Lorenzo: I’m not afraid of you.
Sonny: You should be.
Lorenzo: I know who you are, Sonny, I know what you’re capable of, and I would never step out of line, you can ask anyone in the neighborhood who knows me. But this time, you’re wrong.
A Bronx Tale 1993
The War Doctor: Time Lords of Gallifrey, Daleks of Skaro, I serve notice on you all. Too long I have stayed my hand. No more. Today you leave me no choice. Today, this war will end. No more. No more!
Doctor Who, Day of the Doctor 2013
One of the events that really changes the state of the conversation in Northern Ireland was the murder of Robert McCartney.
Well that’s not entirely correct the murder of the Mr. McCartney in Belfast was not unlike many of the other murders that had plagued Ireland during the troubles. Nobody in the pub claimed to have seen anything 71 people possible witness claimed to be in a toilet that measures 4′ x 3′ which is why it was dubbed the TARDIS…
..as it is apparently bigger on the inside.
What changed things was Robert McCarthy’s family’s reaction, namely his sisters. Mr. McCartney’s five sisters didn’t just accept this. They fought back loudly in the press appealing to a public sick of the type of semi-random terror they lived under . They refused to be quiet or be intimidated. Their actions were epoch changing.
The campaign against the IRA became a political liability to them and was a key factor in the cut off of their funding from US supporters:
It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and as usual Gerry Adams, leader of the Irish Nationalist Party Sinn Fein, is in Washington. Last night, he hobnobbed with Irish-Americans who for decades have supported Northern Ireland’s nationalist cause. But for the first time in nearly ten years, Adams was not invited to the traditional St. Patrick’s celebration at the White House.
That honor went instead to the five sisters of a 33-year old Belfast man, Robert McCartney, murdered in a bar six weeks ago by men who still haven’t been arrested but are widely believed to be members of Sinn Fein’s military wing, the Irish Republican Army. Paula McCartney says she and her sisters are campaigning for just one thing: To bring the murderers to trial.
It was so bad even Ted Kennedy ran away
Sen. Edward Kennedy: The Democratic Party today, that are part of the democratic West, do not and cannot and should not have private armies and cannot be involved in criminality and violence. And this is, I think, as the sisters have pointed out, the golden opportunity for them to indicate once and for all and finally that they are going to separate themselves from that type of support in terms of the IRA and from violence and criminality.
as late as last year the IRA continued to impede the investigation:
She recalled that the IRA told the family that it knew the identities of four people who were directly involved in the murder, two of whom were IRA members.
The family said that the IRA, who had by then ended its campaign, asked if the sisters wanted it to shoot those responsible.
“We remember the meetings very well and what they can do is pass on the information to the police. The IRA also said the knife was ground down and disposed of.
“The murder weapon is key evidence in any investigation and they won’t say who destroyed it.
“The IRA told us they knew who the killers were and that it was a criminal act. Yet they are protecting them by sitting on all this information and not handing it over. That is shameful,” she said.
The McCartney sisters paid a high price, their family was subject to intimidation and to many whose loyalty was first and foremost to the IRA they had crossed a line.
but even with these roadblocks and the high personal price the sisters paid they more than anyone else are responsible for the decline of the IRA. It is no coincidence that the IRA formally ordered the end of its armed campaign six months after the murder and began the disarmament process.
I submit and suggest that without the sisters none of this happens.
Which brings us on this Martin Luther King Day to the black community in the inner cities.
Murder continues to be the #1 cause of death for black males
Homicide is far and away the leading cause of death for young black men, more than car accidents, suicide and diseases combined, according to an article co-authored by a Florida Atlantic University physician.
In Palm Beach County, homicides kill more than five times as many 18- to 24-year-old black men as car accidents, according to statistics compiled by Dr. Charles H. Hennekens, of FAU’s School of Medicine, and other researchers.
While the political leaders of the left go after the gun manufacturers the reality is this all comes down to gangs and the drug trade.
But since in cities like Chicago the gangs have political pull due to numbers and money and this has been going on for a while:
While not all marchers were gang members, many were. And both their presence and organizational disciple suggested that the city’s black gangs or “street organizations” as they prefer to be known are moving into politics just as white ethnic gangs did generations before them.
In the last few months gangs have been registering new voters, marched in protests about health care and the school system, conducted voter education classes and backed candidates in school counsel elections and courted politicians in a failed campaign to win parole for a gang leader who has been in prison for 20 years for murder.
That’s from a Milwaukee Journal article from 1993 Twenty years later this appeared in Chicago magazine.
Baskin has deep contacts inside the South Side’s complex network of politicians, community organizations, and street gangs. as he recalls, the inquiring candidates wanted to know: “Who do I need to be talking to so I can get the gangs on board?”
Baskin—who was himself a candidate in the 16th Ward aldermanic race, which he would lose—was happy to oblige. In all, he says, he helped broker meetings between roughly 30 politicians (ten sitting aldermen and 20 candidates for City Council) and at least six gang representatives. That claim is backed up by two other community activists, Harold Davis Jr. and Kublai K. M. Toure, who worked with Baskin to arrange the meetings, and a third participant, also a community activist, who requested anonymity. The gang representatives were former chiefs who had walked away from day-to-day thug life, but they were still respected on the streets and wielded enough influence to mobilize active gang members.
The money and political muscle the gangs provide are critical, the result?
Most alarming, both law enforcement and gang sources say, is that some politicians ignore the gangs’ criminal activities. Some go so far as to protect gangs from the police, tipping them off to impending raids or to surveillance activities—in effect, creating safe havens in their political districts. And often they chafe at backing tough measures to stem gang activities, advocating instead for superficial solutions that may garner good press but have little impact.
The paradox is that Chicago’s struggle to combat street gangs is being undermined by its own elected officials. And the alliances between lawmakers and lawbreakers raise a troubling question: Who actually rules the neighborhoods—our public servants or the gangs?
I’m sure this sequence would seem familiar to anyone who followed IRA history.
The irony of course is the families of the slain know the gangs are the driving force behind the killings of their children, the problem is with the gangs the source of political power on both the local & state level (how many gang generated votes have helped keep Illinois blue?) there is no incentive for those enjoying the financial or political rewards to do a thing about it and as the gangs are largely of color, there is no reward for the professional demagogues nationally to do so either.
The only way this is going to change is if the black community produces their own McCartney sisters. This can end if mothers grandmothers and the sisters of the slain decide to band together to confront the gangs and declare No More! They have to demand that they will publicly shame any pol who takes support of the gangs, who helps protect the gangs or gives cover to the members that put their children in the grave.
It will not be easy, it will be dangerous but until the political and financial cost gang support his higher than the benefit, unscrupulous pols will continue to happily accept their money and votes to keep the power they possess.
It’s up to them.
The January doldrums continue around here.
Yesterday we picked up a full $12 toward our weekly paycheck.
Normally that’s not a big deal on the first day of the week but as we have failed to make paycheck since 2014 another bad start to the week is not a good sign.
14 of you kicking in $25 will change that.
This is an election year, there will be a lot to cover, your tip jar hit will help me cover it.
Remember if we can get those 58 1/4 subscribers @ at $20 a month the bills will be paid every week. Help make sure this blog can fight without fear all year long.