Chicago Alderman Debunks Mayor Lightfoot: Gangs Responsible for Violence, NOT Racism
Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot claims 'racism' is a 'public health crisis' in the city
A Chicago alderman has debunked claims by the city's far-left Democrat Mayor Lori Lightfoot that "racism" is to blame for a surge in crime and violence.
Alderman Raymond Lopez of Chicago’s 15th Ward heavily criticized Lightfoot for declaring racism a “public health crisis” while claiming it's to blame for the challenges facing the city
On Thursday, Lightfoot blamed “systemic racism” for the hardships minority residents face in the city.
To combat the alleged problem, she is pledging to reappropriate millions of tax dollars from grants issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) after claiming that "systemic racism" is a "public health crisis" in Chicago.
“When we think about racism, many of us think about it in visible and audible forms, but the reality is the insidious nature of systemic racism has other impacts that are every bit as deep and harmful, but often ones that we can’t see, like the impacts on the psyche and other impacts on our bodies that are just as, if not more deadly,” Lightfoot said, as The Daily Wire reported.
However, Alderman Lopez says gang violence is to blame for the problems faced by minority residents, arguing that it has nothing to do with racism.
"Generational gang life isn’t just something that’s encouraged,” Lopez told the Washington Examiner.
"It’s almost revered in some neighborhoods.
"If you really want to get to what is at the heart of a lot of this, it is gangs, and it is the borderline collapse of the family unit in many of our neighborhoods … [Lightfoot] has avoided calling out gangs in our community as a source of violence in our city.”
Lopez told the outlet that residents in the ward he represents are “giving up” on calling the police, as they seem more focused on systemic racism now than combatting gang violence.
He added that kids as young as fourth or fifth grade are involved in gang life, accusing schools of taking a “hugs and kisses” approach to dealing with students who are involved in gangs.
Schools aren’t informing the police about gang affiliations and allowing the criminal justice system to become part of the solution, Lopez said.
Yet Mayor Lightfoot has made it harder for police in Chicago to do their jobs, including her recent policy change that discourages police officers from chasing a suspect who has been accused of a low-level offense lower than a Class A misdemeanor unless the suspect “poses an obvious threat to the community or any person.”
These policies allow low-level offenders to get away with crime, potentially working their way up to bigger crimes until they are eventually caught, at the expense of innocent victims.
This was ignored by Lightfoot last week when she claimed, “At almost every single point in our city’s history, sadly, racism has taken a devastating toll on the health and well-being of our residents of color and particularly those who are black.”
Lopez disagreed with that sentiment as it applies to Chicago’s problems.
"I think it’s a foil to avoid having to deal with [gang and other issues], period,” he told the Examiner.
"Two hundred-plus murders in the city of Chicago, none of them were committed because of racism.
"I can tell you last week’s gang shooting had nothing to do with racism.
"The shooting in Englewood Monday morning, four people shot, three others injured, was not about racism.”