Wednesday, August 20, 2014
Where is the outrage?
"She has been on the honor roll since she has been in high school every semester," stated Katrina Goodwin.
Last weekend, 7 people died from gunfire and 29 were wounded............. not in Gaza, Israel, Iraq or in the Ukraine......... in Chicago IL. During the Fourth of July weekend, 82 people were shot and 14 of them died from their wounds.
It began with someone shooting a couple, followed by two more people firing shots at the shooter....... then there was a chase that included a shot wounding a man who was sitting on his porch. The police brought in a helicopter, SUVs loaded with rifles and SWAT teams to patrol the streets with officers. There were five people shot by the police including two young men, 14 years old and 16 years old that were killed after refusing to put down their guns. The victims ranged in age from 14 to a 66 year old woman who was grazed by a shot to her head as she was walking up her front stairs.
Police state that at least a dozen people were shot each night of the holiday weekend and added that most of the victims were in their late teens and twenties. During one 13 hour stretch between Sunday and Monday, four people were killed and 26 were wounded, many of them critically during what appeared to be a running gun battle. The gunfire, injuries and deaths have not stopped since that weekend.
Shortly after midnight on Aug 16 2014, 16 year old Shaquis Buckner was shot and killed by a drive-by shooter in West Englewood IL, near Chicago. The honor student was not the intended target according to police. The 20 year old male that was with her was wounded during the shooting and he is suspected to be the target.
Shaquise has been described as a very popular student at Perspectives Charter School where she was a sophomore. She had made the honor roll every semester as a straight A student and was planning to take AP classes when the new school year began. Her mother, Katrina Goodman stated that Shaquise had planned to have a career in forensic science because she loved watching the program CSI.
The shooting occurred just before 1 am and she was only a few blocks from her home, walking with her friend. The police stated that she had been shot in the head and her 20 year old male friend was wounded by shots. They believe that he was the intended target and whoever had done the shooting had not meant for her to get hit.
Another name I do not see or hear on the local news is Hadiya Pendleton. Just one week after performing with fellow students of King College Prep School at President Obama's inauguration, she was gunned down and killed. Hadiya was shot on Jan 29 2013 whole she and a group of classmates were taking shelter from the rain in Harsh Park, about a mile from Obama's Illinois home.
Hadiya was also a volleyball player for the school and the high school sophomore was working on getting into a French exchange student program. She was well liked and had aspirations of a career in journalism or pharmacist and had an interest in attending Northwestern University. Hadiya was an avid reader and always on the honor roll in school. Her parents and younger brother had been planning to move to a better neighborhood even though they lived within a mile of the Obama residence.
While Hadiya's family was attending her funeral, her killers were making plans to head out to a strip club for the night. They never made it because police arrested them. The suspects, 18 year old Michael Ward and 20 year old Kenneth Williams were arrested and held without bail.
Ward is reportedly the shooter and Williams drove his mother's Nissan as the getaway driver. Both young men are said to be members of the SUWU gang and they were cruising the park to shoot members of the 4-6 terror gang. They spotted the group of students at around 2 pm and Ward walked up them from behind.
He did not see who he opened fire on and fled the scene immediately. The young men stated that they were retaliating against the gang for the shooting of Williams months before. The police had arrested the people involved in that shooting but Williams refused to press charges, so the case was dropped. Ward, who was reportedly going back to school to get his GED, had an extensive arrest record and had been sentenced to two years probation for unlawful use of a gun in 2012. Williams is said to have no significant arrest record.
In the past few weeks of protests and unrest............ why do we not hear these two young women's names brought out in the chants. It is difficult to get any child to excel in school and plan for a career. Every child's life is precious but why are these two not on the lips of protesters and community leaders? Why are there no massive protests, crowds yelling "hands up-don't shoot" in the Chicago area. From the news reports, it has been the wild, wild west there since the Fourth of July weekend and many more than one young man have lost their lives there. Is it really ok to turn a blind eye to gun violence if it does not involve the police shooting a young person?
Do we need spend time now to learn to respect ourselves and our neighbors before we can expect to be respected ourselves?
Update Aug 29 2914:
Shots rang out in the Greater Grand Crossing neighborhood and at around 4 pm, Antonio Smith, 9 was found shot. Antonio had been shot four times and despite being rushed to the hospital, he was pronounced dead shortly after arriving.
Antonio had called his mother to ask if he could have a cupcake and when she told him that he could not, he reportedly got angry and ran out of the apartment. He was found in a dead end alley behind a different apartment building, shortly after he had been shot. It is doubtful that the soon to be third grader was shot randomly because he was hit four times in the chest.
The funeral for Antonio was this past weekend and while his death was news among religious leaders and the local community, it was not something worth making the national news it seems. There has been a vigil, rally and campaign with flyers for Antonio as well as $13,500 being raised as part of the reward for the arrest of his killer.
In the end...... a young boy has lost his life for what seems to be, no reason and yet........ I do not see the outrage. I don't see his story plastered on the national media. nor do I hear that Trayvon's mother has reached out to comfort this mother. Could it be that Antonio was not "unjustly" killed? At nine years old, this boy had his whole life in front of him..... a life that was cut short by someone with a gun.
Update Sept 2 2014:
This past Labor Day weekend brings news of 3 dead and 37 wounded. Not overseas..... not in a terrorist operation........ in Chicago again. It wasn't plastered all over the national news channels, nor was it even mentioned by all those people so dedicated to protesting the death of Michael Brown.
Is there a reason that his death is so very important that it seems that everyone there is hiring a lawyer and outraged about every little thing that has been done "wrong" in that town. Why does it seem that it is alright or "just another ordinary day" in Chicago for young people to die from bullets there?
I certainly hope that it is not because they were not killed by a police officer...... so their lives aren't "worth" the media and support of their community nationwide........