Augustana Observer

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Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

Hot Dogs, homocides, and the City of Chicago

Welcome to Chicago, the city of hot dogs and homicides. A place known for legendary food, sports teams, and culture, the Windy City is currently stuck in the vice grips of incessant violence and crime, and it’s legacy is near becoming tarnished to the point of no return.
At one time I felt that being called the ‘Second City’ was derogatory and unfitting, but that nickname is practically a compliment compared to its more contemporary surname; Chiraq.
The New Year ushered in levels of violence that haven’t been seen since 2000. The Chicago Police Department reported 241 shootings and 51 homicides, roughly twice as many incidents as reported for January 2015.
News media reports of the articles are all written very similarly; they cite current and past statistics, point to Chicago as a national symbol of gun violence, mention turbulence within the Police Department, and then move on to a different story.
You might think that the sheer amount of bodies warrants more than news brief, but this is Chicago.
Just this last week (1/31-2/6) there were 50 total shooting incidents resulting in 12 dead and 38 wounded, per
Even so, Chicagoans barely bat and eye.
For the 3 million people that live in Chicago proper, and the countless others who associate with the city, the emotional detachment from the issue of violence is alarming and disturbing.
Murders are more of a nuisance than an actual problem.
Urban violence is a multi-faceted, achingly complex issue that can only be explained following an in-depth analysis of political, economic, and social factors.
Such an analysis is hardly plausible by way of a 500-word article, 60-second TV slot, or a five minute conversation with family and friends.
Unfortunately, these are the primary tools of public discourse at Chicagoans disposal. So begins a brutally uniformed round of blame games.
If anything has been learned about Chicago politics over the last century it is that corruption is more resilient than Twinkies and cockroaches. Removal of alleged corrupt or negligent officials has led historically to more of the same; otherwise this conversation would not still be trailing on today.
So, calling for the resignation of the Mayor, Police Superintendent, and assorted public officials may seem absolutely necessary, and a decent step in the right direction, but it does little to solve the problem at hand.
Violence in Chicago will not subside until a serious, rational conversation on race is held.
In 2015, victims of gun violence were 80.2% Black, 16.1% Hispanic, and 3.7% White/Other. The first step to reconciliation is subverting the storyline. These racial discrepancies are not coincidental.
Over time Chicagoans have assigned certain behaviors, values, and attitudes to minorities.  Violence is one of them. It is so simple to label minorities ‘gangbangers’ and indict them for killing themselves.
In doing so the violence becomes their problem, not a collective problem to be addressed by the city. The cause of such widespread, racially-limited violence certainly couldn’t be the result of decades (some may even venture to say centuries) of systemic segregation.
Chicago operates as a dual-society, with a racial underclass created by legislators, public officials, and citizens alike.
Until this fact is accepted and addressed there will not be a decrease in crime rates.

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Hot Dogs, homocides, and the City of Chicago