Obama and Hillary: Take Jesse Jackson's 1993 advice on Chicago crime
The black-on-black killings in Chicago were the subject of a famous column by Mike Royko, of the Chicago Tribune, on November 30, 1993, titled "Politically Incorrect, But Right on Target." The column is included in The Best Of Mike Royko, One More Time (University of Chicago Press, 1999).
Royko praises Jesse Jackson for calling attention to the black-on-black homicides in Chicago. Royko reports the famous Jackson quote:
There is nothing more painful to me at this stage of my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then I look around and see someone white and feel relieved.
But the thrust of the column is about the failure of government to be able to do anything about the problem and the need for people to act. The more relevant and important Jackson quote is:
We've got the power right now to stop killing each other….There is a code of silence, based on fear. Our silence is a sanctuary for killers and drug dealers. There must be a market revolt. The victim has to rise up.
That's right. Jesse Jackson is exhorting the blacks in Chicago to stop killing each other, to report crimes to the police, and to act to help themselves.
Now, 26 years later, and the carnage in Chicago reflected by the black-on-black crime numbers is the big daily news. Donald Trump has highlighted the carnage as one more failure by Democrats and specifically Obama. Trump has a point. Obama has done nothing about the Chicago carnage. He was a community organizer in Chicago, a state representative for Chicago, a U.S. senator for Illinois, and president of our country. Yet what has he done or said about the carnage except to call for even stricter gun controls than Chicago already has? Jesse Jackson said more 23 years ago than Obama has said in 23 years as a representative of the city and as president.
Similarly, Hillary Clinton was co-president for eight years, U.S. senator from New York, secretary of state, and current candidate for the presidency, and she controls billions in the Clinton Foundation. What has she done or said about black-on-black crime? Again, nothing, except to blame guns and racism when convenient to push for more gun control.
The situation in Chicago is analogous to the war on terror. Obama and Hillary refused to identify the terrorists as Islamists or Muslim terrorists. Similarly, they refuse to identify the problem as black-on-black crime. As the first black president, Obama could have used the bully pulpit of the presidency to call on blacks to stop killing each other and report crimes to the police and cooperate with the police. Instead, he has blamed crime on the police and racism. As co-president, Hillary could have done something but did not. As presidential candidate, she will be forced to say something, because Trump has raised the issue by his appeal to black voters.
Royko said in 1993 that the biggest physical threat to a black is another black. This was clear to Jesse Jackson on 1993, but it does not seem clear to Obama and Hillary in 2016.