Rolling Out

Ex-gang leader in Chicago, Clifton ‘Booney’ McFlower, reveals the truth about ‘Chiraq’


Chicago continues to deal with overwhelming violence. The city has been called “Chiraq” by some who compare the violence in the city to war torn Iraq in the Middle East.

However, some Chicagoans believe there is a deeper meaning to why the city is being labeled in such a manner.

Ex-gang member in Chicago and current community organizer at BUILD Inc., Clifton “Booney” McFlower, recently spoke with rolling out to reveal his thoughts on the term, “Chiraq.”

“‘Chiraq’ is another way to promote violence  so that more money can be allocated for law enforcement instead of social needs. When you talk about violence, it calls for more police or jails. But that doesn’t solve the problems.

You have the Cook County jail that holds 11,000 people. There are 46 prisons in Illinois and all of the jails are full. We know locking people up is not the key. Police are around here all day.

So they come with the term “Chiraq” and they’ll throw the violent rates in your face so that they can keep feeding money into the wrong areas. We don’t need more money in law enforcement. We have some of the baddest law enforcement in the world.

The police shoot and kill as much as the guys on the street. The key is economic control in our community. We have to bring  the neighbor back into the hood. We have to stop being the hood and become the neighborhood. We have to care about each other. We can’t look for people to do for us what we can do for ourselves,” McFowler said.


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