil Rights movement in United States history.
Over the next few weeks American Crime Journal will examine the myth of “exploding crime and left-wing violence in American cities” and explore rising crime in rural America. We’ll take an in depth look at the GOP’s ‘Southern Strategy‘ for 2021 and 2022; weaponizing Black, Latino and now Asian Americans to pump fear, hate and paranoia to mobilize their base. We’ll also take a look at the DNC doing a complete 180 on police reform and getting “tougher on crime”.
Could you imagine any Democrat running for office or President Biden on the campaign trail screaming, “rural communities are violent shitholes“? or “rural communities are stuffed with pedophiles, rapists, meth and pill addicts”?
By 2017 (during the Trump Administration), violent crime in rural communities was higher than the United States national average.
In New Hampshire, violent crime tripled in rural communities since 1996 while it plummeted in suburban and metro areas?
For the past fifteen years, crime has exploded in small rural counties and the suburbs. As oxycodone, fentanyl and crystal meth ravaged the south and Midwest, so did murder, assaults, domestic violence and sexual assaults. Drugs and violence has left a scar on some rural counties. Some communities are to the point that half the children under the age of 18 years-old are either orphans or are in foster care.
By 2018, Violent crime in rural America had reached an all time high. Crime metropolitan areas with over 250,000 people was and still is at all time lows (except Baltimore and Detroit). As rural Kentucky communities reached out and begged then Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and then President Donald Trump for help, they were ignored as it was off the GOP’s mission. Instead the GOP focused on border security (code for Mexicans), entitlement programs (code for black people) and spoon fed paranoia and fear to their voters with wild fantasies of left-wing mobs and ANTIFA. Violence was out of control in major cities according to Donald Trump, despite the fact that violence in America was at historic lows, especially in Democrat ran cities.
The same could not be said for cities and town with populations of 30,000 and fewer. Few people know that the GOP plays a dirty trick to keep “democrat ran cities that are safe havens for illegals and has Black Lives Matter (black people” on top of the charts as “most dangerous cities”. Republican politicians and even the mainstream media only use cities with populations of 200,000 people or more. When those cities are adjusted to include cities with populations of 20,000 people or more, only two major metropolitan cities or “democrat ran cities” make the top 10.
Detroit and Baltimore, the rest are small communities.
The South Carolina Effect & The White Male Victim
South Carolina set a record for murders, in parts of what the head of the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED- the state’s police agency) calls “a disturbing rise in violent crime“. South Carolina has three metro areas that has between 250,000 and 500,000 living there. At the same time, South Carolina does not have a single city with a population over 150,000. So it never makes lists created by conservatives and right-wing think tanks. Republicans and the mainstream media don’t count townships, towns, communities and cities that has less than 250,000 people. This tactic effectively gives the illusion that violence is in the inner city(code for black people), these Democrat ran cities are “dangerous”.
For nearly three decades, South Carolina lead the nation in domestic violence homicides. One thing I can say about former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, is she did push for programs and backed legislation that would require advanced training for police officers when handling domestic violence situations and expand programs and resources for battered women.
Worse part is, some of her male counterparts in the GOP accused her of being biased and “being out of touch”, because white men were the real victims of these programs and subsequent legislation.
While she did this, her male counterparts in the Republican party and their respective echo chambers pushed for “men’s rights”, whose sole goal was to disarm judges from issuing protective orders, custody orders and child custody exchanges at safe places like police station parking lots (because it made abusers look bad in front of the police), force abused women and children to live with abusers and gut the various domestic violence acts. Their agenda was clear. They alleged that various protective orders were weaponized and mostly false, that anyone can make these things up and that children needed “fathers just as much as mothers”, despite the fact that not only has the animal kingdom proven otherwise, but human history.
Side Note: Fathers involvement in children’s lives was a by-product of aristocratic society where men had more free time to be with their families. The concept of the modern family or better yet, nuclear family is a little less than a century old. From the hunter gather tribes and clans, all through history, most men were detached from their children. Many were off to war, looking for work and seeking food. From the medieval times until the early 20th century girls as young as twelve and thirteen years-old were married and shipped off. And unless the family had their own farm, the boys were shipped off to strangers for various apprenticeships, work at shipyards, military or farming.
The most important take away here is; once women’s rights and the sexual revolution came front and center here (and still a work in progress) in the United States; the homicide rate and violence was substantially higher in the 60’s and 70’s than it is today, demonstrating that the “nuclear family” and “sticking marriages out” may have led to a higher crime rate.
The facts and data are compelling, but that’s another article in itself.
Orders of protection issued under false or misleading accusations occur at a rate of about 1%, which is less than arrests by police officers under false or misleading statements and evidence which is about 2%. Domestic battery and sexual assaults are the two crimes that are significantly underreported by margins higher than 50%. The fact that more people are arrested for a crime under false and misleading statements and evidence than men served bogus orders of protection demonstrates clearly what the agenda is.
Nikki Haley is no longer in office or even significant. In 2020 and 2021, not only did South Carolina have the highest rates of domestic violence in the country, more women were killed by their partners than any other state, by a significant margin.
