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Tag Archives: chicago sun times
Chance the Rapper donates 1 million dollars to failing Chicago schools and gets scolded about his child support
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Rahm Emanuel the newly elected mayor of Chicago walked out of an interview when a reporter questioned him about where his children would be attending school. Emanuel has decided to send his children to private school instead of public school. He says this is his decision as a father. The reporter claimed the children were public figures and this decison would be an issue. Emanuel left the interview. What do you think. Is this a family decision or a public issue?
I read this story today in the Chicago Sun Times about a woman who had been mugged by two teenage thugs. They had knocked her down and stolen her I Phone. What hurt her the most was that photos of her infant twins were on the phone as well as other personal information including her Facebook information. A teenage girl found the phone, and after looking at the photos she knew this belonged to a mother and she knew the memories on the phone could not be duplicated. She gave it to her teacher who managed to contact the owner’s father and ultimately get the phone back to the owner. When the phone was returned the woman contacted her Facebook friends and started helping some of the impoverished people of the Englewood High School the girl attended. She collected food, clothing and other things the students needed. This is a good story that started off with a bad thing happening. It is this kind of story that gives you hope. Yes there are bad people out there doing bad things, but there are still good people who feel compelled to do the right thing and that is what this story exemplifies. Here is the link to the original article: http://www.suntimes.com/lifestyles/1920505,CST-NWS-phone04.article
I was born and raised in Chicago so I have a special interest in the things that happen in the city. Today a friend of mine sent me an article from the Chicago Tribune which offered an interesting perspective on the violence that plagues the public school system. They interviewed a brother of one of the young men accused of the murder of Albert. He talked about how he has to run everyday from the school to avoid fighting. He is a resident of Altgeld Garden and he said the kids that live in the immediate vicinity of the school look at the kids from the Garden as intruders. There is constant conflict between the two factions. What he describes is more of a turf war than anything, but sadly this is not the romanticized turf wars we saw in “West Side Story”. This is life and death. Vashion Bullock the young man expressed a fatalistic viewpoint regarding his own life, and if he feels this way about himself he would have little regard for anyone else. There is no excuse for what we saw, but we are looking at their situation through our own prism. Most of us have a very clear sense of what we regard as right and wrong, but can we take that value system and access this situation? I recommend this article for a different perspective on the violence:
I just watched a videotape of Derrion Albert a 16 year old honor student who was beaten to death Friday on the grounds of his high school. The beating was captured on a cell phone. The people with the phone seemed to be almost have an amped up glee as they approached the scene. We clearly see one of the young men take a two by four and slam it against the skull of Albert. We witness others kick him and punch him as he lays defenseless on the pavement. After viewing the video I felt rage, anger and a deep, deep sadness. I am left to wonder do these young people know they have just ended a life. Do they care? Have they witnessed so much violence that this is common place in their lives? Three individuals have been arrested and charged as adults for the murder of this young man, but what does this actually do? Is this problem simply unfixable or do we not have the energy to try to fix it. Is this the product of dysfunctional families? Is this the problem of no positive role models within the community or is this just a crime by a group of vicious thugs? There are so many questions, but one thing I know for sure. Derrion Albert is dead and somebody has got to pay. Today on CNN Rick Sanchez had a Chicago policeman as his guest. This policeman had lost a son to a senseless act of violence; he used this term to describe Albert’s attackers he called them”unsalvageable.” That is a harsh word. It indicates that these people can not be rehabilitated. They are simply ready for the garbage heap. It is hard to say this about young people but when I watched the tape I wonder if there is any hope for redemption.
In July I wrote a post about the end of Vibe magazine. I noted in the post that I had just received my Ebony magazine and it was the July/August issue. I said that I wondered would Ebony be next. One of the commenters admonished me, and said I was starting rumors well now we know it was not a rumor but a premonition. We were saddened to hear this summer that the Ebony Fashion Fair Fashion show would not take its annual fall tour. Now we hear Linda Johnson-Rice is actually looking for a buyer for the magazine. Ebony means a lot to the black community. It has been in publication for 50 years and it has chronicled so many of the big events that are part of the black experience. Ebony was there for the Civil Rights Movement, the murders of Medgar, Martin and Malcom X, the first black man to win an Academy Award and the first black man to become president of the United States. We have seen them profile, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson and the comeback of Whitney Houston. It has been our magazine addressing our issues, our tastes and our diets. John H. Johnson was the founder and he built a magazine against all odds. He knew the community was yearning to hear news about the things that mattered to them. It was there when other media thought we were invisible. Now we see black folks everywhere but that was not always the case. It was the magazine that could be found on almost every coffee table in Black America. It will be sad to see this magazine get swallowed up by a media giant like Viacom. Now we find images of ourselves everywhere, and sadly our inclusion probably led to the end of Ebony as we know it.
Today in the Chicago Tribune I read the story of an 11-year old girl grazed by a stray bullet. Her mother had a birthday party for her older child and the guests got rowdy and gunfire broke out as she attempted to close the party down. Sadly this was just one of four separate shooting incidents that happened over the weekend in Chicago. So many residents of urban America are living as if they are in a war zone, and it really does not make the network news. Sure every now and then they will do a story but it really is not news it is reality. I think of this mother crying wondering will her children live to become 18. I contrast this to a woman I saw last week literally sobbing because her child might be exposed to the big bad Obama monster as he attempted to infiltrate the mind of her precious little one. Which of these moms faces the greatest real threat? The sobbing mom has the option to opt out of the Obama speech, but the mother whose children are dodging bullets can not simply opt out of her situation. She has to live there and from where I am sitting she faces a very real and present danger.