Monday, June 15, 2009

Jesse Jackson, Violence in Rogers Park, and Liberal Magic

A letter from Michael Harrington, community activist, gives us a report of Jesse Jackson, Sr.'s visit to Rogers Park, Chicago on June 10, 2009. Jackson, known for his extortion of businesses and hateful, bigoted remarks over the decades, spoke to the congregation of United Church of Rogers Park about crime. Violent crime, that is, not the extortion that he's been involved in for many years. Both Jackson and the church's pastor, Catania McKay, spoke about safety issues. We hope for the safety of everyone that nobody broke a foot or leg on the church's extremely dangerous steps. Pastor McKay said that she "would like to see peace poles all over this community to claim that there is no space for violence here." The good pastor is apparently deluded enough to believe that gangsters defending their drug turf will actually give a rat's ass about "peace polls." Mr. Harrington makes referrence to the December, 2008 stabbing murder of a 16-year old boy near the Jarvis CTA station. Tragic, yes. If only there had been a peace poll nearby to stop the murder, I'm sure that the young man would not have been brutally attacked by homicidal lunatics. The lunatics would have seen the peace poll, felt its magical liberal message of love, and decided right then and there to hug him instead of killing him. Right? It's almost as silly as the banner on the side of the church that says "This congregation rejects war." Fat lot of good that's done. Look, I count Michael as a friend. He's a very nice guy. It's just that he and others are so misguided in thinking that "peace poles" or "claiming the neighborhood" will actually do any good. Lawlessness and thuggery are not defeated by empty statements and candlelight vigils, or by disarming our law abiding citizens. Magical leftist chanting couldn't levitate the Pentagon, and it cannot stop criminals from being criminals. That said, and without further adieu, here is Mr. Harrington's letter. Dear Rogers Park Neighbors, The Rev. Jesse Jackson and TV news crews came to our community’s United Church of Rogers Park for a Safe Summer Rally and Peace March today (6-10-09). The event, featured on WLS-TV 7 News, was attended by 100 church members, community residents and activists, and civic leaders supporting Chicago’s citywide campaign to stop gun and gang violence. Our Pastor Catania McKay, speaking at the event at our church at 1545 W. Morse Ave, addressed the anti-violence theme powerfully. Pastor McKay noted, "When we begin to make peace as the way that we live and we claim a neighborhood for peace, I would like to see peace poles all over this community to claim that there is no space for violence here. We are here to transform that." The high incidence of violence in Rogers Park, including the December, 2008 stabbing murder of 16-year-old Isaiah Stroud outside the Jarvis CTA station, and other city neighborhoods with an even higher crime rate were noted in the television station’s story (copied below). A key factor in how we combat crime is how we address the needs of youth. Our church’s Deacon Wesley Dorr outlined the year-round and summer youth programs delivered at United Church, and also spoke to the need for more programs and activities to serve Rogers Park’s youth. Other participants at today's event at United Church included the Rev. Jesse Jackson (who called our city's murder rate "a state of emergency"), Sarita Villareal of the Illinois Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Chicago Police Department. As chairman of our church board of trustees, I join Pastor McKay in “claiming our neighborhood for peace.” I’m also proud that our congregation continues to be proactive on critical issues facing our community and that we are working to help unite our neighbors in common cause. Information on United Church of Rogers Park and the work we do is available at our web site at or by calling us at (773) 761-2500. Peace, Michael J. Harrington, Chairman Board of Trustees United Church of Rogers Park