On October 20, 2014, Jason Van Dyke, a white Chicago police officer, shot and killed Laquann McDonald, a black teenager. Mr. McDonald had a knife but never was closer than fifteen feet from Mr. Van Dyke. Mr. Van Dyke, who began shooting within six seconds of arriving on the scene and exiting his squad car, fired sixteen rounds in fourteen seconds. Two rounds hit Mr. McDonald while he was standing and the remaining fourteen rounds hit him while he was on the ground already dying. Mr. Van Dyke was reloading his semi-automatic pistol when he was stopped by other police officers. The entire incident was videotaped by a “dashcam” in a police car and was immediately available to the police and prosecutors.
At the time of Mr. McDonald’s death, Rahm Emanuel, the white mayor of Chicago, was locked in a close race for re-election with an Hispanic Cook County Commissioner, Jesus Garcia. Despite having won his first election as mayor by a huge margin in 2011, Mr. Emanuel was unable to achieve a majority vote during the February 23, 2015 election. A runoff election was held on April 7 and Mr. Emanuel won. African-Americans make up approximately one-third of the electorate in Chicago and their support is critical for any citywide candidate.
According to a March 2, 2015 Reuters Report Mr. Emanuel won the 2011 election with 59 percent of the African-American vote. By the time of the 2015 election Mr. Emanuel’s support had dropped to 42 percent:
“Emanuel’s backing in predominantly black wards slipped to just 42 percent, from about 59 percent in 2011, according to the Illinois Election Data web site, while Garcia had 26 percent of the votes. The other 32 percent in those wards went to the three other candidates – two blacks and one white – who have now been eliminated from the race, leaving those votes up for grabs.”
Despite having immediate access to the “dashcam” video of the slaying of Mr. McDonald, acknowledgement of the existence of the video and then release of the video was suppressed for over 400 days. Complicit in this cover up are Mr. Emanuel, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy and state’s attorney Anita Alvarez.
In the aftermath of the shooting, President Barack Obama did NOT issue a statement. Mr. Obama’s Department of Justice did NOT announce an investigation into a potential violation of Mr. McDonald’s civil rights and a systematic review of the practices and procedures of the Chicago Police Department. The Federal Bureau of Investigation did NOT flood the Chicago area with agents with countless interviews, investigative subpoenas and timely leaks.
But Mr. Emanuel was the former chief-of-staff and close personal friend of President Barack Obama – himself a product of the Chicago Democrat political machine. Mr. Obama helped Mr. Emanuel in both the 2011 and 2015 elections and was a key to his victory in both. Not a single eyebrow was raised by Mr. Obama or members of his administration. Even Mr. Obama’s personal race hustler, Rev. Al Sharpton remained mute about the Chicago killing until after the recent release of the videotape – some 400 days after the fact.
The African-American community, like elsewhere in the country’s major urban centers, has reliably given the Democrat party and its candidates between eighty-five and ninety percent of its votes – even in Chicago where the African-American vote was divided amongst several candidates – some African-American, some Hispanic and all Democrats. This phenomenon has continued for fifty plus years. So reliable has the black vote been for Democrats that it is now taken for granted. Far from the improvement in lives promised by successive Democrat candidates and office holders, the lives of African-Americans have actually deteriorated under Democrats and particularly under President Barack Obama, the first putative African-American president. The Gateway Pundit, in a January 13, 2014 article, reported that the labor participation rate for black men had dropped to 65.6 – the lowest rate on record. The decline paralleled a decline in the unemployment rate for black men which signals that, out of frustration and lack of opportunity, they have simply given up looking for employment.
The Pew Research Center in 2014 published a report on wealth inequality that stated in part:
“The Great Recession, fueled by the crises in the housing and financial markets, was universally hard on the net worth of American families. But even as the economic recovery has begun to mend asset prices, not all households have benefited alike, and wealth inequality has widened along racial and ethnic lines.
“The wealth of white households was 13 times the median wealth of black households in 2013, compared with eight times the wealth in 2010, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances. Likewise, the wealth of white households is now more than 10 times the wealth of Hispanic households, compared with nine times the wealth in 2010.
“The current gap between blacks and whites has reached its highest point since 1989, when whites had 17 times the wealth of black households. The current white-to-Hispanic wealth ratio has reached a level not seen since 2001. (Asians and other racial groups are not separately identified in the public-use versions of the Fed’s survey.)”
And Breitbart News reported recently on an interview with Zerlina Smith, an African American community activist in Chicago:
“Although she’s on a political left, Smith feels betrayed by the Democrats who run the city, telling Breitbart News, ‘For the first time since I’ve been able to vote—I’m 38 years old—I chose not to vote because I felt there was not a candidate on the ballot who I thought was truly going to represent the people.’”
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“Many protestors at Black Friday’s Michigan Avenue shutdown were angry at Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Smith, who was part of the protest, is no exception, telling Breitbart News, “Our mayor has lied one too many times to the people of Chicago and it’s time for him to step down” and criticizing the Democrat Emanuel saying, “’If he wants to really be a leader, he need to take control and start cleaning up his mess internally and shoveling his shit out.’”
“Smith agreed with the assessment that there is a rift between traditional black activists and high-profile Democrat establishment Black Friday protest participants like Rev. Jesse Jackson, Congressman, Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL), Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL) and the grassroots black community.
“’Don’t come out and use the death of our children,’ Smith said of the Democrats in Chicago, a city storied for its corruption. ‘You have elected officials who have the power to bring about change in our community. They’re on the take.’”
“Smith finished with a blunt take on the Democrats. ‘Our elected officials are puppets, and they do what they’re told because they have a dollar amount and an X on their back by the Mayor, by the Governor, by whomever that they can be bought by.’”
I realize that Zerlina Smith does not speak for the African-American community in Chicago or anywhere else. But she does recognize that the Democrat party has become so accustomed to an overwhelming Black vote that it feigns concern over the plight of their communities and does nothing about changing the conditions of their poverty, street crime, and despondency over their future. It was not that long ago that Chicago police and the Democrat politicians that supported them were so callous about the conditions of the African-American community that many crimes were recorded and left uninvestigated because they were designated NHI – No Humans Involved.
There is a lot of blame to pass around in the death of Laquann McDonald including Mr. McDonald who was apparently high on drugs and brandishing a knife – nothing that Mr. McDonald did justified his killing. In order of priority they are:
- Officer Jason Van Dyke for pulling the trigger sixteen times.
- Mayor Rahm Emanuel who put re-election ahead of justice and covered up the release of the video demonstrating the shooting.
- Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and State’s Attorney Anita Alverez for cooperating in the cover-up.
- The police and public employee unions for creating a grievance procedure that makes it nearly impossible to discipline or discharge errant, negligent or purposefully belligerent employees.
- The Democrat Party who has paid lip service to the plight of African-Americans and has chosen to throw welfare expansion as the universal solution to that community’s problems.
- The professional Black Leaders for blindly leading the African-American community into years of support for Democrats who have done nothing to improve Black lives but who have enriched their own coffers through abuse of governmental programs and race-hustling the business community.
- And the Republican Party for failing to call foul on the Democrat welfare programs and provide solutions that lead to a path for prosperity.
The promise of something for nothing is intoxicating, but in the end you find that something for nothing leads invariably to less than nothing.