As we begin the second month of 2017, there is still a heartbreaking amount of crime happening in Chicago. The city has become known as Murder Capital USA, with murders and shootings reaching historic levels.
During the early days of his tenure, President Trump chimed in on the crime issue.
If Chicago doesn't fix the horrible "carnage" going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
Now, granted, the crime is out of control in the Windy City, but we should nonetheless remain skeptical of any federal involvement in such issues. The traditional conservative skepticism of big government, even Republican-managed big government, must not fade during Trump’s tenure.
However, maybe that won’t even be necessary; maybe President Trump won’t have a justification for sending in the Feds, the FBI, DEA, and plethora of other agencies.
Why? Because the olive branch is actually being extended to him from where the crime is taking place. That’s right, the gangs of Chicago are actually saying that they want to work with the Trump administration to stop the killings there.
Dr. Darrell Scott, an Ohio pastor, recently had a sit-down at the White House as part of African-American History Month. He brought up in the meeting that gang leaders had actually contacted him and expressed a desire to have a “sit-down” of their own, according to Fox News.
The “sit-down” may just be between Scott and the gang leaders, but the pastor made clear they want to “work with” the administration to curb the violence in the city.
“They respect you. They believe in what you’re doing,” he said.
“It’s a great idea because Chicago is totally out of control,” Trump said.
Scott stated that when he sits down with the gang leaders, he will work with them to ensure that they are committed to curtailing the carnage. If they do, then he pledges that he will come in with social programs to assist those in need.
Something that’s even more shocking is the fact that the gang leaders did not believe in the Obama administration, despite the idea that only the Left cares about the violence problem in Chicago and other major US cities.
They reached out to me. They want to work with this administration. … They didn’t believe in the prior administration, they told me this out of their mouths.”
“I love that,” Trump said.
The fact that the gang leaders did not believe in Obama is at first surprising, but after some careful thought it is completely understandable. President Obama did not bring peace and harmony to the United States. If anything, the nation is more divided than when he took office.
Especially given that Chicago is the former President’s home town, the fact that he has seemed to neglect his roots is a contributing factor for sure. However, the gangs of Chicago have a different perspective with the new President, one where they appear to be willing to come together peacefully, and work on solutions that will legitimately stop the violence.
One of those measures has to be addressing the broken family unit, which I contend is the leading factor in crime and gang violence. In July of 2016, I wrote an editorial on the issue of safe communities and family structure. The driving factor is a breakdown of the family.
As The Atlantic noted in 2013, more than 70% of births in the black community take place out of wedlock. What this means is that there is not the same kind of responsibility that there is when a birth takes place within a marriage.
When a man and a woman are married, they have made the commitment to stay together and raise a family together. But when births take place outside of that structure, many times fathers tend to disappear because they are not taken the commitment to accept responsibility for their actions.
Don’t take this the wrong way; this applies universally, white, black, Latino, Asian, Arab, etc. Whatever your ethnicity, births that take place out of wedlock often lead to familial problems such as single parent households.
When a mom and dad are not present in the home, the children do not receive the balance that is so critical to proper development. A mother’s nurturing, and a father’s discipline are both equally necessary to raise up children well in a society. When both parents are in the home, children find the love and identity and sense of belonging that is such a fundamental need for human existence.
There may be cases where a single parent can do the job of both, but on a societal level it does not work. Our clearest evidence of that is the disproportionate crimes rates in the black community where illegitimate births are the norm rather than the exception.
It is a tremendous step forward, that the gang leaders themselves want to work with the administration to solve these issues. Interactions between community and government leaders is critical to solving complex issues such as mass crime.
However, the root of the cause must still be addressed, though that will take many years to repair.