Dear President Trump, no offense, but butt out.
We don’t need the “feds” — whether fedora wearing, Tommy gun-toting G-men, or federally mobilized troops — patrolling Chicago streets. We reject your brand of “law and order.”
Condemn your stiff-necked “stop and frisk” policing philosophy that historically, for us black folks, has not meant justice — only “just us.”
Just us — wrongly stopped and frisked. Just us — cuffed and beaten. Most likely labeled as criminal suspect: male, black and breathing in America. Presumed guilty until proven innocent.
Thanks, but no thanks, Mr. President. Unless you’re talking about sending us some federal love rather than your federal whipping stick. We are not your Negroes.
We reject your final solution conjured within your ivory tower. For you have not expressed even the slightest understanding of the complex root of the violence that encompasses poor black and brown communities. (Note: Steve Harvey is not the ambassador of Chicago streets. Neither is some slick-talking jackleg Cleveland preacher. Not Ben Carson. Not Omarosa.)
No one here would deny we’ve got a problem with more than 4,000 people shot last year and nearly 800 murders. Or that local leadership — from City Hall to the church house to our own houses — has failed.
But your tweets and quips about Chicago appear more like knee-jerk reactions of a gravely ill-informed outsider. Any serious plan would clearly warrant input from those who have labored here in the trenches for years, seeking peaceful solutions and holistic healing rather than more bullets, bodies and bloodshed.
I sense in your words no compassion. See in your eyes a far away elitist stare and disconnection from the plight of black souls and bodies in America where the color line
Why should we trust you?
Some of us still remember the full-page ad placed by “Donald J. Trump” in major New York newspapers in 1989 amid the Central Park Jogger rape and beating case. The ad blared, “Bring back the death penalty. Bring back our police!”
“Yes, Mayor Koch, I want to hate these murderers and I always will,” your ad read. “I am not looking to psychoanalyze or understand them, I am looking to punish them.”
Except the five black and Latino teens accused were wrongly convicted and subsequently exonerated after the real killer — with DNA to match — confessed years later.
My point is: From the outside looking in, the problem here appears to be “violence.” But see, here’s the thing: Violence is only the symptom.
Sending in the “feds” won’t address intractable poverty. It won’t deal with affordable housing. It won’t tackle unfair lending practices and redlining. It won’t attack hyper-segregation, or unemployment. It won’t resuscitate an American dream too long deferred in neighborhoods on the other side of the tracks.
You want to help Chicago, Mr. President?
Then consider federally funded programs and assistance to help rebuild neighborhoods where you propose exacting law and order. Consider coming here, sitting down and looking into the eyes of the good people here and asking what they need.
I can assure you that it isn’t more guns. Nor the transformation of their neighborhoods into militarized zones, where all of Chicago’s children would become potential targets of feds sent in to “fix” the problem.
By the way, how did Chicago become the poster boy for urban violence anyway, when there are a good number of other cities with higher murder rates? How about Baltimore? Or Detroit? Or even Washington, D.C., which happens to be much closer to where you live?
Dear Mr. President, how about sweeping around your own front door before you try to sweep around mine?
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