The armchair racists think they have all of the answers when it comes to crime ridden neighborhoods.
And to be clear, when I say crime ridden I mean black neighborhoods.
Because when the armchair crowd speaks, they usually do so in code. Knowing this, it’s important that we all be on the same page for what I’m about to say.
When I read the message boards after a crime story on the Tribune or the Sun Times, the flood of racist comments are staggering.
We’re in Chicago so that shouldn’t come as a complete surprise.
What confounds me is the number of commenters who believe that people in high crime areas actually want to live this way; that south side & west side residents---your fellow Chicagoans---revel in violence and victimization.
Let me share something with you: Nothing could be further from the truth.
Frankly, it wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t understand how it works either.
For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why people who had been born and raised in our wonderful city would put up with some of the most outrageous treatment since the Jim Crow south.
Marginalization in overcrowded conditions, shoddy over priced housing, restrictive covenants determining where you lived; that seems like the good old days compared to what’s happening now.
Open drug dealing, crumbling infrastructure, a liquor store on every corner, undesirables skulking everywhere and indifferent politicians.
Why would anyone put up with that type of outrageous treatment?
It was a head scratcher.
At least it was until I had my “a-ha” moment.
It’s not that the people in the neighborhoods don’t care; it’s just that their self appointment leaders had sold them out.
Sold out their constituency and sold out their neighborhoods for a metaphorical 30 pieces of silver.
And of course the perception of being “decision makers.”
Which when you think about it is laughable.
Anyone with half a brain knows that the big decisions in this city are made so far away from committee meetings and neighborhood forums.
The fix is in long before the public is asked to give their two cents.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called plantation politics and in my opinion it has ruined a vast majority of this city.