Speaking of shutdowns, let's have a curfew

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By Arlene Jones

Columnist

This has been a summer of shutdowns. First, black folks held a march that shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway. Another group of black folks had a similar event that shut down Lake Shore Drive. 

This past weekend, however, black folks, via the violence that plagues our neighborhoods, managed to host a third shutdown. It wasn't planned or strategically organized. But the shutdown happened because Stroger Hospital's emergency room couldn't handle another victim! Certain black folks have created the kind of history that should be an embarrassment for each and every one of us.

Where is black leadership or leadership in general in this regard? You know, the folks who sent us all that junk mail that swells our mailboxes to capacity to tell us how much better they are/will be than their opponent? The ones whose robo-calls told us they were everything we needed as if they were one resurrection away from being the second coming of Christ?! The ones you couldn't turn on the television or even go on the internet without their faces popping up? The ones who will be looking forward to your vote in November, while being MIA today? Those folks.

On top of that, where is our mayor? OMG, he's opening a new Riverwalk!

Personally, I think it is time to call in the National Guard. This city needs days of peace. We need calmness. We need order. We need those who don't seem to understand that their freedom isn't free put in check. Their rights are no more important than our rights. Those murderers are running around our city carrying guns and shooting with no fear of consequences. And when they run home to Grandma/Auntie/Mama's house to hide their weapons, granny, Auntie, or Mama should pay a consequence as well. There's no way in the world anybody is going to tell me these folks don't know what their young people are up to. And if they don't know, ignorance is not an excuse! With our criminal element, asking them to stop the violence isn't working. Only forcing them to stop their violence will!

It's a darn shame to have to call for that kind of action, but inaction hasn't worked. We need a mandated curfew. Persons under the age of 21 should not be out and about wandering freely after that 11:30 p.m. curfew. If caught with a weapon, it should be a serious offense. No slap-on-the-wrist, rubbing his head, and saying he's a good boy responses. I now know what it's like to live in a war-torn country because I have a war-torn neighborhood.

Where is the leadership that is going to be demanding harsh penalties for the shooters? Where are black people who will stand up, rise up, and rebel against even their own relatives who are out here committing the carnage?

Certain black people are living down to every racist stereotype. It is going to be up to us to solve this problem.

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