by Dr. Boyce Watkins, BlackBlueDog.com
The city of Chicago is welcoming the help of Min. Louis Farrakhan in the fight to clear the streets of Chicago of it’s spike in violence.
“Whatever we can do to help stop violence, I’m for it — no matter who it comes from. Just like CeaseFire. They have ex-offenders helping to stop the violence. It doesn’t matter, as long as we can stop people from getting killed,” Ald. Walter Burnett told the Chicago Sun-Times.
“I don’t agree with some of [Farrakhan’s] statements. I don’t agree with everything everybody does. But, I do agree with people who are trying to help us save lives.”
Ald. Leslie Hairston says that she is “in regular conversation” with Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam to find ways to curb the violence in the city.
“They are extremely well-organized. They are known for their discipline. That brings attention to the community,” Hairston said.
“Any group that is willing to do something to help fight the violence — they’re welcome.”
Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam have stepped up to the plate to help stop the violence in Chicago. The city has been decimated with a huge spike in violent crimes and homicides, with most of these homicides being black-on-black.
The men, known as the Fruit of Islam, presented themselves last month after 7-year old Heaven Sutton was killed by stray bullets. Heaven is not the only child to have died in recent months. Children of all ages are in such danger that they are unable to even walk to school in some neighborhoods.
CeaseFire, an organization designed to stop the violence, is partnering with the city to mediate gang disputes and help to stop shootings. But the Chicago Fraternal Order of Police is against the alliance, largely due to the fact that the organization is refusing to share its information with police.
But Pat Camden, a spokesperson for the FOP, says that Farrakhan’s participation is more than welcome.
“The last time I checked, Fruit of Islam isn’t convicted felons, are they? That’s a huge difference. And they’re not getting paid by the city,” Camden said.
“Anything that will cut down on the violence because of the lack of manpower, we’re glad to see. It’s people in the community getting involved to stop the violence. He’s part of the community.”
Even Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that Farrakhan’s support is fine and welcome.
“Everyone has a role to play in reducing violence. We all must do our part to make sure our communities are safe,” said Emanuel’s communications director Sarah Hamilton.
The city of Chicago is desperate, because they are faced with a problem that it’s political leaders cannot solve. The violence that the city has long ignored is starting to stain their national reputation, reducing the numbers of businesses and tourists who feel safe coming to the city. No one wants to visit an Americanized version of Beirut, and Chicago is beginning to be known as a perfect place to die.
There is no reason that anyone should object to Farrakhan’s support in stopping the violence. He has a unique ability to go places that no one else can go and persuade people who some consider to be unreachable. The Nation of Islam has the ability to command respect and produce discipline in even the most challenged black men, a valuable skill that should be harnessed and supported in every way imaginable.
The city shouldn’t just provide verbal support to Min. Farrakhan’s initiative, they should provide significant financial support. The South Side of Chicago deserves millions in reparations from the city for years of neglect, leading to inadequate schools, few job opportunities, police brutality/false incarceration and few activities for youth to distract them from participating in gang activity. Some of this money should be put into the hands of those with the bravery to go into the streets and protect little girls like Heaven Sutton.
The future of Chicago might depend heavily on the city’s decision to support Minister Farrakhan. He’s 80-years old, so they cannot allow this opportunity to pass them by. Farrakhan is a great American for making this sacrifice, and this fact should not be ignored.