Where are all the frantic press releases from every corporation in America amid the worst mass shooting of black people in Chicago's recent memory? Where are the protests? The demands for more prison time? More cops? Or, if you only get your news from superficial corporate media sources, perhaps you don't know what I'm talking about.
While most people bring flowers and tissues to funerals, that is not the Chicago way. There, they bring guns. According to CBS Chicago, mourners were attending the funeral of Donnie Weathersby, himself a black life cut down at age 31 by gang violence, when a car full of gunmen drove by and sprayed 60 bullets into Rhodes Funeral Services funeral home, wounding as many as 15, some of whom are in serious condition. One of the victims was reportedly a bystander who was not a target of the assailants.
Some of the attendees reportedly shot back at the drive-by shooters, which is in itself peculiar given how hard it is for ordinary people to get a concealed carry license in Chicago. But Chicago is the Sodom and Gomorrah of America, where peaceful citizens can't exercise their rights while gang members carry openly and never face serious consequences for committing violent crimes, including gun crimes.
This is the latest example of how the BLM movement is a complete fraud. The biggest threat to black lives comes from black criminals and gang members:
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, 70 percent of all black victims of violent crime in 2018 were victimized by black criminals.
A huge focus of the BLM movement is to abolish police and abolish incarceration. But once again, who are the victims of jailbreak policies almost every time? Yes, the black lives that absolutely do not matter to the political elites.
This year, the numbers of shootings and homicide victims in Chicago are eclipsing the numbers from last year by approximately 50 percent and are approaching record numbers year-to-date. Rather than spending the past three years fighting against criminal release and weak deterrent against gun felons, Republicans have joined in on the Jared Kushner jailbreak agenda, suggesting that we somehow have an over-incarceration problem. At the same time, when in control of all three branches, Republicans failed to pass a single self-defense or pro-Second Amendment bill, but passed a gun control bill. Gun control without criminal control is a recipe for disaster.
According to UCLA's database on prison releases, Illinois has released over 4,600 criminals from prison and 800 from Cook County Jail.
Even before the acceleration of the jailbreak movement over the past two years, crystalizing during the coronavirus outbreak, incarceration rates have been plummeting. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the black imprisonment rate nationwide has been down 28% from 2008-2018, while the white imprisonment rate dropped by just 13%. The jail incarceration rate for black criminals dropped 30% – to the lowest level since 1990 – while the white incarceration rate actually increased 12% over the past decade.
According to data I tallied from the Illinois Department of Corrections website, the number of Illinois prisoners plummeted 21.86% just in the 27 months from March 31, 2018, through June 2002.
Republicans and Democrats alike have been cheering on this trend and continue to suggest that we still have an over-incarceration problem. But behind all these criminal releases are more victims of crime, most of them black.
How can Republicans agree to throw more money at the states for a coronavirus response in the coming days without conditioning the funds on terminating these releases?
This is not just about the rioting and retreat of the police in major cities. Just because there are no police on the streets doesn't mean that people like you and me start committing crimes. It's the career criminals who commit the most crimes. They have been released over the past few years and increasingly so in recent months. That was the first step of the breakdown in law and order. They are the fuel for the criminal fire, while the war on cops supplied the match to kindle the fuel. This is why crime has been able to spike so high so rapidly in some places, nearly as high as it was before the generation-long decline in violent crime beginning in the 1990s.
This is happening everywhere. In Los Angeles, Jose Enrique Esquivel has been arrested a dozen times for stealing cars since being released under coronavirus jailbreak, and every time, he was set free. There is simply no deterrent.
In a series of tweets, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called the shooters "cowardly" and asserted, "We cannot give shelter to killers."
Actually, Mayor, this is exactly what you have done by releasing so many criminals and declaring war on the cops.
"When a person picks up a gun, we suffer as a city. This cannot be who we are," Lightfoot said.
So why is it that Chicago keeps putting gun felons with violent criminal histories on parole instead of locking them up? Just over the weekend, a man who was on parole despite a history of robbery and burglary convictions dating back 30 years was arrested for beating an elderly woman at Chicago's Union Station.
How hard is it for Republicans to open the BLM narrative and show how its very policies are the ones resulting in all the dead black lives? Yet in an interview with Newsweek, Jared Kushner recently defended his de-incarceration agenda, suggesting that "people need a second chance."
Well, what we are seeing in the justice system today is that they get 5-10 chances or an infinite number of chances, which ensures that many victims of crime don't get a second chance at life. It's easy to blame dead Confederate generals or pictures on food boxes for all the death and misery in inner cities. Leadership to address the source of the problem is what seems to be a rare commodity at this moment.