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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18 comments:

  1. Wise words from ST writer, author and Professor, John Fountain.








    John W. Fountain

    August 15 at 4:08pm ·
    ..


    Black lives matter?
    What about young black men slain by young black men? Or is it only black males slain by white men?

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    1. Or is it a bogus distinction meant to distract everyone from the problem of white police officers shooting unarmed black men?

      Bitter Scribe

      Delete
  2. The violence, as Neil describes it and I understand it, is in the nature of a perfect storm: every possible element contributing to the maelstrom, poverty, ignorance, despair, distrust, drugs, weapons. No need to point fingers, everybody's to blame.

    john

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  3. Don't forget bad parenting or no father around or a gangbanger dad putting kids in danger, Tate.

    Scribe, how many blacks were killed by white cops Not to say the latter are always innocent. Now how many blacks and kids were killed by gangbangers even if by stray bullet?

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    1. Woodman: This color-by-numbers game really annoys me.

      If you or someone you care about were brutalized or killed unjustly by a police officer, how would you like it if someone piped up, "More people are hurt or killed by criminals than by cops. Go protest the criminals and leave the cops alone." You would probably snap, "Cops are supposed to protect people, not brutalize and murder them. Get your head out of your ass and stop trying to change the subject."

      But somehow the color of the criminals becomes relevant...as long as that color is black.

      Bitter Scribe

      Delete
    2. You are twisting my words and meaning, Scribe.

      Delete
    3. Which is worse? Black on black murder by stray bullet or cop on black killing by deliberate choice? I'd say both are part of the miasma surrounding the death toll in Chicago.

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    4. Wendy- Why do you think the cops are killing? Just for fun? Self defense? to catch criminals? just to be racist? when black cops kill perpetrators, as in Milwaukee what is the cause then? is looting and burning reaction justified then or an excuse to loot?

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  4. A scoutmaster from Roseland told me once that he makes sure all of his scouts take target practice when they're at summer camp. He told me that he wants the peace of mind knowing that if any of his charges become gangbangers, their time at the shooting range will prevent them from hitting innocent bystanders.

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  5. The Caucasians who protest most here or elsewhere, about how bad the cops are,(not referring to the blog host) probably live in lilly white areas. As a Caucasian, I don't just talk the talk, but live by choice- in a mixed race, working to mid class suburb, fairly far from the city but within the metropolitan area. The sons of middle class, African-American, 2 parent families that stress schooling, that make up many of my neighbors households, don't seem to have problems with cops. Why is that?
    I was in a college educated profession and am not a Trump supporter, just to clarify that point- nor am I a senior citizen.

    Or some of these law abiding Caucasians who claim the cops are always wrong may be first generation offspring, making up for their parents who might have been prejudiced, first generation Europeans. Thus, there is a guilt complex there for being well off and living in a nice area, or from having old world prejudicial parents. Said commentators should be cops in the Austin area or Englewood, before they always jump on the "most cops are bad and attack black men for no reason, Jesse Jackson type bandwagon.

    Where is BLV protesting, when kids are shot while playing on their porch.

    And by the way, there are no cops in our family nor do we have close friends or neighbors who are cops.

    Reading from some comments here one would think the Chicago cops just go up to black males for fun and start shooting for no reason at all.

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    1. You've earned your successes folks-get over the white guilt, unless you were an old southern, Dixiecrat, lynching people, or are now in some Aryan nation type group.

      Delete
  6. Or said commentators should move into crime infested neighborhoods or volunteer there and really help out, not just talk.

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  7. I'm not sure that pointing out that there is a problem of police shooting unarmed black men is the same as saying cops are bad or "always wrong." And do you know from personal conversations with your neighbors that they and their sons have never had any interactions with police that gave them am impression of racism? It's well documented that, as one example, black people are pulled over at a disproportionately higher rate then white people.

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    Replies
    1. Oops, "than." Swype fails me again.

      Delete
  8. @Coey- That is not point that is being made.

    At any rate, read the Metro or police blotter section of the ST on any given day (among other sources)...

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    1. I'll confess I'm having some difficulty discerning what your point actually is. You start by bringing up posters here who say that cops are bad. Who are these people making such broad statements rather than criticizing specific instances of misconduct? You then go on to imply that your residence in a distant but somewhat diverse community lends you some sort of moral superiority/special insight missing in others here. And why so defensive about your age/education/political leanings? No one has expressed presumptions about you in any of these areas, unlike the way you have done so about others with your completely unsupported first-generation theory.

      Your sneering mention of white guilt seems to come out of left field as well. Being aware of a disparity in the way another group is treated doesn't automatically translate to feeling directly responsible for racism.

      So what is it I am missing about your point?

      Delete
  9. It seems you are the one appearing on this blog only once in a while just to show moral superiority.

    ReplyDelete