Who’s to blame for looting? Everyone, someone and somebody else

When everyone is responsible, that means no one is responsible. “Everyone” will never stand up and accept blame.

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A window is shattered at a Timberland store on Michigan Avenue, the scene of widespread looting late Sunday and early Monday.

Scott Olson/Getty Images

This is awful. It has to stop. Looting by gangs, shooting in the streets of Chicago, drug dealing, and a complete lack of respect for those in authority by gosh.

Who is responsible?

Someone else. It is always someone else. Everyone else.

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During a Monday morning news conference, immediately following the outbreak of looting, Mayor Lightfoot and her police chief seemed to point their finger directly at the Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx and the Cook County court system.

The looting happened, the police superintendent said, because the last time it happened there were no consequences for those responsible.

Those arrested were allowed back onto the streets without punishment.

The mayor said pretty much the same thing.

But when a reporter followed up asking the two leaders to name the people in authority who were responsible, the mayor suddenly became angry and elusive.

The news media wasn’t going to get her to pit one political leader against another at this critical time, she said in obvious anger. She wasn’t going to be tricked into that sort of thing.

OK. So why mention that stuff about going soft on criminals? What’s the point?

Everyone must join in to stop this sort of behavior, the mayor said.

Well, when everyone is responsible, that means no one is responsible. “Everyone” is never going to stand up and say they’re at fault.

Ifthe community was stepping up, 18-month-old children in car seats, 8-year-olds on front porches, and 12-year-olds on playgrounds would not be getting shot on a regular basis.

It’s the guns, claims the police superintendent.

No doubt about it. But why is it that the people who live in Chicago have so little disregard for human life? And if they have so little regard for human life, why in the world would looters have any respect for the property of other people?

Leaders need to come together. Church leaders, civic leaders, business leaders and political leaders. That’s what “Everyone” says every time the outlaws take over the streets of the city.

And then it happens again. And people die.

The courts need to get tougher; people say.

But they also say that cash bail systems don’t work. We need to let the poor criminals back out on the streets pending trial.

Kim Foxx, the state’s attorney, says it’s not her fault. Everyone needs to pitch in to make things better. Don’t go blaming her. Remember the bad old days when police beat false confessions out of people and the city paid millions of dollars out in lawsuits, she said.

Of course, somewhere community protestors are chanting defund the police department,whatever that means.

We need to spend more to create jobs and opportunities for inner city people.

But inner-city people lose their jobs when stores are boarded up due to looting. Inner city people are the ones being preyed upon by street gangs and drug dealers.

Organized gangs using social media were behind the looting, say the people in charge of Chicago, and police couldn’t stop them even when notified in advance.

Wow! All right. That’s some sort of statement right there.

Leadership is what’s needed. That means someone saying, “I am your mayor and I’ve got this.”

Or, I am police chief and I will protect you and your children and your property from harm.

Or, I am the prosecutor and I will send the bad folks to prison.

We all saw the people hauling their loot out of storefronts, leisurely walking away, or jumping into waiting caravans of cars, leaving behind a trail of destruction.

It’s scary. It’s sad. Chicago is a great city; we were repeatedly told by “Everyone.”

You don’t have to keep saying it if it’s true.

Email: philkadner@gmail.com

Send letters to letters@suntimes.com.

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