Obama, Racism, And Gun Violence in South Chicago

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Ohg Rea Tone is all or nothing. He is educated and opinionated, more clever than smart, sarcastic and forthright. He writes intuitively - often disregarding rules of composition. Comment on his posts - he will likely respond with characteristic humor or genuine empathy. He is the real-deal.

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Obama, Racism, And Gun Violence in South Chicago

Hadiya PendletonA family buried their daughter today.  15 year old Hadiya Pendleton was killed earlier this week by that crazy phenomenon of irrational gun violence.  Did I mention that Hidiva was black?  Did we note she was killed on Chicago’s South Side – the epicenter of gun violence in new reports.  This is tough to talk about – horrendous tragedy of youthful death serves to highlight the lost lives of so many.  Some die, some go to prison, some zone out on drugs – but far too many lives are wasted.  The problem is tough to talk about because our modern culture is ultra sensitive to racial references.

We have to be careful with our words.  If we note that the prison population in America is disproportionately black we are immediately met with accusations of police and prosecutorial abuse of blacks.  If we note that the highest death rate per capita by gun violence is in South Chicago we have to be careful if we also want to note that South Chicago is mostly black.  Michelle Obama grew up in South Chicago and in case anyone failed to take note – Mrs. Obama is black.

President Obama is considered to be the first African American President of the United States.  He is not the first half Caucasian President – that would be far too confusing.  But Obama is different than his wife – His black father grew up in Kenya, his mother was white, and he was raised by his Caucasian grandparents in Hawaii.  The President does not have the same family background as his wife.

That family background is important – and we should stop avoiding the question.   The question is this:  Is gun violence more prevalent in families that are directly descended from American slaves?  The question is relevant and important.  Many studies clearly demonstrate environmental phenomenon to affect families for many generations.  Children, all children, learn values (both good and bad) through osmosis – the process is a natural occurrence of growing up anywhere.  The idea of family bitterness and resentment, of a sense of being less than, a sense of fear, seems to me to be a given ingredient of former slave families.  This does not make black people different or less – this acceptance of reality affirms black people as suffering the very same cultural influences of any other race.  If we were to check the Asian female sex trade in Bangladesh we would likely find the same emotional correlation.

If we avoid this reality we shall never be able to accurately define the problems and we shall likely pass the values on to the next generation.  If nothing changes, nothing changes.

Our sensitivity to charges of racism prevents us from being able to talk honestly.  We must stop this madness.  Gun control is one component – but the NRA, that goofy organization of white knuckleheads, could make more points if they would rephrase their argument.  Guns in the hands of pissed-off people are dangerous.  It makes no difference if one is second or third generation pissed off – the trauma transfers quite nicely.

There is a worn out argument by actual racists:  Get over it.  I never held you as a slave.  Does the same reasoning apply to soldiers coming home form Iraq or Afghanistan?  Get over it”  Really? Is that the best we have to offer in terms of awareness of cultural impact on humanity?

We have to be able to talk without being accused of being racist.


There Are 4 Responses So Far. »

  1. This article is horrible. Nobody learns from osmosis, or the diffusion of liquids. Why is race even an issue or the reference of slaves? However, there are cultural influences, or lack there of, can be expanded.

  2. My point is that we have to have an honest conversation about gun violence – we must fear being called a racist. The people where I come from call me a liberal — but I come from Missouri so take that for what it is worth.

  3. Sorry about my prior comment, but I keep reading various articles where real issues are not being spoken. There is not a gun issue but a cultural issue – and sometimes race does play a part as well as socio-economic status. I believe guns should not be resitricted but registered. If anyone is caught with an unregistered weapon, it is automatically turned over until it is properly handled. Assault weapons are not the issue, and even Biden agreed that they compose a minute number of gun-related murder. And enough with politicians using Sandy Hook as political fodder. There was little to no talk of assault weapons prior to Aroura and Newtown, why are tHey more dangerous now? The inanimate gun was the same as its always been prior to these shootings. Let’s face it – all the illegal guns will not be turned over nor will we stop every lunatic from getting one. I believe Americans should, as they have the right to, hold a concealed weapons permit. Not only does it increase safety of use but educates individuals. Also, we all have the obligation to look out for our fellow Americans. In that 10-15 min. Police response delay in Newtown, imagine if one teacher, gaurd or civilian has a firearm? I would have no qualms about neutralizing the threat to save innocent lives. Guns should not be taboo, bu we should learn how to respect the dangers and protect ourselfs. Violence is the ony constant aspect of humankind, what right does the government of ELECTED officials to tell me how I can or cannot defend myself or shoot under safe conditions?

  4. The right of government elected officials to ‘tell me how I can defend myself”. There it is. I tell my children and grandchildren that we live in a civilized society – a society governed by law. If we have a dispute we call the authorities and a impartial judge rules based on law – not prejudice or discrimination or fear. The laws are passed by representatives of the people (government).

    Banks and Convenience stores teach their employees to not resist an armed robber. Better to give them the money and let the police (trained and armed law enforcement officers) track down the scoundrel.

    This is not rocket science. We express our desires at the ballot box, laws are passed, imperfections are discovered, and we do the process over again. We call this progress.

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