Sunday, October 11, 2009

Rise Up Chicago, Help Will Come

As I did my usual blog visits mid-week, I checked out my friend Sathira latest post, Who should guide the younger generation. After reading it I decided to pen this piece because I had a somewhat relevant discussion with my husband after watching a TV show. The issue we agreed is a lack of parents and elders to influence and control the children, to be simplistic.

We watched a broadcast on CNN about the killings in Chicago. This particular segment was on the killing of an honor student a few days ago. Two community activists from the area were on the show giving their perspective about the issues and the strategies they thought could end or at least improve the conditions there. One of the men felt very strongly that absence of African American professionals in the forefront was a problem. He questioned why these individuals are not seeing the crime spree as a problem or a cause for them to take up or why they are not out in force trying to get a handle on the situation. At this point the speaker’s comments and position got our discussion started.

The situation in Chicago is horrible and unsettling. I am very, very sorry for those families that have lost a loved one in this senseless situation. I think that the outcry and the raising up of force must be heightened within the community and it has to be more than complaining about the absence of some. More people need to demand the attention through their action to help to turn things around. Think about all of the events in history when redress was sought for the various ill of society. Enough people demanded action from the larger community by their outcry and action. This maybe extreme but the movie Death Wish with Charles Bronson comes to mind. Ok, so he was a renegade, vigilante and I am NOT in any way encouraging that response, but people have to say, by their action, I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it any more. I know that the media is picking up on some of the outcry in the communities of Chicago but it needs to be kicked up a few notches.

I understand that when you are broken, dysfunctional, dejected, demoralized and suffering, it hard to muster up the strength and wherewithal to try to fight back. I think that it must happen so that partnerships can be formed or expanded. Not all ‘victims’ will or can actively initiate the fight but the advocates can. So you have the cops doing their jobs and others saying, hey stop, look what you are doing and make a change. This is help and resource that is a catalyst for building that bridge stronger and wider.

I hope that all of the folks in the community – near and far- truly rise up and embrace those who are seeking help and help to influence change and bring the change to town. This must happen for the good of all.

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