At Trump’s Black History Month roundtable, longtime black supporter, Darrell Scott, pastor of the New Spirit Revival Center in Cleveland Ohio; announced that some of the “top gang thugs” from Chicago had contacted him to open a discussion about reducing the violence in Chicago; and, to get his, and by extension, Trump’s assistance in this endeavor. I believe that further study will prove Scott’s claims to be either highly exaggerated or completely false.
First, African Americans do not refer to themselves as “thugs”. While it is not unusual for the N word to flow freely in black, company, “thug” is recognized as the racist’s new way to say ni**er without the attendant backlash. It is highly unlikely that any gang member would refer to themselves as a “thug” in this context and they surely wouldn’t agree to work with anyone who used this nomenclature to refer to them.
Second, inner cities are very insular. Residents of one neighborhood often distrust people who live only blocks away because it’s no longer their turf. But Scott claims that Chicago gang leaders chose to ignore the wealth of resources in their own neighborhood; and, chose instead, to contact a little-known preacher of a small church two states away?Had Scott said Cleveland gangs leaders had contacted him, I would still be skeptical but it would be more feasible than Chicago.
Third, if urban inner cities are cliquish, gangs are even more so. They are secret societies. Their colors are worn only by their members in territories where they rule. Where members spend years trying to earn the trust of the group’s leaders. But Scott claims they just chose him and made a quid pro quo offer. According to Scott:
“The gang leaders said they would make an effort to decrease the level of violence currently seen in parts of Chicago if the Trump administration invested in social programs for underprivileged urban residents”
That has to be the single most ridiculous statement I’ve ever read. Chicago is home to one of the nation’s oldest and largest Urban League affiliates, the Chicago Urban League. This affiliate offers everything from an alternative education system, Street Academy, to the very necessary re-entry programs for the formerly incarcerated as well as the more traditional scholarships and training. Chicago is also home to Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/PUSH organization. But Scott wants us to believe that the gang leaders bypassed all of these very specific “social programs” for some nebulous, unnamed programs. And correct me if I’m wrong but don’t republicans claim that Democratic social programs are a lot of what’s wrong with the inner cities?
Trump makes empty promises about improving education in America’s inner cities; yet, his nominee for Secretary of Education would be a death knell for public education for all of the one billion children it serves, especially those in inner cities. If Trump truly wanted to improve employment opportunities in Chicago, he’d move one or two of his factories there and provide residents with concrete jobs, not empty promises.