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View Diary: 15 y.o Obama Inaugural Performer Gunned Down (309 comments)

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  •  As a native son of the Hyde Park-Kenwood (77+ / 0-)

    neighborhood in Chicago I know exactly where this occurred. It is walking distance to the Obama's home there. It is walking distance from where I attended school at Kenwood High School. King High was our nearest rival school. Our football teams would scrimmage against each other on a nearby field next to the school where Obama has been filmed voting.

    When I was a boy the border of my neighborhood was 47th street. A white boy didn't cross 47th into North Kenwood. This park is just a couple blocks north of the intersection of 47th and Lake Park. This is an area that today is improving and gentrifying to some extent but quite obviously has a long ways to go as the gangs, particularly the descendents of the Blackstone Rangers and the Disciples which were just getting their start in my day, are still fully in charge of the area.

    This... more than the occasional, horrific massacres such as Newtown... is why we need better gun control laws.

    This... occurs daily.

    These children... have their lives stolen from them daily.

    This... must end.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 10:26:53 AM PST

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    •  Yes. Alas. (21+ / 0-)

      Mere blocks from the President's home. Only another eight blocks from where my sister lives. It's actually one of the "safer" areas of Chicago's south side, as opposed to areas like Woodlawn and Englewood, where Newtown-scale massacres of children are happening monthly.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:32:51 AM PST

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      •  Yes, Hyde Park-Kenwood (10+ / 0-)

        is one of the safer southside neighborhoods. This, of course, happened just blocks outside of that area in North Kenwood. 47th street is still a border land between "safe" and "unsafe." The difference of a few city blocks. And safer then it was back in my day... but still far from as safe as it ought to be for all our children, black or white.

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:52:33 AM PST

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        •  what is it exactly that makes one block safe (4+ / 0-)

          and the next one unsafe. I never understood this. If the gangs of one area want to fight another one couldn't they just cross the imaginary border? Why would there be a border? What is it that makes people with bad intentions not crossing that border?

          •  In this particular case (6+ / 0-)

            it may be because the University of Chicago police patrol the neighborhood south of 47th Street, in addition to the Chicago police. (Their web site says that they patrol between 37th and 65th streets, but in reality I suspect that they actually start thinning out north of 51st Street. Then again, I haven't lived in Hyde Park for close to 30 years, so what do I know?)

            Let us all have the strength to see the humanity in our enemies, and the courage to let them see the humanity in ourselves.

            by Nowhere Man on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 01:02:13 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  They can and they do (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mimi, Lujane, rbird, Nowhere Man

            but as stated above the risk goes up when one crosses that imaginary border. In the case of the southside of Chicago and the Hyde Park-Kenwood neighborhood it is all about the University of Chicago working hard to maintain its neighborhood. This means both the addition of the UofC cops to the city cops but also the lack of care about the surrounding neighborhoods. Let them go to hell in a handbasket just make sure Hyde Park is safe.

            This has been going on since the great black migration out of the south began in the 40's. It was at that time that the neighborhoods of North Kenwood and Oakland-Bronzeville to the north of Hyde Park (and south Kenwood) and Woodlawn, Englewood and Washington Park to the south and west of Hyde Park went from middle class white neighborhoods to black ghetto. Over time these neighborhoods were allowed to deteriorate through lack of care or city services, over crowding, absentee landlords, and eventually lack of police... except to clean up the mess after gang shootings.

            When I was a boy the Blackstone Rangers and the Disciples were edging into Hyde Park and there were serious problems. By the time I left they had mostly been shoved out of Hyde Park and their borders (and mine) had been made clear.

            47th street on the north. Cottage Grove on the west. The Midway (60th street) on the south and the lake on the east. Those were the borders encompassing all of Hyde Park and the very rich half of Kenwood.

            Those are still mostly the borders as far as I can tell from afar (haven't been back since 2000) though the UofC has encroached into Woodlawn across the midway and I gather 47th is being revitalized. Also the horrible high rise house projects have been torn down so at least that problem has been dismantled. But those areas have contained some of the worst concentrated poverty in the nation (not sure if they still rank at the top or not) all surrounding the middle class neighborhood of one of the top universities in the nation where there are more nobel prize winners concentrated in a square mile then anywhere else in the world.

            It's like night and day.

