Black politicians have, of late, been some of the most mealy-mouthed individuals the world has ever seen. Crime in the Black community has been a rampant, ongoing problem for years and, for the most part, those politicians have used the excuses of poverty, bad education and a plethora of other reasons to not forcefully castigate that criminal element.
But now carjacking has become the major crime issue affecting their constituents. From the retired school teacher who had her car taken by a group that included what appeared to be a 12-year-old, to the gentleman who willingly gave up his car keys only to be shot and killed because the idiot thief couldn’t drive it, to the senseless murder of the retired firefighter who was hit with a barrage of bullets from a gang of thieves, none of whom lived in the city. The issue is now front-and-center.
One of the absolute truths coming to the fore about the carjackers are the number of juveniles involved in this criminal behavior. A lot of Black folk love to profess that the kids are doing it without the parents’ knowledge. However, we only have to go back to the summer of 2019, when 14-year-old Jaquan Swopes was shot and killed during the commission of an attempted car theft. His mama went on television and told the world she knew her nephews liked to steal cars, but her anger was directed at the man who shot her child and not at the nephews who involved him in their dastardly deed. His cousin, Diamond Davis, was 18 and the only one charged as an adult. Her sentence for being involved in the crime? One year in prison and one year probation. The others’ cases went to juvenile court, where they probably got nothing in terms of punishment.
Well the chickens are coming home to roost, as Black folk face the reality of Black children and young adults on a rampage of car theft. Worst is that they are already in one stolen car when they carjack another.
What is the real underlying reasons behind all these stolen cars? Is it really just joyriding? Or is it the one year in prison/one year probation that sounds doable, when we have a criminal justice system that even out in Lake County was willing to be lenient when it involved the death of one of the perpetrators?
I’ve always found it interesting that it’s rare to find a Black politician running on a “law and order” campaign. When it involves the police and a Black person, that’s the only time there appears to be pure outrage. However, the current carjacking situation is putting everybody on Front Street, because it’s happening so often. Be it early morning, mid-afternoon, dusk or late at night, the carjacking crews are all over. It is no longer safe to take your groceries out of the car, sit at a stop light or be in front of the old Sears Tower.
We’ve had a couple of aldermen finally speak up, even if one of them did some double-talk. However, the anger from the general population in their wards, is going to make all of the aldermen be accountable for the juvenile justice system and carjackers.
Pay attention, people! Because the decisions that are made by these elected officials will directly affect the outcome should you or I become the victim.