I used to check every day, but it has sadly become a 5-10 death-rate every day, so why bother?
Well, I am bothered. On my way to work, I drove past one of those make-shift "ghetto" fabulous memorials. I started to photograph it. Folks were up 7 am adding to it, but then my stomach soured.
I don't know the story. What if they are memorializing a young man who at some point killed someone else? Gang-banged? terrorized? delt drugs? raped someone? abused his kids? killed pit-bulls? was a felon? Then I pulled into work where everyone I come in contact with has done at least one of, if not all and more of the aforementioned crimes. Where does it end?
Then I thought, it will only end if we uncover where it begins!
The mentality of our low-income communities are as varied as any other community, but somewhere there is a disconnect. Where a high-end community has many of the same issues (drugs, wayward combative teens, violence) they have money to reform their youth. My community must sit in it. Dwell in it. Eat and breathe it in until it festers and breeds more. The community with the money doesn't contribute and then it begins to spill all over and cannot be contained. I think about this all day and night. I think about it for the safety of my children, other children I love, children that you love and those I have to interact with, supervise and help daily until I finally retire from this madness.
I don't really have answers for the rural problems. When I go to courts in Skokie or Rolling Meadows, I definitely see very few minorities, yet the calls are still filled with crimes. These communities have money, yet there is still mountains of crime. SO what it that all about??
I unfortunately, can't comprehend that mayhem until I figure out how to manipulate what is going on here in Chicago.
I do know that undocumented felons have burdened the system greatly. The cartel is very active and has ordered violence and chaos with very little repercussions. They are bringing in a lot of the contraband into the country and contributing to this overwhelming gang war.
So, what am I suggesting? Early this morning, while I was contemplating that victim's final breath, I envisioned myself contacting the media and urging them to profile each and every person gunned down since January 1, 2012. In looking at every person, in detail, examining not judging, the deficits, the circumstances... then I realized there are no longer enough days in the year for all the victims. We passed 300 last weekend.
Then I considered, though they are victims, many are also culprits, but why? Were they once victims? Were they victims of the social system we have to repair? What deficit in their lives made them vulnerable to be slain?
I was also tweeting to Father Michael Phleger this morning who is A MAN ON FIRE. Maybe we should all get mad!!
He has taken his crusade to the streets, going door to door in his community. He takes a crew and they communicate one-on-one trying to figure out how to help.
Is this what it takes? I think that is part of what we need to do, don't you? Yet, there is so much more!
So-called Christians, Jews, Arabs, Agnostics, Buddist, Latter Day Saints and whomever else claiming to be charitable yet spewing hate, who comfortably sit in their worship sessions need to be taking it to their streets, going door-to-door asking "What do you need? Why are you in possession of drugs, guns, contraband? Why aren't you in school? Are you hungry? Do you need meds?"
The problem we are experiencing here in Chicago has raged on too long. I have many solutions but am limited, and may be a tad bit too angry to be effective (yes, I'm looking into that). Legislators are not being vocal about what needs to be implemented. The media is being very one-dimensional with coverage. Something has got to give in the urban dwellings!!
In the time it took me to write this, how many more have died? Syria? Egypt? Across the globe? Yes, the world is charged with political and religious unrest. But our unrest has to be covered too. Isn't it much more tragic if it is going on right outside your door and no one is doing anything except writing these inflammatory op-eds?
Take it to the streets people and let's make the streets safe. It's a huge undertaking! Or is it? If we can go to other planets, surely we can save lives being taken by these thoughtless urban terrorists. Treating them like terrorists might be the first step, then ensuring that they are not spreading the behavior to their families.
What do you believe? What can we do? How can we make this situation change? What is your place of worship doing? What is your fear? How can this madness end?