Chicago’s In Need Of A.C.

 |  June 24, 2010
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When you see things on the news and think to yourself “that’s crazy”, you get some relief that it’s not you on the tube being gawked at with shock and pity. This particular story that has a reoccurring theme doesn’t bring me any comfort because I’m in the middle of it. Chicago has been on blast (literally) because of the record waves of violence, especially last weekend where 54 people were shot and 10 were killed. These tales include all types of people; from gangbangers to couples – even a 1-year old girl was grazed in the neck. The real sad part is that it’s not even July yet and the summer months trigger the biggest spikes in violence. The hood theories behind the shootings have several reasons that can explain why the ghetto is red hot:

1. The heat makes people go outside more and keeps them in the streets. There are a lot of houses that don’t have AC.
2. There is an unusually large percent of unemployment among black males (55%)
3. A majority of the urban youth (black & Hispanic) don’t have summer jobs or programs, so they are in the streets
4. There are an enormous amount of handguns in the streets and everyone has access to one


Add to this the fact that the police are notoriously crooked and we are on the recovery end of the recession and you get a recipe for disaster. It has spilled into really affecting the hip-hop community with the recent loss of local MC Pac Man who worked with L.E.P. and other local artists. I always thought it was at it’s worst when entertainers start to become victims and inmates (i.e. New Orleans with Mystical, C-Murder, Soulja Slim, etc.).
Everyone looks toward solutions around these times, but the people who can do something about it usually benefit somehow from the tragedy that is Chicago. We’ve had the same mayor for like 20 years, a corrupt system that seems to be getting more rotten and a growing divide between the rich and poor. These are thing that are manifesting throughout the country, it just get way more illustration when they report about the bullet showers over the weekend.

The hood needs a couple of things – jobs for the youth and a better education system would be a good start. Even passing out air conditioning units I think would help some. They prioritize the elderly getting cool, but they not the ones that get hot and frustrated and go outside busting their guns at innocent people. Who knows what will help or if there is any help that will work. As ridiculous as you think it might be that I suggested that they give a grown man a fan, remember that there has been an average of 1 murder for each day in the year so far and Chicago’s murder rate is higher than New York’s with only a third of the people.

Until then, I’ll be here on the other side of those horrifying news stories helping to employ about 60 students this summer through a blogging program. Remember when you see these numbers that there are real people behind them just trying to make it.

R.I.P. Pac Man