Chicago’s Murder Rate and the Right-Wing Con | VALID | #TWIBnation

Chicago’s Murder Rate and the Right-Wing Con

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Tracy Martin Congressional Hearing

Apparently, I was too easy on Dana Loesch and her fellow right-wing hucksters when I wrote this piece about their latest canard – that the people who protested the George Zimmerman verdict really don’t care about urban violence in places like Chicago, which claims entirely too many lives, mostly of young black people. “Where are the riots? Where are the protests,” Loesch asked; to which I responded: There are protests against urban violence in Chicago nearly every week. But you’re not really all that concerned about the deaths of young black people, are you?

In any event, two recent stories further underscore the absurdity of Loesch’s claims. The first story, from the Chicago Tribune, involves Trayvon Martin’s father:

Tracy Martin, the father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, urged Congress on Wednesday to improve the educational and employment opportunities of African American boys and men, who are disproportionately imprisoned and unemployed.

Martin, who recently started an anti-gun-violence foundation with Trayvon’s mother, Sybrina Fulton, said President Obama’s impromptu remarks Friday, during which he shared his own experiences with racial stereotypes, “spark[ed] a conversation in every household.”

Martin attended a meeting on the issues facing black boys and men organized by Democrat Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District of Columbia’s delegate to Congress, and Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys.

Panelists spoke of the need to improve access to early childhood education and job training for all young people, and particularly black and Latino males.

So here you have Tracy Martin, Sybrina Fulton, and their allies on Capitol Hill doing precisely the opposite of what Loesch and other conservatives allege: They’re using Trayvon’s death as a springboard to a broader discussion about issues facing young people of color, including the plague of urban violence.

And then there’s this story from MSNBC about Rep. Robin Kelly (D-Ill.) and other prominent black leaders from Chicago taking on the city’s murder problem directly:

After a particularly bloody Fourth of July weekend [in Chicago], in which 72 people were shot, 12 of them killed, Kelly and a couple of fellow local Democratic members of Congress have convened an “emergency summit” to address the issue of gun violence facing Chicago and so many other cities across the country. The two-day “National Summit on Violence in Urban Communities,” hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, will begin on Friday at the Chicago State University Convocation Center in Chicago.

Speakers and attendees from all over the city, region and country are expected to attend, including members of law enforcement, the clergy, politicians, community leaders and victims of gun violence. Panelists will discuss what approaches have and have not worked. And organizers hope to glean practical strategies that could be applied in Chicago and in other struggling communities.

The “fellow local Democratic members of Congress,” by the way, are Rep. Danny Davis and Rep. Bobby Rush, both of whom, like Robin Kelly, have been vocal in their support for Trayvon Martin and their concern over the Zimmerman verdict.

So, again, here are prominent black liberals, all of whom have taken a stand on the Zimmerman case, turning their attention to all of the issues facing young people of color, and working toward positive solutions that will reduce the violence that plagues Chicago and other cities.

Now, why do you suppose Loesch, et al., ignore those efforts? Perhaps its because they don’t want to draw attention to what folks like Tracy Martin and Robin Kelly are actually saying. Because Martin and Kelly are talking about things like the scourge of guns and the need for better education and job training, which, of course, require that the government be part of the solution – all things that conservatives like Dana Loesch would rather you not think about.

Indeed, I’m quite sure that Loesch doesn’t want to draw attention to these comments from Rep. Kelly:

“On the federal level I’m disappointed. When 90% of America wants universal background checks and we can’t pass it, it’s absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

Missing from the broader gun safety debate are voices from urban America, Kelly said, where the burden of gun violence weighs most heavily.

And I’m sure Loesch doesn’t want to draw attention to the fact that the murder rate in Chicago skyrocketed after the Supreme Court struck down the city’s ban on handguns (after nearly two decades of steady declines with the handgun ban in place). Because that most certainly doesn’t fit the conservative narrative, now does it?

No, the Loesch crowd is happy to bash Chicago, happy to bash African American leaders, happy to bash liberals in general. They just don’t want to confront the inconvenient truths about urban violence and what black leaders and their allies are trying to do about it.

