A REQUIEM FOR A BELEAGUERED CITY/ CHICAGO’S MAGNIFICENT MILE JOINS IN THE MAYHEM/ GHOSTS FROM THE INNER CITY BECOME TEACHERS.
today at 8:40 am
Just a few years ago Cook County States Attorney Kim Foxx was defending herself against allegations that she was so soft on prosecuting criminals Chicago was turning into an outdoor shooting gallery, and she seemed oblivious. About 6 months ago she held a press conference and announced that since she has been in office violent crime has been on the decline. Indeed logic and facts were no match for her idealogy.
Her insouciant attitude was stunning to those of us who were paying attention to the gangs and the rapidly escalating violence Chicago was struggling with. This wasn’t just shoplifters who were not being held accountable, but hardcore thugs committing murder and shooting up entire neighborhoods. There seemed to be a strict policy that arrestees, felons, and gun offenders be given low bonds or no bonds at all. And the theme back then was, well yea! Chicago does have a serious violence problem but IT IS CONFINED TO JUST A FEW INNER-CITY NEIGHBORHOODS. Evidently the inner-city has extended itself to Chicago’s Loop and the toney Magnificent Mile and several other locations that if you classified them as inner-city you would be laughed at and thought of as another politician trying to cover their asses to advance a slowly decaying agenda.
So last week, after 4 people were shot right in the middle of the day on the Magnificent Mile, even the most unctuous, smug, oily politician, would come to realize oh! oh! how am I going to spin midday murder in one of Chicago’s signature neighborhoods? How am I going to spin shootings in front of the Conrad Hilton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, murders and shootings in the South Loop, the Downtown District, the lakefront? Most of Chicago and the County’s politicians, from Mayor Lightfoot, Kim Foxx, Toni Preckwinkle, Chief Judge Evans, and even the Governor J.B. Pritzer were soon realizing someone, the press especially was not buying the “It’s just the inner-city crap.”
I mention Pritzker because even Chicago’s expressways have seen a 100% jump in killings and shootings, and they are the responsibility of the State Police. Another stunning move some years back, the city divesting itself of culpability on its expressways. (a political deal that allowed Lottery machines to be installed at O’Hare Field) Most people are not aware that the violence and shootings and killings on miles of expressways that run through Chicago are not tallied on Chicago’s statistics. While Pritzker, (unfondly called toilets by most folks,) waddles around Chicago babbling about the virus numbers and as far as anyone knows has never once mentioned the stunning violence numbers in Chicago, even though during his campaign for Governor he said he had a plan to stop it. If his plan was stone silence it failed miserably.
Now that the City’s violence, killings and shooting, carjacking, and massive shoplifting gangs have reached levels never seen in many decades, Chicago and Cook County politicians are aware that most of us know that their words in the past were like writings on the sand, destined to disappear. A new reality has set in and the old fictitious benevolence is no longer going to bullshit the news media and the public. Imagine trying to sell the old spin to hundreds of shoppers on the Magnificent Mile witnessing bodies laying bloodied on the street and ducking gunfire and trying to run for cover with loved ones in tow? Disfunction and violence in Chicago are no longer confined to just a few inner-city neighborhoods, a new spin is in order.
The first one to try and at least keep from being thought of as completely clueless, IS none other than Cook County’s States Attorney Kim Foxx, who just 6 months ago was belching and babbling about taking credit for reducing violence, now says, “WE’RE IN REALLY, REALLY, UNCHARTED TERRITORY WHEN IT COMES TO GUN VIOLENCE IN CHICAGO.” It would not have surprised me if Kim Foxx stopped reading books years ago because they interfered with her thinking about herself. Imagine the Chief prosecuting Officer in Cook County not knowing the territory Chicago was in? Custer must have had a better sense that he was in uncharted territory than Kim Foxx.
During her press conference announcing the “uncharted territory epiphany”, she managed to slip in on several occasions that she was born and raised in Cabrini Green. The old born and raised card that she used during her campaign for the States Attorneys office. I cannot imagine anyone born in Chicago who was a prosecutor not knowing that an all-out GANG WAR was happening right before her eyes for months. Carl Von Clausewitz once said, “WAR IS DIPLOMACY BY OTHER MEANS.” One would have to be almost brain dead to not know the gangs were executing their DIPLOMACY by the hundreds each month.
John Kass the great Tribune Columnist recently asked in one of his Columns if Mayor Lightfoot had lost control of the City and why it was so that she seemed to be the only one being held accountable? She has been labeled as Mayor Undertaker, a take on her predecessor Rahm Emanuel being called Mayor Murder. The Magnificent Mile is being called the MAYHEM MILE, and Chicago has been described as the world’s biggest outdoor shooting range in National news coverage. All that while the rest of the politicians remain as quiet as Sewer Covers.
It’s no secret that Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle holds Kim Foxx in a water glass on her desk. Whatever Toni says or wants Kim obeys. Could Preckwinkle be involved in payback for the resounding defeat that Lightfoot tagged her with when they were rivals in the Chicago Mayoral election? Anything is possible in Chicago politics and until those others who have remained silent step up and realize the City is teetering on the brink of becoming Detroit right before their eyes the violence will continue to escalate.