It was only two weeks ago that Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel pleaded with armed gangs to aim more carefully during their street battles, appealing to their ???values??? ??? which he also said were ???the wrong values??? ??? as he asked, ???Don???t touch the children of the city of Chicago. Don???t come near them.???
The Mayor???s strategy doesn???t seem to have worked very well, so as the Chicago Sun-Times reported, Louis Farrakhan took five hundred ???Fruit of Islam??? members out to patrol the streets. According to one representative of a tough South Side neighborhood, ???It was historic. I had residents crying -men and women that have been in the community fighting – crying to see it??? The minister had 500 well-dressed, well-spoken black men in suits go out on the street. They weren???t all with the minister. They spread out. We gave them some of our hardest locations in the 6th district.???
As the Sun-Times delicately put it, ???Farrakhan is regularly condemned in mainstream media for comments about Jews. For that reason, he rarely speaks to the press.??? He settled for issuing a short statement through a presumably well-dressed and well-spoken representative: ???I do not want to talk at this time because we have done too much talking already and not enough action. So we are focusing our attention on action and we want to let our results, God willing, speak for us.???
The Fruit of Islam seems to have knocked the socks off Rev. Michael Pfleger of the Faith Community of St. Sabina Church, who testified, ???What I saw was a number of brothers in all different sections of the area passing out DVDs of the minister???s speeches, as well as folders with the ???Million Man Pledge.??? They were interacting. They were saying we can live in peace??? Now, the kids have seen it live on the street. Seeing these powerful young brothers of the Nation in suits and ties on the streets gives encouragement and hope.???
Another such event is scheduled for next week, and the Nation of Islam announced big plans to ???create a local organizational structure made up of members of the Nation of Islam and other stakeholders, activists and community organizations,??? as the Sun-Times puts it. These plans encompass not just Chicago, but ???more than 100 cities where the Nation of Islam has a mosque or study group.???
This appears to be a realistic agenda, at least in Chicago, because the Chicago Police commander of the 6th District was reportedly involved in their march, and the Chicago P.D. officially ???welcomes the support of faith-based organizations to help lend a voice to the violence and other challenges affecting our neighborhoods and most importantly, our children.???
This is what happens when a horrific failure of government leaves the streets in chaos, and a vacuum of authority is created. Someone always steps forward to fill the vacuum, but it might not be the most savory candidate. And if it seems to be working, can you blame the people of these war-torn neighborhoods – who just watched their hapless Mayor beg for more discrete gang slayings – for welcoming anyone who actually reduces the amount of hot lead flying through the air? Anarchy is so repellent that it makes many other things appear less repellent by comparison.