Bobby Rush calls Mark Kirk's idea to arrest Gangster Disciple members in mass 'an elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about'

(FILE) Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill., delivers opening remarks during a hearing in 2007 in Washington.
May 30, 2013 3:36:55 PM PDT
Congressman Bobby Rush and Senator Mark Kirk are at odds over how to crackdown on gang violence in Chicago.

Politicians talk about all the time about solving Chicago's devastating street violence problem and the latest talk has pitted one Illinois lawmaker against another.

After meeting with the nominee for U.S. attorney Wednesday, Kirk spoke about the use of federal laws to go after one of the largest gangs in Chicago, the Gangster Disciples with mass arrests.

"I think it is completely within the capability of the United States government to crush a major urban gang," Kirk said.

Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush blasted Kirk's comments. He told the Chicago Sun-Times that the senator's proposal is "an elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about."

Congressman Danny Davis admits that he would not have used the language that Rush used.

"I guess he meant as exactly what he said but I interpret as him saying this is not an approach that would be helpful to the problems of violence," Davis said.

However, Davis says he is shocked at Kirk's approach. Locking people up in already overcrowded prisons is not the answer, he said.

Alternatives and options for kids in crime ridden neighborhoods is Reverend Corey Brooks' mission and he says preventing gang violence must begin with politicians like Kirk and Rush on the same page.

"I wish I could get them together to have a meaningful discussion to hear each other out," Brooks said.

Congressman Rush was not available for an interview Thursday.

His office says his comments about Kirk's solution to gang violence were not meant to be about race, just a reaction to a national issue.

As for Kirk's comments, his spokesperson says the senator's commitment to stop gang violence goes back more than a decade.


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