Is Mayhem in Chicago ‘God’s Punishment’?

Respected New York reverend James David Manning says American blacks need to look hard at the current batch of leaders that are running the country and find new ones. Otherwise, the terrible violence, lawlessness, joblessness, and poverty that has been plaguing African Americans in most major cities around the U.S. will continue unabated.

By Dave Gahary

Barely in office three weeks, President Donald J. Trump has made no fewer than four public statements on the killings that are consuming Chicago, the third-most populous city in the United States. The Windy City—33% black, 31% white, 29% Hispanic—has been rocked by a murder-by-gun-and-knife epidemic that has even the most jaded and cynical on edge. While over 75% of those killed last year were black, around 20% Hispanic, and less than 5% white, no one has been spared, from infants to senior citizens.

After experiencing a decline in homicides, Chicago saw nearly 800 murdered in 2016, the worst in 20 years and a 58% surge from 2015.

On Jan. 24, Trump warned, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible ‘carnage’ going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the feds!”

Two weeks after Trump’s “tweet,” the death toll has increased by 50%, hitting 63 on Feb. 6. One reason for the rise in murders may be police tactics. Street stops, a preventive measure with proven success, have been steadily declining “since early 2014, when they peaked at 80,000 stops per month,” reported The Atlantic magazine the same day Trump tweeted his warning. By October of the following year they were down to 60,000 per month, and a mere two months later plunged to 10,000.

Not everyone is convinced, however, that the blood in the streets, parks, and homes can be ascribed to mere mortal undertakings. One of those is the wildly popular black pastor, James David Manning, who has been heading a church for the past 35 years in Harlem, N.Y. Manning was born in 1947, when America was still a segregated society.

Harlem, a neighborhood in northern Manhattan, has, since the 1920s, been a major black enclave.

In 1910, only 10% of Harlem was black, but that soared to 70% by 1930, due to the “Great Migration” of over 6 million blacks from the South. The black population reached 98% in 1950, dropping to 77% in 2000 and steadily declining since then.

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AMERICAN FREE PRESS spoke with Manning on Feb. 6 to discuss the situation in Chicago. Manning, a few weeks shy of his 70th birthday, was born and raised in rural North Carolina and lived through the era known as “Jim Crow.” Jim Crow referred to state and local laws—enacted after Reconstruction and dismantled by 1965—that codified racial segregation in the South.

Although the American South’s Jim Crow laws were de jure, meaning officially sanctioned, the North’s Jim Crow laws were de facto, meaning not officially sanctioned but still in place.

“I drank from colored water fountains,” Manning told AFP, “and I was not permitted to sit down in a restaurant in the very town I grew up in. If I ordered something, I had to go to a side window.”

Things have changed a bit, says Manning, but not always for the better. Currently, though, his cousin is the police chief in the small North Carolina town in which he grew up. This could never have been so in Manning’s younger days.

Manning has an answer for the orgy of killing in Chi-Town: “It’s the judgment of God.”

Manning pointed out that Chicago is the home city of Barack Hussein Obama, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, Oprah Winfrey, and Jeremiah Wright, the so-called black leaders of the modern era, who have all become fabulously wealthy by exploiting the race card.

“God is providing the spirit and power for the killing as his judgment,” Manning continued.

“And until black America begins to look at who they are and look at how wretched their leaders are, what they have done, and how they have sown these terrible seeds, the killings are going to continue.”

Manning—one of the most vocal participants in the “birther movement,” pulled no punches in his critique of Barack Obama.

“Barack Obama’s presidency, and what he has done to black people nationally and globally, is far worse. [Chicago] is just a microcosm. What has happened to families, where black men have abdicated their responsibility toward their children, [impregnating] these girls, and then leaving them to fend for themselves, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, living on government handouts, living in rat- and roach-infested buildings . . . This is across the board in the black community.”

The black family, he lamented, was actually in better shape in many ways during the era of Jim Crow than it is now. Over 90% of black families at that time had fathers in the household, he pointed out.

Thus, he blames Obama for failing to preach a message of accountability to African-Americans, when he had the biggest bully pulpit in the world and the perfect opportunity to do so.

Manning believes the election of Donald Trump was white America’s “backlash” against the perceived disenfranchisement of the majority race in America that was spearheaded by Obama.

He provided this warning about “Tribulation Trump,” as he calls the new president: “Donald Trump needs psychiatric help. He is sick as hell. He’s a psychopath. He ain’t gonna do any of the things he said he is going to do.”

Dave Gahary is a writer for AFP and lives in Florida.