Chicago is five days removed from its bloodiest May in twenty-one years. Two decades Chicago had more residents, so on a per capita basis May 2016 is even worse than it seems. The Tuesday tally for Memorial Day weekend carnage was six dead and 69 wounded. You might as well add a seventh death to the the total; yesterday a man who chased a woman onto a busy street last Sunday where she was killed by car as she escaped his alleged robbery attempt was charged with murder.
What is Chicago’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel, doing about the mayhem?
Not a whole lot.
Which is surprising because this is the man who shortly before he became Barack Obama’s first White House chief-of-staff said, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Rahm–you have your crisis. Even though it has a much smaller population, Chicago, which a rapper, since shot, coined the “Chiraq” nickname for, suffers from more murders year after year than New York and Los Angeles.
Why is that? Well, Emanuel and loudmouths such as onetime Obama faith advisor Father Michael Pfleger blame guns. But Chicago isn’t a setting for a Stephen King novel, the firearms don’t fire themselves.
The real problem is street gangs. With the possible exception of Los Angeles, Chiraq has more gang members than any city in the country, 68,000 of them in 2012. That’s more than the population of a Chicago ward.
If Rahm really believes that a crisis shouldn’t go to waste, he can declare war on gangs. Sure, the arrest of 100 gangbangers last month was a good start, but that turned out to be a very bittersweet minor victory because one hour after the press conference at Chicago Police headquarters announcing the busts, a city of Chicago employee was shot to death one block away, the intended target was a gang member who obviously wasn’t one of the 100.
As with most Chicago murders–this killing remains unsolved.
A war on gangs will be a tough one, Rahm will learn if he takes my advice and wages one. Gang members have their wiggled their tentacles throughout Chicago society and government, even within the City Council.
And I have to suspect that there are some John Connolly types, not the onetime Texas governor, but gangster Whitey Bulger’s mole in the FBI, within the Chicago Police Department.
Last month an alleged hitman for the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples gang, who was also a suburban Atlanta cop, was one of 48 gangbangers charged in a sweeping federal indictment.
Rahm, you now have the “opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”
Yet my guess is that Emanuel will make only half-hearted attempts to fight Chicago violence. Because he’s a liberal he fears being attacked from the left–from groups as Black Lives Matters, for instance. And progressives, because they are obsessed with the rights of thugs, aren’t predispositioned to be effective crime fighters.
Meanwhile Chicagoans are slaughtering each other while Rahm is checking his latest poll numbers.
Special thanks go out to the Facebook commentor who reminded me of Emanuel’s famous quote.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.