Wednesday, August 17, 2016
Puffing words like soap bubbles
On Monday mornings, along with the traffic and weather, the AM radio news station presents the butcher’s bill from the preceding weekend of violence: 40 shot, nine killed, most recently.
An average summer weekend in Chicago.
And those listening, getting dressed, process that information or, most likely, don’t. Which is why the reporters at the station pull a few individuals out of those stats — a 6-year-old girl, shot exiting a car. The 19-year-old son of a police officer, home from college, killed on his front step — in an attempt to raise a tingle in the audience’s anthracite hearts.
Because I have my own 19-year-old, also home from college, sleeping upstairs, I thought about that particular victim more than the rest. We all draw the circle of concern, with ourselves at the center. We encompass our family. Our neighborhood. Then the circle closes. Who includes the whole city? Chicago is a big place.
It’s such a fraught subject I can see why most shun it. I usually do, first, because who wants to make a point, even a valid point, using the death of someone’s child? I wouldn’t even try, except for the certainty that, in the wake of such heartbreak, the parents couldn’t care what some fool says or doesn’t say in the newspaper.
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