Cross-posted by Gary Fouse
Now that the Olympic issue has been put to rest, I think it is time to talk more about one of the factors that probably contributed to the selection of another city to host the games (Rio de Janeiro). That is the brutal death of 16-year-old honor student Derrion Albert, who was killed when he stumbled into the middle of a gang fight on Chicago's south side.
Not that this is anything new for the south side of Chicago. The area has been plagued by gangs and violence for as long as I can remember. The city takes a lot of blame for the continuance of this situation as corruption continues its long tradition unabated.
Now the White House is getting involved, largely because everybody is directing their attention to the President, who happens to be from the south side of Chicago and was in Denmark touting the city for the Olympics just after the killing occurred. The timing drew criticism from some quarters.
Here's what White House Press Spokesman Robert Gibbs had to say to reporters this week:
"I can tell you obviously the reports of and the video that we have seen on television is among the most shocking that you can ever see." The killing of an honor student by others who's beaten to death is chilling, chilling video and I think this is something that the administration has been working on."
Gibbs said the administration plans a response to the "heinous crime" soon.
It has also been announced that Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan (former head of schools in Chicago) will be going to Chicago Wednesday to meet with.......blah, blah, blah, quack, quack, quack, woof, woof, woof.
With all due respect, history shows that there is little that anybody in Washington can do to address the problem of inner-city gangs and violence. It's not just Chicago; in LA, Hispanic and black street gangs are killing each other on a daily basis. Crime is a problem in virtually every major inner city.
So now the administration in Washington and the corrupt city leaders in Chicago are going to figure out a way to prevent future Derrion Alberts? First of all, the leaders of Chicago are too busy collecting graft and fixing elections to devote more than token time and effort to this issue-which has existed for many, many decades. The city has traditionally been divided by a white north side and black south side. What will Holder and Duncan accomplish? Well, for starters, there will surely be the announcement of a big government program to "work with the community", "reach out", "provide alternatives", etc-you know how it goes. Maybe they will build more "affordable housing". Have you ever seen the "affordable housing" in Chicago? And who knows; this will probably be another opportunity for ACORN to grab millions more to do their "community organizing" in the Windy City.
I would have hoped that President Obama's success story could be used as an inspiration to the young south-siders as to what they can really accomplish. I'd love to see him go to back to Chicago and talk in a town hall full of Chicago kids and tell them that if they stay out of trouble, stay away from drugs, finish high school and avoid becoming parents before they are 21, their chances of having a good life are pretty high. It's not a complicated formula. That is precisely the formula advanced by black conservative activist Larry Elder. But for that, he is called an "Uncle Tom". One major step toward fighting the problem would be to somehow restore the traditional black two-parent family, which welfare helped to destroy. Accomplishing this is no easy task, however.
Of course, I say this all from the perspective of a 64-year-old white guy who never grew up or lived in the inner-city (though I did happen to spend considerable time there as a DEA agent).
What I am leading up to is that in my opinion, there is little more that government can do to change the situation in black America. They have done all they can do, for better or worse. Civil rights have been enacted-for the better. Yet, public housing projects are crumbling and are places no one can live in safety. Welfare accomplished little but break up black families-and that is the real root problem here-not white racism. Police and federal agencies have tried to remove the criminals from these communities-and get only condemnation for it. Who suffers for that? The decent people who have to continue to live in these communities and be plagued by the gangs, pimps and drug dealers.
It is high time for black activists and so-called leaders to put to rest the idea that this is all due to racism. Racism on the part of whites is the very least of the problems facing black America today. There is nothing white America can do other than treat each human being fairly. When you watch the video of the beating death of Derrion Albert, you see no whites involved. This young boy was not the victim of racism.
The rest of it is up to black America-at the grass-roots level. The churches (minus the Jeremiah Wrights), schools, other local institutions and families need to address this issue without demanding more money from Washington or blaming racism.
As I write this, Derrion is being buried today. Of course, the funeral is being attended by people like hate-monger Louis Farrakhan, Jesse Jackson and the NAACP, a once great civil-rights organization now deeply politicized. What message will they give to the mourners, Chicago and black America? That we must all continue to fight racism?
Notwithstanding the title of this essay, I don't know the solution to this intractable problem. I reject the notion, however, that the government has the solution, that money or programs is the solution or that this is another moment for white America to look itself in the mirror. We have done that. We have recognized our past history and, except for fringe elements, rejected the idea that we are "superior". We do believe in fair play for all. One thing I learned from working in inner cities as a DEA agent is that those areas have lots of good people trying to survive, live in security and keep their kids out of trouble. Unfortunately, there is the criminal element that preys first and foremost on the people in their own community. They are enabled by the radicals and hate-mongers who tell them they are victims of a racist society. They are enabled by liberal judges, academics, journalists and politicians who echo that sentiment. It does no one any good.
The fact is that nobody in Washington has the answer. Nobody in Chicago's city hall has the answer. The answer, whatever it is, is to be found in the south side of Chicago.
Some 50 years ago, a young black teenage boy named Emmett Till was buried in Chicago after he had been beaten to death in Mississippi for whistling at a white woman. He was truly a victim of racism. Today, Derrion Albert is being buried in Chicago. Is he any different than Emmett Till? In a sense, no; both were victims of a cancer that has plagued our country. Derrion, however, was a victim of a different cancer.