GANGS HAVE CHANGED STRATEGY, YET WE HAVEN’T CHANGED OURS FOR YEARS – #71

The frustrations mount as we find people discussing whether it’s the police, the gangs, the politicians who are responsible for the Chicago violence we the residents are facing weekly.

In early 2019 a report called “The Fracturing of Gangs and Violence in Chicago” prepared by Teresa Cordova of “The Great Cities Institute” illuminates how the structure of African American gangs has changed.  The gangs are not vertical hierarchies with leaders at the top calling the shots – instead they are fragmented horizontal cliques that seldom see a leader calling the shots nor are the cliques connected to one another, names of these cliques are often inspired by rap lyrics or a slain member.

While the perpetrators of violence may be gang members, the report found that much of the violence is the product of interpersonal disputes and retaliation, unrelated to traditional gang rivalries or drug markets. “Hypersensitivity” to insult is a result of socioeconomic conditions in households and neighborhoods underlying interpersonal disputes driven by a search for dignity and respect, often denied because it can’t exist if you as a young African male face the following on the South side of Chicago:

  1. Large effort shown in the Demolition of Chicago Housing Authority projects which has left large empty lots for youngsters to look at.
  2. Plenty of males standing around in bunches looking at no work on every corner of block after block of unemployed males. The look of this decay of human talent reminds me of areas I knew as the Chicago Stock Yards that provided work and a form of economic stability. My immigrant father could find work at the Stock Yards upon arriving in the U.S., but that opportunity for employment does not exist for recent legal/illegal immigrants or existing residents.
  3. The closing of 80 Chicago Public Schools per a 2010 Plan led to the displacement many young immigrants and African males.  The recent closing of 50 more schools further deepened both the exit from schools and cross-neighborhood violence.
  4. Focusing on gang leaders is “outdated” and “ineffective” due to focusing on single individuals and overlooking a series of contributing factors.

Let’s put our facts on the table as a result of tools that we have described in BLOG #2– we know there is a problem – what is the problem? At this point, what do you think the problem is?

Let me share my thoughts through the eyes of a young black man who has a minimum 6th grade education, but is making 10 X the hourly rate he can make as an employee at the local franchise restaurant where he doesn’t have a chance of advancement. He’s a product of the huge drug business that is generating everyone from politicians, policemen, dealers to be receiving bribes that they have become accustomed to for the last 5-20 years.  This is the problem, as my young Blackman drives his brand new Cadillac around, looking to expand his turf, and in doing this creates the turf-battle shootings we see every weekend. Why or where could he lead as good a life as he is currently living – he couldn’t live this experience working at a franchise restaurant for a minimum wage. All the people mentioned above are not working for the residents but they are working for the biggest Drug –Traffic – Ring in the world, and they will not reject bribes through absolutely turning the other way as these drugs come up to Chicago due to a borderless condition in the Southern part of the U.S. and the city enjoying the status of being a Sanctuary City which provides plenty of operating room for the bad guys in making this a king-sized Drug –Trafficking – Ring.

  • Number One priority has to be getting rid of Drugs. That’s why I recommended the Use of the National Guard plus every domestic federal agency that had any expertise in the Drug area.
  • This will take money and time. Money we don’t have, therefore, President Trump will have to front-load this requirement both with money and people needed for this long time investment.  After all, if we can get things under control, it will provide blue-prints for solutions in Sanctuary Cities that will inherit Chicago’s problems. Does he have a choice? The City of Chicago is too crooked, and will require help from our Federal Government.
  • Second Priority is to get POLICE Officers into a state of mind to-get-all hands-onboard with the goal of removing drugs and drug-related shootings.  A plan has to be developed and implemented, the plan should be a one-page plan as described in Blog #9. Insisting on one page, will direct the brevity and focus on key strategies that should be covered by 0ne word. If federal support will be used, let’s make sure that the words, when-where-what-who, appear to assure that collaborative efforts ar implemented on a timely basis.
  • Third Priority is to get Officers out of their squad cars and from behind desks through innovative approaches.  The current minimal efforts that are addressing “transactional” to “community” policing which plays out on the streets and requires involvement of residents which might not be easy to achieve.  The accountability factor for everyone is to collaborate or face serious consequences of violating existing or future laws. The consequences will be difficult to develop due to the fact that the residents will be losing illegal income streams – in many cases they don’t pay Federal and State Income taxes. However, the residents can’t have it both ways –safety on the streets and in neighborhoods, attendance in top notch schools plus other Chicago benefits and services that should be accruing to every Chicago resident.
  • Fourth Priority – unless we win over the residents, this whole effort will fail like the previous ones. Neither the CPD, City, County and State government have the trust of the people who are residents of High Crime areas. Therefore, we have to overcome the absence of trust on the part of the resident. Our strategies and approaches have to change rapidly.
  • Fifth Priority is the involvement of the business community has to be one of commitment and   involvement.  What have they been doing up to now?

MANAGEMENT LESSON:

UNLESS YOUR BUSINESS HAS THE TRUST OF THE EMPLOYEES IN MANAGEMENT – YOU HAVE A TOUGH JOB AHEAD OF YOU TO CORRECT THAT SITUATION.