Sunday, March 14, 2010

Debunking Glenn Beck’s Commentary on the Derrion Albert murder and Chicago gangs

The sensationalism of the Derrion Albert murder was used by Glenn Beck, and Matt Drudge, as a tool to exploit their view on Chicago and its gang problems. They had no background or historical content of what caused gang problems in certain areas of Chicago. A simple trip to the Chicago Public Library, or performing a search on one of the major search engines, would have provided Glenn Beck with the data needed for an intelligent commentary or the gang problems.

Why his commentary lacked facts: 1) Glenn Beck claimed that the weapon used was a railroad tie. Fact: a railroad tie weights between 100 and 125 lbs. The chances of a kid being able to pickup and swing a 100 pound board is totally absurd. 2) That a reason for the gang violence in Chicago was the result of removing prayer from the public schools. Fact 1: gang violence started in the United States during the turn of the century, but there was a real upsurge in gang violence in the 1950s. There were a lot of gang related deaths, including drive by shootings, in both Chicago and New York in the 1950s. The New York Times (1957) even wrote an article to parents presenting the gang jargon of the time so that parents could listen and find out if their children were involved with gangs. Fact 2: Prayer in the public schools was around until 1962/63. Two landmark decisions Engle v. Vitale [1962] and Abington School District v. Schempp [1963] is what ended prayer as we know it in the public schools. If Glenn Beck’s timeline was correct, 1963 would have been the start of the upsurge in gang violence. Unfortunately, gang violence surged ten to fifteen years prior.

We expect a celebrity to use his podium to state facts and not fiction. We know that Glenn Beck hates Chicago because President Obama and Mayor Daley call it their home, but this does not give him a pass to make accusations which are not supported by facts.

See Glenn Beck: