9-year-old Tyshawn Lee was murdered last week. Words, ink, and pixels have weighed in on this latest child murdered in Chicago. Here, here, here and here, just to cite a few. Yet, it appears the words fall on deaf ears.
Tyshawn Lee is forgotten in the 24/7 minute by minute news cycle. Another child was murdered days later. J-Quantae Riles, aged 14, was shot on a sidewalk in West Englewood. He to will soon be forgotten.
One columnist put the truth succinctly. Kids do not vote or pay taxes. Kids lives do not matter.
We ask where the outrage is. We ask what it will take before the child murders stop. We seek solutions. We want to find people to blame. Politicians, police, parents, communities, guns, culture, gangs, the drug business, violent video games, even music.
It appears certain parts of Chicago are under siege. The gangs and drug dealers have a fearful grip on the population. They wreak fear, havoc, mayhem, and murder with impunity. They are the power. Not the mayor, police, prosecutors, or other politicians.
The criminals are the power in these communities. The criminal organizations keep tight rein on their power through killing, violence, and fear.
Killing is power. Violence is power. Mayhem is power. Fear is power.
It does not help that some of the victim's parents are or were associated with the criminal element.
It does not help that some of our local, state, and federal politicians are associated with on going criminal enterprises.
It does not help that some powerful political voices are against harsher prison sentences for firearm related crimes.
It doe not help that the gangs and drug dealing operations are growing instead of being decimated.
There is no political will to bring law and order to the communities that need it most. Crime control is not a political priority. Not in Chicago, Springfield, or Washington.
There are no politicized popular groups demanding action. No mass protests. No catchy slogans like, "Hands up. Don't shoot" or "I can't breath". No one is making banners with the pictures of all the children killed in Chicago.
Professional protesters are not organizing mass demonstrations in gang controlled territories. No one is protesting in front of the homes of gang leaders or major drug dealers. No one is protesting where the drugs are sold. No one is protesting where the gangs congregate in groups.
No one is naming the leaders of the criminal enterprises responsible for child murders.
Black lives really do not matter when children are killed.
It is time to stop meeting with gang members. It is time to stop begging them to stop killing. They re laughing at you. It is time to stop treating them as equal members of the community or giving them a voice.
It is time to crack down on them. To build cases. To start putting them in prison. It is time to hold the leadership of the gangs responsible.
It is also time to stop the racial nonsense. Going after criminals is not racist. It is crime control.
Street gangs and drug dealers are pariahs. They should be treated as such. We spend more time, effort, and money eliminating vermin than eliminating the killers who walk our streets with impunity. They appear to have some untouchable criminal privilege.
Criminal activity, the alternate economy in many neighborhoods, is the cause of all this violence. If the criminal activity is seriously curtailed the violence will abate.
If the criminal enterprises are not seriously impacted the violence will continue. More children will die. More parents will grieve. More words, ink, and pixels will be wasted.
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