West Englewood, SW Chicago, IL. This neighborhood is the deadliest neighborhoods in murder capital USA. While the city has not made a lot of headlines in the national news regarding it's murder rate, that does not mean the killings have stopped.
According to the Chicago Tribune, as of September 27, 2017, a total of 2,818 people are gunshot victims, which is down by 407 since 2016; 527 people are homicide victims, down down by 262 since last year. Despite shooting victims and deaths decreasing in Chicagoland, these numbers are still high. The problem is that black-on-black crime is not a problem, plain and simple. The government does not have a plan to put an end to black-on-black crime. We were forced to live segregated, and years later, no one wants to step in and build opportunity. Black people are victims of concentrated poverty at levels higher than any other ethnicity in the United States. Placing black families in situations where the crime is high, creates fewer opportunities for youth to thrive, which often creates a continuous cycle of crime. This is a pattern that is unbreakable unless the community steps in and enforces change. We can't count on federal funds or aid to step in and help, let alone help on the state and local level. Keep in mind that these problems continue to pose a threat simply because the government does not provide low-income areas with the same opportunities they do for the upper-middle class and predominately white neighborhoods. I know this for a fact because I went to inner city schools growing up, and I taught in both inner city and suburban school systems. I promise you there is a big difference in the services and activities provided in the differing areas. Part of the reason is that parents in suburbia aren't forced to work 2 and 3 jobs just to make ends meet.
Groups like M.A.S.K. (Mothers & Men Against Senseless Killings), patrolling the streets and meeting at locations where murders have occurred, with hopes to prevent crime and further killings from taking place. Other groups such as Kids off the Block, Inc., and Chicago Safe Start, have dedicated their time and effort into community guidance by offering programs and activities geared towards keeping kids off the streets after school; a time in the black community when many parents are at work and cannot afford after-school care.
In 2015, the National Guard took to the streets of Chicago, sweeping areas of high crime in the wake of Spike Lee's movie Chiraq. The military takeover of Chicago streets did not put an end to crime, although down 2 years later, it still isn't enough to feel comfort in allowing a young child to play outside, let alone stand at the school bus stop. Active groups in Chicago neighborhoods are the only saviors for this wounded city. It's obvious that the government has no interest in ceasing street crimes in order to allow more opportunity to youth.
This all goes to show that there needs to be more programs in place for the black community. I have watched this trend for 10 years as an educator, there is simply not enough effort put into the black community to help keep kids off of the streets after school and throughout the summer. Child care needs to be made more affordable, more programs need to be in place inside schools, and transportation should be provided. It's all easier said than done, and it can be done, but we really have to devote time into making programs like these work because we cannot rely on the government to step in and present us with opportunity.
If you look at what's going on in Las Vegas right now, it goes to show where the heart of this nation is. Don't get me wrong, it's a horrible tragedy, but notice how Americans stopped and focused. Now look at the victims, then look at the shooter. This has America's attention. A devastating hurricane in Puerto Rico was not enough to get America's attention because everyone was so fixated on Trump bashing the NFL for taking a knee to the National Anthem. I said all of this to say, blacks and minorities are overlooked in this country. Black people are constantly fighting for justice, but they only try to silence us and make us seem like we're "complaining" or our protest are not "justified." All we ask is that we receive the same justice as any other American citizen, however, as time goes on, it is becoming more evident that we will never be accepted as equal in this country. I often feel like I am repeating myself when I write many of my articles, but I can't say this stuff enough. Our perception as to what is happening to us in this country is real. We have to start working together as people. They want us to destroy ourselves and hate one another. They want us to
I have complied a list of resources to show what is being done in Chicago and the organizations already in place to provide opportunity for the youth. There is also information on homicide statistics, as well as assistance for those who have become victims of gun violence. Be Blessed!