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June 3, 2013

Senator Kirk Meet Congressman Rush

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Written by: Hermene Hartman
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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 Bobbie Rush ripped Kirk’s approach.  Chicago at large,
legislators to the average citizen throughout the Chicago land area is upset
and seeking solutions, to 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.  Rush has seen the target of the government on a particular group
once in his life i.e. Black Panthers.

Congressman Bobby Rush

Neither Kirk or Durbin probably understand 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.  It sounds like a Ku Klux Klan practice of yesteryear.

Could $30 million dollars be put to better use?   Like, job training,education, internships, apprenticeships, and other like 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 to a constituency to  explore solutions.

For a  a politician  to target a single group is outrageous.    Thank goodness Congressman Rush added his voice to this dangerous precedent.

About the Author

Hermene Hartman
Hermene Hartman serves as President and CEO of the Chicago-based, Hartman Publishing Group, INC. NDIGO, was founded in 1989 and is a significant voice in Chicago. Hartman provides social commentary on WVAZ's 102.7 radio Monday - Friday at 9:15 a.m. She is an author and appears as a guest on TV with commentary. Ms. Hartman is the founder of The NDIGO Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which began in 1995, for the sole purpose of raising funds for educational pursuits.


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