It's a cold dark world we live in where an honor student can be brutally beaten by his peers. However, this is not new and it has gone on for a very
long time in Chicago. Teen murders are becoming an epidemic on the across city, as of late. However, it involves not teenage gang bangers, but
largely, civilian, unaffiliated youths. As of this Guardian article from August 11th, the number of school age murders was already in the 40's, and
have grown with the Derrion Albert murder.
In all of Chicago, 42 children of school age have been killed, most at the end of a gun and all a short drive from the president's house. The
youngest was three, the oldest 18.
However, the world the boy is from, is one of brutal violence and intimation at the hands of the thugs. If one wears apparel of a particular sports
team or their hats a certain way, gang members will swarm in on them to find out where they are from, regardless, of any gang activity or affiliation,
and violence usually ensues. Chicago is still a segregated community where there are pockets of people living together and outsiders are considered
unwelcome. For instance, you have Polish communities, Puerto Rican, Mexican, and others living in their little social enclaves. With this type of
demographic, the gangs follow suit. For example, one block will be a gang and the next will be a different one, all conducting illegal affairs in
proximity with each other. That is how convoluted the gang culture is and like the city's ethnic make-up.
It's not just exclusive to the southside, but all over the city and the suburbs. My grandfather came up in a Polish immigrant family and grew up in
the Bucktown section of the city which was largely Polish at the time. He told me that in certain neighborhoods, you couldn't even walk down the
street without leaving with a beating or worse.
This was during the 20's and 30's and this type of behavior persists in the outlying areas. He left the city for the suburbs with his family after
getting back from the war, as many families were doing at the time. Even, Mayor Daley's father is rumored to have gang affiliation as a youth,
growing up in the largely Irish neighborhood of Brideport on the city's southside. This is how the city has always been since it was incorporated.
So far only two federal officials have chose any action regarding the violence. Two congressmen from Illinois, Mark Kirk(R) and Aaron Schock(R) are
authoring legislation for a federal task force in Illinois to curb the ever- growing gang violence. Congressman Kirk commented exclusively on the
Derrion Albert murder and why a federal effort is in order.
. . . the recent Chicago beating of Derrion Albert are proof, that federal help is needed to get gangs off the streets.
"My preference would be to first take out the Gangster Disciples especially after the President commented on this, that the Gangster Disciples so
heavily embarrassed the city of Chicago in it's Olympic bid, killing a 16 year old boy who simply didn't want to join," Kirk said.
Congressman Kirk represents the Chicago area and Schock represents downstate Peoria.
During a news conference at the Peoria County Sheriff's department Tuesday Kirk outlined his Anti Gang Task Force Act of 2009.
Under it 20–million dollars in stimulus money could be used to allow the federal government to help state, county and local police departments get
gangs off the streets.
So, an effort is in place, but I doubt it will do much to loosen the noose around the the impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago by the gangs. These
task forces have come and gone before, but the gang element still persists. So, there will be news conferences of major arrests of leaders and huge
narcotic seizures, but that's all there will be. They will remain underground until the task force finishes it's business, and then they will
resurface. These gangs are the terrorists in American, not some Islamic group, because they are in our streets everyday using violence and
intimidation to control entire communities.
[edit on 8-10-2009 by Jakes51]