My daughter's car got stolen. What happened next shows why minorities are trending Republican

Why are Blacks and Hispanics warming to Republicans? Democratic strategists desperately want to know after a slew of polls show what may be the start of a political realignment. They may want to consider the conversations I recently had at a South Side Chicago impound lot.

I found myself in that unhappy place last month after my daughter’s Jeep was stolen from the city’s north side – a common occurrence. The police found it after several days, then towed the thoroughly vandalized vehicle to the lot, where I was told to pick it up. 

When I walked into the main building, I found myself in a line with more than 30 people. All but me were Black and Hispanic.

Being a friendly guy, I struck up conversations. Most people told me this was their second or third time there that week. The first time they reached the front of the line, they were told they’d filled out the wrong form or gone to the wrong office, at which point they were directed elsewhere. Yet they were inevitably redirected back to the impound lot. 

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I thought the stories seemed implausible, but after an hour-long wait, the attendant told me I didn’t have the right documents, though I’d brought what the police told me to bring. The attendant sent me home to get them, which I did, returning to the lot a few hours later.

The attendant had told me to come to the front of the line when I came back. But when I did, she yelled at me to wait my turn. The rest of the room – now filled with about 50 people, again all Black and Hispanic – burst into laughter. But it was sympathetic, not cruel; they knew I wasn’t trying to cheat them. Many had experienced the same about-face, as they soon told me.

I dutifully went to the back of the line, commiserating with those around me.

The whole experience took the better part of that Monday. I think I talked to at least half the room. Reflecting on the difficulty of retrieving their property, most people said some variation of the same phrase: “It’s so messed up,” though they used a less family-friendly word.

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Messed up, indeed. The impound lot – a government-run entity – treated its patrons with disdain. While it was hopefully designed with the best of intentions, it left people deflated and dehumanized. It’s a microcosm of many public services, especially in urban areas that are more likely to be Black and Hispanic.

While I struggled to get my daughter’s car, children at inner-city public schools struggle to read and do basic math. In the same way that I was blocked from a productive day, welfare programs have blocked millions of people from finding productive work. 

And just as so many people I met that day couldn’t earn a day’s income because they were stuck in line, politicians have blocked many low-income and low-skill workers from earning wages at all, thanks to ever-higher-minimum-wage laws that kill entry-level jobs. 

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The list goes on, endlessly on.

These failures can broadly be laid at the feet of Democrats – the same Democrats who’ve spent decades promising to help minorities get ahead. 

The left has created an alphabet soup of agencies, while hiring armies of bureaucrats to administer new and expanded programs, only for more and more people to fall behind. Marriage rates have plummeted while single motherhood has soared. Dependency – chemical and financial – is rampant. Unable to get a good education, many children have turned to drugs and crime.

Minority communities are far from the only victims, but they tend to be the hardest hit. There are also millions of minorities who are thriving for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is America’s boundless capacity for opportunity. 

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But it’s undeniable that government support and control has still left millions of Blacks and Hispanics living in a near-dystopian world, both in South Side Chicago and far beyond.

Everyone I talked to at the impound lot line realized the injustice of their situation. I asked more than a few who’s responsible; most just threw up their hands, as if nothing could be done. But a few expressed anger at politicians, though we generally steered clear of names.

Their desire for something better was palpable, and if history proves anything, it’s that the human heart yearns for achievement and excellence. History also proves that those who’ve been kept down inevitably come to realize who’s keeping them down.

In retrospect, I wish I’d posed a variation of the old election-year question. I’d have asked if their lives are better after the last 40 years, not just four. Then again, they may have given me the same answer I heard over and over: It’s so messed up. 

No wonder more Blacks and Hispanics are looking at Republicans, instead of the Democrats who claim to help them but continue to hurt them.

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