A black congressman from Illinois has slammed Sen. Mark Kirk's plan to arrest 18,000 gang members as an "upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution."
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., told The Chicago Sun-Times
that the Illinois senator was merely "headline-grabbing" when he said he wants mass arrests.
"I am really very upset with Mark," Rush said, before saying his solution is an "upper-middle-class, elitist white boy solution to a problem he knows nothing about."
Kirk has made fighting Chicago's gangs a top focus and has conferred with law enforcement officials to come up with a plan for mass arrests. He has proposed that the federal government pay $30 million to fight the gangs.
"It’s a sensational, headline-grabbing, empty, simplistic, unworkable approach," Rush said. He maintains that job training and job creation would be a more useful way to spend $30 million from the feds.
Rush's district is centered on Chicago's tough south side. He said he wants to speak with Kirk to "get him to see the big picture."
Rush, an 11-term congressman, used slightly calmer language in a follow-up email to the Sun-Times. Kirk's "current plan does not include the option to create jobs, provide affordable and safe housing, quality healthcare and improve schools in urban areas," the email stated.
"But certainly a plan to incarcerate 18,000 black men is elitist. Why is incarceration the sole option instead of rehabilitation, which is proven to work?"
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