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 Bobby Rush ripped Kirk's approach. Chicago at large and legislators to the average citizen throughout the Chicago area are upset and seeking solutions to solving 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.
Neither Kirk nor Durbin probably understands 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.
Could $30 million dollars be put to better use? Like towards job training, education, internships, apprenticeships, and other 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 for his constituency to discuss a solution.
It is a danger zone when a politician aims at a single group to jail them all. Thank goodness Congressman Rush added his voice to this dangerous precedent. I should hope these fine gentlemen from Illinois could sit down to discuss this issue and come up with legislation and funding that could be used as a model for the nation.