BRPD Baton Rouge police crime

Advocate file photo by Hilary Scheinuk 

It was the year 1870 — the last time a Republican took over as mayor of New Orleans. Next month, we will see yet another Democrat elected to run city hall. How has close to a century and a half of one party rule worked out for the Big Easy? Not well.

Police One, a law enforcement group, reports New Orleans averaged 43 murders per 100,000 people per year since 2009. That's higher than any U.S. city and all but four countries. If New Orleans were a country, it would be the fifth most dangerous place to live on the planet.

Baton Rouge also has a major crime problem, and as in New Orleans, Democrats are securely in control. North Baton Rouge especially is a dangerous place.

Baton Rouge Councilwoman Chauna Banks, a Democrat, recently blamed North Baton Rouge's problems on oppression.

"In the past 10 years and even today, the northern part of Baton Rouge has been systematically subjected to political, economic, cultural or social degradation because its residents are majority black," Banks wrote in a recent letter to the editor in The Advocate.

Banks is wrong. Oppression doesn't make North Baton Rouge dangerous. What makes it dangerous is the small percentage of people living there who are violent. Locking the violent up will make North Baton Rouge safer.

If oppression causes crime, there's not much police can do about it.

If Democrats would stop their race-baiting and instead focus on fighting crime they wouldn't be so bad at governing. They just really aren't very good at it. Locking up those who make neighborhoods dangerous has a domino effect in that it brings in investment from otherwise reluctant businesses unwilling to spend capital in crime-infested neighborhoods. The free market is all about the bottom line. Starting a business in unsafe neighborhoods is not good for the bottom line.

Democrats are constantly chirping about inequality, yet they do everything in their power to thwart the solution to the problem, which is the free market. The beauty of the free market is it doesn't see color. It gravitates toward demand, excellence, value, and ingenuity. Produce something of worth, and it doesn't matter what color you are, the free market will reward you. Want more equality? Enable the free market. Want more inequality? Squash the free market.

Maybe this is why Democrats often try to choke out the free market. It destroys their racist here, racist there, racist everywhere narrative. Think about it. Where do Democrats get most of their campaign cash? Trial lawyers, Big Environment, and Big Labor. All three weaken and diminish the power of the free market and tie the hands of job creators. When the free market produces equality, the Democrats have nothing to run on, and they lose their power. Nobody wants to lose power.

But where the Democrats are most diabolical is when they convince those in poor neighborhoods to fear the so-called racist cops instead of the violent gang members. This limits the ability of police to fight crime and lock up the violent. It's why the NFL players living in mansions kneeling during the national anthem is so grotesque. Meanwhile, those in the poor neighborhoods of Baton Rouge and New Orleans continue to live in fear the next flying bullet might catch a family member.

Rebecca Glover knows very well what it's like to live in a dangerous New Orleans neighborhood. Over the years, she's buried five family members involved in five different shootings. She's buried a son and a grandson. How much does Glover know of grief and sorrow? All there is.

Most of us just shrug it off when we hear about another killing. But each murder leaves a loved one behind with unspeakable pain. It's time to get serious about ending violent crime in Baton Rouge and New Orleans and stop blaming it on racism and oppression. Black lives matter? Yes they do. They most definitely do.


Dan Fagan, a former TV and radio broadcaster who lives in Metairie, writes a column that appears Wednesdays and Sundays. Email him at