Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is discussing some steps and vigorous attempts to crush Chicago’s greatest gang, the “Gangster Disciples,” and would like to arrest 18,000 of them, in an attack comparable to how Capone was brought down long ago. But not everybody is wowed by Kirk’s vision. Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) predictably enough played the race card, claiming that Kirk’s approach is “headline grabbing,” and is “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about.”
“Elitist” is the knee-jerk word here. Rush also said through his allies of then state Sen. Barack Obama, when challenging him for his congressional seat that Obama was “the white man in blackface” and questioned his affiliation with “elite” institutions such as Harvard and the University of Chicago. He also expressed his empathy for Trayvon Martin by wearing a hoodie on the House floor, and was then ruled out of order for violating dress code.
Kirk, meanwhile, who does know more than nothing about the problem at hand, is suggesting $30 million to gathered to make the arrests possible, “to go after gangs like the GDs … and pick the biggest and baddest for a federal effort.”
“I think it’s completely within the capability of the United Stats government to crush a major urban gang,” said Kirk. “Just think of what the greatest generation did here in Chicago, pretty much crushing the Capone organization.”
A spokesman for Kirk responded to Rush’s criticisms, saying that Kirk’s “commitment to stopping gang violence in our communities goes back more than a decade. The senator will continue to work with Sen. Durbin, Mayor Emanuel, law enforcement and the entire congressional delegation to keep Illinois families safe.”
Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), who sits on the House Appropriations Committee, meanwhile said that “it is not easy getting money out of the House, worthwhile or not,” and suggesting that though “going after a plague in Chicago” was noble, “prosecuting the most serious gun traffickers who put weapons in the hands of gang members” should be a priority.