A Dummy’s Guide To Chicago Gun Violence From Somebody Who Lives There » VSB

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A Dummy’s Guide To Chicago Gun Violence From Somebody Who Lives There

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I have a friend moving to Chicago this fall to start a master’s program at the University of Chicago. As she prepares to leave from her Washington, D.C.-area home, many people in her life have expressed some degree of fear for her safety following her move. As if the moment she steps out into clear air at O’Hare Airport, a bullet will graze her in the ass.

Her people’s reactions reminded me how white folks in the suburbs of Detroit perceived that city in the 1990s (and probably still do); surely, venturing anywhere south of 8 Mile Road spelled your imminent and violent demise.

I’m not too naive to recognize how easy it is to develop a jaundiced perspective of a city or region based strictly on what we see on the news. Detroit’s local news in the 1990s was about as depressing as … Chicago’s local news in 2016.

However, these days, Chicago makes the national news for its gun-related bloodshed—oftentimes following a long, warm holiday weekend in which folks have more time on their hands for shootin’. In the Chicagoland region itself, you can’t turn on the news, crack open a newspaper or open a local news website without hearing or reading about how gun violence is getting worse or how it’s disproportionately affecting poor black folks.

It’s certainly not much ado about nothing: We’re at 383 homicides this year as of this writing. We’re the third-largest city in the union, but we’re slaying the two largest cities in gun violence. Our mayor, Rahm Emanuel, fired the police superintendent late last year in large part because of his inability to curb the problem … not that there’s a hell of a lot he could do on his own.

Those of us who actually live in the city—who care enough to pay attention to what’s going on and are savvy enough not to treat the media as gospel—have a different perspective: We recognize Chicago as the world-class city it is while acknowledging that its problems are at once exigent and overblown. There are manners of conduct you should understand if you come here, but it is not like Beirut in the 1990s.

Sure, the suggestion that Al Capone’s enduring legacy has forever cemented Chicago as a gangster city makes for a sexy narrative, but it’s inaccurate at best and offensive at worst; the problems are easy to pinpoint and yet complicated to solve. Just do me a favor and mollywhop anyone who suggests to you that Black Lives Matter or black-on-black crime is the sole culprit.

There are four umbrella issues that allow for the gang problems and gun violence within the city. I’m no sociologist, and I’m sure academic studies abound on the problems in Chicago as I type. But I see exactly what’s going on around me (and I’s did go to school, suh), so hopefully this can help demystify things for people who have casually wondered what in the unholy fuck is going on in Chicago these days.

  1. Segregation and Gentrification

Chicago is probably the single most segregated city I’ve ever touched, and certainly the most segregated of the largest cities in the country.

However, unlike my hometown of Detroit, Chicago is extraordinarily diverse within its boundaries; for example, the far-north Rogers Park neighborhood is a melting pot, where you can get authentic Thai and Ethiopian food, run by actual Thai and Ethiopian people, on the same block. In addition, we have one of the biggest Latino communities in the country, with the largest concentration of Mexicans outside of the Southwest United States.

The problem is that Chicagoans stick to their damn neighborhoods like Arthur memes to your news feed. The South and West sides of the city are largely black enclaves; most of the neighborhoods within them suffer from poverty and economic blight, resulting in the by-products of lackluster public services, poor schools, food deserts and any other hood-based ailment you can think of. They’re also great breeding grounds for drug and gang activity (and, if you’re a conspiracy theorist, a good way to keep cops employed and the prison-industrial complex afloat).

In contrast, the residents of largely white, upper-class neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and the Gold Coast may as well be on another side of the country. Gang drama and gun violence almost never occur on the streets outside of their million-dollar condos, and they have no reason to even step foot in troubled neighborhoods.

  1. Housing-Project Demolition

Chicago has been knocking down high-rise projects for about a decade now, making room for expensive condominiums that are pricing many residents out of the city. Remember the infamous Cabrini-Green projects of Candyman fame? They’re gone, having made way for some ridiculously expensive condos using the same name.

Few people will argue that the now-demolished crime-and-poverty-ridden projects were positive environments for anyone. But because they were often centralized spots for the drug trade and gang territory, the diaspora created from their demolition resulted in the bangers and dealers encroaching on other folks’ drug and gang territory. Any fan of The Wire can attest to what happens when you step on a rival corner trying to peddle your wares. Which leads me to:

  1. No Leaders, No Code

Seems crazy, but there’s actually a disadvantage to the fact that most of Chicago’s major gang chiefs are in prison forever and a decade more. Cats like Larry Hoover, co-founder of the Gangster Disciples, will never breathe fresh air again, while his creation looks a lot different from how it did when he went in.

