by Findalis What a number. A new record! Is it the number of games the Chicago Cubs have lost in the last month? NO! Is it the number of bribes any Chicago Politician took yesterday? NO! Is it the number of seconds that Oprah went without mentioning herself, Dr. Phil, or Barack Obama? NO! It is the number of young men and women who were gunned down this past school year. 36.
With three weeks left before summer break, a record 36 Chicago Public Schools students have been killed this school year, marking the third straight year that youth homicides have climbed into double digits. Chicago has surpassed New York City and Los Angeles for having the highest youth homicide rate in the nation. "I think people in Chicago have almost gotten numb to the statistics," said Dexter Voisin, a researcher at the University of Chicago who studies the impact of violence on adolescents. The latest victim in Chicago's long year of student killings is 15-year-old Alex Arellano. On May 1, he was chased, beaten with baseball bats, run over by a car, shot and burned. His body was found days after he disappeared from his family's home on the city's South Side. Police continue to investigate the killing; gang activity has been suggested. His grieving family members have denied any gang connections and continue to look for answers. "The homicide rate is just the tip of the iceberg," Mr. Voisin said. "Those with nonfatal injuries are almost 100 times that of our homicide rates. You think for about every one kid who is murdered, 100 kids witness the murder or are victims of nonfatal injuries, of robberies, muggings and gang-related incidents. A lot of times, this exposure goes undocumented or unreported." Black youths, he said, are two times more likely than white youths to fail or drop out of school, and at the same time they are also eight to 10 times more likely to be victims of homicide than whites. "I don't even know where to begin," said Diane Latiker, who runs a program for at-risk youths out of her home in the city's Roseland neighborhood. "There aren't any words for what I feel for what is going on for our youth." Ms. Latiker uses three rooms of her six-room apartment to run a nonprofit program called Kids Off the Block. She offers tutoring, mentoring and travel opportunities designed to show Chicago youths who want successful futures that the violent culture they see daily is not the norm. The local drug dealer in a big car with flashy rims, wearing cool sneakers, appears to many to be the model of success, Ms. Latiker said. "The A and B students, they have family and community support," she said. "What about the kid who is struggling, hanging out there on the street corner and joining that gang because he feels hopeless? That's what I'm hearing from our youth. They feel they have nothing to live for." Read the full story here.Where is Jesse Jackson? Where is Al Sharpton? Maxine Waters? Why is the Daily Kos and Huffington Post both silent on this? Why is the left silent? Black children are being killed! Yet not a word about this from them. If it came out that Black children were being killed by the Chicago police, white men, or KKK members, they would be marching in the streets. But a little gang violence and they remain silent on this issue. THAT IS RACISM! Why is it that Jackson, Waters and Sharpton will go ballistic if the 'N' word is used by a comedian, radio personality or other WHITE person, but are remaining silent when a rapper like: Mac Dre, Snoop Dog, Master P, and Lil Wayne all tell young people not to snitch, don't cooperate with the police. So the murderers go free to kill again and again. The rappers get rich, the murderers get away with the crime, and the people of the neighborhood are less safe, less secure in their homes. And still the only cry that goes out is: Take away people's guns. If there were no guns, there would be no gun violence, the liberals say. The truth is that these crimes are not committed with legal weapons, but illegal ones. AK-47's to be exact. That is not the type of weapon one can walk into a gun shop and pick up. Gun control is NOT the answer. The answer is for the Black Community to stop the culture of gangsterism. It is for parents to sit down with their kids and explain to them that the rappers and gangsters are not the best role-models for them. That snitching is not wrong. That testifying in court is your civic duty. That solving one's problems with a shooting is just plain stupid. Most important it is time for Black leaders to say these things. For Black leaders to march in the streets of Chicago screaming for justice for these 36 children. For Black leaders to stand up to the gangsters and take their culture back. In September, Chicago will begin a new school year. Let us all pray that the next year will see no child shot, no child killed by gangsters. That each child will have a chance to grow up and become a useful and productive member of this great nation.