Criminal conspiracies have always been characteristic of the “Windy City.” For instance, as any crime buff will tell you, gangsters have more or less ruled Chicago’s City Hall for a hundred years. In fact, decades ago a young grad student named Saul Alinsky studied under the tutelage of organized crime bosses Al Capone and Frank ”The Enforcer” Nitti. The various criminal gangs that Alinsky consorted with in those days validated his ruthlessness and provided models for successful counter-cultural community organizing.
Before we delve any farther into the theological/political/racial swamp that was and is the Chicago reality, let me say that, when I was growing up, we were working hard for racial reconciliation, racial cooperation and racial integration. At the time, we didn’t realize that a strong contingent in the black community was working just as hard in the opposite direction. They didn’t want cooperation much less reconciliation. They wanted vengeance. They wanted retribution. The irony is that, as the decades rolled by, white racism has clearly receded to next-to-nothing as a component of American culture. The last of the actual slave holders died off a hundred years ago, and the once fiery practitioners of Jim Crow are on walkers, oxygen bottles and life support.
In short, the civil rights movement was wildly successful, but out of it grew a virulent and furious black power movement bent on revenge and closely allied in that effort with a Chicago-born Marxist revolutionary movement. Booker T. Washington put it this way:
There is a class of colored people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs and the hardships of the negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs – partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.