Is Dajae Coleman's Murder A Turning Point For Evanston?

Is Dajae Coleman's Murder A Turning Point For Evanston?

I was saddened to learn of the murder of Dajae Coleman, a high school freshman gunned down while walking home from a party in Evanston eight blocks from my home.

I am a lifelong Evanston resident and consider my four years at Evanston Township High School among the best of my life.

My parents chose to live in Evanston; I choose to live in Evanston.  I bleed orange and blue.

Evanston is a unique town with a mix of people from every background imaginable; a place where lakefront mansions mingle with public housing.  I remember my freshman english class at E.T.H.S. where I was flanked on one side by a model who never wore the same outfit twice, the other by a star athlete so poor that he always wore a white t-shirt and blue jeans.

By all accounts, Dajae Coleman was a great kid with great parents, an honor student and athlete.  Not the target but a victim, allegedly killed by Wesley Woodson III in a case of mistaken idenity.

In the midst of unspeakable tragedy, a community is left overwhelmed with grief, questions and, sadly, a bit of hysteria from those who claim that Evanston "used to be a great place to raise a family."  Yes, Evanston is diverse, yet Evanston also has its share of limousine liberals who practice drive-by diversity; those who appreciate diversity like art in a gallery, best experienced from a distance.

My community is unique but far from perfect.  There is crime, always has been, with a myriad of reasons and proposed solutions.  Whether Dajae Coleman's murder is a turning point remains to be seen.

Coming on the heels of a violent Chicago summer the murder of Dajae Coleman hit home.  Many years ago the Chicago Tribune ran an award winning series called Killing Our Children, deciding to make every child murder front page news.

One murder is too many.

As a parent I feel vulnerable, similar to parents at Columbine or Virginia Tech.  My only son is the same age as Dajae Coleman.

There but for the grace of God go I.

After the death of Trayvon Martin President Obama famously said, "If I had a son he would look like Trayvon."

I am saddened for Dajae Coleman's family.  I am saddened for all of us, and hopeful those who choose to live in Evanston will be part of the solution.



Filed under: crime, Family, life

Tags: Dajae Coleman, E.T.H.S, Evanston

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