Last month, city officials announced the closure of 54 “under-resourced” schools, which will force some kids to walk across warring gang territory to get to school. For example, in the seven blocks between George Manierre Elementary and Jenner Elementary there are three gangs fighting over territory: Black P Stones, Conservative Vice Lords and Gangster Disciples.
If it all sounds scary, it’s only because it is.
And if the name attached to all of this violence were al-Qaeda instead of Gangster Disciples; or if instead of “gang violence” the bloodshed were called “terrorism;” or if instead of calling the people spreading fear and mayhem gangs we were to call them what they really are — terrorists — the nation would demand more be done.
After all, if children are afraid to walk to school because they might get killed or if residents are afraid to identify perpetrators for fear of retaliation, I think it’s safe to say they are being terrorized.
What seems like a linguistic shell game is really an exercise in empathy. The thought of elementary school kids walking across areas of a city controlled by three terrorist groups becomes unacceptable to everyone, not just their parents. Hearing that 25 Chicagoans were shot in one weekend becomes a threat to national security, and not just the mayor’s problem.
You want us to start labeling Black folks living in the hood as terrorists.
Instead of addressing the problems in the hood, addressing the issues that make these Black kids feel the need to resort to gang life, you simply want to write the gangs off as “terrorist organizations” and label the members “terrorists.”
Do you know what America does to terrorists? Especially ones of the Black and Brown variety? Do you know how many innocent people America has killed in pursuit of terrorists? Have you looked up an article or two on drone strikes?
This is not a good idea. It’s not a good idea at all. I can’t get behind this. I don’t know if I can trust anyone who can.