In an effort to curb the rampant gang violence that has escalated recently, Chicago Police Superintendent Jodi Weis met with the leaders of various gangs over the weekend. At this meeting, Superintendent Weis warned the gang leaders that unless the violence ceased, he would work with Federal prosecutors to charge them under the RICO laws if any killings were traced back to them.
In response to this the gangs have called for their own press conference today to decry the unfair treatment that they are receiving from Superintendent Weis and the Chicago Police Department. According to this article from CBS2chicago.com:
The Columbus Park news conference was convened by Jim Allen, a self-identified Vice Lords Nation member. Allen is also identified as the “almighty minister” of an organization called Tha Movement. The group’s logo features several gang signs in the center surrounded by a circle bearing the message: “Stop the violence. One love.”
The group is protesting what they call the “unconstitutional, guilty before innocent, premeditated arrest and indictment by Chicago Police hearsay and propaganda tactics,” in regard to the threat to use the RICO statute at the “‘secret trick meeting’ the Chicago Police and others held with whom they deemed to be top gang leaders.
Now, your Mandarin has a few issues with this situation. On the one hand we have what appears to be the head of the 3rd largest police department negotiating with violent criminals to get them to behave. Did he really have to meet them in person to deliver that message? We are talking about people that have no regard for human life and are only loyal to the gang. To most of the individuals in the room, Superintendent Weis is nothing more than another political stooge trying to make a name for himself at their expense.
Now on the other hand we have these gang leaders portraying themselves as the hapless victims of a society that is doing everything it can to keep them down. You can see this in their belief that, “The problem with them (the Chicago Police Department) is that they’re giving us an ultimatum – quit – instead of an alternative.” Yes that’s right, they are the victims. If only we gave them the opportunities to succeed, then there would be no need to join a gang. To further reinforce this point, former gang member Reginald Akeem Berry Sr. feels that the resolution to the gang violence is, “jobs, opportunities, and contracts.”
And what jobs would these gang members be qualified for? The majority of these gang members have long since dropped out of school and most likely don’t have the reading and math skills, let alone a high school diploma or G.E.D. to be functionally literate in the work place.
When we get right down to it, this situation with the gangs in Chicago has an eerie parallel to the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Here we have a group that uses violence to control its territories, and when confronted by the authorities, claim that they are being persecuted and that if they only had jobs (or in the Palestinians case a homeland), then they would beat all of their guns and crack pipes into plowshares and live in harmony with their neighbors.
But as we have seen over and over again, when dealing with terrorists, whether middle-eastern or mid-western, they will continue to behave in the way that continually rewards them.
When all is said and done, Superintendent Weis and the federal prosecutor can charge and convict every one of the gang members they met with last weekend. But until the individuals in these communities stand up and teach these young men that no one is going to just hand them an opportunity to succeed, whether that is the gang or the government, this cycle of violence will never end.
The Mandarin, whose real name is 吏恆, joined the order in 1309, and introduced the Gormogons into England during the 18th Century.
The Mandarin enjoys spending time with his pet manticore, Βάρἰκος, or Barry (who can be found in the Bestiary). When not in the Castle…well, frankly, nobody is quite sure where he goes.
The Mandarin popularized the fine art of “gut booting,” by which he delivers a powerful kick to the stomach of anyone that annoys him. Although nearly universal today, the act of gut booting or threatening someone or something with a gut boot is solely due to him.