• Yes we do

    Its a terrible thing what is going on in Chicago and the inner city "ghettos" in general. There is so much unnecessary violence going on and most of it is minors and young men making horrible choices. There needs to be education and outlets and job opportunities for these urban low income areas to protect the youth.

  • It's not just Chicago

    Gang violence is everywhere, not just Chicago. There needs to be greater steps taken to combat the violence in most inner cities. However, this needs to be dealt with at the root and not wait until the problem is uncontrollable. The issue stems from hopelessness and poverty so if those issues can be confronted we would have a much better chance of preventing future desolation and therefore violence.

  • The effects of gang violence are far-reaching.

    Escalating gang violence continues to claim the lives of innocent bystanders. Children are often victims. Families are being destroyed, and calming the storm requires more action. If one person is killed due to gang violence, then more action is needed. We, as a society, cannot simply stand by while others die. Gang violence must be stopped, and we need to do more to end it.

  • Gangs Recruit New Criminals

    The trouble with gangs is that they thrive by initiating more criminals. They pull in children by offering something they are otherwise missing in their home and community - family, friends, a sense of belonging, security, etc. Once they are in, they can't get out. The same gangs persist across multiple generations because they replace themselves. They create a culture that encourages crime and discourages trusting authority figures who might otherwise help children before they join a gang, particularly teachers and law enforcement.

  • Nothing can be done that has not already been tried.

    Education and all the money we have thrown at these problems have not done nearly enough to slow the problems of the inner city. Everyone who has no personal experience living in these areas has NO IDEA how hopeless it really is. I was an educator who had served for 11 years, who started out as an optimistic, progressive, minded teacher, who wanted to make a difference; I understand now that it was almost all in vain. For every student I reached, A hundred and fifty slipped by the wayside. The culture there is hopeless. Until people in these places make a permanent mind flip, take responsibility for their reality, make the daily changes for themselves, education and job opportunities won't be worth anything to them. It is such a huge waste and it makes me sad.

    Take it from someone who has lived it. I know it is unpopular what I am saying and you will argue that I lost hope and that if I had just been stronger, had better strategies and classroom management I would have been able to be more effective.
    Educators who want to justify their jobs to the american public in these places will always do this.

    I was naive to think that those who had come before me had failed because they somehow, had inferior knowledge or were not sufficiently trained, or did not believe as strongly as I did in the mission of transformation. The bottom line the lay person needs to know is this. If the parents do not believe in education; their kids will not believe. It is a problem that is currently as well as historically all too pervasive.

    I don't say this to dash people's hopes unnecessarily. I just think that it is time we had an honest conversation about what is real and what is not. What can be helped and what cannot. Where to expand services and where to cut our losses.

    You have to imagine what it would be like t grow up in a semi war zone. The trauma is so deep in these communities. The disconnect with their own emotions and lack of ability to see how their feelings and their actions impact the people around them is huge. The constant fear, anger and indifference in the background of their consciousness is just "normal" for them. And they assume that this is the "normal" that other people who live outside their community live in. The "normal" that "everyone" lives in. They are convinced that others just hide it better. They have absolutely no experiences outside of their own bubble to compare and contrast their lives with. The only window outside is that which comes through the television.(most still do not have internet access) And we all know how skewed, useless and dishonest the information that comes out of that box is.

    It's a national tragedy. The only way that it can change is from within.

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