Reading Police Chief McCarthy’s comment’s today about the violence in the city being an issue of “perception” outrages me more than the violence itself. I lived in West Pullman for over 30 years until 4 years ago, I heard gunshots at night, there was a police camera on the corner of 123rd & Halsted and still drug deals went on and the violence continued.
And before that there was an attempted robbery on my father on that very corner as well as a friend in high school was attacked with a bottle on that same street.
I have been carjacked, my grandfather was a victim of armed robbery several times, being a victim of a violent crime is not just something you read in a book or speak about during a press conference. It was and is real life for many people.
Crime is not just a number, homicides are more than statistics, sure a lot of it is gang related but there are innocent victims and I don’t just mean the ones downtown or in good neighborhoods.
Seeing your neighborhood fall to crime before your eyes in heart wrenching, having a major insurance company first raise your rates then drop you because you live in a high crime area is frustrating.
Don’t tell us that it’s about the wrong stats that come out. Or that we are missing the good crime statistics.
This is like the Chicago Public School system watering down success to standardized test results. The warehousing of the inner city is how we got in the mess.
People matter, quality of life matters, children (and adults for that matter), that are stuck in a bureaucratic mess that only benefits their local politicians (and crooked clergy), is criminal in itself.
When I lived in West Pullman, it literally felt like no one in any position of power cared about us. All we were was a vote on election day or an example when a development was floated, just a photo op for a newsletter to show that some greasy politician was here.
I left the community because I was getting married and didn’t want to subject my then fiancé (now wife), to the cycle of violence that surrounded my community. And I can’t blame people who want a better life for themselves, call us sellouts or unloyal but it’s a matter of quality of life and survival, not just a percentage or metric on a year to year report.
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