Ask some of the OGs (I did), and they’ll tell you that today’s young bangers don’t even resemble proper bangers. Instead of flying under one unified flag with rules and codes, they largely function as their own small, leaderless factions doing what they please. Instead of beefing over turf, they beef over bullshit written on Twitter.

If I learned anything during my 17 seconds as a high school teacher, it’s that there’s been an undeniable erosion of respect in the generation that succeeds mine. Kids will cuss out your grown ass in a way that we never would have considered doing to an adult. Combine that lack of respect with guns and the urge to make a name for oneself, and you have teenagers firing shots into crowds, missing their targets and killing the wrong personIt happens over and over again.

  1. Ease of Gun Accessibility

Pretty basic stuff here. The old heads sell the old guns to the new kids and bad things happen. Also, the preceding generations of gangs had shooters whose job it was to pull the trigger; now any uncoordinated bastard who’s obsessed with “Call of Duty” can have at it.

Believe it or not, the current homicide rate in Chicago seems almost bitch-made in comparison with that of the 1980s and 1990s: 1991 alone registered 922 murders. But it’s still a terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad look. And with a justifiably ever-growing mistrust between the police and citizens—law-abiding and otherwise — I’m not sure when or how things will improve.

However, lest you were planning to cancel your weekend trip to Chicago, I’ll tell you what I told my friend from the DMV area: The vast majority of the killings happen within the same seven or eight neighborhoods, and if you’re visiting Chicago as a tourist or student, you’re extremely unlikely to inhabit those hoods.

Also, unless you’re a drug dealer or a gangbanger or you spend lots of time in the company of either in public, you’re probably not going to be shot to death.

The concern, of course, is for the many thousands of Chicagoans who actually do exist in one or more of those buckets and don’t have a good way out.

Dustin Seibert

Dustin J. Seibert lifts heavy weights and plays all his video games on hard mode to find peace. He has a better ear for hip-hop than anyone else you know. He writes like the English language is going outta style because the steaks in his freezer are dependent on it.

  • As a Detroiter with family IN Chicago.. this was spot on.

    • DBoySlim

      We might need to do a Detroit VSB meet up.

  • Brooklyn_Bruin

    I remember U of Chicago being real close to one of those neighborhoods.

    Concentrated poverty?

    Boys with no options El Salvador, Rio, Baltimore.. Same result.

    Distributed poverty?

    Boys from the hinterlands pick up rifles at the behest of charismatic leadership that promises a better life..If only those people can be eliminated, be it Idaho or Iraq. Make Istanbul great again..

    • Val

      “Boys with no options El Salvador, Rio, Baltimore.. Same result.”

      Exactly.

    • Medium Meech

      U of Chicago is legitimately on the South Side. It’s nice in Hyde Park but don’t let the smooth taste fool you, a couple of blocks over…

      • HouseOfBonnets

        literally a five minute ride to scenery change.

      • Blueberry01

        I feel like a lot of good city schools are in close proximity to the hood.

  • Val

    Take a tiny little sliver of the defense budget and create three to five thousand living wage jobs all at once on the South Side and that community would be as peaceful as any other in 2 or 3 years.

    I mean, the solution is and always has been economic. It’s amazing to me what the powers that be will do in order to blind folks to that fact. And it just reinforces my brief that Merica does not really want to solve the problem of violence in Black communities like the South Side of Chicago.

    I think the violence in that community and others like it give some White folks great comfort. It allows them to feel superior while also enjoying seeing the demise of people they hate. And politicians use neighborhoods like that one to make their empty campaign promises on year and year, decade after decade.

    Maybe China would create those jobs on the South Side just to make Merica look bad? It would be great propaganda for them and would mean real jobs for South-Siders.

    • You’re advocating for reparations, which makes sense. Chicago’s housing segregation was deliberate and government sanctioned. It’s the main subject of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “The Case for Reparations.”

      Dustin’s point about the lack of gang leadership was excellent and something I didn’t think about. Reminds me of “The Wire” where both the Barksdale and Stanfield organizations went through great pains to conceal their violence in order to not get the attention of Homicide and the Major Case Squad. As McNultu said- “I’m not here for the drugs. I’m here for the bodies.”

      Hhharris.wordpress.com

      • Val

        Reparations? Economic development? Fixing the mess they made?

