Waiting for the City to Explode

Summer has barely started, and It looks like it's going to be a killer in Chicago. Literally. Already there have been an increased number of shootings and other homicides. The people of the city don't trust the police or the city government, the police on the street don't seem to trust their leadership, and the only actions that people are seeing are more aggressive policing (which isn't the same as more effective policing). Last night saw accusations of the police shooting a man and then planting a gun. True or not, this is the sort of thing that will lead to more tensions.

On one side of the street we'll have have the people who are always around when something bad happens looking to blame someone else and increase their own profile. Blame the police, blame the gun manufacturers, blame the gun sellers... On the other side of the street you've got the people who believe that a badge confers some special power to be able to do no wrong. Finally, you've got the people caught in the middle. I firmly believe that this includes most of the people these things affect most directly: the people in the neighborhoods, and the police who walk the beats. Those are the people who think the solution isn't to pass stupid "gun control" laws that only restrict what people can legally get their hands on. Nor to they think the answer is to assume that the police are at fault when something goes wrong. But the "powers that be" don't live on or work those streets. They sit downtown in their offices, they arrive in a chauffeur driven car after the shootings happen to decry the violence and the unfairness in their custom tailored suits. They yell at the cameras, and then they go out for dinner. And nothing really changes.

And it's hard to believe that anyone really cares. When someone is assaulted in Lincoln Park it leads the news. When there's a homicide on the south side, it barely gets covered unless the police do the shooting. If gang graffiti appeared on a high school in the gold cost, it would be gone over night. The school down the block from me gets a coat of ugly-ass brown paint several days later. And from my perspective, it's getting worse, not better. All of this leads me to believe that before the summer is out in this city, there is going to be a confrontation between the people of this city and the police. And people will die. The worst part of it is, that it's not going to be the gang members or the out-of-touch "leaders" who will suffer, but the people who want to be able to sit on their porch at night and feel safe, and it will be the police who joined the force to help people and keep those people safe. I hope I'm wrong.

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