The recent spate of black-on-black shootings has had me searching the Internet for press releases that I know our local politicians must have sent out declaring war on those who are wreaking havoc in our community. Sadly, I couldn’t find any.
What is causing all of the shootings? One theory-and I must repeat it is just a theory-is that with the demise of CeaseFire in Chicago (funding cuts), many of the interventions in gang shootings are no longer available. This has caused many of the gang truces to lapse. Think maybe we need to restore that funding?
Whatever the cause, I am not hearing or seeing the outrage that I believe should occur as we lose our young people to killings by other young people. Yet let one police officer exercise the right to use deadly force and we have outrage all over the airwaves and in the streets.
Right now we are in desperate times. And therefore we need desperate measures. Send a message that the responsibility for child-rearing continues as long as that young person lives in your household. One of the things I bet my bottom dollar on is that the people doing the killings and the shootings are dependent on others to put a roof over their heads. We may find a rare case of someone who is working and has their own place and gets involved in these shootings, but I bet it is more the former than the latter.
You would think with all the media attention given to the shootings in the black community that people would be talking to their young folks about the violence. But what if the elder in the house is the one who is advocating the use of violence as the solution to any dispute? It’s the people in my generation who are the first to spout off that they would solve a problem by going to get their gun and shoot the person, and it is their children who, having heard that line of bull for years, are now actually using their guns to resolve disputes.
Recently I thought I heard gunfire. I looked out my window to see at least 20 boys running down the street on the next street over. It was almost 10 p.m., and with all the shootings that have happened, the first thing that came to mind was, “Why do parents allow their teenage boys to roam the streets at all hours of the day and night?” I also thought about what needs to be done to kick-start parents into taking responsibility for those boys who are the most likely candidates to become involved in a black-on-black shooting-either as the perpetrator or the victim.
Well, here’s my solution: Every black resident of Cook County needs to begin to pay a $100 annual fee for every male child in their household, ranging in age from 8 to 35. That money would be used to pay for additional police officers in each municipality in Cook County where added police protection is needed to prevent black-on-black violence.
Why do I think that only black residents need to pay the fee? Because it is unfair to ask the majority community to pay and fund additional services to the black community when we have chosen to wring our hands and moan about the problem but do little to begin to solve it.
Plus when the black community is taxed specifically to pay for the problem, perhaps we will wake up and begin to address the problem-as opposed to window-dressing it. What about situations where the wayward young men are living with their girlfriends? Hell, make the girlfriends pay. If the young man is 35 or under and doesn’t have a J*O*B, then she can pay for the privilege of sheltering him. And the tax must be paid no matter the economic status of the individual. From those who work to those on public assistance, the “No freebies for anyone” mantra would be the rallying cry.
Now how could we enforce the tax on young black men? Easy. When they get picked up by the police and don’t have proof of having paid the fee, then the amount payable would automatically increase tenfold to a thousand dollars. Give jail time to whomever the young men have been living with. Again, no exceptions for single mothers, the elderly or anyone in between. What if the young man is homeless? Then force him to do community service for the fee-in addition to jail time.
Now before any of you begin sputtering off e-mails or responding directly via my blog, I’m being facetious. But there’s a germ of a good idea in what I wrote. Until we make the black community economically responsible for the mayhem that is running wild in our community, we will continue to get rhetoric with no action. Any one of us can be the next victim of senseless violence and wayward bullets.
Ask yourself if you are willing to let that person be you.