Coming up in Chicago, if you didn't recognize the faces of Larry Hoover aka King Hoover and or Jeff Fort-Abdul Malik Ka'bah aka Chief Malik, you for certain knew their names. As of recent, I've learned that you didn't have to grow up in the Chi to know of these guys, their influence was and still does expand nationwide, and even further in some instances. With the not so distant visit made by Kanye' west to the White House, advocating for Larry Hoover's release, the conversation has become what could be done to curb the violence in Chicago, and is the answer in the release of Larry Hoover.
It seems that everyone has had an opinion as to whether or not reintroducing the street leader back into the community would change anything, seeing that Larry Hoover has been away from the streets physically since 1973. He has remained a relevant figure in the minds of those that witnessed the Gangsta Disciples in their strength well into the late 90's.
Jeff Fort/ Cheif Malik, is of a different conversation, even a different kind of political prisoner. He was incarcerated and released a few times in the late 70's before receiving a 80 year sentence for Domestic Terrorism in 1987. As far as I know there has been no efforts to get Cheif Malik out of the Colorado Supermax Prison that he currently resides in.
Both men are well above the age that the youth tend to give an ear to. Respect quite possibly could be there, and although I believe they are still relevant to Chicago, I'm skeptical that they would be put in the position to change things on the street. Reality is that someone benefits from the over 500 homicides a year that has steadily risen over the past years . I absolutely believe that if the general public was in danger, the response would be different. Because the majority of these homicides take place in non-white/ non affluent communities, no-one genuinely cares. Regimes change, meaning Mayors, Police Superintendent's, etc, but the numbers generally remain the same. Whether I believe releasing a Larry Hoover would make a difference or not, I don't feel that it could hurt. Chicago's former Police Superintendent shared the sentiment of many Chicago-ans, claiming that before the cities gang leaders were incarcerated, the gangs had structure, and that the crime rate was much lower in the city. Of course, he was discredited for making that statement, and shortly after his attempt to reach out to some of the organizations leaders, he was asked to step down. It almost seems like, no-one wants to hear the truth!