Since Hamas’s October 7 terror strike in Israel, and that nation’s ongoing military response in Gaza, anti-Semitism has surged globally, including here in the United States, where it has radiated most aggressively from the left. Hamas sympathizers, blaming Israel for the attack and calling for the eradication of the Jewish state, have launched chaotic protests on American college campuses and in city streets, cut off major roadways, stormed Congress, and menaced and attacked Jews. In the latest in our series of symposia, City Journal gathers a group of distinguished thinkers, including Manhattan Institute president Reihan Salam, legal expert Max Raskin, foreign policy specialist Richard Goldberg, and former NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly, to provide practical ideas for combating the return of the “oldest hatred.”

No one has chronicled the American crime-and-punishment scene with greater thoroughness than Heather Mac Donald. In “California’s Looming Crime Catastrophe,” she reports on an alarming development: recent legislation in the Golden State that lets convicted felons challenge their sentences based on far-reaching, and nearly impossible to disprove, claims of historical racial bias. The Racial Justice Act will put scores of violent gangbangers back on the streets to unleash new mayhem. Expect the ideas behind the measure to be exported from California to other progressive cities and states, Mac Donald warns. That’s the last thing cities need, as Rafael A. Mangual argues in “Can We Get Back to Tougher Policing?” The Left’s campaign against law enforcement has demoralized cops, who are quitting in droves, and the recruitment of replacements is going poorly because too few people want to be police officers in 2024. It doesn’t bode well for public safety.

Any look at the financial backing of progressive causes will usually reveal the Ford Foundation as a major player. N. S. Lyons’s “The Foundation of American Folly” shows how the nonprofit has, for decades, used its vast wealth—it gives out nearly $1 billion yearly in grants—to fracture the American experiment, with too little public awareness. Lyons’s important essay updates a story first told in City Journal nearly three decades ago by Mac Donald in “The Billions of Dollars That Made Things Worse.”

Scientific American was for many years a vital publication, offering serious coverage of key trends and discoveries in science for a literate mainstream audience. No longer, charges James B. Meigs in “Unscientific American.” Science journalism has increasingly lost sight of, well, science and surrendered, like so many institutions, to wokeism, and Scientific American exemplifies the trend, publishing a steady stream of articles with titles like “Modern Mathematics Confronts Its White, Patriarchal Past” and covering controversies over gender medicine and the origins of Covid with a progressive political skew. With scientific literacy more important than ever, the betrayal of rigorous science journalism is an enormous loss, Meigs observes.

Ilya Shapiro, drawing on his own battle with the censor mob at Georgetown University, explains “What to Do When You’re Canceled.” First, he says, define your goals clearly, and then find allies and legal help. Don’t apologize (unless you’ve really done something wrong), and remember that, in today’s dizzyingly fast news cycle, the mob often moves on quickly to its next target. As Shapiro notes, “Even the most relentless cancellation can be overcome if you respond with authenticity and resolve.”

This issue offers lots more timely content—including essays on states’ and cities’ misguided attempts to solve the housing-affordability crisis, Chicago’s abyss of debt, Gotham’s litigation woes, the constitutional limits of the Biden administration’s equity agenda, the March of Dimes syndrome, the centenary of Britain’s Labour Party, the vibrant faith life of cities, and Kafka’s prophetic literary vision.

—Brian C. Anderson


City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank. Are you interested in supporting the magazine? As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, donations in support of MI and City Journal are fully tax-deductible as provided by law (EIN #13-2912529).

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