President Donald Trump took to Twitter to voice his concerns on gun violence in Chicago, Illinois Friday morning, and activists like Tamar Manasseh had a passionate response.
“We don’t need his assistance here on the south side of Chicago. No thank you, sir. No, thank you Mr. President. Keep your tiny little hands off the south side of Chicago,” Manasseh told Heavy.
Manasseh is the president of Mothers Against Senseless Killings (MASK), who demands in the interview above that the president stay out of Chicago.
“These people do not have the best interests of the black people,” Manasseh told Heavy, “or poor people period in this country… And definitely not on the south side of Chicago at heart. So please. If someone doesn’t love me, then please don’t make any laws that affect me. No thank you. We don’t want it.””
Manasseh’s work as an activist began in 2015 after Lucille Barnes was shot to death. Manasseh has said in previous interviews that she never knew Barnes, but the killing moved her to rally a few mothers around Chicago to start a group against gun violence.
MASK’s mission and practices started off simple; the mothers wear pink, give out water, barbecue, and sit out on notoriously violent street corners between 4 and 8pm. Now volunteers from all backgrounds who aren’t mothers help the cause, and mothers from other American cities like Staten Island, New York looked to Manasseh to start chapters in their cities.
Chicago’s South and West side has been notorious for gun violence, and shootings have only risen in the last three years. In between 2015 and 2016, Chicago experienced 58 percent more homicides and 43 percent more fatalities from shootings than any year previously, according to a study by the University of Chicago.
The study also stated that increases in homicides in American cities are rather typical, but not in cities as large as Chicago. Surprisingly, research has shown that this dramatic increase spiked in the month of January 2016 alone. Homicides and shootings skyrocketed compared to 2015 rates and continuously worsened as 2016 went along. The increase was mostly in gun crimes, and other crimes did not change nearly as much.