So many crawly things behind Chicago's looting
A couple years ago, I was struck by a long article that ran in Chicago Magazine in 2011, describing how Chicago's Democratic politicians are working hand in glove with Chicago's gangs. The fact that the police could never touch them based on their connections to Democratic political power was why Chicago's violence was so high. I wrote about that here.
The 2011 Chicago Magazine article (hat tip: Instapundit), titled "Gangs and Politicians in Chicago: An Unholy Alliance," described how gangs and Democrats offered protection to one another. Gangs performed the muscle tasks to bring in votes once done by political machines and supplied Democratic pols with drugs on the side, while politicians gave gangs complete immunity from police enforcement. (The article can also be read on Outline here). It was why Chicago was so violent, why Democrats needed to be held to account.
Scroll to June and August this year. We now have mass lootings of certain areas of Chicago in the name of Black Lives Matter, in what its mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has quite persuasively called "organized criminal activity." It's getting worse than it used to be. It's happening repeatedly and more brazenly. And all signs out there that it will happen again.
According to Time:
"When people showed up on Michigan Avenue in the downtown area with U-Haul trucks and cargo vans, and sophisticated equipment used to cut metal, and the methods that were used, and how quickly it got spun up... that wasn't any spontaneous reaction," Lightfoot told TIME in her fifth-floor offices at Chicago's City Hall on Tuesday.
The chaos that unfolded Sunday night, and into the predawn hours Monday, was initially blamed on a police shooting in the city's southside Englewood neighborhood. News of the incident — along with misinformation that a minor had been shot — pinballed on social media, resulting in "caravans" of cars headed north downtown, Lightfoot says.
"To be sure, there are people that did join in that were motivated by lots of different reasons, and certainly were motivated by social media posts encouraging people to come downtown," Lightfoot says. "But the core of what happened — that's organized criminal activity... It was a planned attack."
"We're still going through lots and lots of video tape," Lightfoot says. "But people were able to fairly quickly take out cash registers, ATM machines, cut through metal grate, and to get beyond and behind security systems that are pretty sophisticated. That's not your average looter.
So, more likely, what happened in Chicago was some kind of power struggle. It's an ongoing power struggle, and obviously there are some new players.
That certainly would explain Lightfoot's sudden interest in getting tough with the looters, calling out the corrupt prosecutors such as Kim Foxx, establishing a looting task force, and calling in the feds. She is, after all, left-wing. Imagine a guy like Bill de Blasio doing that — wouldn't happen. All the other left-wing mayors have kowtowed to the looters, keeping the feds out, letting the rioters go, and blaming Trump.
But not Lightfoot. For here, sure, there was the matter of businesses packing up and leaving — Macy's, for one, wants out. But more likely, if this is the way Chicago works. The mass-organized loot-fest would more likely be the work of Lightfoot's leftist political opponents, threatening her power base. Her tough stance is a stance for her own survival.
What it shows is what's likely to happen in other blue cities seeing the rise of far-left extremists, which is more violence.
Lightfoot is an ex-prosecutor herself and has an abrasive governing style, calling out opponents by name, as described in this piece here. Here's her name and shame website for aldermen who didn't support her budget, which she considered a big enough deal to create a website for — and which now kind of creates a map outline of politicians who like her and politicians who don't. She has enemies.
Who are her main ones? The Democratic Socialists of America, as it turns out, who are unconditional supporters of Black Lives Matter. In recent years, they have very suddenly proliferated. According to this piece here, there had been just one DSA socialist among the aldermen in Chicago for many years, and now, all of a sudden, there are six of them — in wards 1, 20, 25, 33, 35 and 40. All of them were on her "shame" list over the budget. Chicago's Magnificent Mile, which got targeted for organized looting, is ward 42, and its alderman on her "good" list.
DSA, Marxist itself, is intimately connected to the Marxist activists in Black Lives Matter, which is making threatening noises about continuing the violence. Note this statement by BLM Chicago organizer Ariel Atkins to the press:
Atkins has justified the widespread looting in Chicago as "reparations" — and claimed it doesn't matter because the ransacked stores "have insurance."
Speaking Monday at a rally outside the South Loop police station, Ariel Atkins said: "I don't care if someone decides to loot a Gucci or a Macy's or a Nike store, because that makes sure that person eats, that makes sure that person has clothes."
"That is reparations," Atkins added, according to NBC Chicago.
"Anything they wanted to take, they can take it because these businesses have insurance," she said at the rally organized by Black Lives Matter Chicago.
Her BLM has promised more of this for Chicago in this menacing statement here:
"The mayor clearly has not learned anything since May, and she would be wise to understand that the people will keep rising up until the [Chicago Police Department] is abolished and our Black communities are fully invested in," the statement read.
For the record, she's also made the ridiculous claim that the protests were spontaneous, sounding like Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice claiming that the Libyan terror attack of 2012 was just an overexcited mob protesting a video.
With Black Lives Matter also connected to gangs as well as socialists, it seems pretty obvious that their agenda is to burn the city down, chasing out conventional Democrats and leaving just leftist crazies to control it.
Lightfoot is obviously no slouch in knowing how dirty Chicago politics work, which is why she can see the outlines of these new unholy alliances of gangs, rabid leftists, and political enemies coming together. It's a new phenomenon, with new power players entering the scene and new grabs for power through violence at the expense of the existing blue structures. In places where DSA is rising and voters are in tight with them, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's New York and Rep. llhan Omar's Minneapolis, the dynamic may just be repeated.
Lightfoot is fighting back, ironically, because as Robert Conquest once said, everyone is a conservative about things he knows best. The disintegration of Chicago is the disintegration of the left, with all sorts of crawly things coming out.
Image credit: ABC News via shareable YouTube screen shot.