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Museum Chronicles Chicago's Nefarious Relationship between Local Politics and Street Gangs

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posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 07:51 AM
Okay, I am checking the news this morning and stumble upon a column by Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass. His columns usually consist of local corruption, organized crime, and essentially the nuts and bolts of the "Chicago Way."

He is what I would consider a poor man's Mike Royko. For anyone that is unfamiliar with Mike Royko? Rokyo became famous for his tenacious coverage of the Democrat Machine, his relentless reporting of Chicago corruption, and his poignant observations of improprieties by Chicago's political elite. He was a great columnist. Kass just picked up where he left off.

According to Kass's column, apparently a museum is opening an exhibit about the Vice Lords, a street gang known for its violence. In addition to that exhibit, an exhibit is on display about former political boss, Mayor Richard J. Daley Sr., and his links to gangs.

Gangs that came to rule in seats of power

The last thing you'd expect to see at a museum exhibit on the Vice Lords, one of the largest, most vicious black street gangs in Chicago, is a photograph of a cherubic white guy.

A cherubic white guy in a graduate's cap and gown, with just a hint of a smile.

Daley I, the legendary and late boss of the Democratic machine, father of one mayor, perhaps grandfather to future bosses, greets you as you enter the gang exhibit.

"Report to the Public: An Untold History of the Conservative Vice Lords" opens tonight at Art in These Times, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave.

I am glad someone is courageous enough to report about this filth, but I am unsure of what the aim is for such an exhibit? Are they doing it merely as a form of education, or are they glamorizing the relationship or parallel between violent street gangs and local politics? The "City With Broad Shoulders," is known for its downright wackiness. A city where the dead get up to vote, people are intimidated by thugs to vote a certain way, home of the greasy palmed politician, bribery and extortion is considered a political norm, nepotism, taxpayer funds are a personal piggy bank, ect. The people responsible for such behavior keep on getting elected!

Perhaps, there will be another exhibit on display at this exhibit? Like grizzled old thugs patting each other on the back for getting rich at the public's expense and not getting caught? It is truly mystifying to me that these so called learned historians would even considering putting something together about this? I think it is more like showboating, and glamorizing an embarrassment to the city. The people responsible for Chicago's woes should not have their pictures up on the wall or a public exhibit in their honor. They should be sent to the dustbin of history. Even better, perhaps their photos and history can be displayed in a public restroom?

I have a love/hate relationship with the city, and what is being paraded around by this exhibit is something I hate. Yet, it seems some would talk about it or exhibit it as a badge of honor or something? A bunch of two-bit thugs in business suits get a whole museum exhibit, and the honest hard working folks get high taxes, crime ridden streets, a pension crisis, astronomical deficits, and corrupt politicians? Is there not something wrong with that picture? I swear the city is nuts!
edit on 22-6-2012 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 08:00 AM
reply to post by Jakes51

The excerpt you have chosen is misleading as it implies a connection between Hizzoner and the Vice Lords. It is true that many of Chicago's politicians came up through, or were supported by, organized crime at various levels. The Conservative Vice Lords are a group of former gang members who have cleaned up their act and are trying to effect social change through legitimate political activity. In that sense, they are not unlike Hizzoner's Hamburg roots, but that is a parallel, not a connection.

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 08:29 AM
reply to post by DJW001

You interpreted it as a parallel, and I may have interpreted it as relationship. You just said that most politicians have connections with organized crime in your own comment. That is what I was getting at. Not so much a parallel, but relationships.

Daley Sr. had links to organized crime and began his political career in a street gang, and then you have 1st Ward political boss, Pat Marcy, who was a "made," member of the Chicago Outfit. Those are two notable examples of a relationship between gangs/organized crime and politics, but there are others. The interpretation is up to the reader, and they can decide how they view this exhibit. I just gave my opinion on how I see it. Thanks for the comment!
edit on 22-6-2012 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 11:19 AM
I gave this thread a S & F and a bump.

Great presentation. I've suspected the correlation between the two for many years. Could they, as the other poster implied have ran parallel to each other? Possibly. But we are talking about large amounts of money and power.

Both of those are as we all know two very powerful incentives....

posted on Jun, 22 2012 @ 12:02 PM
reply to post by SLAYER69

Daley Sr. was one of the most notable ones to walk out of gangland to become a prominent politician. Then, there was that other guy I mentioned who was a "made," member in the Chicago Outfit. He was a prominent politician who was working in a legitimate capacity for the city. His connections where in 1st Ward, and Chicago's most prominent. It is downtown. The guy took bribes, greased the wheels with politicians and judges, and even worked to get some of his mob buddies off for murders.

Thugs and politicians in the city are as thick as thieves. It has always been that way. These guys think by getting a law degree and buying a few Brooks Brother's suits everyone is supposed to forget their past. Not me, but apparently a lot of the voters in Chicago don't seem to care. These guys keep getting elected. I am not so sure about these criminal organization supposedly going legit and partaking in the political process. Often times, they are found out to be committing crimes on the side, and using their activist monikers as a front. Below is an old article from 1996, but it is an example of what I mean.

Testimony Ends In 1st Disciples Trial

Tom Harris, a former spokesman and negotiator for 21st Century VOTE, testified that the group's primary mission was voter registration and education.

At first he refused to say whether Larry Hoover was the leader of the Gangster Disciples, but then he acknowledged he had visited Hoover eight or nine times in a Vienna, Ill., prison when he was with 21st Century VOTE.

Former gang members cooperating with the government have testified that they were forced to pay drug money to help fund 21st Century VOTE.

I just think it is ridiculous for this kind of filth to get any attention or an exhibit at a museum. I don't care if it is about Daley's Sr.'s history as a hoodlum or the history of the Vice Lords. All of them are scum, and crooks. The city is a sewer, and could end up like Detroit in no time. Like I said, I would be happy if they set up this exhibit in a public restroom.
edit on 22-6-2012 by Jakes51 because: (no reason given)

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