Trump had not visited Chicago in all his 4 years of presidency, despite it being one of the United States’ largest and most prominent cities. When he finally did on Monday, Oct. 28 he greeted the Democratic-leaning city by bashing it.
“It’s embarrassing to us as a nation,” said Trump about Chicago and its homicide rates. “Afghanistan is a safer place by comparison.”
This is probably because Trump’s arrival at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference was met with the absence of Chief Eddie Johnson and a few thousand protestors.
There is no dispute that Chicago is the city with the highest homicide rates in the United States. Gun and gang violence have deeply affected the people of Chicago. It became increasingly bad in 2016 when they reached a record high of 726 homicides.
However, since 2016 the rates have been steadily decreasing, back down to 436 in 2019 so far. Instead of offering any constructive words or focusing on ways the city and their police could improve their city’s homicide rates, Trump insulted Chicago and the Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.
According to the Washington Post, Trump’s comparison is not distant from the truth— if you’re counting only homicide deaths and not all the deaths from the armed conflict from the ongoing war. These statistics do not only not account for war violence, but do not account for homicides outside of the large cities of Afghanistan, which are often not recorded.
Even as these statistics were being examined can the comparison between a country at war with a population of 37 million people to an impacted city with a population of 2.7 million people truly be comparable. And if Afghanistan was safer, why are there still approximately 14,000 US troops stationed there, fighting and being wounded?
Trump’s inaccurate spout of insults don’t originate from the truth, but from being upset that the city did not welcome him with open arms.
“The values of the people of Chicago are more important than anything [Trump] would have to say,” said Johnson about choosing to not attend the conference.
Trump has always failed to accept the fact that many people do not agree with or approve of his politics. And his failure to understand always causes an outburst. Trump is very quick to lash out against anything that does not lean in his favor and his outbursts are seldom built on fact.
As the President he should be able to, at least to an extent, speak even-headedly in the face of disapproval. Maybe instead of pointing fingers, insulting the city and offending Chicagoans Trump should offer advice on fixing the issue or use productive rhetoric. Trump’s only attempt towards guidance: A heroic officer who can fix Chicago’s violence issue in one day.
Trump described an unidentifiable man, who he had also mentioned in 2016, who is tough, powerful, and “the boss”. The man, according to Trump, can stop Chicago’s crime in a day. However this vague man who has the answers to all of Chicago’s problems has never been named or come forward.
“If there was somebody that could stop crime in a day, then I will bow down to them and say bring it on,” said Johnson after stating that the man Trump speaks of does not actually exist.
Trump’s claims do not make Chicago any safer of a city. The denunciation of the dangerousness of the city does not atone for the homicides and unjust murder which occurs, either. The way he addressed it insulted the people of Chicago who live through its obstacles and the US troops who are stationed in Afghanistan. Maybe if Trump finds the unidentifiable cop he spoke to, he should have him help fix Afghanistan when he’s done with Chicago.