According to Mary Mitchell, of the Chicago Sun Times, several Black men “affiliated” with street gangs will hold a press conference in Columbus Park today. Vice Lord Jim Allen is convening the press conference. They are going to blast Superintendent of Police Jody Weis for tricking and threatening them at a meeting last month. The gangs, and their enablers, believe the Superintendent’s comments amount to unconstitutional harassment. You do notice they are not threatening to sue. The lawyers must have told them they would be laughed out of court; after they stopped laughing themselves.
Of course, some of the usual gang enablers have been heard from and will be there- Gangster Disciple and “urban translator” Wallace Gator Bradley, Mike Carter a community activist, and Tio Hardiman of Cease Fire. Hardiman compares gangs to cliques. He would. His state grant laden salary depends on it. Bradley spouted his usual nonsense; he is drawing a line in the sand. According to the urban translator, the gangs are decrying the violence conducted on their behalf. Carter is a critic of the mayor. They even invoked the President in their ramblings.
This is sick. It reeks. It makes you want to vomit. Notorious criminals and their enablers feel powerful enough to hold a press conference to laugh in the face of the whole city. I would bet there will be no harsh criticism of this in the media. They would not dare offend. They will only compliment. They cannot be politically incorrect.
Thanks to our illustrious Police Superintendent, the street gangs are getting what has been denied them- good publicity. They have some public relations savvy people working with them. Mary Mitchell, who is a prominent columnist, and, on the editorial board of the Times, thinks they are on the right track.
The new perception being touted is the street gangs are not criminal organizations and members or affiliates are not criminals. The gangs are members of the community, just like everyone else. They should be treated as equals and dealt with as if they are legitimate citizens. Just because they profit from crime does not make them criminals. Belonging to a criminal organization does not make them criminals. The gangs are dusting off the old 1960s gang political tactic- painting themselves as innocent misunderstood protectors of the community.
Mr. Carter seems to believe there should be a community perspective in solving gang violence. Urban translation- leave the gangs alone to sell their drugs, rob, commit extortion, other crimes and sundry mayhem, and they will control the killing. There is only one community solution to the gang problem- the community must rise up against the gangs. They must demand action from the the mayor, the feds, and the press. The community(s) must decide enough is enough and drive these evil pests from their neighborhoods.
Sadly, there are enough bleeding hearts in this city who will fall for this; some in the media, clergy, and community organizations. People with access to power. There are enough people who will not see anything wrong with meeting, negotiating, and begging with gangs if one life can be saved. It is for the children, you see. What will come of such idiocy? If someone gets killed, will the gangs turn the killer in- or will they kill the mook themselves? Will they stop killing people with their dope? Will they collect all the guns in their arsenals and turn them in? Will the leaders start marching their minions to law enforcement and have them arrested?
The perception must change. The message and conversation must change. Street gangs are criminal organizations. Their business is profiting from crime. Their members or “affiliates” are criminals. They are not legitimate members of the community. It is time to stop this insanity and stupidity. It is time to get tough. It is time to paint these people as vermin, pestilence, plague, infestation, and pox. It is time to paint their enablers as the same. That should be the only perception. The only message. The only conversation. They should be perceived as pure, unadulterated evil.
It is also time for this mayor to realize the gangs are a serious threat to the fabric of our society. The police department is way behind the curve, thanks to the decimation of its ranks. But, with the right tactics, help from the feds, a proper public relations campaign, and a zero tolerance policy for criminal organizations and their enablers, a lot can be done.
We should be seeing gang members doing the perp walk daily, instead of holding press conferences. The media, community groups, clergy, and the police and city public relations machines should use all their resources to denigrate, debase, and dehumanize the gangs, their leadership, and their members. They should feel the pain.
Instead, the media will probably show up in Columbus Park today. They will report this as a typical event. Life will go on. Dope will get sold. People will keep getting killed.