        • Nik White

          I’m here for it – cut the check!

          • no

            so you can waste it all in 3 to four years? no find me a living sla## and i will give him or her money. i’m not giving you piggybackers of history anything.

      • Janelle Doe

        Speaking of reparations. I read somewhere that white slave owners were compensated for the Black loyalists who joined the British side and left the south. Is this true? If so I will add it to my mountain of examples of how the formula works until we try to use it.

        • Gretchenjthompson3

          <<t:t. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bc370a:….,..

        • Edithvjenkins3

          <<y:y. ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????:::::::!!bx136a:….,..

      • Jaris Cole

        I also though the lack of gang leadership was a great point and echoes the sentiment of the lack of Black male figures. I definitely never thought about the role of gangs in regards to leadership. Props to Justin for shining a light on that. And props to you for “The Wire” reference.

    • Question

      They could manufacture defense-related stuff in Chicago, that way the Republican squawk box doesn’t start ranting about our “weakened” military.

    • Michael T.

      How about stay in school get an education and then get a job making a decent wage.

      • Blueberry01

        How about we have schools that all adequately funded and properly resourced, administrators who always make decisions that are in the best interests of students, and then a student would be more likely to stay in school?

        You can’t expect someone to stay in an environment that doesn’t care about whether they succeed or fail.

      • HouseOfBonnets

        So have you even read up on the foolery that is CPS? Seen any of the statistics? Note the additional factors that affect students? or are you just trying to pull a respectability politics move?

      • justtwo post

        You look like a white person and you sound like a white person. Why are you here?

    • Blueberry01

      Very true. Crime is more strongly correlated to SES than it is to race.

      But what you’re saying makes too much sense. God forbid EVERYONE is making a living wage and little to none of our population is poor.

    • no they aint

      Take a tiny little sliver of the defense budget and create three to five thousand living wage jobs all at once on the South Side and that community would be as peaceful as any other in 2 or 3 years

      yeah like anyone’s going to spends thousands of dollars to prop up businesses that will be gone in 3 to 4 years ms bitter race bait,

    • Unkel Ruckus

      Gubbmint jobs? No thanks. I’d rather just take the money in entitlements.

  • HouseOfBonnets

    YES TO ALL OF THIS!

    I apologize for the yelling but as a southside Chicago resident (born and raised) it’s nice to finally see a perspective of our cities issues in addition to breaking down the various causes of the violence. I didn’t realize how bad Chicago appeared to others until I was prepping for a annual conference a few years back. It was being held in NYC but attendees from the year before warned us that the other sites were not only cracking thinly veiled insults but they also had some very wild assumptions including that we were living in a war zone via iraq, most of us either knew or were related to chief keef, we had been shot ourselves,and the biggest one that blew me using us as the case study for the dreaded black on black crime incident (that many still do to this day). I remember saying something last week on here along the lines of that unless the actual causes (including local goverment, poor schooling options, lack of resources, political clout/corruption, environments,etc.) are properly addressed the serious symptom of violence won’t be solved. In addition as much as people love to say we aren’t doing anything as residents we are but support is needed from goverment and others that constantly benefit from this city as well Especially when they can pull themselves together for other things when they want to (like i don’t know an Olympic bid). This symptom of violence (yes it’s a symptom, a very major one but a symptom none the less) will not only need multiple solutions but everyone will have to do their part.

    Also have you seen the taxes we pay here in addition to finding your child a quality school they can get in? if there was a reason for me to search for greener pastures elsewhere that would be why….not necessarily the violence. Not trying to downplay it but essentially violence is everywhere.

    • Val

      Nice avi. :-)

      • The Other_Guy revolution has some serious reach.

        • HouseOfBonnets

          don’t get used to it, this is temporary. Can’t let the streets get to comfortable.

          • We will enjoy it while it last, my lady.

          • Blueberry01

            NOOOOO, HOB!

            • HouseOfBonnets

              At least they can’t say i never showed my face lol

      • HouseOfBonnets

        Thank you :)

      • Medium Meech

        I support this Avi as well.

  • Ess Tee

    Thank you for this.

    • Dustin John Seibert

      I do it for you.

  • These are all things that my family from the Chi have told me about it. Too many small gangs, not enough leaders, blighted neighborhoods, general nihilism outside of the more prosperous areas. These are all easy concepts to understand. What I don’t understand is why we keep trying to fix this problem for free. People need decent living conditions and decent jobs. People making 40k a year aren’t out shooting each other and that isn’t even near the national average.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      because unless it’s about buying up the south/west side to build new luxury apartments for profit or increasing the bottom line for those in power the city does’t care for the most part. Plus it’s to the point that every politician is a snake/trying to get their cut. We son’t rank high on goverment corruption for nothing.

