Some years back two reporters from Chicago Magazine Noah Isackson and David Bernstein wrote a brilliant piece called "GANGS AND POLITICIANS." In it, they describe how in some parts of Chicago violent street gangs and politicians quietly (very quietly indeed) trade money and favors for mutual gain. The thugs flourish the elected officials thrive and the communities lose. Working Chicago's streets for over 33 years one would have to be totally blind not to have agreed with their assessments. I watched as certain gangs in certain areas across the city pushed hard and hustled votes for selected candidates for local and state elections. My guess is the lure of public office trumped the ideal of any crumb of integrity. When you live and work in communities across Chicago it's impossible not to know who is a gang member and who is not.
If you are indeed asking a community for votes and help to get elected, it always gets down to what's in it for me if I give you my vote? There is a reason why Chicago's gangs have prevailed for over 60 years in a city that barely recognizes (at least publicly ), the gang cancer that has so many neighborhoods living in fear. Silence is not a solution. Excuse, deny, and ignore seems to be the accepted strategy. Most politicians all across America and in particular Chicago politicians have declared war on almost anything that will get the attention they are desperately seeking but never once did any one of them ever declare war on the vicious gangs in the communities they represent. "LISTEN TO THE SILENCE, IT HAS SO MUCH TO SAY."
Most gang intelligence experts estimate there are between 70 and 150 thousand gang members in Chicago. If one tries to envision the City of Evanston or Springfield Illinois, it becomes clear how having them hustling votes is an immense advantage. The gang's breakdown into two loose alliances -- The People and The Folks. The five major gangs who rule over the neighborhoods are The Gangster Disciples (folks) The Black Disciples (folks) The Black P. Stones (peoples) The Vice Lords (peoples) The Latin Kings(peoples). Each one has hundreds of affiliates that form different alliances.
All of those gangs are in the business of the drug trades, heroin, cocaine, marijuana, ecstasy, flakka, or gravel (similar to bath salts) methamphetamines, LSD (yea it's still around) mushrooms, and many more illegal activities, such as gun sales, gambling, and prostitution. The Old Mafia are gone but not much has changed except the faces. In today's world, gang discipline has been greatly reduced as the elders are either in prison or have been eliminated for various reasons. Shorties as young as 13 can often be seen hustling drugs, selling loosies (cigarettes), or toting guns, some are even shooters. The gangs know that the Juvenile justice system treats the juveniles with kid gloves.
Chicago's startling surge of violence involving young teens as young as 13 seems to have no limits. Today's killers and shooters are tomorrow's victims. Since 2016 over 18,000 people have been wounded, a startling number of attempted murders, over 3,500 have been murdered, children of all ages, seniors, baby's, toddlers, the victim list spare no age group. Armed carjackings have doubled in the last year, as of 23 December soaring to over 1,375, in the last week two people have been murdered in carjackings. Gunfights have become a daily occurrence, innocent victims join the astonishing count of 12 people on an average shot a day in 2020, an American city whose violence tops the war casualties in Afghanistan. Right now it would seem that the Covid-19 Virus seems to have the local politicians preoccupied, either that or it's a stunning refusal to acknowledge reality. Crime on the CTA in Chicago has doubled since the beginning of the year and the ridership has been at an all-time low.
The Police Commander that oversees the CTA security says that his unit has made double the arrests as past years but essentially the ridership has gone away, but the criminals remain. He pointed to numerous incidents of individuals who were arrested as many as 6 times for the same criminal offenses. A common theme for the past 6 years in Chicago by law enforcement officials. Low Bonds, no Bonds, I bonds, the colossal number of dangerous criminals being turned back into the communities they are terrorizing, facing very little or no accountability. Think of this saying "WHEN YOU DON'T PUNISH BAD OR CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR YOU INEVITABLY GET MORE OF IT." In the last count, over 56 people charged with murder are at home, supposedly wearing an ankle monitor. The individual below is a shining example of how many CHANCES does a CRIMINAL get in Chicago? Seventeen Or was it the Only ECONOMY available to him? The end of this article will make sense of that.
Almost 2000 years ago the great Roman philosopher Seneca left us with these words --- "WHO SPARES THE WICKED INJURES THE GOOD."
156 years ago Abraham Lincoln had this to say, " I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND THAT MERCY BEARS RICHER FRUIT THAN STRICT JUSTICE."
Two guys, I have always paid attention to.
My question is, how many times do we spare the wicked? How much mercy do we show? and how many times. How long can a decent society and a justice system care more about the wicked and ignore the victims and the injured? Who gives them a voice?
This week the Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx in a lengthy interview said her DREAM was to forgive (expungement) all those who have been convicted of minor drug offenses such as small amounts of marijuana and those arrested for possession of and the use of drugs. She then said this," HER VISION IS TO WIPE CLEAN THE RECORDS OF CONVICTED WEED DEALERS AND OPEN THE DOOR TO EXPUNGING OFFENSES FOR HEROIN AND COCAINE POSSESSION." AFTERALL! IT WAS THE ONLY ECONOMY THEY HAD." Drug dealers and convicted drug dealers most likely were more astonished at those words than a bank robber who was told OKAY you're free to go because we realize it was the only ECONOMY you had, and not only that, there will no longer be a record just in case you do find another economy, it will not interfere with your future. When a prosecutor becomes an advocate for the criminals who are before the Bar of Justice, one has to wonder how long a decent society can survive?
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