Gang violence? What gang violence?
Ah, yes. I was wrong yesterday when I posted that President Joe Biden would stop at an ice cream shop while visiting suburban Crystal Lake. His script writers and handlers didn’t include it in travel instructions.
I wasn’t wrong, though, about Biden’s tin ear, as he virtually ignored the violence that is wracking Chicago 30 miles to the south. This is not a criticism of his political acumen; it’s a condemnation of how he has turned his back on the very people who voted for him and now are expected to suffer in silence as the bullets fly in the South and West side neighborhoods. It was thoughtless and cruel.
It’s hard to come up with an analogy. Maybe like Biden standing in the sunshine 30 miles away from a tornado ripping through the town, taking scores of lives. Nothing to see there.
By going to Chicago, Biden could have made some difference in many lives. Instead of giving a blink and a nod to Mayor Lori Lightfoot as he emerged from Air Fore One on its arrival at O’Hare Airport, he could have waded into the maelstrom with encouraging words and real solutions.
First, he could have backed up the police by taking the brick off their reputation, placed there by the wokesters who regard cops as useless and evil. Public statements by the Democratic president in support of the cops might have restored some of that reputation.
He could have had a deep and lengthy problem-solving session with Lightfoot and law-enforcement to come up with real, concrete and workable plans for safeguarding those communities, instead of vague promises about ATF working with the cops–a promise made after two agents and a Chicago cop were shot.
More important, he could have had a sit-down the the people who are suffering the most: The grieving relatives of the shooting victims, the community organizers and residents who just want to go about their lives, peacefully and safely. He’d get an earful.
I listened to one such community activist this morning on FoxNews. (Yes, FoxNews. Wait until you hear and explore what he had to say before you post yet another condemnation that I’m getting my information from the “wrong” places.)
Tio Hardiman is Executive Director of Violence Interrupters, a group whose boots are on the ground working “to mediate conflict on the ‘front-end.'” Among the things that Biden would have heard from Hardiman was his bullseye identification of a major cause of the gang violence.
“It’s a cultural issue,” he said. It’s a culture that diminishes the role of fathers and male role models. My further observation is that the boys who are recruited into the gangs need to learn about the fruitlessness, endlessness and destructiveness of gang retaliation–a powerful motivation for the scores of daily shootings. The absence of fathers leaves gangsters as their sole source of their modeling.
Biden is big about fathers, often talking about his sons. Might he not have conveyed some of that to the young men who are desperate for guidance? (Yes, I know that I’ll be accused of being “patriarchal” and “bigender.” Even though research repeatedly has shown that the presence of fathers in a boy’s life has a multiple positive benefits.)
As a political move, Biden ignoring the slaughter that is racking a nearby city was stupid. But more significantly, it was a heartless betrayal.To subscribe to the Barbershop and be notified when I post, type your email address in the box and click the “create subscription” button. My list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.