Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Who will try to make bigger political hash of weekend incidents of violence?

One might try arguing that the protest march of last week to Wrigley Field was an over-blown event that didn’t live up to its hype. But then, we get weekends such as this past one that help underscore the serious problem that exists in parts of Chicago.
EMANUEL: Is it all his fault?

For this past weekend was one of many petty incidents that left people dead (12 in all) or wounded (71 gunshot victims). There was one six-hour period on Sunday when five of the fatalities occurred and 30 more were shot.

THE OVERALL TOTAL for the period from 5 p.m. Friday through 5 a.m. Monday is the 71 people shot – with 48 of those shootings occurring on Sunday. The so-called day of holiness, when we’re all supposed to rest (unless you’re Jewish, in which case it’s Saturday until sundown).

I’ve noticed that in recent stories, the emphasis is placed on the number of people who got shot – even though when I was a police reporter-type person, I usually focused on the number dead.

Which back then (the late 1980s) was an era when the homicide tally in Chicago usually came close to 1,000 per year. Trying to tally every person who got wounded would balloon the figure up to a ridiculous tally.

Although I suspect that’s what the people trying to use this issue for political purposes want to do. They probably want us to hear the number of people wounded, then make the assumption that it’s really the number dead. Former New York Mayor (and current Donald Trump apologist) Rudy Giuliani did just that in a series of Twitter tweets he sent out this weekend.
McCARTHY: Trying to bolster his campaign?

WHICH IF THEY were true would make this city a ridiculously violent place – instead of one that doesn’t even come close to leading the nation in a homicide rate.

Not that I’m trying to understate the problem. We do have parts of Chicago that are ridiculously violent, and the people whom life’s circumstances give them no other choice but to live in those neighborhoods, are enduring ridiculous conditions that no one ought to have to put up with.

But listening to the political people trying to use these figures to justify their own partisan rants strikes me as being even more vulgar than the fatalities themselves.

Garry McCarthy, the one-time Chicago Police superintendent who now is amongst the many running for mayor against Rahm Emanuel come next year’s election cycle, took his own pot shots.
GIULIANI: Bringing N.Y. to Chi?

HE CLAIMS EMANUEL’S efforts to improve urban life are ignoring the parts of the city where violence is the problem. Although I can’t help but think no one is going to take seriously this claim coming from McCarthy.

It may be true that those Black Lives Matter activists concerned about police brutality want Emanuel out! But those same activists also blame McCarthy’s police department for escalating their concerns. They’re certainly not about to want him to replace Rahm at City Hall.

McCarthy’s rants come off as trying to shift blame for a problem that escalated during the time he was police superintendent.

The fact that Giuliani (who was New York mayor back in the days when McCarthy was a New York Police Department official) is throwing in his own two cents merely makes the whole issue entirely partisan.

IT MAKES US wonder why Trump himself didn’t jump into the rants, since the man usually isn’t the least bit bashful about using his Twitter account to spew whatever nonsense happens to motivate him on any given day.
TRUMP: How long until he jumps into mix?

It also has us wondering how much any of these officials are really concerned about urban violence in Chicago.

Are they, on a certain level, thankful for weekends such as this past one; because it gives them something to complain about publicly with regards to Chicago? For McCarthy told the Chicago Sun-Times that he accused Emanuel of “mak(ing) everything a diversion” to avoid talking about crime. Listening to such rants makes me wonder if he’s just as guilty of diversionary tactics to focus entirely on this issue.

Although the sad part may be that, to a certain segment of Chicago, the most tragic death of the weekend is none of the above -- but instead that of the suburban Mundelein teenager who died Sunday night due to a seizure suffered while attending Lollapalooza.


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