How is it that the world continues to turn while over 7,000 people have been murdered in the south side of Chicago better known as Chiraq since the early 2000’s? Chi, being still the great city of Chicago, Raq, taking from the war on terror in Iraq. A war being fought on American soil, spilling American blood and it seems like no one is listening or even cares. Now, my last few sentences were written in outrage as it was thought that Chicago better known a Chiraq, was an anomaly until I looked at the murder rates of NYC in the early 90’s as the counts soared in the thousands in just under two years.
We could blame this number on the Crack Cocaine epidemic that almost obliterated the Black Community, but now what can we blame the murderous sprees that plague the great city of Chicago? We are no longer in the cracked out age of soullessly abandoned apartment buildings used as havens for drug addicts and continuous business for drug dealers. We are no longer falling victim to mother’s abandoning their children for that next hit. We are no longer weighted with the crack baby being born into a world already fully addicted to a drug they’ve never seen. So, as we can no longer point to one main culprit of our community’s demise, we must now look within to get to the source.
In Chicago with gang populations that plague the community from generational recruitment and enrollment, we have a source that pulls from poverty, drugs, and physical/mental abuse all festering and infecting. How do we fight this? How do you normally fight infections with generational heredity? We treat the infectious disease! Yes this systemic system of criminal activity leaving thousands dead and hundreds displaced from proper housing, prone to under education, and lastly plagued with lives destined for ruin. “These crime rates are an epidemic with disastrous outcomes in every aspect of life that must be treated as a disease”, said Judge Steven Teske Juvenile Justice for Clayton County.
So although Chiraq has astronomical rates of crime, we really won’t see a change until we start addressing the communities’ problem as the communicable disease that it is. In getting to the genesis of this disease hopefully funding will be released for mental health issues for children and families traumatized by horrific violence, placing homeless families into dwellings that they can thrive, and educating parents and children on proper educational programs that can assist in bridging academic time lost to communities of high rates of violent crimes.
This article was entitled about the loss of love in Chicago with sky rocketing crime rates. To that end, the true question is where is the love for war torn cities, plagued with a disease that kills instantly, educates inadequately, and violates wholeheartedly. Not where is the love Chiraq, but why don’t we love Chiraq and other cities just like it?
Written by: Sabreen Shabazz- Straker, contributing writer, Modern Domestic