Gangs and drugs (especially Oxycodone and crystal meth) flooded small towns and rural communities of South Carolina. Small town crime skyrocketed and lingers to this very day. Drugs dealers, gangs and now cartels learned that small towns and counties lack resources like specialized law enforcement drug units, SWAT teams, gang units and most officers are undertrained and often underpaid in these areas. Buying homes and properties are significantly cheaper, allowing cartels to stockpile weapons and stash large quantities of product with little to no risk of a police encounter. Members of the community while suspicious of these “white city Yankees, blacks and Mexicans”(anyone with brown skin is Mexican in South Carolina) moving into what has been virtually all white multi-generation communities. Sad truth is, they’re not well versed in gangs and drug culture and the signs of it. Rather than remain strangers, these suspicious folks become part of these communities and eventually begin feeding them drugs and pills, making them friends, customers and finally addicts.
Mexican drug cartels started appearing in rural South Carolina and they made their presence known, immediately. There was such a danger, the FBI issued this ominous warning:
Mexican Drug Cartel Influence Felt in Rural South Carolina
The crimes and violence associated with Mexican drug trafficking organizations can reach almost anywhere in the United States, as evidenced by a 2014 kidnapping in rural South Carolina that resulted in the convictions of three cartel-connected men—one of whom was recently sentenced to more than five decades in prison.
On the morning of July 9, 2014, in the small town of St. Matthews, South Carolina, 23-year-old Cory Still left home for his job as a roofer, but he never made it to work. His fiancée found his abandoned truck on the side of the road a few hours later with the keys still in it, and her family filed a missing person report with the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office. When the woman’s cell phone rang that night, the caller informed her that Still was alive, that instructions would come in 24 hours, and that Still’s father had better be there to answer the next call.
Still—who would later be charged and plead guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana—had been kidnapped because of his father’s $200,000 debt to the cartel over a missing drug shipment. The FBI was contacted the next morning, and what followed was an intense, six-day law enforcement effort that involved several FBI offices and hundreds of Bureau personnel from around the country, including crisis negotiators, linguists, SWAT, and the Hostage Rescue Team.
“We worked around the clock interviewing Still’s family and associates to develop and run to ground every possible lead,” said Special Agent Luke Davis, who is assigned to the FBI’s Columbia Field Office. “Thanks to a crucial error made by one of the kidnappers, within a few hours, we were able to identify a cell phone and track them to rural eastern North Carolina.”
The first ransom call to Still’s fiancée showed a number that originated from Mexico. Investigation revealed that minutes prior to that call, the caller had dialed a number with a 910 area code, which is in North Carolina.
Agents worked quickly to obtain a court order to monitor those phone numbers, which would eventually lead to Still and the arrest of three subjects. But during much of the time he was held hostage, the victim was blindfolded, threatened at gunpoint, bound with zip ties and rusty chains and padlocks, and made to lie on the floor for days.
-Federal Bureau of Investigation 2016 Press Release
Red State Realities
Despite Donald Trump calling Democrat ran cities shitholes and threatening them with the National Guard, the Democrat National Committee (DNC) remained silent. Established leaders in the DNC aka the Old Guard who faced little or absolutely no risk in 2014, 2016, 2018 and in 2020, said absolutely nothing. Progressive newcomers on the scene such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush and so on on weren’t making noise, setting the record straight or raising awareness within the party. They refused to point out and call out members of the GOP and providing data that clearly shows that people living in legacy red states with republican legislatures were not only poorer, less healthy, were lacking in education and had significantly higher teen pregnancy rates and shotgun marriages (so much for family values) than people living in Democrat strongholds with Democratic legislatures.
Today two things that matter most to republican voters though, race under the ruse of safety and security and keeping our American identity- a white America with Christian family values. That a white Christian America is safer than a melting pot and integrated America. In their eyes if you don’t assimilate, leave. They seem to have that attitude with every American that has black and brown skin, just like former President Trump did with “the squad”.
That people in republican states are less likely to be the victims of what they see as a byproduct of integration, that uneducated blacks and illegal immigrants living the high life off welfare created violent crime and drug addiction.
Except people in republican states are dying disproportionately to those living in metropolitan areas. Today rural Americans are at higher risk of being the victims of violent crime, drug overdose, domestic violence and now COVID-19.
So why won’t the Democrats bring this issue to the forefront and bypass republicans, and demonstrate that this idea of conservatism and family values is dead in the water?
With violence and drug use at it’s peak in Trump Country, mixed with unemployment and poverty in idle minds may very well be the devil’s playground. It’s a potent mix. The GOP continues their attacks on the DNC and their weakness is crime. Taking the high road may have its benefits, but these folks in Trump Country are not known as “low information voters” for nothing.
It’s an established fact.
Regardless, this is a crisis and people are dying. Why is nobody talking about it?
There are rural counties in Kentucky, South Carolina, Alabama, etc… which nearly half the children under 18 years-old are orphaned. Being raised by grandma and grandpa or extended family due to losing one or both parents drug overdoses. Communities where murder rates have skyrocketed, that once might see a homicide every few years; are now seeing two, three… four a year. On paper and in the media three or four homicides might not seem like a lot, but in a town of 7,500, the murder rates are astronomical.
What most fail to recognize is that these small communities lack any type of adequate police protection or experience. They don’t have sophisticated gang units, drug units and an experienced homicide division. Today many police agencies in these rural communities have to rely on urban legends and rumors in dealing with sophisticated criminal organizations. Corruption is a major problem as well. The pay in some of these communities is abysmal and when you have deputies and even sheriffs who know they are outsmarted and outgunned, simply try to contain as best they can and turn a blind eye trying to survive themselves.
Who is to blame?