Saturday, November 28, 2015

Dueling pair of children being used to fight for attention of Chicago, world

Why does it feel like we’re in a fight between the images of two boys – both now deceased – to try to determine what is the appropriate image of what Chicago stands for.

By mid-day, Tyshawn had taken over
That’s literally what it felt like Friday as I read the latest accounts of how Laquan McDonald and Tyshawn Lee were being mentioned as people tried to show how violent they want us to believe Chicago has become.

YET THE TRUTH is that the people touting McDonald and those touting Lee are not the same individuals. In fact, I suspect there are those who view the opposing child as some sort of enemy kid who threatens to steal attention away from their pet cause.

McDonald being the teenager who was shot to death by police officer, and whose backers are trying to promote the idea that we have a whole department of “killer cops” in the Second City. They’re the ones who have already convicted the officer in their own minds, and aren’t going to settle for anything less than a natural life prison term.

But then, there’s Lee. He’s the 9-year-old who got shot to death by gang members, with officials saying the boy’s father was a rival gang member. As in a child who didn’t even make it to teenage-hood got caught up in the urban violence.

There have been some reports that the rival gang killed off the boy because he was signaling his father’s gang in some way, trying to warn them about an imposing threat.

THE BOTTOM LINE is that both Laquan and Tyshawn got cheated out of life – they didn’t make it to adulthood. Both of them are going to be nothing more than speculation and tales of “What could have been?” and “If only they’d had the chance” at a full life.

McDONALD: Blame the police!
But they are rival tales, and I couldn’t help but notice that for the Chicago Sun-Times on their website on Friday, Tyshawn’s tale had overtaken Laquan’s as the “big story” coming from Chicago.

Whereas the Chicago Tribune stuck with Laquan – largely because his backers were trying to force their way into the public’s eye by blocking off the big shopping district on Michigan Avenue that day.

Although it seems the public reaction to those people was largely bemusement. Some people even feeling the need to take out their telephones with cameras to get pictures of all those crazy people on the loose in Chicago. Just think of what the folks back home will say!

LEE: Blame the street gangs!
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN the two is that with Laquan, we’re forced to confront the degree to which our police officers and other public safety officials are not trusted by certain segments of our society (particularly those with a darker pigmentation hue) to offer up protection.

Whereas with Tyshawn, the tale being told is how those crazy people are killing each other off. It makes me wonder if some people will think it’s no wonder the police take such a hard line and assume the worst of a Laquan McDonald.

Personally, what I’m inclined to think of the whole McDonald affair is that of all the cops who arrived at that scene, it was only one of them who allegedly fired all those multiple shots. Others held their control.

Although it only takes one person and one well-aimed shot to kill another human being.

What some would like to prioritize!
WHILE WITH TYSHAWN, it seems no one is truly safe if they happen to live in the portions of Chicago that our society seems to think are worthy of such violent behavior.

We can say to ourselves what a tragedy his death is, but I doubt that people would be getting so worked up if not for the fact they want to detract attention from the story that truly makes them uncomfortable – the one that makes the police look bad.

Because that one brings into question many of the premises upon which we view our society – particularly those who think the REAL story for the day is the Chicago Bears victory Thursday night over Green Bay!

Although the way in which our society ultimately is going to get its act together with regards to such actions is when we’re forced to confront our beliefs and realize that – just perhaps – some of the things we’ve been thinking have been a bit too selfish and clueless to stand up to truth.


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