The only way to stop the cycle of violence that resulted in more than 500 homicides in Chicago last year and regularly takes the lives of innocent victims such as 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson argued on Saturday, is a sort of Marshall Plan for urban America, to repair infrastructure, build homes, invest in education, and cultivate and keep jobs.
Rev. Jackson made his impassioned remarks at the regular Saturday morning forum at Rainbow-PUSH headquarters, 930 E. 50th St.
Though slavery ended in the mid-19th century, the effects of being an enslaved people still affect African-American communities in the early part of the 21st century, Jackson said. And while members of the community may be urged to turn away from the “no-snitch” culture to share information about crimes with police, Jackson said this “no-snitch” idea “is learned behavior,” and it is learned from the police. He said those who live in communities besieged by violence have seen the very police they are urged to share information with practice “not snitching” when it has come to protecting their own.
Last month, when he joined Rev. Jackson at a PUSH forum on violence and gun control, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy noted the distrust of police in these communities, based on the past history between police and these communities, and he said that because of this it’s difficult to simply ask people to reject the “no snitch” culture. “I’m not here to defend the indefensible” actions of some police officers, he said last month, but McCarthy stressed that, “you are not a snitch if you are a witness or a victim to a crime.”
Jackson on Saturday said that with billions of dollars from American firms going overseas, and being used for building projects of all types here, surely there is money available to spend on a “reconstruction” of impoverished communities in this country.
Money was there for bank bailouts, he argued. “The banks have robbed us. The banks have foreclosed on us,” Jackson said. “The banks got bailed out by the government and we got locked out.” Jackson said, “the government should build … (to) wipe out poverty.”
He called the trail of guns and drugs into America’s cities and jobs being moved out, to places such as Mexico and China, “a formula for death.”
“We know where the guns are manufactured,” he said. “they’re not manufactured in Chicago.”
“My biggest fear about the gun violence in Chicago,” Jackson said, “is that we might get adjusted to it.”
© Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC
CHICAGO (AP) - The Rev. Jesse Jackson is calling on President Barack Obama to return to Chicago and approve federal intervention to address the soaring number of deadly shootings.
At a press conference Saturday, Jackson said Chicago is in the midst of a crisis unlike any other city and that Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the police department can't handle it on their own.
He says a visit by Obama to the area where the president once worked as a community organizer would show "ultimate national seriousness."
The civil rights leader spoke prior to a march in memory of gun violence victims.
He supports an assault weapons ban and a federal crackdown on gun and drug trafficking.
But Jackson says the area also needs an urban reconstruction program that addresses poverty, education and unemployment.
Copyright © 2013 Associated Press