I think that the City of Chicago should invest in producing some public service announcements. Those announcements should be run on every regular TV and cable channel. The announcements also need to be on every radio station and texted to anyone with a 773 or 312 cell phone number. Billboards all over the city should be used to display the announcement, as well as signs on CTA buses and trains. Even taxi cabs, which are literally extinct in the black community, should carry the message.
Even Commonwealth Edison and Peoples Gas, which mail bills to anyone with a 606 zip code prefix, should join in.
All of the police cars should be emblazoned with this message. All the ambulances and fire trucks too. In fact, all city-owned and leased vehicles need to carry the message. The city should reach out to all the major fast food businesses to ask them to support it by having every food wrapper, bag and cup stenciled with the message. And if we have to, we can hang the message down both the sides of the Sears Tower and the John Hancock building. Even City Hall can hang the message from its roof.
What message does this entire city need to get so badly that I am advocating it be hung from every rooftop and doorway? The message is quite simple: “Chicago 2016” stands for our attempt to get the Olympics for that specific year and is not a message telling people to make it the murder rate for the City of Chicago.
I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention like I’ve been telling you, but for the Forth of July weekend alone, in one six hour period we had four individuals killed and 20 two people wounded. For the entire weekend there were more than a dozen people killed and more than 30 people shot. And even though very little of the mayhem was covered by the media, the honest truth is that the majority of the murders and shootings occurred in the black community. Black-on-black crime is now so rampant, prevalent, and common that when individuals are murdered, hardly anyone blinks an eye. This situation is so “normal” that even the murder of 9-year-old Chastity Turner last month – shot in the back of the neck as she washed some pit bull puppies with her father at their South Side residence – didn’t cause this city to grind to a halt to stop the violence and nonsense engulfing us. And no outrage by the fact that those charged in Chastity’s murder are the ripe old age of 17 and 19.
What we need as a city and a society are some blunt, in-your-face pictures, statistics and reminders that the killings and shootings happening day in and day out in the black community are done by people who look like us and live with us. The victims are not just names and “nice” pictures in the paper. The victims should be seen just as they are in the morgue, coroner’s office and funeral homes. How many of us could look at an autopsy photo of a 9-year-old shot in the back of the head and still eat our dinner and talk bull-crap on the corners? How many of us if we had to look at her lifeless dead body could remain silent and harbor the criminals who live amongst us? How many churches would have their members’ aghast if instead of the church bulletin, the members were handed crime scene photos of last week’s murder victims-pictures of them sprawled on the ground, dead in their own blood and by the hands of some of those very members’ relatives?
The carnage that is going on in Chicago isn’t going on in a vacuum. It is being carried out by those whose ages get younger and younger as their crimes become even more vicious.
Chicago 2016 will soon be our actual death toll if we don’t do something soon.