      • HJ

        Didn’t Louis Farrakhan want to buy up parts of Chicago at one point? Whatever happened to that?

        • HouseOfBonnets

          From what I’ve seen he hasn’t spoken on it sine 2013

          • HJ

            OK. Seemed like he was trying to encourage Black economic investment in Chicago. I have a feeling any attempts would have been thwarted by local politics.

            • HouseOfBonnets

              Same.

    • DBoySlim

      Some of the street code issues have been addressed by the New Era groups around the country starting with Detroit. New Era Chicago has adopted this also.
      http://neweradetroit.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/photo_2016-04-20_20-55-47.jpg

      • It’s a double edged sword. On one hand we have to teach people to try and kill each other like grownups, which is actually a plus. On the other hand we should probably stop them from killing each other.

        • DBoySlim

          It truly is but I’d rather have honor among thieves than have a free for all.

        • Phil GoBeGreat

          exactly. Reading that I thought “this would be great if people abide by it” but then I realize it almost condones the killings that dont conflict with the list. So its hard to support, but it would be progress.

    • Brooklyn_Bruin

      With poor education, what kind of job can a tattooed up THIRTY FIVE YEAR OLD do?

      You figure out how to pay the uneducated and unskilled person $20/hr and that labor is worth $80 to you, you will have solved all of Black America’s economic problems.

      A box Chevy assembly line?
      Hover bikes?
      Robotic crawfish peelers?

      I don’t know, but it’s what i think about.

      • You are headed toward socialism territory, now. Profit sharing is entirely possible in this country. It will never happen, though.

        • Brooklyn_Bruin

          I’m all for worker/producer cooperatives, but from a capitalist pov,

          Say you move to Crenshaw and start hydraulics factory. Put three wheel motion on your Kia Rio, $499.99.

          Hire and train neighbourhood folks.

          How big is that market, what are the margins, what’s the competition….

          But social entrepreneurs are a thing. It’s big in the developing countries, and the hood could use development.

          • Social entrepreneurship would be so much bigger if people didn’t just aim to be rich. The American dream is killing the idea of working for yourself and making a decent living.

            • Blueberry01

              Yup. We’ve redefined “decent” to mirror these extravagant lives on reality TV. Not to say they don’t exist for a certain segment of our US population, but it ain’t the majority.

      • Blueberry01

        Also, people with ANY type of criminal record (from misdemeanors to felonies) are disqualified from any viable job opportunities. No one hires people who have intetsected with the criminal justice system in any way.

        So, if anyone got caught with a couple of ounces when they were 20, forget about it…

  • brothaskeeper

    Our young men and women need genuine socioeconomic options in life and not just media highlighting the negative.

    • HouseOfBonnets

      The kicker is there are programs here in our city to help young people but they’re not promoted as much in addition to not being supported how it could be. I went through a program a few years ago called Year Up they provide tech/business classes for the first six months then students move on to a six month internship at places like BOA,Chase, Motorola, At&t, CDW, ect.. Once they graduate the expected outcome is they’re either in college full time or working full time with a starting salary of 30,000 a year. They also earn a stipend and college credit. It’s a national program but I feel like these types of thins in addition to things like community outreach and programs will help.

      • Blueberry01

        Hmmm… $30,000/year? That seems a little low for the cost of living in Chicago, no?

        • HouseOfBonnets

          Depending on where you’re living and for a single person it’s doable/a lot better than the 10.50 an hour given now especially since they’ll be working full time. It works out to about 15 dollars an hour but over the last two years the newer classes have been averaging around 17 – 18 an hour. :)

          • Blueberry01

            IDK, HOB. 30K isn’t a livable wage here for a single person in suburban MD – and the cost of living here is cheaper than Chi-Town. But, yeah, anything is better than $10.50.

            • HouseOfBonnets

              It can work if you have no children just depends on where you’re living (when some of the these surveys on rent and cost come out they suddenly forget that the South side exists you can snag a decent 1 bedroom for about 700-750) but a lot of graduates are getting much higher salaries now compared to when I finished. I think the average now is 17- 19 an hour. Plus it puts them in a better direction than having to deal with the minimum wage jobs here in the chi. We upped minimum wage last year and many stores have already found loopholes (for example cutting hours). I thank God I made it out of customer service and pray I don’t have to return.

