Beaten To Death In Broad Daylight
This is the latest in a string of violent deaths that have targeted Chicago’s inner city youth. In any civilized society the death of Derrion Albert would be major, tragic news, however it’s shaping up to be another sad story in the life of an honor roll student. Wrong place, wrong time, same old, yada, but did he really have a choice in the matter? The public outcry isn’t nearly as loud as what was experienced before, during and after the Jenna 6 trials. What gives? Black on black crime. There’s been little outcry from civic leaders, clergy, politicians, community activists, concerned neighbors and citizens.
Like Detroit and other Midwest urban cities, Chicago has a high poverty rate. It was at 600,000 people last I checked. Even worse are children living in poverty who rank in at every 1 in 3. Chicago public school students make up 85% of that figure alone. The graduation rate is hovering at a little over 50%. Most poor people live in extreme poverty. Looking at the video, that’s exactly what my eyes are met with. Images of an urban jungle and kids engaging in its warfare accordingly. Derrion just so happened to be an innocent victim who was brutally killed by gang bangers.
Gang violence hit the roof during the mid-1990s when the Chicago Housing Authority (public housing) began shifting much needed money from maintenance and renovation on buildings to finance a massive drug enforcement campaign instead, which was aimed at ridding the projects of gangs. The strategy failed. The projects began being demolished shortly after and its tenants were relocated into other areas of the city and surrounding suburbs. This included areas of high-crime and unemployment, which served to increase the growing friction between different gang factions.
It became even more noticeable when the civil rights establishment (NAACP), including Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, et al abandoned the day to day struggles of the poor and working class for the sake of the corporate free market and political religious conjecture. You can fight racial inequality until the cows come home, but you won’t fix anything if you can’t win the fight in your own backyard.
What saddens me the most about Derrion’s death is that had he not died, the media wouldn’t have picked up on this or given it any attention whatsoever. Unless of course it was being used as a talking point against Chicago politics and Obama’s connection to it. The video would have circulated YouTube, perhaps generated some interest on a small scale, inciting a myriad of racial comments and that’s it. The only thing I find fault with in Obama is that he is in fact apart of the Chicago political machine that has long dominated and diminished our reputation for respectability and accountability around the country. His integration runs deep. So deep that he ended up taking former Chicago school Superintendent Arne Duncan with him to Washington and gave him the U.S Secretary of Education post. What the… Things have gotten progressively worse.
Things to note:
1. This wild foray happened outside the Agape Community Center. Apparently, those responsible do not know the definition of the word agape, nor is there enough of it permeating this neighborhood and many others like it. Agape: The love of God or Christ for mankind; unconditional love.
2. There are churches aplenty in the inner city neighborhoods, yet they do not react, as if these incidents are so common there is nothing they can possibly do to stop or even tame the violence. Where’s the outreach? The local church groups are absent, local aldermen are absent and the residents are quite possibly scared shit-lessby threats of retaliation.
3. Too many people don’t want to get involved in their own community. I’m speaking from experience. One phone call could have made a little difference when the massive gathering of young men and boys first began congregating. Where does the level of guilt place you if you sit back and simply do nothing?
4. When are parents going to start making education, discipline and responsibilitya priority? The parents aren’t always to blame, but they have an inherent responsibility to play a vital role in their child’s life and education. This is their future. Good communication is essentially lacking.
5. Elected officials can’t cleanse our neighborhoods, yet we’re ready for the Olympics? I’m sure Mayor Daley realizes that the gangs will still be here when the athletes show up.
6. (PTSD) Post traumatic stress syndrome. I want to know what they’re doing for the students and kids who witnessed this murder, in broad daylight, while no one saw anything or bothered to call 911 and why they aren’t more counselors in these communities where children witness post traumatic stress on an almost daily basis. They are bound to become immune to sympathy.
7. Where’s the attempt to understand the bigger picture? Resources and effort must be invested into these communities or this epidemic will continue. Sadly, our government would rather bail out banks and fund coporate corruption on Wall Street than invest in poor kids with little to no hope.
8. The Chicago Police Department knows full well about the gang problem. Overall, they do not resemble or even portray an advanced police force. The city is in dire need of a well organized, equipped, trained and disciplined police department. Is that too much to ask? Where is the independent citizen counsel that’s needed to ensure that their behavior is in line and conducive to protecting Chicago’s taxpayers?
9. This is impossible to come by when the Mayor does everything half-assed, except when it comes to petitioning to host the 2016 Olympics.
10. Students should not fear for their lives while in school or outside of the school. Schools are bastions of learning and hope and they are supposed to be a safe haven for all. Without that, there is nothing.
But, this kind of thing happens everywhere. It’s nothing new, right? Right.
At the end of the day, the boys responsible and the parents are to blame, period.
RIP Derrion Albert