“Authentic Frontier Gibberish,” or AFG, named in honor of Gabby Johnson of “Blazing Saddles” fame, is the public phenomenon of solemn and meaningful-sounding word clouds designed to make the naive and the barely educated (that is, most of society) feel certain that they are in the presence of superior intellect when in fact they are in the thrall of either con artists or morons.
Ethically, it falls somewhere under the categories of dishonesty, incompetence and disrespect, depending on the AFG culprit. It would be difficult to find a more blazing example than the “Gun Violence Prevention Policy” offered by Maya Wiley, the civil rights attorney and former de Blasio counsel who’s running for mayor along with approximately half the city. Gun-related violence has roughly doubled in New York City thanks to the weak law enforcement policies of her client, so Wiley is giving the same foolish voters who elected de Blasio twice a chance to emulate San Francisco and make the city even more dangerous and unlivable. At least I think that’s what she’s proposing. As with all “Authentic Frontier Gibberish,” it’s hard to tell, and that, of course, is the plan.
I’m going to stick with the summary, by your leave, but you can try to make sense out of the whole thing if you are a masochist or an optimist. One part of both that is frighteningly clear: Wiley pledges to “Reduce the NYPD budget by $1 billion and invest those funds directly into the communities most impacted by gun violence.” The second part of that sentence is classic AFG, since “invest those funds directly into the communities most impacted by gun violence” is meaningless, but the first part is called “Defunding the police.” Almost 10% of the NYPD’s operating budget was cut in the last budget cycle, and the result was a crime wave. Obviously the best plan is to cut more!
You can read this gobbledygook and say “Wait, what?” as well as I can, so I’ll just mention a few highlights before letting you have some fun. We begin with the statement at the start that NYC gun violence is “a public health crisis built on the failure to address racial equality.” This signals that what pretends to be a policy proposal about crime is just another excuse to peddle Critical Race Theory. First comes signature significance: “It’s time to address this surge of gun violence by targeting this crisis at its roots, so that every New Yorker can walk our streets in peace and with dignity, so that it’s easier to get a job than a gun, and so that no parent ever again has to wonder if their children will be safe when they leave the house.” Nobody who isn’t a con artist or a moron would attach their name to such nonsense. New York City can’t repeal the Second Amendment; there is a Constitutional right to bear arms, and until socialists and communists like the de Blasios take over, there is no right to have a job, nor should there be. Meanwhile, all parents worthy of the name have wondered if their children will be safe when they leave the house since the beginning of the human race. I worry about my son, and he’s 26. Maya’s aspirations belong in a new verse of “Imagine.”
Then comes the AFG. For example, the policy paper says that a Maya administration will…
- “Empower and support communities who have been directly impacted to point to innovative and targeted solutions to gun violence that reflect their local conditions and experiences.”
- “Launch and expand evidence-based therapeutic supportive programs to reduce gun violence.”
Comment: What THE HELL are “evidence-based therapeutic supportive programs”?
I had to search the full plan to try to puzzle out this one, to no avail. We get “Employ proven approaches that marry the best evidence-based models with insights from practitioners in the field and people with lived experience to deliver effective strength-based therapeutic supports and connections to community resources for adults as well as middle school and high school aged youth and their families at heightened risk of future justice system involvement or victimization. These models have been shown to reduce violent reoffending by 50%.”
Where’s the evidence of these “evidence-based models?” “Have been shown” where, by whom, and what? Then there is “Expand Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) programs in schools: CBT programs are not widely available in NYC DOE schools and programs despite the fact that they have been shown to reduce violent-crime arrests among youth by nearly 50% and boosted the high school graduation rates of participants by nearly 20%. DBT programs are specifically for students who have experienced trauma, and many students are not ready for CBT without first receiving DBT. We must increase access to these and other programs shown to be effective at encouraging mental health and reducing instances of gun violence.”
Again that confident but unspecified “have been shown” and “shown to.”
Can you take one more? Okay, let’s see, how about,
- “Employ proven approaches to match programs to individuals with the highest risk and need, ensuring credible, trusted outreach staff from affected communities are responsible for program recruitment and provision.”
Comment: Proven by whom, and where? Data? Authority? Bueller? Matching programs to individuals stops gun violence? I assume that “credible, trusted outreach staff from affected communities” means “no whites,” but I could be wrong.
Well, that’s enough to get you started. When candidates for office try to present their platform using Authentic Frontier Gibberish, informed and experienced adults should be looking for the roll of bills with a twenty on the outside and newspaper making up the rest. Unfortunately, “evidence-based models” show that this kind of deliberate obfuscation makes the typical rube think, “Well, I don’t know what that means, but obviously she does.”
Yeah. She knows it’s meaningless, and she’s faking it. She speaks the language of The Great Stupid. It may not be understood in New York City, but it’s sure to work.