Help Us With The Answers, Please

Gun violence in Chicago and the aftermath of the crisisListen to this voice from the Back of the Yards, the place where a swirl of gunfire recently caught a group of people and forced the world again to stare at Chicago’s dismay.

“Complex problems require complex solutions. There is no quick-fix for the violence that plagues Chicago’s South and West Side communities. Shoring up the violence that affects so many families requires holistic solutions that address the epidemic at every level, and not through one- dimensional policy changes like mandatory minimum sentences on young male offenders (often black and Hispanic), a federal assault weapons ban, or even more police on the streets.

“We’ve all heard the African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a family.” This statement encompasses a philosophy we must all adopt if we truly hope to bring safety and stability to Chicago neighborhoods.

Here it is in Spanish:

Una mirada cercana a la violencia en Chicago

“Los problemas complejos requieren soluciones complejas. No existe una solución rápida para la violencia que azota las comunidades del sur y oeste de Chicago. Apuntalar la violencia que afecta a tantas familias requiere soluciones holísticas que aborden la epidemia a todos los niveles, y no a través de cambios de política de una sola dimensión como sentencias mínimas obligatorias para los jóvenes delincuentes (a menudo afroamericanos e hispanos), una prohibición federal de armas de asalto, o inclusive más policías en las calles.”

What is it asking for?

Reason. A deep, hard look at the mayhem that condemns some Chicago streets.

And what else?

It is asking for us to lay out the problems in depth and then to line up the solutions. It is asking for us to   think through as calmly as possible what we can do to wipe away the stain of violence here.

This voice comes from the Gate, the bi-lingual weekly newspaper that serves the Back of the Yards community. It’s calls out for the kind of discussion that would lead us to dealing with violence in some Chicago communities.

Is there reporting now in Chicago that answers this call? Are we having the discussion that this voice from the Back of Yards is asking for?

We’ll talk about all of this at our upcoming media forum on Tuesday, Oct. 29. We’ll have a group of Chicago journalists, folks from Chicago’s youth media and a local official and expert who can tell us where we are and what we need to do in telling the story of violence in some Chicago communities.

So, join us, if you care.

We will be at 33 East Congress, first floor, Columbia College, at 6 pm on the 29th.

talk to me,, office 312 369 6400

and here’s the editorial from the Gate:




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