'Chicago: Is it helpless?'

'Chicago: Is it helpless?'
Image: PV Bella

"These murders went out of the comprehension of a civilized city." The butchering of seven men by open daylight raises this question for Chicago: Is it helpless?" (Chicago Tribune on the St. Valentine's Day Massacre)

The murder of Antonio Smith and all the other innocent young children went out of the comprehension of a civilized society. The execution of a 9-year-old boy in broad daylight raises this question for Chicago: Is it helpless?

Is Chicago helpless? Or do apathy and cynicism reign supreme in this most American of cities? There should be outrage, in the media, from elected officials, public figures, and community leaders.

So far the only outrage expressed were from Sun-Times columnist, Mary Mitchell, Father Michael Phleger, and Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass.

Fr. Phleger came in for much criticism over his outrage. John Kass was called a racist, old white guy, white flight suburbanite, and accused of something called false equivalency- whatever that is. Since the sun-Times does not allow comments, we can only guess what kind of ugly appellations were attached to Mary Mitchell.

People in Chicago are more concerned and outraged over some backwater Missouri town called Ferguson. A Chicago candidate for alderman, John Beacham, was down there with the other interlopers expressing his outrage. Not one peep of outrage came from Beacham's lips about the execution of a child or the wholesale slaughter of innocents happening on Chicago's streets.

There should be a loud, peeling, and unrelenting chorus that enough is enough. How many innocent children have to be murdered before people in Chicago get angry?

When are our politicians going to do something about the gang and drug violence plaguing this city? All we get is wind.

When are the communities plagued by violence going to turn on the murderers, street gangs, and drug dealers?

Since when are we afraid? Who are we afraid of? Where are Chicago's values?

Executing children is not a Chicago value.

Here are some facts. Street gangs are organized criminal enterprises. All street gang members are criminals. Selling narcotics is not an alternative economic activity. It is a crime. Alternative economic activity is a euphemism created out of whole cloth to justify crime. What should we call murder? Alternative population control?

All kinds of nonsense was tried to stop the gangs from killing. None of it worked because the gangs and dealers just laughed, as they were supposed to.

Years ago we on the Police Department referred to the gangs and dealers as urban terrorists. They are terrorists.

The real problem in fighting gangs and drug dealers is the community. They demand tough measures. Then they complain about the measures they demanded. They protest, call police occupying armies, demand federal civil rights investigations, and a host of so-called reforms. Aldermen, especially those who enable the terrorists, are some of the most vocal critics.

During the long war on organized crime, it was referred to as "the enemy within" and a "cancer". The government spared no hyperbole in describing mobsters. The news media went right along using the hyperbole in editorials.

It is time the gangs and drug dealers be treated the same way. They are the new enemy within. They are a cancer on communities. They are a pox and pestilence.

What is it going to take for the people of Chicago to face reality? This is not just a Black or Hispanic problem, the make up of most of Chicago's street gangs and drug dealers. This is a problem for all of us.

Anyone of our children can be the next Antonio Smith.

Chicago allowed gangs and drug dealers to infiltrate neighborhoods. The gangs and drug dealers have one mission, to make money through crime and kill people. We allowed this to happen. It should never have happened.

We have the power to eliminate them from our communities the same way we let them infiltrate.

Chicago cannot wait any longer. If we do not act now and express some kind of collective outrage, the body count of the innocents will continue to rise.

This is my city. I was born and raised here. I policed this city for almost thirty years. For the first time in my life I m ashamed to be a Chicagoan. I am ashamed of a cowardly, apathetic, and cynical population. I am embarrassed by a population that tolerates these criminal enterprises and the violence they wreak.

Guns did not kill Antonio Smith or all the other innocent children in Chicago. Cowardice, apathy, and cynicism did.

Chicago killed Antonio Smith.

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