Chicago Violence: What is the Real Solution?
I am not an Obama hater. I think that he has an opportunity to change the world and so far, he has fallen short. I know that part of that is that there was so much wrong in the world that he couldn't fix it all, but I think he has poor strategy, inexperienced advisors, and incomplete execution of his plans.
I say all that because I don't want you to think that I am posting this article for the sole purpose of bashing Obama. The article I read this morning regarding the violence in Chicago neighborhoods (see sidebar) sheds an interesting light on the dynamics of children, of neighborhoods, on gangs, on schools and on the ridiculousness of bureaucracy running our lives. I'm not Libertarian, but I definitely ascribe to some of their ideas.
Just like workers often feel like their boss is clueless to the day-to-day trials of a job, the city, state and federal governments have no idea what is best for a neighborhood. I realize that you would think that city governments know what is best, but they don't. They are clueless to the day-to-day happenings on the streets, in the school and in homes. The government bodies act as one unit - that unit does not know one single person that its choices impact.
I'm not implying that I think schools should be segregated by gangs to avoid violence. But I am pointing out that whomever made the choice to redistrict these schools obviously had no idea the impact it would have on the day-to-day life of the children involved.
And now that the brutal death of a child was recorded on a cell phone video camara for all the nation to see, Obama is sending the SAME guy who made the decision to redistrict, back to Chicago. The article doesn't say exactly why he is sending Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education, back to Chicago to meet with school officials and students...My guess, however, is that they will NOT be discussing the impact absentee parents have on gang activity, they will NOT be discussing the impact violence has on human life, and they also will probably NOT be discussing the idea of expelling all gang members from public schools.
- School closings may be root of Chicago teen deaths
Violence has increasingly turned deadly -- including the vicious fatal beating of 16-year-old Derrion Albert, whose after school death was captured on a cell phone video.
Federal Gov't helps Chicago stem the violence
- Cabinet members meet with Chicago mayor
While the meeting is closed to the public, its main topic is likely to be how the federal government can better help the city to stem an unusually resistant tide of youth violence.
Another interesting article, Chicago Violence Haunts Obama (see Sidebar), reveals that "47 school-age children have been killed in homicides, mostly by guns, since the month President Barack Obama took office."
But then in the other article, you see the Mayor saying, "We cannot allow gang territory to disrupt our city life. If you allow that then you're basically waving the white flag to everybody in this city and that would be unacceptable."
Both are valid points, but neither reaches across to the other to find an actual solution. The death of Derrion Albert seems to have sparked a whole new all-too-common case of opposing parties involved refusing to actually listen, refusing to work together to dig in to find the root of the problem, a government choosing to be reactive rather than proactive, and everybody pleading the case for their own agenda. You have gun-control advocates focusing on the guns, you have fiscal conservatives focusing on the contributions that Section 8 and welfare make to poverty, you have school officials touting the improvement in their test scores, you have Obama-haters focusing on Obama's inability to fix the problems while he was in Illinios, and athletes and city officials focusing on the lost opportunity of the 2016 Olympics.
I'm not so bold as to say I have a solution to Chicago's years of violence problems. But I am saying that if someone doesn't speak up soon to find a solution to the whole problem, children will continue to die.