AUBURN GRESHAM — When the Rev. Michael Pfleger angrily mourned Chicago’s loss of the Lucas Museum, he literally compared a bunch of lakefront-loving idealists to one of Chicago’s most notorious and deadly street gangs.
“Where I live, a self-appointed group that starts making calls for the neighborhood, they’re called a gang,” Pfleger said.
That's a pretty radical perspective — and not a very nice thing to say — about an activist group that has taken a stand against how government should use public land.
"It's a different kind of violence. This is economic violence," the activist priest said.
Konkol on Emanuel's missteps in securing land for the Lucas museum.
"Let’s call them what they are: They’re a gang of self-righteous elitist people. ... Tell me the difference between Friends of the Parks and the Gangster Disciples?”
Well, Father Mike, let me tell you the difference.
Friends of the Parks is a group of local people who share a common political ideology regarding the use of Chicago’s lakefront. They believe it should remain, as mandated in architect Daniel Burnham’s Plan of Chicago, “Public ground … forever open, clear and free.”
Their method of “making calls for the neighborhood” is filing lawsuits to protect the people’s turf, so to speak.
The Gangster Disciples street gang is national organization with deep roots in Chicago that engages in coordinated criminal activity, including murder, drug trafficking, robbery, carjacking, extortion and fraud, among other things, according to the FBI.
The GDs stake their claim to public land with violence, unleashing armies of assassins that terrorize neighborhoods and contribute to Chicago’s skyrocketing murder rate.
Pfleger hasn’t done his reputation for standing up for people living in forsaken parts of Chicago any good by using his bully pulpit in the name of a billionaire filmmaker’s vanity museum. He has argued the museum would have created jobs for the downtrodden, an iffy proposition.
Pfleger might be right about one thing, though. The FOTP and the GDs do have one thing in common: When they shoot and miss, Chicagoans suffer the consequences.
When Friends of the Parks dropped its longtime opposition to the Bears’ plans to renovate Soldier Field, a spaceship landed inside the historic stadium’s columns.
When Gangster Disciples triggermen miss a target, which happens a lot, innocent kids get shot and killed.
Not really the same thing, now is it?
Pfleger attacks Friends of the Parks, and his critics grumble about $200,000 he took in church contributions from Lucas' foundation in 2014.
What if some loudmouth know-it-all heard about that and unleashed a Pfleger-style rant saying, "Where I come from, when you take money and try to help someone get, well, whatever it is they want, it's called pimpin'."
That would be a pretty radical perspective — and not a very nice thing to say — about someone standing up for what he believes is right.
Right, Father Mike?
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