They Say That It’s The White Man that I Should Fear, but it’s My Own Kind Doing All The Killing Here
— TUPAC AMARU SHAKUR —
One of the primary tenets of most societies is the belief that males set the tone and tenor for much of what occurs within neighborhoods and communities; their roles as providers and protectors are pivotal in any society. When a critical mass of males has lost their way, the consequences are unimaginable to the sane mind. Such realities place urban enclaves such as Chicago, a place that has historically been known as ‘the windy city’, in peril.
Indicative of the pernicious evils occurring in Chicago is a new moniker that residents have attached to the city; many Black Chicagoans now refer to ‘the windy city’ as Chiraq, a play upon the war torn nation Iraq. Chicagoans of every hue, socioeconomic status, faith, and political affiliation are debating what should be done about Chiraq. At the center of this political storm of human tragedy sits Black Chicagoans, most notably that city’s sizable population of African-American males.
There is no greater indicator of the myriad issues facing Chicago than the fact that murders, the vast majority of them Black-on-Black crime, have become so commonplace that many residents wish the gangsterism of the Capone Era would return. The chart below lists the murders occurring in Chicago over the past thirteen years.
|YEAR||MURDERS IN CHICAGO|
|TOTAL||6,750 MURDERS — 482+ MURDERS/YEAR|
Considering the daily conflicts between African-American males and ‘the boys in blue’ throughout the nation, Black Chicagoans are in an unbelievable ironic quandary; do they turn to local law enforcement officers for aid? Particularly, when the primary perpetrators of their problems are African-American males?
The above thoughts are disconcerting when one considers that white politicians are eager to continue the decades old pattern of incarcerating droves of African-Americans that Michelle Alexander so powerfully detailed in her book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. The crisis standing before Black Chicagoans, and by extension African-American urbanites throughout the nation, is forcing them to hurriedly define progress and racial uplift. Careless thinking in this matter may unintentionally result in the unnecessary incarceration of yet another generation of African-American males.
Republican Senator Mark Kirk has publicly related his feelings regarding Chicago’s Black thugs and hoodlums who routinely prey upon vulnerable Black Chicagoans. Kirk’s solution is simple, mass arrest of those who make up the city’s most formidable gang, the Gangster Disciples. Authorities and politicians such as Kirk are at a loss for stopping ‘the Windy City’s’ routine violence, plan to arrest over 18,000 Gangster Disciples to stem the violence. Kirk plans to request $30,000,000.00 from a Senate Appropriations Committee to incarcerate the city’s gang members. In a recent press conference, Kirk related the following, “I think it’s completely within the capability of the United States government to crush a major urban gang. Just think of what the greatest generation did here in Chicago, pretty much crushing the Capone organization.”
Many Black Chicagoans are disturbed by the assertion that the only path to peace is the wholesale warehousing of Black males. All parties, regardless of race or socioeconomic status, believe that a change is necessary, however, at what cost.
One is hard-pressed to find anyone who has not tired of this sordid tale of African-American males living wayward lives; save for a few misguided individuals who believe that calls for social responsibility are synonymous with ‘blaming the victim’ political formulations as they explain away Black criminality via typical dodges such as squalor, inferior educational institutions, urban decay, and limited economic opportunities. Such individuals fail to realize that their attempt to protect immoral elements of the African-American community who have embraced a criminal lifestyle does absolutely nothing to either uplift the community or address the alluded to paucity of opportunity: educational, political, cultural, or social. They are doing those they attempt to protect, a grievous disservice by explaining away criminal behavior that is largely perpetrated within their own community and against their own.
Although Black leaders within Chicago have tried to counter plans to arrest, incarcerate, and warehouse African-American males, their efforts are going to eventually fail as both Black and white Chicagoans have tired of the city’s crime. Obviously, the warehousing of African-American males in penitentiaries is an imperfect solution to the myriad issues facing Black males living in urban America. However, it appears that many Chicagoans, not to mention the rest of the nation, are prepared to accept ‘any solution’. Such a ‘Faustian Deal’ will eventually come back to haunt the nation as these individuals will one day emerge from incarceration more estranged from society than they were when they were incarcerated, however, Americans’ have tired of this story and are now so weary of this nation’s urban blight and the role of African-American males to its continuation that they are willing to accept any solution to the problem, even one that will cause the problem to be exponentially worse in the very near future.
James Thomas Jones III, Ph. D.
#Manhood, Race and Culture
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2015.