United States Senator Mark Kirk with Senator Dick Durbin by his side recently called for the US attorney nominee Zachary Fardon, to lock up gang members from the Gangster Disciples. He said, at the Union League Club, he would allocate $30 million of federal funds for this effort. It amounts to a bounty on the heads of a particular gang.
Congressman Bobbie Rush ripped Kirk’s approach. Chicago at large, legislators to the average citizen throughout the Chicago land area is upset and seeking solutions, to the gang problem. Chicago ‘s crime is out of control from the killing of children on the street to flash mob activities on North Michigan Avenue.
Congressman Rush amply said that Kirk’s proposal was “elitist and is a white boy solution.” Rush has been called out for what some consider a “racial slur.” His comments were not a racial slur, they responded to a racist behavior. Rush has seen the target of the goverment on a particular group once in his life i.e. Black Panthers.
Neither Kirk nor Durbin probably do not understand the plight of the African American male in urban America. Their bounty is dangerous. Are there really 18,000 Gangster Disciples? The attack and approach could mean that Black male youth on the south side and the west side of Chicago would be endangered and prime targets for police harassment, arrest and shootings. A suggested reading for Kirk is, The New Jim Crow, which outlines in detail the government’s structure to aiding gangs, the law, and its affects on the Black young male.
How would a policeman recognize and verify a Gangster Disciple in the first place? Are they card carrying or are they just walking in certain neighborhoods as Black males in certain urban dress. I am all for the prevention and the stopping of crime, particularly in the parts of town where the violence is out of control. I have even issued the clarion call for the National Guard in high crime areas. But an overall outreach to a particular group is dangerous. It sounds like a Ku Klux Klan practice of yesteryear.
Could $30 million dollars be put to better use? Like, job training, education, internships, apprenticeships, and other like programs to focus on a positive behavior. Would the $30 million be put to better use to hire additional policemen in high crime areas for increased patrol?
Before Kirk moves forward with his gang plan, perhaps, just perhaps he will host a town hall meeting to a constituency to explore solutions.
For a a politician to target a single group is outrageous. Thanks goodness Congressman Rush added his voice to this dangerous precedent.