The Fireworks Sound Funny in Chicago

The Fireworks Sound Funny in Chicago

Memorial Day weekend is a day that serves many functions. Of course, its primary purpose is to remember those brave soldiers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. It has also long been considered the official start to summer.

However, in certain areas of the U.S. this day is nothing but a reason to lock the doors.

This weekend is poised to be the most violent weekend of the year for Chicagoans, which saying a lot for a city nicknamed “Chi-raq”. According to WGN Chicago, last year there were 56 shot and 12 killed over the 48 hour this gleeful period of time that is typically characterized by backyard barbecues.

There is no reason to expect any different in 2016. Statistics reported by HeyJackass.com show that in 2016 alone there have been 1435 shot and 246 killed in Chicago. That is an average of 49.2 deaths per month. To put that fact in perspective, only three servicemen have been fatally wounded in action in 2016, per iCasualties.org.

If you crunch the numbers (use all your fingers and toes now), that is 1.2% of the casualties, or 82 times less than those that occurred on the streets on Chicago this year. Let me be clear, the amount of respect that should be shown to our servicemen is impossible to quantify. Anyone who signs up to be shot for insufferable assholes they’ve never met deserves a medal in my book. But, shouldn’t the general public at least give a shade of a damn about such widespread brutality on our home turf?

If you are hurrying to rebut, you are part of the problem.

Citing ‘gangbangers’, ‘the hood’, criminals is not an adequate justification to ignore the violence. Such rhetoric is merely a cop out that allows Americans to neglect millions of impoverished countrymen and women. Rarely do we see reasonably well-off citizens commit such violent crimes and yet there is little discussion on the news of the crippling economic conditions that forced these individuals to resort to violent means.

We don’t talk about the schools that don’t have books, the bus lines that doesn’t run to certain parts of town, or the lack of jobs with a chance of advancement.

The reason the problem persists is a passionate will to disassociate from the actual root of the problem; centuries of racism and segregation. Up until this point there was no mention of any demographic information (age, gender, race, ethnicity, etc.), and for one simple reason. Think about the face you associated with the violence. Black or White?

Can it really be a coincidence that 80.2% of gun violence victims in 2015 were African American, compared to 3.7% for Whites? In what cockamamie universe can there be racial reason for such stark differences. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

One of the biggest arguments of the 21st century has been over healthcare and medical benefits. All of which were pioneered in the 1930s, and are causing headaches for the public today. Is it so outlandish to think that legal segregation may have led to some long-lasting consequences as well?

Until Americans sac-up and sincerely address the issue, the violence will escalate, and conditions will worsen.

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