Visitors to Chicago may rightly ask: What’s the deal with all the gun violence?
When you’ve got Spike Lee making a movie about your city’s levels of shootings, and an international nickname like “Chi-raq,” I think it’s important to shine a light on this issue, and not just skim over it like it doesn’t exist.
They say Black Lives Matter. But in Chicago, it really doesn’t seem like anyone believes it.
Here’s a well-researched site for you to consult. It’s called HeyJackass, and its tag line is “illustrating Chicago values.”
If you look at the stats, you’ll see what’s going on, and where, and you can (in theory) make plans to avoid these areas and dangerous situations.
But what about the folks that LIVE in these neighborhoods? What about the people who CAN’T avoid it, because that’s the street they live on?
This week already (and it’s only Tuesday – Monday evening as I write this – mind you), you can see the updates for shootings at W. Granville, West Ridge; and two on S. Kimbark, Avalon Park. 6 killed, 41 wounded this weekend.
And if you really want to see something hopeless, read the comments.
As of this posting, a person is shot every 2 hours and 35 minutes in Chicago. A person is murdered every 15 hours and 10 minutes! Overwhelmingly, the victims are black (70.9%), with Hispanics running a distant second at 25.1%.
Here’s a damn map:
If that doesn’t look like an epidemic to you, you might be blind. And if you think it’s just about the “South Side,” you may need to take another look.
So, should the National Guard be called in to police Chicago’s streets? Should we just roll over and accept this violence as a matter of course, a fact of life?
Maybe Spike was onto something with that “No peace, no piece” motto he copped from Lysistrata…
Otherwise, it seems the alternative is… nothing.
As per the previously referenced New York Times piece:
‘Right now, there’s no strategy,’ said the Rev. Corey Brooks, a minister on the South Side. ‘Or if there is a strategy, whatever it is, it’s not working.’
In a city with an enormous problem involving gangs, guns and violent behavior, THAT is a problem.
Today’s reading list is long. I hope you take the time to give it some attention.