When acts of violence that happen in urban areas are discussed, one can’t help but to feel frustrated and stuck as to how these incidents can ultimately be stopped or at the least be minimized. Chicago, specifically the South Side of
the city, is a war zone. Every weekend a morbid count of the lives lost during gun violence are posted via social media and plastered in papers all over the world.
A lack of leadership, accountability, true social development and programs lend the the rise of this behavior. What can be done?
At the height of the release and subsequent protests due to the release of the Laquan McDonald video, who was shot 16 times by a Chicago police officer, Rahm Emanuel was feeling pressure from all sides. That fire has seemed to quell. There is currently a focus on the Illinois budget that Gov. Bruce Rauner has yet to pass. His lack of leadership has placed Chicago State University right in the crosshairs of his willful inaction. As a result of this, an institution of higher learning that is at least 80 percent Black is on the brink of closing.
Black lives are being attacked and we are attacking ourselves because of a lack of leadership, accountability and inaction.
We are in the throws of an election year and the importance of our voices being heard is more crucial now than when President Obama was elected to his first and second term. The world has shown us clearly who they are and how Black people are viewed. We must take ownership of this perception and redefine who we are.
Justice Scalia’s death has opened up not only a seat on the Supreme Court but also a can of worms as to how our voices must be conveyed in the highest court of the land. The way we express our leadership through our votes and political activities will turn the tide. Agendas must be created and lobbied for. We must hold those accountable in positions of leadership to speak to our need. We may not be pulling the trigger or playing chess with real-life people and their livelihoods, but when we do not recognize our power in this system, we aid in our own destruction. Vote!