(Sen. Mark Kirk, left, Garry McCarthy, CPD Superintendent, right)
Sen. Mark Kirk announced Tuesday he was approved by Congress for $18.5 million to combat gangs, the Chicago Sun Times reports.
Kirk was joined by Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and other Illinois law enforcement officials at the Dirksen federal building in the Loop to discuss his plans for the funds, according to the Peoria Journal Star.
Kirk did acknowledge that it is not a guarantee all of the money will be coming to Chicago, but will lobby the Department of Justice to allocate most of the funds in the city.
“My office will be helping Garry’s team to write the grant proposals to make sure it has all the magic words that the Justice Department needs to see so that we prevail,” he said. “Because what good is it unless it really helps out CPD, in my view.”
Kirk went on to compare Chicago’s gangs to Italian mobster Al Capone’s criminal empire.
“We remember the Capone organization was suppressed here in Chicago with the backup of the feds, and we want to do that against the major gangs of Chicago — against the Gangster Disciples,” Kirk said, according to the Sun Times.
Harold “Noonie G” Ward, a former high-ranking member of the Gangster Disciples, called Kirk’s agenda “insanity” in an op-ed directed at the Republican senator.
“… Violence doesn’t just stem from just gangs,” Ward said. “Violence is a product of frustration, lack of educational resources, unemployment, financial instability, and most of all fear.”
Ward argued there are more productive ways to spend millions of dollars.
“With a reported 2.7 million Chicago children parentless due to incarceration, how could a blind street sweep targeting one gang benefit the community? Mass incarceration contributes to the destruction of Black and Brown communities instead of building them up,” he said.
African Americans and Latinos combined comprise nearly 60% of the prison population despite making up only a quarter of the U.S. population.
It must be noted the prison system in the United States is a multi-billion dollar business. The states and federal government spend about $74 billion a year on incarcerating citizens, according to CNBC. The prison system additionally employs 800,000 people.
The U.S has the highest incarceration in the world with 7 million individuals under some form of correctional control, according to report probing racial disparities in the United States Criminal Justice System.
Prison is the United States’ form of new Slavery. MSNBC reports there are more African Americans in prison or “under watch” in the judicial system than in Slavery in 1850.
It is the unjust drug laws that unfairly target drug users and dealers in predominantly African American communities that keeps this steady stream of Black men heading into jail cells.
The law hands out stiff sentences 100 times greater to dealers of crack c------ more than distributors of powdered c------. Those from privileged backgrounds are more likely to use powdered c------.
Plies memorably took aim at the United States’ unjust drug laws in the hard-hitting song “100 Years.”
“How in the f**k can fo’ birds get you a life sentence? But give a cracker seven years for money launderin’ millions,” Plies raps.
It was in the early 1970s when President Richard Nixon coined the “War on Drugs” phrase and upped efforts to incarcerate the distributors and users of the drugs through the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970.
Crack-c------ coincidentally hit the predominantly black inner cities of America hard a few years later in the early 1980s and continues to crumble these communities.
President Ronald Reagan took Nixon’s program a step further in 1988 by creating the National Drug Control Policy to coordinate drug-related legislative, security, diplomatic, research and health policy throughout the government, according to Politico.
Since Nixon’s measure was implemented, there has been a 700 percent increase in the U.S. prison population, according to MSNBC.
The allure of selling drugs comes from high unemployment in the African American community. African Americans have long been shut off from well-paying employment opportunities.
Kirk initially sought $30 million from the Senate Appropriations Committee after announcing plans to take down the Gangster Disciple in June 2013, according to Politico.
“My top priority is to arrest the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people. I would like to a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility,” Kirk said, according to Chicago Mag. “I will be proposing this to the assembled federal law enforcement: ATF, DEA and FBI.”
Ward further argued legislators should allocate funds for better resources in the minority community.
“Where is the call for legislation to implement jobs for youth, build youth centers, facilitate after school programs and create and stimulate income for the parents of these youth?” Ward asked. “Where is the real concern to analyze the real conditions that have created an environment where over 40 people can be shot in one weekend and the senseless killing of babies and kids is a daily occurrence?”
Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) was equally frustrated with Kirk’s proposal, calling it an “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about,” according statements given to Chicago Sun-Times.
Rush proposed Kirk’s plan should include strategies on how to employ and educate the young men residing in the poverty-stricken urban areas of Chicago.
“Kirk’s current plan does not include the option to create jobs, provide affordable and safe housing, quality health care and improve schools in urban areas, BUT certainly a plan to incarcerate 18,000 black men is elitist,” he wrote in an e-mailed statement to the Sun-Times. “Why is incarceration the sole option instead of rehabilitation which is proven to work and not locking young men up?”
MyFoxChicago discovered in a shocking new Chicago Urban League report that 92 percent of African American male teens have been shut off from employment.
The eight percent of working Chicago teens is extremely low compared to the nationwide average of 17 percent and state average of 12 percent.
The Chicago Urban League found there are 600,000 fewer jobs in Illinois today than in the year 2000.
The jobs normally given to teens are now being given to adults. This includes fast food, “entry level” retail jobs and paper delivery.
Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News
Many residents are frustrated with the political pandering of tragic incidents to spark an agenda. Kirk used Hadiyah Pendleton’s death as fuel for his political exploits.
Many Chicago residents say equal employment opportunities will combat crime and gun violence in their community.
Gun violence is often used as a scapegoat to the myriad of problems plaguing the Black and Latino community in Chicago. Toughening gun laws only provides more jobs to police officers and the judicial system.
Al Sharpton attempted to steer a town hall discussion to talk of gun violence in late December, but the conversation soon turned to employment.
“More jobs are needed to stop the rash of gun violence. It is hard to be outside shooting and robbing people when you are at work or worried about losing your job,” said Harold Lucas, a 69-year-old community activist and president and CEO of the Black Metropolis Convention & Tourism Council, a nonprofit organization in Bronzeville, according to DNAinfo.com.
Chicago has one of the nation’s highest African American unemployment rates. In 2011, African American unemployment in Chicago ranked third highest in the country, according to a report by the Economic Policy Institute.
Huge disparities continue to exist between black and whites as it did pre-Civil Rights era.
The poverty rate amongst African Americans in Chicago stands at 34.1 percent, more than triple that of Whites, according to statistics compiled by Chicago Reader. For Whites, the poverty rate is 10.9 percent.
The unemployment rate for African Americans in Chicago is 19.5 percent, more than double that of Whites, which is 8.1 percent.
A panelist at the town hall meeting called for more jobs and business grants and loans for African Americans.
“…You can’t get a job, you can’t get a grant, you can’t get a contract til our community is suffering,” he said.
Paul McKinley, a 2013 Republican Nominee and representative for V.O.T.E. (Voices of the Ex-Offender), accused Mayor Rahm and city hall in having a hand in Black poverty.
“The fifth floor took your schools, the fifth floor took all your jobs that he said that he gave to the ex-offenders,” he said. “It’s the policies of the administration. And every single alderman was a part of this criminal process.”
In a controversial measure this year, mayor Rahm Emmanuel slashed education funds for Chicago Public Schools, which led to the closing of 54 schools.
It was the largest mass closing by a school district in U.S. history, according to Reuters.
“…Our people is suffering and being devastated. We have boarded up houses in every community,” Mckinley continued. “… it’s almost like the curse of Pharaoh, every other house is boarded up in our neighborhood. Why can’t we build it up?”
McKinley then took his grievances out on President Barack Obama.
“My question is this, Mr. President. Cause I know he watches your (Al Sharpton’s Politics Nation) program. Mr. President, the man that you have sent down here as a mayor hate us,” he said. “We ask from the President of the United States, let us, the grass root people, not these name brand blue ribbon nigroes, take this. Stop giving them evil people our money.”
Sen. Mark Kirk Secures $18.5 Million Congressional Grant For Chicago Police To Incarcerate Black & Latino Gang Members
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