Gee, it’s almost like the Loesch crowd doesn’t want the problem to go away.

David Von Ebers

An evil trial lawyer from Chicago, which makes me almost as bad as Barack Obama himself. Except, I am a Cubs fan, unlike our President, and so, as the kids say, I AM SHAME. I blog about legal issues, politics, sports, music (that long-haired rock 'n roll music all the kids are into), and, frequently, the interaction between any and all of the above. When I'm not busy undermining the Constitution or circumventing your freedoms, I run, watch too much sports on the teevee, and hang out with my long-suffering wife and three kids.

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  1. Randle Aubrey July 26, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Nah…she loves it when black folks shoot each other down. It lets white folks get what they want and keep their hands clean.

    The last and ugliest act of genocide is the planting of the seeds of destruction within those you wish to exterminate, then standing back and letting them do it for you, all the while clucking away at what a tragedy it is that these ‘hopeless savages’ can’t get their act together. Ask any Native American; they’ll tell you.

    • David von Ebers July 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm


  2. anyone July 26, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    Why must liberals distort the facts to try and make their point. The murder rate is down in Chicago this year. This is an bit of an article in DNA Chicago…

    As of July 10, there have been 204 homicides in Chicago, according to the Chicago Police Department — a 26 percent drop in murders compared to this time last year. Shootings are also down 24 percent. But the department acknowledges there is more work to be done.

    In 1995 there were 931 murders. The law was struck down in 2010 and the rate stayed the same in 2011. It’s went up in 2012 but does not even come close the 90’s. The fact are that the murder rate should end up being down, way down. The rate is approaching the levels of 1965, the lowest recorded.

  3. Steve M. July 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    They do this to Muslims too — “When are Muslim leaders going to start denouncing Islamist terrorism?” And, of course, the most prominent Muslim leaders denounce terrorist acts committed by Muslims whenever they occur, but the wingers either pay no attention or deliberately pretend that the denunciations never happen.

  4. Kevin July 27, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    We can act like those summits are a substantial response to years of disregard from w/in if we want to, but then we’d be silly for that. Acting as if Capitol Hill is going to come to the rescue of a dilemma that they helped design is asinine at best. The leadership needs to wake up.It’s a shame that we can’t say this to ourselves. Which means outside voices will be ignored, simply because they’re from outside. What a shame.

  5. rikyrah July 28, 2013 at 10:28 pm

    you are on point. thank you.

  6. Good Greg July 29, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Wow. The powers to be want to have a summit and they want the federal government to give them more money for schools and job training. Plus a repeal of self-defense laws and more gun control.

    That is like sticking a bandaid on a sucking chest wound. You can say “hey, we did something” and then wonder why the patient died.

    The problems with urban areas, minorities, gangs and crime is a complex and inter-connected series of problems. Schools, job training, guns and drugs are not the root causes, they are merely the symptoms. Just to be fair, this is largely true of the deep south.

    The first thing that is needed is a root cause analysis that traces every problem back it’s base. This will likely lead to some chicken and egg discussions. It will lead to some very painful introspection.

    Dana is partially right (hurts to say that, but it is true) there are not protests, there is not activism, there are some leaders who want summits and money and stuff from the feds, but there aren’t marches, Sharpton and Jackson and the Martin family aren’t really calling for society to rip the bandaid off racism and let’s have real open and honest discussions about the causes and possible cures. They just want to throw another bandaid on top of it in the form of more gun control, repealing SYG and self defense laws plus more money from the that bottomless well, the Feds.

    My proof. Easy, watch the hate I get for mentioning that the breakdown of the black family and black on black racism are a bigger threat to African American men than all of the racists, bigots, and police in this country.

    I would love to see the black on black murder rate plummet, the black unemployment rate plummet, the black graduation rate soar, the number of single black women raising children alone drop. I love America and they are as much a part of it as I am. But while I can be part of the conversation, I can’t solve the problem. The federal and state governments can’t solve the problem. Black families and particularly black women can solve the problem. The rest of us have a part, but that is all we have.

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