            "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

            by Andrew C White on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:45:57 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  listening to your comment I wonder what (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Andrew C White

              would have become out of the Capitol Hill area in DC, which stretches out around the Capitol for a few miles to the south, east and north of the Capitol. Major parts were poverty and crime stricken in the seventies and eighties, if Washington DC had its University Campuses like GWU, GU or American University directly near the Capitol, I think the scenario there would be similar to what you describe for UofC and the Hyde Park-Kennwood neighborhood.

              These days Capitol Hill is a neighborhood for the government employees who are well off and secure.

              It's like night and day or like black and white, right?

              How high is the percentage of Afro-Americans (and I mean Afro-Americans and not any foreign brown ethnicity that populates the universities to make up for "good looks and diversity", ie excluding every brown person the Americans define but is not American born Afro-American) at the UofC?

              In DC you have Howard University. So, Howard University couldn't be situated in American University Park of the NW of DC, and American University would never have been situated in the area of where Howard University is located, as it's around 57 % Afro-American. So the border is between black and white. Who would have thought ...

    •  more than 1400 since 12/14. (9+ / 0-)

      More than a half dozen wounded or killed today alone.

      Not assault weapons. Not large clips. Just weird angry humans with too damned much firepower.

      THIS HAS TO STOP.

      "I can't do it by myself. No president can. Remember: Change doesn't happen from the top. It happens because of you." B Obama, 2008

      by nzanne on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 12:37:40 PM PST

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    •  Thanks for the background (7+ / 0-)

      It's a chronic problem in so many big cities.  

      While new gun laws and better enforcement are desperately needed,  job creation in these urban areas would also be a big help.  A healthy economy with good paying jobs would give many of these kids an alternative to gang membership.

      Democratic Leaders must be very clear they stand with the working class of our country. Democrats must hold the line in demanding that deficit reduction is done fairly -- not on the backs of the elderly, the sick, children and the poor.

      by Betty Pinson on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 02:38:08 PM PST

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    •  Your post brings back memories. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew C White

      About 1971 my husband and I were attending the 57th Street Chicago Friends Meeting (Quakers). We had news that the Black P Stone Rangers had bombed a black Mennonite church not far away over the deviding line.

      We heard that Jesse Jackson was going to preach, so a group of us decided to go and show our suppory for our sister peace church.

      The service was held outdoors because the church sanctuary had been damaged. There was a huge crowd and ours were among the only white faces there.

      Incongruously (for a peace church) there were men with guns on the lookout  on the buildings overlooking the crowd. It was a little too real.

      BTW Jesse Jackson was gorgeous in those days, very tall and handsome. His sermon was a rousing one.

      I still remember that he wore a bright red turtleneck with his black robes. Wow!

      One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

      by Jane Lew on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 07:43:46 PM PST

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      •  I don't know if we've discussed this before (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jane Lew

        or not but my grandparents, Garfield and Jeanette Cox, were founding members of the 57th Street Meeting and grandpa was clerk of the meeting for many years. He retired and they left for California about 1960. I've been in the meeting house only a couple times that I remember but my clearest memory of it was from that time frame. My grandmother died in 1975 and there was a memorial service for her in the meeting house.

        Yes, the Blackstone Rangers became the Black P Stone Nation and have gone through a few name changes since then. They are still around as are their rivals the Disciples.

        You walkled into a very dangerous situation going to the Mennonite Church. This was Rev. Burrell's in Woodlawn, yes?

        "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

        by Andrew C White on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 09:31:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •   Fascinating (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Andrew C White

          I am familiar with Cox being a weighty Quaker name.

          We were only in Chicago one year when my husband was doing his internship 1970/71 at Northwestern.

          I actually don't think it was that dangerous. You have to understand I have been in some remarkable places having done social work in the South Bronx during the 1960s. I remember interviewing a murderer in his home. He came on to me and I had to exit. Another time I had to go get a kid in a narcotics shooting gallery. There were some really bad people in charge of that place. They let the kid go with me. I was fearless in those days.

          Yes, that is the church.

          People at the Mennonite Church were very welcoming to us. I got the feeling we would have been protected by those who were there had anyone threatened us.

          I forgot to say that the men on the rooftops were not police; they were just civilian men with long guns.

          One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors." -- Plato

          by Jane Lew on Wed Jan 30, 2013 at 11:54:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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