Appearing on CNN this past Sunday, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich slammed Chicago Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush for rampant gang violence in his district and said gang membership has increased 40 percent since President Barack Obama took office.
“You have a congressman who represents the most violent city in America,” Gingrich said of Rush. “You have a congressman who represents a city in which over 500 people were killed last year, 74 percent of them African-American. You have a congressman who represents a city in which 80 percent of the killings, according to police, are by gangs.”
He added: “Gangs have increased ... by 40 percent since this president was elected. There is no federal program to stop it. No one wants to have an honest conversation about it. So you have a congressman whose own district is bleeding, who puts on a hoodie as a symbolic act, but he doesn’t do anything about the gangs in his own district.”
Rush believes Gingrich has done a 180 since he was Republican Representative from Georgia; back in those days he di dnot give a fig about gang violence.
“That’s a charge Newt, that doesn’t hold water," Rush said. "I have been working relentlessly since I’ve been in Congress, even when you were speaker in Congress and did not want to hear of these matters, I have been working on trying to deal with this violence. I am astounded and ashamed by this violence.”
Rush said his efforts to stem violence have been in place since long before the Trayvon Martin shooting.
According to the FBI, gang membership has increased from 2009 to 2011. They attributed these numbers to “primarily to improved reporting” and also “more aggressive recruitment” via rap culture and social media.
What Gingrich failed to say was that in the same period of time, violent crime in the United States is down from 1.3 million in 2009 to 1.2 million in 2011. The FBI statistics show a decrease of 8.7 percent.
According to Raw Story, Gingrich has to be well aware of those numbers considering he wrote about FBI crime stats, especially in Chicago, in February.