I’m Just Saying…Until the black and brown communities get real leadership that focuses on real solutions in their communities, inner cities like Chicago will continue to experience extreme gun violence and senseless killings, escalating school dropout rates, continued teenage pregnancy and increased youth and young adult incarcerations. Add to that high unemployment rates among youth and adults, lack of business or home/property ownership, overall reliance on entitlement programs and black and brown underground economies, and you get chaos, confusion and convoluted leadership trying to remedy the problems.
For the past couple months, mass demonstrations and calls for political resignations from fired Police Commander Garry F. McCarthy to State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez and, even, Mayor Rahm Emanuel over police shootings of unarmed black youth has garnered national media attention, as well as highlighted the anguish and pain of loss those families have and will continue to experience. However, while black organizers and activists hold sit downs, sit-ins, town halls and store blockades to express their cries for Black Lives Matter, their approach, focus and demands fall far short of effectuating any immediate change in the communities in which they live.
I’m just saying…Where are these protesters and activists when every day it seems our young people are being shot and killed by drive-by shooters. Why is it that the villages of Maywood, Lynwood and Sauk Trail that border the Chicago land area can enact laws to ban sagging and, in Chicago, our young men and women do so with no outcry from the Black Lives Matter protesters?
Black Lives Do Matter and I think the matter of holding our young men and women to higher standards matters. Why do I see grammar school- and high school-aged young people out in the streets and on corners at 11-12 p.m. and 1 a.m. and then listen to their friends and relatives bemoan their assassinations on the news in the morning?
Inner-city Chicago neighborhoods must regain law and order, ensure revitalization, achieve economic growth and change the community landscape. All I ask of those adamant and boisterous protesters is to:
- Demand more respect in and from our own communities (We need to protect and serve our own interests).
- Rain down on the liquor stores that open at 7 a.m. and close after 10 p.m.
- Demand that the dope peddlers and crack houses close down their operations.
- Work with the police and develop mental health and drug addiction referrals.
- Demand that Welfare To Work programs actually put people on welfare to work.
- Develop resources to maximize and organize our voting potential.
- Demand that the Cook County Land Bank Authority make available the city’s Acquisition and Disposition of Real Property inventory to be developed and transferred to residents of the community
- Demand that we stop killing each other.
I’m Just Saying…BLACK LIVES SHOULD MATTER TO US!
See Part 1 of this series at the following link: Just Saying: Black on Black Crime Phenomena
Opinion by James Cannon
Edited by Cathy Milne
Featured Image Courtesy of The All-Night Image’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License