  • Lo-Lo

    Regarding guns, Michael K. Williams (Omar from The Wire) did a nice documentary (Black Market) on guns, gun violence, and how easy they are to get from the South to the North. Comes on a new channel called Viceland. It’s worth a watch.
    He also did one on the drink called “Lean”. Very informative for this “military-brat”.

    • I like the Vice channel all together but Black Market is a good show. Guns get funneled across the country a lot depending on where the laws are week.

    • Blueberry01

      …and I read that you get guns very easily in the neighboring counties, since they have lax laws…

  • Just a Guest

    The news would like you to believe that the South Side is the war zone, but the Austin area on the west side has the highest crime rate in the city. If you look outside your door, you are absolutely gonna find a way to support one of your guilty pleasures; drugs, liquor, italian beefs and fries with mild sauce. And for those of us that don’t partake but are still in the shallow end of the pool, we surely can get our nails done, a linin’, a hair did, and an outfit from J-Bees that sells those jeans that are $500+ a pop. We support these businesses and that’s why they can thrive in these areas. The rest of the businesses have died due to us not supporting them or because of Walmart coming in on some take over ish.
    Sorry to ramble on an on. . . I’m trying to get a point across before m boss comes back and plants his butt on my shoulders. ANYWHO
    In the words of the late great Tupac
    “We ain’t meant to survive cause it’s a setup”

  • RaeNBow

    As a Chicago Resident, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

    I’m sick of the way this city is portrayed in the national media. They cover horrible weekends like they LIKE pointing and gawking at the troubles my city faces but won’t lift a pen to write anything about GOOD things. We have amazing block parties and summer festivals IN these Black neighborhoods. But people wouldn’t know it by the way we are portrayed.

    And what they NEVER mention is that it is GOVERNMENT POLICY that has led to the depressed areas in these Black neighborhoods that see most of the violence. Chicago municipal government is CHIEFLY responisble for the segregation. It didn’t just “happen”. It happened because the city turned a blind eye to racist restrictive covenants on housing, this fostered predatory lending practices. The city puts CTA all the way to effing EVANSTON, but the red line stops at 95th. The 18 stops running at 7:30. MY G! how are you going to encourage people on the West Side to be able to work if they cant catch a bus home? its RIDICULOUS. I swear i wish the national media would help us hold the city accountable for the DECADES of disparate treatment to minorities. The systematic oppression = poverty. And that always breeds violence. Then the CPD uses that as “license” to treat Black communities in chicago like war time offensive operations instead of community policing. Ugh, let me stop. But thank you.

    • RewindingtonMaximus

      Wow I had no idea they was doing everybody dirty like that. I knew there were laws in place that definitely boxed so many black people out, but damn….

      • The crazy thing is that history shows us that this is by no means sustainable. The ills of the poor are going to spill over eventually.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          They always do. But the problem throughout history is when the poor have finally had their fill.

          We already know the main issue at the end of the day is too many people think small and fight amongst each other because they can’t raise their gaze to the bigger picture at hand and see who’s really manipulating them.

          For all the things wrong within the Black community out there, if those same wild a s s lil nigs really wanted to stop busting shots in their neighborhood and come to the nicer ones, watch how fast those town hall meetings would change the landscape then.

        • Amber

          It’s sustainable if the powers that be create divisions among the poor like race.

          • That is seriously the only thing holding the house of cards up.

            • Amber

              Folks like Trump are making sure it lasts. I’m from an area in the Midwest that was devastated by the shuttering of steel mills. There was time where you’d apply for the factory job and start the same day in a position that was solidly mid class income. The thing is the oligarchs leads these working class wypipo to believe that hispanics abs cheap asian labor is at fault. But steel production is at a high level because of tech. Working class black folks get angry at some hispanics for similar reasons when they struggled to stay employed at the factories cause many of the unions were discriminatory.

      • Amber

        Redlining is real.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Trust me I know. New York is just Chicago with lower body count. That’s it, the same crazy s h i t is still happening to us on stage and behind the curtain though.

      • RaeNBow

        for DECADES. started with the great migration. MLK is known for his work in Selma and the South in general but he also worked on a fair housing movement here. The difference with Chicago, is that the racism wasnt blatant enough to stir the sympathies of people on a really wide basis. “they” dont mind sharing a water fountain or lunch counter so long as they can shut us out of every meaningful aspect of society that ensures safety or wealth creation.

