As of June 19 this year, Chicago had averaged roughly 10 shooting homicides per day. The Chicago Tribune notes that “a complex mix of factors is driving the violence. But much of the bloodshed can be linked to gang conflict over everything from petty disputes to control of drug dealing, as well as the splintering of gangs into smaller cliques fighting over a few blocks at a time and easy access to guns.” Decades-old policies that have tied poverty, unemployment, and not-so-subtle segregation into the social fabric of the Windy City are also to blame. With this said, this violence has been a hot-button issue in the political sphere, especially so in this year’s presidential contest.
Both Clinton and Trump have made it a point to address the Chicago gang violence along the campaign trail, each accusing the other of being radically unfit to lead the country and handle the myriad complicated issues plaguing Chicago’s inner city. In a departure from the name-calling and accusations, however, Trump made an incredibly controversial remark about the city’s gang problems this weekend. “But Trump has made countless racist, absurd comments. What makes this any different?” you might ask. His comment involved Dwayne Wade’s cousin, who was brutally murdered while pushing her child in a stroller in Chicago.
“Dwyane Wade's cousin was just shot and killed walking her baby in Chicago. Just what I have been saying. African-Americans will VOTE TRUMP!” Trump wrote this tweet Saturday morning, merely hours after Nykea Aldridge was shot on the South Side. Police have since detained two brothers linked to the shooting that was not meant to target Aldridge. According to initial reports, the two are affiliated with the Gangster Disciples, a violent gang that runs significant territory in Chicago’s poorest areas.
Aldridge, a mother of four, is NBA superstar Dwayne Wade’s cousin. Wade was recently picked up by the Chicago Bulls after serving as a major component for the Miami Heat, and he has spoken out against the violence in Chicago. “My cousin was killed today in Chicago. Another act of senseless gun violence. 4 kids lost their mom for NO REASON. Unreal.#EnoughisEnough,” tweeted Wade. However, Wade’s response was hardly as significant as Trump’s in the eyes of the media.
Trump has been running a failed attempt to garner support among African American voters for the past two weeks. He has asked black voters across the country, “what do you have to lose by voting for me?” insinuating that failed Democratic policies will merely continue under a Clinton administration. This tweet, in line with his atrocious outreach, has sparked outrage among pundits and political analysts. Many claim that he was immensely insensitive to turn a tragedy into a political talking point, especially only within hours of the incident.
What do you think about Trump’s tweet?