Home Crime Left Pro-Crime recent America's Crime Problem Began in College
Home Crime Left Pro-Crime recent America's Crime Problem Began in College

America's Crime Problem Began in College

The pro-crime movement that swept America began in part with an article by Angela Davis, "Racialized Punishment and Prison Abolition." Davis, a UCLA academic, started by quoting Michel Foucault, a French academic with the Coll├Ęge de France. 

Foucault's 'Discipline and Punish', which Davis described as "arguably the most influential text in contemporary studies of the prison system" remains widely studied on college campuses along with Davis’ racial spin that long since entered politics and pop culture in the form of police defunding and other allied efforts to eliminate prisons, prosecutions and the justice system.

The two activist academics were not really interested in crime and the penal system as a field of research. They were bent on fomenting a civil war that would put the Left in power.

Foucault, a Marxist-trained philosopher, had been a co-founder of the Prison Information Group to support the Maoists imprisoned over the radical violence in France in 1968. Foucault had credited the riots with stimulating his interest in “the direction of penal theory”.

Angela Davis had bought the guns used in a murderous terrorist attack on a Marin County courthouse by the Black Panthers. The attack roughly coincided with Foucault’s visit to the United States during which he “investigated” the American prison system and the death of George Jackson: the Panther leader whom the Marin County attack had been meant to free.

Police defunding and the pro-crime movement came out of universities not out of an abstract interest in social justice, but to aid the leftist domestic terrorists trying to overthrow free nations.

The French Maoists and Black Panthers bonded by their shared experiences of being locked up for their crimes came to see prisons as “not only Marxist universities,but training camps” and criminals as the vanguard of the revolution. Like most Marxist ideas, it was academic radicals who developed these ideas into an ideology that could be popularized and mainstreamed.

The violence of the Black Lives Matter riots, founded by “trained Marxists” who viewed Davis as a role model, and the even more catastrophic wave of death spurred on by implementing their policy demands, defunding police, ending prosecutions and freeing criminals, cost thousands of lives. Those deaths, like the movement behind them, came out of universities.

Despite her Communism and domestic terrorism, Davis is a faculty member at UC Santa Cruz. But she’s not alone. Other former leftist terrorists have taken up academic positions including Bill Ayers and Susan Rosenberg. Ayers taught at the University of Chicago until he retired and he has promoted police defunding. Susan Rosenberg, on her release, was offered a position at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and co-chaired the fiscal sponsor of BLM.

Rosenberg has been described as an “anti-prison activist”. John Jay College, a formerly prestigious institution whose alumni include New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and whose students go on to serve in the FBI, the NYPD, and the Secret Service, endorsed its own version of police defunding. The public college partners on fellowships with the Vera Justice Institute committed to “ending mass incarceration”. Students are asked to envision the institute in terms of Foucault’s critiques of the prison system.

Within the span of two generations, future law enforcement personnel were being indoctrinated with the teachings of Marxist domestic terrorists and their political allies. The situation at John Jay is emblematic of what has happened to criminology departments across the country.

The country’s top criminology departments, like those at the University of Maryland, UC-Irvine and Rutgers, begin with the premise that the criminal justice system is racially biased.

The University of Maryland’s Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice has its Racial Democracy Crime and Justice Network Small Grants Program, UC-Irvine’s Criminology program has a graduate emphasis on “Race and Justice Studies”, while Rutgers’ School of Criminal Justice takes part in the university’s Fellows in Racial Justice program. One of those fellows brags that being a “convicted felon” who spent time in maximum security prison allows him to “empathize with the downtrodden” and led to his “fervent commitment to activism”.

That’s the state of criminology at universities, but the general state of universities is even worse. Black studies programs offer a prison abolition syllabus (which predictably includes both Foucault and Davis) tying together faculty from Harvard and Wesleyan among others. Rutgers, Notre Dame, the University of Texas, the University of Colorado, among many others, offer Black Lives Matter courses, whose villains are invariably white people and cops.

BLM protests were widely backed by 8 out of 10 college students. Many of the protests were organized on campuses and involved faculty like Melina Abdullah, a co-founder of BLM’s Los Angeles chapter, who has made a bid to take over the group. Abdullah, the granddaughter of a prominent German Marxist, is a black studies professor at California State University.

The fundamental message of Foucault and Davis, refracted through BLM, was broadcast through academia. The policies, police defunding, prison releases and decriminalization, and the violent riots, helped unleash an unprecedented crime wave. The ideas originally promoted by radicals in the 70s have led to a generation of progressive pro-crime DAs, many backed by George Soros, like Manhattan’s Alvin Bragg, Los Angeles’ George Gascon and Philly’s Larry Krasner, or Biden’s US Attorney in D.C., Michael Graves, who declined to prosecute in 67% of cases, who have dismantled the criminal justice system from within.

As a result of BLM and pro-crime policies, around 5,000 more people were murdered in 2020. And the rate of black people being murdered increased more than any other group. The CDC’s research showed that, “in 2020, one out of every 1,000 young Black males (15–34) was shot and killed.” Murder is the leading cause of death for black men from 20 to 44 years old.

All of this can be traced back to academia which promoted the idea that white people are racist oppressors and that the best way to fix that is to replace the police and the criminal justice system with social workers and apologies.

Restorative Justice, which proposes to replace crime and punishment with forgiveness for the perpetrator, originated in part from Goshen College in Indiana which now offers both a major and a minor in letting criminals go unpunished. Mariame Kaba, the contemporary godmother of police defunding, teaches at Barnard University. Kaba made her views plain in an op-ed titled, “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish the Police.” The world that Kaba would make is laid out on her site, ‘Transform Harm’, which is funded by George Soros’ Open Society Foundations. It features a sociologist proposing that rapists write apology letters and a professor of gender studies claiming that sending Larry Nassar, who had sexually abused some 250 girls, to prison embodies “political whiteness”.

Even in the face of growing crime and violence, academia continues to double down on a pro-crime program initially conceived in support of Marxist terrorists, but which has become a general program of supporting and enabling criminals across society.

To fight crime, we must lock up criminals, but we must also end the taxpayer funding of pro-crime universities, departments and programs. While most criminals eventually face consequences for the robberies, rapes and murders that they commit, the academics who enable them never do.

Daniel Greenfield is a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. This article previously appeared at the Center's Front Page Magazine.

Thank you for reading.


  1. Anonymous14/4/23

    It's time for us to re-examine our reflexive
    esteem for people with letters after their
    names. Ideas from Angela Davis and her ilk
    are obviously so odious that we should reject
    them. Further mind rot from her and friends
    should also land in the trash.



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