Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day violence in Chicago

Here are a few articles about the recent uptick in murders in Chicago. This one is a profile of thevictims of last year's Memorial Day weekend, often one of the city's most violent.  Though ironically, Memorial Day weekend 2016 seems not to have had such a high rate of violence as compared to the rest of the year.  I don't know yet how things went this past weekend in 2017. Here is a reflection on the relative immunity from violence in Chicago offered by one's white skin. I vouch for the author's words—I and lots of other white folks (construction workers, business owners, commuters, civil servants, etc.) spend a lot of time in neighborhoods that are statistically very dangerous, but the real danger to us is minimal, since we seem to be covered by a different set of rules than the full-time residents of color in these areas that are terrorized by violence.

Lastly, here is an article about a proposal that I wasn't aware of to begin with, but that apparently posited that crime could be reduced in Chicago by putting certain neighborhoods like Englewood on lockdown. This type of proposal seems emblematic to me of a widespread unwillingness to confront problems like violence as collective problems, but rather a desire to isolate them to certain pockets of the population that we deem as being less deserving of comfort and civil liberties. Of course in walling off a neighborhood that is violent because it is isolated, you isolate it more. It may work in the short term to limit the geographical extent of the violence, but ultimately it will exacerbate the inequality, suffering, desperation, and resentment that fuel violence, and the city as a whole will suffer, not just the pocket you thought you'd confined the violence to.  Luckily, the article spends most of its time detailing a different approach more similar to Bogota's campaign to make its city more inclusive and just, and that seems to have borne fruit in terms of drastically reduced rates of violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment