Southside Chicago is as Dangerous as Iraq, Is Military Occupation the Answer?

Southside Chicago is as Dangerous as Iraq, Is Military Occupation the Answer?

Chicago is known to be one of the roughest cities in the country. According to MSNBC, this year’s death tolls in South Side Chicago (116) are almost as high as this year’s death tolls for U.S. troops in Afghanistan and Iraq (127). The murder rate is 15% higher than last year. Many believe that Southside Chicago is in serious need of violence control assistance.

Illinois State Representative (D) John Fritchey says, “There’s no reason why we can’t bring in the National Guard to help save lives.” Willie Williams, the father of a son that was killed, stated, “We sending our troops over to Iraq. They are helping over there. What’s wrong with them helping here?” However, the mayor of Chicago, Richard Daley is concerned that calling the National Guard would only be a short term solution to the problem. Also, John Marquez, a professor at Northwestern University, believes that bringing in the National Guard would only further promote a culture of violence.

The situation in Chicago is dangerous right now. However, I can’t help but to agree with the mayor and John Marquez. The National Guard would indeed be only a short term solution to a long term problem. This is why I can’t help but think that this would turn into some type of military enforced “tame the negroes” task force.

 I think the discussions surrounding the violence in Chicago are missing some vital components. We are dealing with a community plagued by poverty and unemployment woes. Furthermore, we are in the midst of an economic recession. This recession has placed increased strain on the livelihoods of people around the country, but especially in Southside Chicago. And it is a well known fact that crime has a tendency to rise in times of economic stress. In addition to all of these factors, we live in a culture that promotes hyper-masculinity, capitalism, individualism, and racial discrimination. These aspects of American culture, coupled with the survival mode of those lowest on America’s economic scale are ingredients for the horrible outcome we see before us.

The National Guard, with all their military might, will not be able to bring an end to this dilemma.  I don’t know what will. Some South side residents have voiced that they do want the National Guard to come in and control the violence. They want to feel safe in their neighborhoods. In this case, maybe the National Guard should go to Chicago. Still, there needs to be a long term solution to this crisis.

The National Guard may temporarily halt the violence. But as long as the overall living conditions of the people stay the same, the violence will only return.  Politicians, preachers, and civil rights leaders have been preaching their ideas surrounding this issue for decades. I don’t know what to think anymore.

What are some of your ideas? Do you think there is a reasonable and attainable solution to ending the devastating violence in Chicago?



7 thoughts on “Southside Chicago is as Dangerous as Iraq, Is Military Occupation the Answer?

  1. I don’t know who’s idea this was, but its increadibly stupid. The people in Chicago need assistance with life in general but constant military survelliance will just make things worst. People become more restricted and caged thatn they were before. And I guarantee that a number of innocent people will be caught up in arrests and illegally targeted just like with the new immigration law.

  2. @gregory I agree with you that its a bad idea, but comparing it to the new immigration law is pushing it a bit. We also have to think about what the people in Chicago want. If they think military presence will make their lives better, then who are we to criticize them? On the other hand, I think that we really need to look into the affects of low incomes and unemployment on a community and try to solve those problems first like JAM said.

  3. @ Meka you may have a point on there but I’m telling you. Whether the people want it or not, it just shouldn’t be done.

  4. If the ” code of silence ” remains in place then how can any of you expect the Chicago violence to slow down ? If gangs are allowed to operate and sell drugs, commit crimes and run an ongoing criminal organization then what does anyone expect ? I blame the community as a whole for this perpetual violence because of their lack of community ( if that make sense to you ) …. Where are the community leaders ? Maybe it’s time to elevate some NEW community leaders that have REAL ideas as to what the cause of this escalation in crime is all about – and most importantly what to do to counter it !

    In the past Jesse Jackson has done nothing but repeat the same old political rhetoric and never address the real problem with the community – for one reason and one reason only, he is a politician and not a community advocate !

    Time is running our for this to be effectively changed for the better – someone needs to step up from within the community do something instead of waiting for the government or the mayor to help save you !

    Ask your new Mayor do grow some balls and spend a day or 2 on the streets of Chicago’s South Side to prove he cares

  5. If people need protection then bring in military presence. This is a community problem but it goes back to being taught morals and what is right and wrong…Wrong is wrong and how we treat our fellow human being is with respect and not violence. Selling drugs and getting to the root of the problem is the first step. I realize many of these people have low incomes and caught in the economy but our present government is not helping. I agree Jesse jackson is only in it for political standpoint. You cant just turn your head. They need real leaders there and yes go into the south side and hear people and see what it is like. Violence is violence and when people dont follow the law they need punished not slapped on the hand. Where are the parents, church leaders, mayor and everyone at? This is a community and everyone has to work together. We are all afraid of gangs.. They must not operate. It goes back to what you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. no matter what situation these people come from, they know its not right, they know violence is not the answer and they should pay. The people that lost their life,,,yes they paid and their family. Dont turn heads, deal with the problem and if the military must come into help..yes, let them. I pray for everyone to see the light.

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