Violence in Chicago's African-American community can be difficult to understand, until you look back over the last 40 years. We have a major problem that stems from being disconnected from any and all forms of self identity: African-American people had to fight for the right to be accepted in the United States for so long that I believe we lost our heritage/foundation.
When we tried to unify in the late '60s there was a surprise shipload of pure heroin dumped off in the African-American community that helped to destroy several thousand families throughout the nation.
You also had a lot of people in power that really understood the value of making young African-American men a commodity in the prison system. Now you have thousands and thousands of young brothers entering the prison industrial complex and being forced to choose sides that create tension amongst brothers.
The crack cocaine epidemic of the early '80s led to mass chaos in the African-American community and ultimately took all of the life out of many families across the nation.
I've watched cocaine and the lure of fast money destroy values in the ghetto. Everybody wanted to be somebody other than themselves. This also led to people turning against their own people due to greed and power.
During the slave era, African-Americans had to unify for their freedom. Once we achieved freedom, I believe we lost our unity, let our guards down and allowed the corrupt nature of capitalism to divide us into a conflicting people. In this pursuit to secure our own piece of the pie some are willing to smash their brothers for nothing because they do not see themselves as brothers.
African-American youth have to get the message that we are one. As long as we have the mentality that we are a divided people, we will continue to have shootings and killings ending the lives of young people all across the nation.
Right now, a lot of African-American males are living their lives in these so-called ghettos and they've been ostracized by society, causing them to create their own.
By establishing their own society, I've seen young black males institute their own rules where harming others and killing is the norm in the ghetto. Selling narcotics, buying guns, shooting dice and the overall criminal lifestyle is just a way of life in their self orchestrated ghetto society.
There is no one solution to stopping the violence in the African-American community, but part of the solution includes addressing several issues such as self-hatred, domestic violence, inter-personal violence, drugs, gangs, kidnapping, extortion, robbery and a plethora of other issues.
It's all a ball of confusion. Violence is so commonplace in the African-American community that some people have accepted violence as an everyday occurrence in the ghetto. Someone gets shot and as soon as the crime scene is cleared the community returns to the daily struggle of living in the ghetto.