For the past 13 years or so since I moved to the Chicago metro area, I have adopted a nightly ritual of watching the 9:00pm WGN newscast. Honestly, the nightly Chicago news for me is no different than watching a daily drama series. If you think about it, Chicago’s nightly news has all of the elements of a dramatic series. Each night as I tune in, I find myself eagerly anticipating the tally of the day’s shootings and other nefarious crimes. I have to tell you that I am never disappointed. I have had co-workers who professed to stop watching the news because the incessant crimes are too much for them.

These daily bombardments of criminal activity have left me somewhat cynical and jaded. By jaded, I am referring to the police and politicians in the city. I feel that every time African American youth are the victims and perpetrators of violence, the powers that be and the public are quick to write off these incidents as casualties of the city’s escalating gang activity. Whenever I hear them proclaim that such and such victim or perpetrator had gang affiliations, I feel that they are sending the message to viewers and politicians that these lives have no value and that the city’s already dwindling resources should not be wasted in seeking justice for these victims.

Somewhat surprising to me is the resources that the city put behind finding the killers of Hidaya Pendleton. It is my summation that the reason for the focus is the Barack connection. She had just participated in the President’s official swearing in ceremony as well as being shot in close proximity to the President’s official residence in Hyde Park on Chicago’s Southside. Furthermore, her death by gun violence followed closely on the heels of the Newton shooting.

While I was glad of the intense media focus, I was somewhat angered due to the fact that there should always be intense focus and rage whenever these senseless acts of violence occur. Maybe I am being too presumptuous however. Just like war, we often become immune to steady death and violence.

When the news announced the shooting of a 6 month old baby, I completely lost it. Allegedly, the gunmen shot into a van in broad daylight where the father was changing his baby’s diaper. I thought what an animal the gunmen must be to shoot an infant.

Following a recap of yesterday’s broadcast of the shooting, the city’s top police brass was quick to announce gang ties. Allegedly the father is either a gang member or has gang ties.

This is infuriating to me!! So what, will there be no intense manhunt for the shooter? Regardless if the father is a mass murderer, shooting a 6 month old helpless infant is unacceptable in this country.

I think we as a community all over Chicago should hold the city’s top police brass accountable and put intense pressure on them (just as they did in the Pendleton case) to find the shooter and bring him to justice.

Gang violence is a part of the fabric of this country. I have no idea as to the solutions to end gangs or the violent behavior. However, I feel that the police and politicians have no right to decide that crimes and violence resulting from gangs should be shunted into the background!!!

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