So how do you stop the violence here?
That’s what the out-of-town TV executive wanted to know.
It was a recent meeting at a Chatham restaurant pulled together by Revolt TV, the channel owned by Sean “Diddy” Combs.
And Keith Clinkscales, Revolt TV’s CEO, said the channel wants to tell the story of the violence here and but first it needs to know what to say.
More than anything, the answers from a roomful of folks who know and care much about Chicago’s tragedy of violence, were mostly about what’s missing in some of Chicago’s poor black communities.
They said they wanted:
Jobs and mental health support and counseling programs to keep troubled kids out of trouble, out of the detention center, and back on their feet when they come back from the detention center or a juvenile prison.
Support for schools overwhelmed and underfunded and support for children looking a future that is real and hopeful and within reach.
Programs that can deal straight on and face to face with the gangs and the profusion of guns that the gangs often make available.
And politicians who listen to them and live up to their promises.
Among all the talk nowadays about solutions for the violence, about tougher sentences for gun crimes and for flooding troubled neighborhoods with more police, it was a reminder of the lethal amalgam of social forces that spill out onto some lives and Chicago streets.
It was a reminder that among the many solutions that seem to work, one sure solution is healing some badly wounded communities.
Consider this story by Redeye about how in one crime-weary community, West Garfield Park, violence comes knocking with all of poverty’s destruction.
What else do we need to say, to report, to explain?
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