Who Shot That Child:The Sound Heard Round the World

Who Shot That Child:The Sound Heard Round the World

The sound of gun fire punctuated the tenants’ meeting in the 346 E. 53rd Street building last evening.  The shots were close by.  Close enough to cause a stir in the building.  Residents emerged from apartments, emptied out of the brightly lit meeting room where tenants play at Wii bowling or take exercise classes. People abandoned the room in which they were discussing building business including the loss of one of the members of the seven story building just that morning.
He had a long life.

It’s a new building, barely a year old.  The tenants here are active seniors.  For the most part we enjoy our building.  We have a state of the art work out space, aroof top green space and a ground level garden that in the summer is full of tomatoes, beans and salad greens grown and consumed by the garden club members.  Some of us are more involved in the community than others but I don’t think any of the residents of this building are immune to the devastation taking place in our community.

Bronzeville is struggling, like the rest of the country to cope with the ever increasing violence committed on and by children. We don’t have a sense of community peace we remember from our childhoods.  Gone are the days when the neighbor lady  would call your mother to report on your bad behavior.  We were just as likely to be chastised by a neighbor as we were a relative and that neighbor had absolutely no thought that your mother or father was going to take a shot at them for correcting their child.  Most likely, the neighbor would sit and have coffee with your parents that week-end and promise to continue to report if you stepped out of bounds.

The gun shots that shattered the quiet of last evening were less than a block away.  The lives that were taken were kids who frequently cut through our parking lot to reach the L stop at 51st, Dyett or Burke school. We even think that one of the injured was a boy who late last summer may have been involved in the rock throwing that broke our car windows but under no circumstances did these children deserve to lose life or limb.  The question we asked ourselves today as we watched the local news reports and the national reports of other children killing children is how can we stop this? How do we address this epidemic?  We cannot seem to identify a cause or even a reasonable cluster of causes that we can address.  Schools say parents are to blame.  I think parents have their share of responsibility.  Parents blame the schools.  Some sociologists and community activists blame a society in which material acquisition is far more important than values.  We are bombarded with you are what you wear, what you drive, your bling factor.  How are low income, poorly educated, under employed people to measure up to the expected images of “making it”?  All too often the answer is get the money anyway you can.  That mantra is an entrée to drug dealing, thieving, and bottom line …life in the gang.

Who shot that child? 

The bullets came so fast, so quick.

That life is over.

Neighborhood women shake their heads and hold folded arms
over ample bosoms.

That life is over.

Silent rage fills the street corners as others plan revenge covering the pain with anger.

That life is over.

Tearful Teen cradles her baby boy.  His daddy never had a chance.

That life is over.

Little sister vows she will escape this hell hole some way.  Her belly is big with child coming way too soon.

That life is over.

Big brother sitting with his head down; buried in the news and feeling helpless behind the bars of his prison cell.

That life is over.

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  • There is currently more CHA being developed for state street.Why is it that the majority of this "affordable housing" is only slated for areas that already have an disporpotionate amount of this housing(middle class black areas)? They are using our communities as dumpining areas to preserve downtown and trendy areas of the north side. Its already hard enough to get development on the south side and the city and alderpeople are contributing to this.

    Dowell just wants to dilute the middlle class(like Brookings) so she can ensure her continual re-election as she knows the south loop won't support her. She knows the middle class would challenge her and hold her accountable and she can't have that. I hope the black middle class is paying attention to how the black politicans are actually working against them. This is true for Brookings also, what happened in the remap was just dispicable.

    Everyone contact your federal senator/reps and the republicans and tell them u support cutting of the HUD budget. Cut the budget so that there is only enough for seniors, the disabled, and returning vets. Also tell everyone you know and in community meetings. You don't have to vote for the republicans, just let them know that they have your support for these cuts. The budget cuts will Force CHA to sell their public housing to the private market and there will be less section 8 in your area raising property values.

    Black people should be the most vocal of everyone as our areas are used as areas to dump them(section 8 public housing). THEN PEOPLE ALWAYS WONDER WHY THE BLACK AREAS OF TOWN ARE ALWAYS THE SLUMS. The black politicans don't care about the black community they only care about their power. They continue to undermine progress and blame racism for the non progress , while they are the actual problem ie Dowell, Sawyer,and Brookings.

    Lets vote based on candiates who will represent our interest whether they be gay, lesbian, republican, green party, white, asian etc.

  • Have you registered at the CHA site to voice your concerns? It's a great place to chime in and be heard. http://thecha.ideascale.com/
    In fact, your concerns are being addressed by many, including me.

  • Yes I have. I'm one of the commenters. I voted for the idea to end CHA housing, lower the amount of units and mixed income developments etc.

  • Hey Carmel I found your numerous ideas after I wrote the comment. Thanks for letting CHA know your thoughts. You might want to check out some of my thoughts there as well.

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