        • RewindingtonMaximus

          Real talk…we like 5-10 years of having your housing development problem. It’s just a matter of time. They already gentrified around housing projects in many former bad neighbhorhoods, and are slowly pressuring the Housing Authority to sell their land, because 90% of their buildings are old and should honestly be condemned. But our housing crisis and homeless problem out here is so bad, that they refuse to budge on it in order to stay out of the media spotlight, so they keep those project buildings standing. But one day they will just be gone, and this place will be fucked.

          So I get it. I never knew all the semantics of Chicago but realistically the deck is stacked against yall in a way that is being reflected across the country now. We just haven’t had it for as long.

          • LMNOP

            I was reading something recently about how much it would cost to expand Section 8 to be an entitlement program like food stamps or free lunch where anyone who can document income eligibility gets it. It would be a fraction of what the government currently spends on the mortgage tax credit. It is just unconscionable to me that something that could positively change millions of people’s lives by making sure everyone has a roof over their head is financially possible but not politically possible.

            • Brooklyn_Bruin

              Some Republicans support universal basic income and eliminating all these various payments for different things.

              • LMNOP

                It’s a great idea, as long as it’s legitimately enough to live off of, and not like cash assistance levels. But I think more has to be done in cities with really high housing costs. I’d imagine there are a lot of ways to address housing costs, section 8 is just something we already have, seems like it would be easy enough to scale it up.

                • Brooklyn_Bruin

                  If your source of income isn’t connected to a job in a particular location, it behooves you to move someplace cheap.

                  Lot of folks would be better off in the sticks.

                  • LMNOP

                    True, but housing in big cities needs to be within the reach of everyone that it takes to run a big city.

                    • Kas

                      It would be nice, but short of increasing density dramatically, impossible to do (prices are high because demand outpaces availability).

                    • LMNOP

                      Aren’t these kinds of situations exactly where the government can and should step in though?

                    • Kas

                      Density is handled at the state/city level, not federal. Funny enough blue leaning areas are often the worst for affordablity. Red leaning areas are typically anti-regulation with the end result being more housing built to meet demand.

                    • LMNOP

                      Couldn’t you regulate more housing to be built though? And more/ better transportation to be built to basically expand the area you have to work with?

                      At the federal level could there be incentives to pull some of the high-paying jobs in places like NY and DC to other areas?

                      I mean I get that it’s just supply and demand, but there’s a lot of smart people in the world, they can’t figure out some effective ways to help this situation?

                    • Kas

                      Any number of fixes. No doubt you could name 10 off the top of your head. What is lacking is a will/interest in addressing the issue.

                    • Kas
                    • Brooklyn_Bruin

                      If you gave UBI to all the people that work in Manhattan but can’t live reasonably close – Manhattan would change considerably.

                      That place only exists in comfort for the elite because of the blood sweat and tears of the serfs.

                      The elites and those who live to serve them would have to redistribute their wealth in order to get what they believed to be their rights

                      One can dream

            • RaeNBow

              really? wow. thats encouraging and sad at the same dang time

      • “The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Pour somethin’ and give it a read:

        http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

        • Medium Meech

          This is one of the best articles I’ve read on anything, period.

    • Constance Wright

      You literally wrote my response. Chicago violence is the result of decades of destructive government policies and the purposeful neglect of black and poor people. The lack of resources on the south and west sides are a disgrace. Its actually disgusting. I work in higher education (Chicago State and now NU) and see the impact on a daily basis. Some of these kids do not have a chance.

    • Wise Old Owl

      The National Media’s Brothers are the Bankers doing the redlining, the Real Estate Agents only showing you houses in Hazel Crest and not Naperville, and the Judges sentencing Black Men and Women to mandatory minimums in the Criminal Injustice Complex…They are all Brothers in the Same Gang…

    • Brad G

      National media has no interest in providing solutions to problems. They only broadcast Chicago’s plight to create more fear (and thus more $$$) in white America. So my solution to that problem is the same solution many have to our political conundrum: start local. Support your local newspapers and network affiliates that have resources to truly get to the bottom of our issues. Many of the reporters are born and raised in the city and hate to see the current status. They just need enough support from the community to push the managing editors away from the bloody headlines. Our job in news is to hold the powerful accountable and provide answers to our viewers. National media will continue to be a sh*tshow. But if more communities called and wrote in, we could get some things done. Sorry for being so biased but I KNOW it works and can’t stress community involvement enough.

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