Rep. Rush Calls Senator’s Gang Plan “Upper Class Elitist White Boy Solution”

Rep. Rush Calls Senator’s Gang Plan “Upper Class Elitist White Boy Solution”

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Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL) called a gang plan advanced by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) an “upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about.”

Rush was responding to comments by Kirk after Kirk and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) attended a meeting on Chicago’s gang problem. Over 500 people were murdered in 2012 in Chicago. Kirk’s plan would spend $30 million to stop gang violence and target a Chicago gang called the Gangster Disciples.

Mr. Rush made the comments during an interview with the Chicago Sun-Times. In a written statement released after the interview, Rush said Sen. Kirk’s plan: “…does not include the option to create jobs, provide affordable and safe housing, quality health care and improve schools in urban areas, BUT certainly a plan to incarcerate 18,000 black men is elitist. Why is incarceration the sole option instead of rehabilitation which is proven to work and not locking young men up…”

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It’s unknown whether Senators Kirk or Durbin have supported the Youth PROMISE Act in the Senate. That comprehensive violence prevention legislation has been offered on the House side by Reps. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) and in 2010 had the support of 235 co-sponsors including 19 Republicans. The legislation was recently endorsed by a large number of civil rights leaders and entertainers in a letter to President Obama in April.

On May 2, Sen. Kirk told Fox 32 in Chicago that “My top priority is to arrest the Gangster Disciple gang, which is 18,000 people. I would like to have a mass pickup of them and put them all in the Thomson Correctional Facility.”

“They usually say, when you talk about 18,000 arrests, ‘Oh! That’s a lot… You know, I’ve talked with federal judges about how we could handle hundreds of defendants, especially with senior Judge Holderman,” Kirk added.

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Sen. Durbin has pushed for the opening of Thompson Correction Center — a supermax prison that was supposed to house gitmo detainees but is now empty. The facility was to create 1,100 jobs. In Oct 2012, Durbin announced that the Obama administration and Federal Bureau of Prisons was buying Thomson Correctional Center from Illinois for $165 million. That proposal would lead to the opening of the prison by 2014.

3 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t think would end with local authorities. DHS has invested in riot gear for 7000 for a reason. It’s not only about CHICAGO, or gangs. It’s about BLACK people. No coincidence it’s in CHICAGO, very close to another mid-west city ST. LOUIS ( GATEWAY TO THE WEST). I believe what happens in CHICAGO will spread EAST AND WEST. They may feel threatened but there’s an opportunity for CHICAGO to lead. I’m praying the gangs themselves can at least keep a lid on activity that involves schools. It’s time we set aside our petty differences. I’m praying the only way BLACKS can do what’s better for the whole of us can start in CHICAGO and not require a whip@our backs or a gun over our heads.

  2. We must pressure This Administration to abandon the current War Policies and The Criminalizing of Black and Brown Citizens. We should pursue a Peaceful Platform that Reallocates our Resources into the needs of our Citizens,not The Prisons and The Pentagon Budget…It Exposes just how shameful The American Justice and Penal System operates in The United States…Still, Americans continue to be Plagued by Massive Unemployment, Forclosures, The Threat of Austerity and Economic Insecurity. While those who caused The Problems have More Power and Profit Than Ever…They continue to Watch Millions of Their Citizens be Incarcerated for Minor Crimes while the Most Powerful are Free to Commit More Serious Crimes with Complete Impunity…America has Criminalize More of Their Citizens,Than any Civilized Country in The World…We Criminalize Everything, Bury People under any Charge they can Think of, and then Lock Them Up….We fail to Realize that this Causes Future Consequences that Continue to Perpetuate the Cycle of Incarceration and Weaken the Job Pool that is Necessary for America to Compete in The World Economy…We Should Invest in Human Capital,not The Prison Industrial Complex…Wake up America!

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