The violence in Chicago continues beyond the weekend with another round of shootings that have injured at least 15 people, including a 10 year-old girl. Two are in serious to critical condition. Details on the shootings with links are near the bottom of this column.
The death toll for 2012 in Chicago stands at 254 with scores wounded. The cost of life is dear but the cost in dollars is running the city about $5.3 billion annually according to a study put out by the Center for American Progress.
Police efforts under Mayor Rahm Emanuel have been an exercise in finger-pointing, with Police Chief McCarthy making an absurd leap in a radio interview of blaming ‘pilgrims’ from hundreds of years ago and of course the race card was played as he also blamed the white cops. The radio host didn’t want to be left out, so Jim Crow, The Reconstruction and social justice were dragged in as well.
From Washingt0n Times:
“It’s a big issue. It’s a long time coming. We’ve done a lot of things wrong in policing in this country. I’m willing to admit that,” said McCarthy. “But this goes back 200-300 years to the time when Pilgrims came here and things developed from that, the African American experience in this country.”
But the Pilgrims weren’t the only people being blamed for the violence. The superintendent also laid blame at the feet of America’s finest and inferred – without actually stating it – that white police officers are the problem.
“Who has been the people enforcing those laws that were problematic for the African American community all these years? And that’s to me where it all starts,” stated McCarthy. “It starts with the recognition of how we got here and figuring out how we are going to move forward. By first confronting the issue. Recognition is the first step towards reconciliation. So that’s what I bring to the table. It’s one of those things that a lot of police chiefs in this country are afraid to talk about. I’m not afraid to talk about it because it’s out there and we’ve got to address it.”
Then WVON host Warren Valentine chimed in, blaming the Jim Crow era.
“It takes a village to raise a child and I’m not giving the parents a pass. But we can’t just say this is all on the parents and it ain’t all on nobody else. The legal system is the new Jim Crow system in America,” said Valentine. “You go on and look at what is going on in America today and compare it to when we look in the past. See a lot of people don’t understand the history of America.”
The radio host also blamed vagrancy laws enacted during U.S. Reconstruction and the current war on drugs, a war he believes unfairly targets the African American community.
“What they did during the vagrancy time [Reconstruction] is, they locked them [Black Americans] up and rented them out to corporations and cheap labor. That is exactly what is going on today.”
“If you want to stop violence, it’s easy. You get economic empowerment into these poverty-stricken communities, give these young people a chance to work, give them jobs. Number two. The war on drugs? We need to end the war on drugs because it is the war on us. They’re locking these kids up ridiculously,” continued Valentine.
A representative for Operation Push agreed that economic empowerment is part of the solution.
Operation Push gets a few words in. Jesse Jackson couldn’t be there himself, he’s too busy protesting gun shops and teaming up with Al Sharpton in inciting people to riot perhaps. That’s so helpful to ending the gang related shootings in Chicago.
There is much more in the Washington Times story – read the whole thing.
Still only local and smaller media seem to be reporting this.
WGN News6:50 a.m. CDT, July 4, 2012CHICAGO—
At least 15 people were shot in the city since 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Three of them were hurt in a drive-by shooting in the Uptown neighborhood.
Police say the shooter was aiming at a man on the street in the 4400 block of North Racine in the Sheridan Park neighborhood.
He ended up hitting the man and two women who were with him.
All three were hospitalized.
The women are in serious-to-critical condition.
The man is in fair condition.
Police have not said whether the shooting was gang-related.
No suspects are in custody.
More detail from the Chicago Sun-Times:
A 10-year-old girl was critically wounded and a man also was shot late Tuesday as they played at an open hydrant in the West Side’s Austin neighborhood.
They were cooling off from the heat when they were shot about 11:20 p.m. in the 200 block of North Leamington, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.
The girl, who was shot in the left wrist and abdomen, was taken in critical condition to West Suburban Medical Center in Oak Park before she was transfered to Stroger Hospital. The 24-year-old man was shot in the right heel, police said. He was listed in good condition at West Suburban Medical Center.
Further down, emphasis mine:
Nakita Collins, 23, who has lived in the neighborhood her whole life, said she has watched Austin decline.
“It’s become infested with drugs and gang activity,” said Collins, adding that she often feels abandoned by the city and police.
“We pay taxes and they don’t take care of us,” she said. “They don’t patrol … I just don’t think they care.”
The girl and man were among at least 15 people shot Tuesday evening in the city, including a 15-year-old boy wounded while playing basketball, officials said.
The boy was shot around 5 p.m. in the 8500 block of South Peoria, police said. An unknown shooter took out a gun and opened fire, hitting him in the left arm. He was one of a dozen people shot in a four hour period.