URBAN KILLING FIELDS

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On a recent television news program there was a panel discussion that included input from young people who were expressing their political views of President Donald Trump. Basically, one group was comprised of Donald Trump supporters, while the other group featured those who were against the president. The pro-Trump group had one African American, a male who was a member of the Republican Party, as did the anti-Trump panel.

The anti-Trump panel discussed their reasons for opposing President Trump, which were detailed and fact based. The pro-Trump group was less specific, and the participation of the lone African American was notably cringe-worthy. He did make one point however, that one cannot argue against. The moderator pointed out the increases in hate-speak and bigotry since Trump ascended to office and asked the pro-Trump group what they thought about that trend. The African American volunteered to answer by saying that the real issue is that Black people are killing each other at an alarming rate, and that is basically more troubling than whatever Trump is doing.

That was probably an uncomfortable moment for a great many Black people in the viewing audience. But it can’t be denied that he had a point. Blacks are killing Blacks, especially in urban centers like Chicago, where 148 people have been killed since the beginning of the year. According to the Chicago Tribune’s crime site, there were 55 homicides in January 2017, 50 homicides in February, 37 in March, and six homicides so far in April. The majority of these homicides involved Blacks and other minorities.

Some people are starting to ask why the Black community is soft on crime. Apologists offer the rebuttals that “White people kill each other too,” or they say “The news does not report white on white crimes.” The fact of the matter is that it is becoming more and more common to see flowers, balloons and teddy bears at increasing rates posted throughout the Black community marking spots where someone has been killed. Recently, one mother witnessed two of her sons shot and killed right outside of the restaurant where she worked, and another elderly person was shot and killed outside of a popular restaurant on Chicago’s West Side.

Actually, whether there is a reporting game that exists of ignoring white crime and only reporting on Blacks and minorities, the numbers in the Black community are way too high! The community is under siege. To put this in perspective, if the numbers of homicides committed by policemen in the Black community were reduced to ZERO, the numbers of Black on Black murders would stand out in stark contrast. To be sure, ONE murder is too many.

It must be pointed out that the situation in Chicago is not isolated to Chicago. History has shown that no group that is facing an enemy can be defeated without help from a member of that group. Slavery stories are replete with instances of Blacks betraying other Blacks in order to receive approval from white slave owners. Had the slaves been more unified with fewer white sycophants, slavery might have ended far before 1865.

Black on Black disunity seems to be the hallmark of Black communities in America and elsewhere. The situation in Chicago is just one instance of a more generalized problem. If white oppression disappeared overnight, the Black community would still have significant issues. We can change mayors, school superintendents, governors, presidents, and all types of other leaders, but if we continue to keep our heads in the sand blaming our problems on others, we will continue to dig ourselves into deeper holes until we reach rock bottom.

This does not have to be the case, however, if enough Black people begin to see the strength in unity. This is the ONLY way that our problems will be effectively addressed. Black on Black crime in Chicago, therefore, is NOT owned by Mayor Rahm Emanuel as some activists have stated; it is owned by the Black community! A luta continua.

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