Thursday, April 25, 2013

So We Declare Chicago Gangs To Be Terrorists. Then What?

LZ Granderson, writing at CNN Opinion, wants the government to declare the Chicago street gangs "Terrorist Organizations."

And then ...?

Drone strikes? Waterboarding? Massive POW camps?

Yay! We detained them! Now we'll ... um ...
From a cursory glance, LZ looks to be a generic progressive. More money for schools, lots of awareness-raising, plenty of government intervention. Here's where his thought process takes him.
And if the name attached to all of this violence were al-Qaeda instead of Gangster Disciples; or if instead of "gang violence" the bloodshed were called "terrorism;" or if instead of calling the people spreading fear and mayhem gangs we were to call them what they really are -- terrorists -- the nation would demand more be done.
"Demand more be done" is shorthand for "I win the political argument and the government will now spend more money, start new programs, invest in infrastructure, fight for diversity and stop Global Warming Climate Change."

As the gun violence in Chicago is simply a marker of the decay of civilization as a whole, it's not clear just what declaring the gangs to be terrorists would do. To me, it goes in the wrong direction. Terrorists are aliens, they are distant from American society. They are outsiders that come here to kill us. These aren't aliens, they are the children of our own cultural choices.

If the gangs are terrorists, does that make gangsta rappers their fire-breathing imams and Time Warner their chain of extremist mosques?


Jedi Master Ivyan said...

I don't think calling them terrorists is that much of a stretch really. Where the theory fails is in the reason behind the violence. Terrorism is by definition violence in the name of an ideology. The gang violence is more akin to organized crime than terrorism.

K T Cat said...

For the most part, I agree. I'd suggest the gang violence is as much learned survival behavior as it is organized crime.