Today, Tuesday, April 27th at 7:10 AM, I will appear live on CNN as a guest analyst along with Illinois State Representative LaShawn K. Ford to further the debate on whether or not The National Guard should be deployed to patrol Chicago streets this summer to help stop the rise in violence. Representative Ford has already publicly called for the National Guard as a solution to help stop the violence, but I will argue that while Ford and other leaders have done the best that they can do with this recommendation, that it's not the best that can be done.
I will attempt to argue that our collective leadership, Representative Ford, Representative John Fritchey, Mayor Daley, Governor Quinn, Police Chief Jody Weis and others concerned about truly stopping the summer violence in Chicago must think outside the box and come up with innovative ways to address the desperate economic conditions that drive people into the gang, drug, and illegal street economies where far too many of our youth and adults see as their only option to make money for themselves and their families, even at the risk of violence and death.
Mayor Daley was dead wrong when yesterday he proclaimed that the number one issue facing the Black community was guns and that simply is not true. The number issue facing the Black community and other poor communities is the desperate economic issues and the battles in the street over areas to make their economic ends meet. It is a mistake to make the public believe that addresing the sole issue of guns is going to stop the desperate economic fights in the streets. One of the most recent robberies in Chicago and the violent acts the victims faced was with a baseball bat and not a gun.
Just the adding of more police did not not stop Chicago from still becoming the Murder Capital Of The World so clearly this current desperate economic conditions facing the Chicago streets this summer will not be resolved with the dispatching of more police alone, and not coming up with more ways to drive those at risk of looking to this illegal and life threatening economies into other areas.
Specifically, I will attempt to propose publicly that instead of our using our state and federal dollars to dispatch more police, that we use those same state, and federal dollars to create jobs for people to be mentors to young people at risk; green jobs for youth and adults in using empty lots for community gardens, jobs for parents and others to provide safe passage patrols, and more jobs for year round social consciousness training to capture the mindset of those disconnected from community and in many instances so disconnected they they have no respect their community, their own lives, or the lives on innocent people from the violence.!
There is an internal and external approach to stopping the violence but we must start with unsing the innovative ways I suggest that we use our state and federal funds in providing more economic answers to desperate economic problems. No National Guard, but National jobs. The desperate economic conditions the Black and poor communities face are far too great for any amount of new police deployment. And with the tensions in streets being so deep to the point that tou have had an increase in shooting confrontations with police, even outside police headquarters, bringing in The Natinal Guard to prove how tougher they can be will only make a bad situation worse and create even more violence.
Its time to address economic problems with economic, and not law enforcement solutions. Our collective challenge as leaders is to think outside the box so we can have summer celebrating the young lives we saved through new job creation and not the funerals we have to attendfor allowing our youth to go right back to the life threatening environments driven by this desperate economic situations.
Yesterday Representative Ford appeared on WVON's Charles Butler show, where the host led a campaign to label those involved in violence as "urban terrorists," well if they are indeed urban terrorists, then lets think this one too outside the box and use the federal anti terrorism and homeland security budgets to indeed make our homeland in Chicago more secure and stop the at risk youth from this urban terrorism by using those funds as well to create even more summer jobs and having thise young people a productive part of society and not forced into the desparation of those areas that terrorized the community.
Thinking outside the box will bring Peace In The Hood.