26 November 2015
Yesterday a judge berated the media for not packing her courtroom for a hearing connected to an 11-year-old who was a shooting victim. Many were shocked that demonstrators tried to take the lights off Chicago's Christmas tree. "What did that have to do with your anger?"
These two examples showcase a lack of connecting the dots.
The anger Chicagoans have is not just about 16 shots. It's not just about Laquan McDonald.We have a lot of pent up anger about the violence in this city that emerges from more than just gun barrels.
Yesterday I asked what justice would look like. It would include us building a Chicago where Laquan's family is well supported minimizing the chance of abuse. It includes strong neighborhood schools to nurture & shelter him. It includes a foster care system that is a haven. It means dedicating our police to de-escalation before shooting to kill.
The tree lights are a symbol of how easy & quickly the mayor went from expressing outage about the video he claimed to have not watched to smiling at the lighting ceremony. That flip was offensive to many. I don't excuse the actions but i understand where they come from. When a family member asked today about the tree, I made a comment about I'm sure the city fixed it quickly because the city really cares about its image.
As for the judge..believe me when I say Chicago has enough rage for every shooting. But perhaps if our papers dedicated a page to every shooting victim that would save them instead of one article for the half dozen every weekend? Maybe the Sunday news should end with a list of everyone who was killed in the city like "This Week" use to do (I don't watch anymore so maybe they still do it) with those killed in combat?
In the end, for me, the anger over Laquan's death is about all the violence we suffer and endure in this city. I am tired of driving past Chicagoans sleeping in tents. I do not want the city to move them, unless it is to long-term real housing, not just moving them to parts of the city I don't drive through. I am tired of fielding questions on how to find and get into a good school in Chicago. All of these things add to my frustration and anger. I believe this is why the Chicago Teachers Union is joining in the demonstrations. I just hope we can change things with this anger and not just the names of those making decisions. But real change.