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Jahmal Cole is a political candidate. He’s running for Congress in the 1st District of Illinois that covers the south side of Chicago and some of the southern suburbs. In late September, Jahmal Cole was walking in the Hyde Park neighborhood, just yards from Lake Michigan, when someone shot him through the arm. In the end, Cole recovered from his wound, he went back to campaigning.
And then on Tuesday of this week, Cole narrowly escaped being shot a second time. Some unknown assailant opened fire with a rifle right near where Cole was standing, just blocks from the University of Chicago. So Cole dove under a car and escaped being hit.
To be clear, these were not assassination attempts, so far as we know, against a local congressional candidate. Jahmal Cole just happens to live in the city of Chicago. And living there, all of a sudden, is that dangerous.
Given how dangerous Chicago has become, it would be interesting to know what exactly the sitting mayor is doing to fight crime. And in fact, we do know. Thanks to a data breach that revealed city emails, we can answer that question. For example, we know that just before midnight, one day last year, Lori Lightfoot, the mayor, typed a furious note to her senior staff. She was upset about crime. She just received a shocking report of offenses in progress. Evidence of clear and present danger to the people of Chicago.
According to an informant, a group of suspects had been observed playing basketball outside. Some of them reportedly had been seen dunking, even shooting three-pointers. “I got a text from someone who lives on the north side who reported that dudes were out at a park playing basketball,” Lightfoot wrote. “That one sent me around the bend.”
Thankfully, Lori Lightfoot had a solution. “Here is where I want to be starting tomorrow. You may walk outside in the immediate proximity of your house. Fresh air is important, but you may not act like the city is not in crisis.”
According to Lori Lightfoot, the city of Chicago is in crisis. A basketball crisis. Meanwhile, there’s another crisis in progress. People continue to die in huge numbers in Chicago. Over the past 12 months, almost 800 Chicagoans have been murdered. According to an analysis by CWB Chicago, at least 50 of these killings this year were committed by criminals who have been released early on bail. They didn’t need to happen. Just a few days ago, yet another man was murdered just steps from the University of Chicago.
ELIZABETH MATTHEWS, WFLD REPORTER: Chicago police say it was just before 2:00 Tuesday afternoon; the victim, a 24-year-old man and recent University of Chicago graduate was killed. … Police say the man was walking on the sidewalk at Ellis and 54th Place, when the armed offender got out of a dark-colored vehicle, demanded the victim’s belongings, then shot him in the chest. … There were actually two shootings in Hyde Park Tuesday. The first around noon near 53rd and Harper, no injuries reported. But, congressional candidate and community activist Jahmal Cole writing on his Facebook page that he was nearly struck. … Quote “today, I thought I was going to die because I saw blood coming from my neck, thinking I was shot, again. Fortunately, it was a scrape from diving under a car.”
Shot again just a day in the life of a congressional candidate in the city of Chicago. By the way, the name of the murdered University of Chicago graduate was Dennis Zheng. He was 24 years old. He was killed in an armed robbery. Apparently, he handed over what he had. But they murdered him anyway in the middle of the day. He is the third University of Chicago student to be murdered this year.
In July, a 20-year old called Max Lewis was hit in the back of the neck by a stray bullet as he was sitting on a subway train. In January, A 30-year-old graduate student was killed in a shooting spree that killed several other people, including a 15-year-old girl. The University of Chicago is now so dangerous that the school is offering free Lyft rides to students seven days a week so they don’t have to mix with the local population. That may keep them from getting killed, but it is hardly a solution to the problem.
So what is the solution to the problem? 800 people murdered in a year? Well, no one in authority in Chicago appears to be thinking much about that. Lori Lightfoot is on the record, saying she believes the core problem is White racism. It’s bigoted cops. And for a while, some of the more affluent residents of Chicago were willing to believe that was true.
Last year, in September, for example, University of Chicago students encouraged by faculty members surround the home of the school’s provost. They occupied the street in front of her house, they shut down traffic for an entire week. They demanded disarming and disbanding the school’s police department.
Now, in one of those twists of irony, you really have to pause to savor, those students are demanding chaperon rides home because their classmates are getting murdered because the policies they advocated for result in death.
So this might be a perfect moment for those kids and the adult nihilists who pushed them to do what they did to admit they were completely wrong and learn something. Cops are not the problem. Have they conceded that? Not that we’re aware of, nor of the city officials who banned cops when conducting foot chases, admitted that what they did resulted in the deaths of citizens.
We’ve been watching carefully, and as far as we can tell, only one person in authority at the University of Chicago understood what was happening at the time and said so. He’s a professor called Harold Uhlig. Uhlig publicly objected to defunding the police, not because he’s some kind of radical, but because then as now, that is a completely demented idea that results in people getting killed. So Uhlig said that, and for the crime of saying it, he was fired from his job at the Chicago Fed. The University of Chicago began an investigation into him for his thoughtcrime. Hundreds of economists signed a petition to have Harold Uhlig removed as the editor of a major economics journal. What do those views have to do with economics? Nothing. But they joined the mob anyway.
One of the jackals in that mob, by the way, was none other than Janet Yellen. You may recognize that name because she’s now our Treasury secretary. Yellen wrote this Soviet little statement at the time, “It would be appropriate for the University of Chicago, which is the publisher of the Journal of Political Economy, to review Uhlig’s performance and suitability to continue as editor.” Because he opposed getting rid of the police.
To this day, notably, Janet Yellen has never retracted that statement or apologized for joining the mob to hurt an innocent man for telling the truth. That’s fine with her. It’s fine with her now.
Have the other activist who targeted Harold Uhlig admitted they were wrong? No, they haven’t. So after the recent shootings near campus, Harold usually made this request of the university community. “If anyone still wants to defund the police, please do me a favor and stay away from Hyde Park.”
But of course, that’s not what’s happening. No one’s apologized. No one’s learned anything. The politicians ruining the state of Illinois and the city of Chicago demand above all that you worship them like gods as people die around them.
As it happens, By the way, all of this killing is happening very close to where former President Barack Obama is building a massive, unprecedentedly large shrine to himself, known euphemistically as a presidential library. The total cost of this project: At least $830 million, nearly a billion dollars to celebrate Barack Obama. Just in case you’re wondering what the definition of malignant narcissism is.
How much money is that? For perspective, it’s nearly half the entire budget of the Chicago Police Department, to celebrate Barack Obama, who lives in Martha’s Vineyard and Hawaii, not Chicago, who is worth tens of millions of dollars, not one of which is given to help anyone who actually does live in Chicago.
We don’t mean to pick on Obama, he’s hardly alone. Most people in Barack Obama’s position, which is to say in a position of authority that might actually help people, prefer to talk about Chicago rather than actually make it better for the people who live there.
This article is adapted from Tucker Carlson’s opening commentary on the November 12, 2021 edition of “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”