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The Jordan Neely Problem


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Glenn Loury Substack

with John McWhorter
Glenn Loury
May 23, 2023

Earlier this month, during a confrontation on the F train in New York City, a mentally ill passenger, Jordan Neely, was allegedly exhibiting confrontational behavior when ex-Marine Daniel Penny placed him in a chokehold. Neely died as a result, and the ensuing public outcry has highlighted the meeting of two extremes that illustrate just how bad the twin problems of mental illness and homelessness in many of our cities has gotten.

On the one hand, most people who live in big cities have witnessed frightening behavior on the part of people who are likely mentally ill and homeless. That behavior can range from aggressive panhandling to unprovoked outbursts to actual—and occasionally deadly—violence. Anyone in the vicinity of these events, if they’re being honest, will admit to feeling unsafe or threatened, and they have every reason to feel that way. We should not have to endure harassment—or worse—while running out to the grocery store or commuting to work.



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