Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Romance (and baseball) are in the air. Yet city’s homicide rate looms heavy

It’s Valentine’s Day, a chance to celebrate our affections for that special someone in your life. Or, if by chance you’re unattached, it’s also the return of baseball (as in spring training camps opening in Arizona and Florida).
Life would truly be wonderful if a Ferris Wheel ride ...
Maybe you’re even capable of combining the two; as in contemplating the chances of an all-Chicago World Series occurring any time in the near future while enjoying with your loved one the free Ferris Wheel rides being given away Tuesday at Navy Pier.

ALTHOUGH I CAN’T help but feel an ominous feel in the air as we consider the level of violence that is falling upon us. We seem to be in a mood of anger that is pushing the number of outbursts to alarming levels.

Which is appalling because the record-high levels we reached in the late 1980s had declined to such significantly low levels that many of us probably were deluded into thinking we had “solved” this particular problem.

What caught my attention was a Chicago Tribune story published Monday morning that pointed out the 27 shootings that occurred this past weekend – including a pair of incidents involving girls ages 12 and 11.

That’s a lot of people lingering in hospital bed who may well have lapsed into death by the time you actually read this Tuesday morning.

NOW I NOTICED these incidents were confined to neighborhoods of a certain socio-economic status that makes the bulk of Chicagoans want to ignore them. For all I know, there are people out there reading this who think I’m engaging in extremely poor taste by bringing up dead people – instead of the chance the Chicago White Sox will actually be able to get some talent in exchange for their current ace pitcher Jose Quintaña.
... or a 2nd all-Chicago World Series could be top concern

Yet it’s because of the fact that many of us would be inclined to ignore the bloodshed that I feel compelled to bring it up. I always was, and likely will be, a malcontent cuss like that – which may be the reason I’m currently not seeing anyone steadily on this Valentine’s Day.

Because we have to take one fact into account.

There have been 69 homicides in Chicago the first month-and-a-half of 2017 – compared to 78 for the same amount of time last year, according to the Chicago Tribune. Technically, we’re down.
Will urban youth live long enough to attend Chgo St.?

BUT DOES ANYBODY feel that as a literal truth?

Now I don’t want to hear from the ideological crackpots who are going to start raging that Donald Trump is telling the truth whenever he goes on his near daily rants about how Chicago is all fouled up.

For I know the truth is that Trump is very much a part of the problem, and could care less about finding a solution. If anything, I suspect he needs for Chicago to have a high homicide rate because it gives him something to complain about. I doubt he's willing to do a thing that would actually help resolve the problem of urban violence rates in Chicago. The talk that passed between White House and D.C.-based officials and Mayor Rahm Emanuel likely is just idle chatter.

Besides, it seems that the people who are suffering are the ones who didn’t vote for him. Maybe he thinks a re-election strategy is to let his detractors kill each other off?!?

SO WILL SERIOUS help come from Trump? No! Although I doubt that image of National Guard troops in Chicago would come either, because then people could blame Trump for anything wrong those part-time soldiers would do – and accepting blame for wrong-doing is as far removed from the Trump experience as anything!
Chance got his recognition -- a Grammy

The year 2017 is one in which we have our share of troubles. Bloodshed we consider to be ignorable, similar to another “story” I encountered Monday – the New York Times reported on the financial struggles of the athletic program at Chicago State University, which are the extreme end of the financial troubles many state colleges are facing these days because of the Illinois government budget fiasco.

Which also is ignorable because of the many of us who dismiss Chicago State as just some sort of school for the few people in select South and West side neighborhoods who manage to live long-enough to even consider attending college.

Although the Chicago kid known as “Chance, the Rapper” did manage to win a Grammy Award this weekend. All in all, a heck of a way for 2017 to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day.”


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