Local and national news outlets are painting a picture that the violence will not stop in Chicago. Shootings have moved to the expressways and criminals are more brazen and defiant. Recently, a shootout happened at a South Side Starbucks that is three blocks away from a police station. Yvonne Nelson, 49, was caught in the crossfire and fatally shot as she left the coffee shop.
Everybody wants answers and nobody has them. From this writer’s perspective, the answer is in the history of this community. The story of the Chicago Housing Projects is one that permeates the history of the city and is represented in movies such as Candyman and television shows like “Good Times.” The area where the Starbucks now stands in Bronzeville is the former home of the Stateway Garden Housing Project. Urban developers created structures throughout the city where thousands of people were concentrated in one area living on top of each other. Poverty was rampant and crime was confined. These buildings came down and what this created is a population of impoverished people who have been conditioned in the worst way on a diet of poverty and violence. This recipe for disaster has spread across the city, creating killing zones in various pockets of communities.
The most recent tally as of Memorial Day weekend 2016 according to Nbcchicago.com is that more than 60 people were shot and eight were killed. There is not a day that goes by where this death number takes a pause. Reportedly, 397 people were shot in May alone.
Community activist Tio Hardiman told NBC, “I am not criticizing the police but they cannot stop the carnage in the African American community. African American men must step up to stop killings in our community.”
Community activist TJ Crawford has responded to this call and the call of Minister Louis Farrakhan and is heading up the launch of 10K fearless men in Chicago. The call is for 10K fearless men to stand up in their communities to make them safe, to stand up for their women and children to ensure their healthy growth and development. On June 17, they will gather on 79th and King Drive on the South Side of Chicago to begin the process of healing the community and ridding them of these killing zones.