In 1967 Clare Huffaker wrote a great book called Nobody Loves a Drunken Indian. It was a man-bites-dog story of modern Native Americans more or less turning the tables on modern America. The title has always stuck with me because it told the truth: in the US, no one loves any marginalized ethnic group, whether it be Native Americans or African-Americans. Discrete and insular minorities are easy to ignore. We’re all guilty of it.
I have concluded that the media and the political elite are blind to their own rhetorical bigotry. When white suburban kids get killed it’s front page news. But the carnage that goes on every day in Chicago is conveniently swept under the rug until the end of the year when the media reports the statistics with a “tsk tsk.” Let me lay out the case for this bigotry of ignorance:
In Chicago, in 2016, there were:
4349 People shot
771 People died
In 2017 in Chicago there were:
3457 People shot
650 People died
Total those figures up. There were:
6335 Shootings inside of only two years.
7806 People were shot.
1421 people died.
75% of those killed were black.
Everytown for Gun Confiscation (their actual name) maintains statistics for school shootings and claims that there were 239 School shootings since Sandy Hook in 2004, in which there were 438 victims and 138 deaths. I do not believe these statistics for a minute because they’re aimed at the anti-gun agenda, but I am willing to use them here to make a point.
So, let’s do the math. Over 14 years the average number of school shootings was 17, the average number of victims was 31, and the average number of deaths was 9.8. Now, don’t get me wrong, losing ten kids a year to school violence is awful, but is it an epidemic? No one believes that.
Look at the average for the last two years for Chicago
An average number of shootings in Chicago is 3,167. An average of 3,903 victims, and an average of 710 deaths resulted. Now, that is an epidemic. Why is it not front page news? Why is not the media discussing it nightly? Because the media is aware of the following:
- The crime is predominantly gang-related.
- It primarily involves black-on-black crime.
- Poverty and drugs are significant contributing factors.
- The city is run by Democrats and has been for decades.
- 90% of gang violence occurs without an arrest or prosecution. In 2011, the latest data I could find that was officially released by the Chicago Police, there were 433 homicides. Of these, just 128 (29%) had a corresponding prosecution.
- 71% of victims are between 17 and 35 years old. 90% are male. 75% are black.
- Anyone who testifies in Court is branded a “snitch” and is guaranteed a shorter life expectancy.
- When prosecutions do occur, they involve pleas to minor offenses.
- Sentences are a joke. When four toughs tortured a helpless mentally disabled invididual and put it on Facebook, they were arrested and prosecuted. But one of the admitted criminals, Brittany Covington, pleaded guilty to the charges of committing a hate crime, intimidation and aggravated battery. Additional charges, such as kidnapping, were dropped as part of her plea deal. Covington was sentenced to four years of probation and 200 hours of community service. Cook County Circuit Judge William Hooks said that he did not sentence her to prison because “I’m not sure if I did that you’d be coming out any better.” Thus we see that the goal of prosecution in Illinois is not punishment, it is to minimize the impact on the criminal.
- People in Chicago are virtually devoid of honest representation in the state legislature or at the level of governor.
Let’s compare that with Parkland, Florida, where the latest school shooting occurred. Less than a quarter of students at Stoneman HS qualify for free or reduced cost meals, compared to 64% in the remainder of Broward county. The median income in Parkland, which suffered only seven violent crimes in a city of over 31,000, is $128,000. The rest of Broward: $53,000. While the loss of life of seventeen souls is an immeasurably difficult burden for those affected, that accounts for a mere 8 days of normal life in Chicago. Are the lives of the Parkland Florida residents so much more important than the lives of those in Chicago, or, as I suggested initially, is it more a factor of the race of the victims, their powerlessness in a corrupt system, who controls the city, and the lack of an honest or effective criminal justice system.
Let’s be honest. The real issue is race. 75% of the victims of gang violence in Chicago are black. Who advocates for them? The blacks on the city council? Not so far. The mayor? Again, he is AWOL on this issue. The chief of police? Don’t make me laugh; he’s scared of his own shadow because civilians want guns to protect themselves. Chicago is ignored because its poor, hopeless, black people being gunned down in the street, and they have no one to press their case for them at the state house. Their congressmen and senators are sitting on their hands as well.
To put Chicago more in focus, between 2012 and 2017 the US lost 539 soldiers to combat operations in Afghanistan. Chicago lost more than that last year. When casualties in war are far less than casualties in peace-time Chicago, something needs to change.
Those of us who love shooting, and want to see national conceal and carry reciprocity need to step up and speak for these victims the way Maj. Toure is doing. (@majtoure on Twitter; firstname.lastname@example.org) He is trying to arm and train black men and women to give them the tools to protect themselves against gang violence. But like the lone voice crying in the wilderness, he has not received either the support from the gun community, nor the appreciation he deserves.
One of my goals is to become an NRA approved instructor, and to help people get the training they need to be safe. I want to concentrate on the underserved black and Hispanic communities to expand their ability to protect themselves from crime and thuggery.
We should all be doing more. Because if 17 white suburban kids were being killed every 8 days in America, you can bet there would be a much different reaction in the media and in Congress. Just because its people of color doesn’t mean we can say it isn’t our problem.