My articles on the roles of economic inequality, institutionalized racism, and capitalism in propping up Chicago gang violence has proved to be quite controversial as it has attracted a variety of people from various political spectrums seeking to discredit it. Most of the time it comes from Right-Wing Conservatives but this times a libertarian has voiced their opinion; they seem to believe the notion of racism playing a role in Chicago gang violence was totally asinine stating that:
“The way I see it, people are going to get guns whether the government disapproves of it or not. Making guns illegal only eliminates the legitimate means of acquiring them. If you’re afraid of this allowing criminals to get the guns, (which I’m not quite convinced that you’ve presented this as a bad thing) they’re very picky about who gets the guns. Under some circumstances, you can’t even get one if you have a speeding ticket. Do you really think there are any inner city thugs that are that clean? No, of course not. You’re blaming fox news for being conservative and on top of that endorsing denying law abiding citizens from getting guns that will protect them from criminals who’ll have them regardless. You think that pandering for the audience’s dislike for fox news will take some of the heat off you. I was thinking more along the lines of drugs and gun violence, maybe that’s just me. Simply put. Racism hasn’t been killing these people. Dangerous people with guns do. People who want guns and are willing to violate the law to acquire them. There won’t and hasn’t been any way to stop them from getting them. How do we stop them, we give the well-intended and lawful public guns to stop these dangerous people.”
Nowhere in the article “Fox News on Chicago’s Gang Violence” is there any support or opposition to any gun control laws. Therefore, the rant on ineffectiveness of gun control laws is irrelevant. To clarify, the article criticizes Fox News for using Chicago gang violence as an example for the failure of gun control laws. The point is that Chicago’s gang violence isn’t caused by strict gun laws (which Fox News asserts) but rather oppression enforced by the state. Also, to refer to oppressed inner-city youth who have been systematically disenfranchised, oppressed and forced to take part in an illegal economy as a result of economic necessity as mere ‘inner-city thugs’ is both ignorant and misleading.The real thugs are the forefathers of the modern white population who raped, pillaged, and exploited the earth and climbed to the top of the socio-economic ladder through theft. The real thugs are white Americans who benefited from this plundering; whites who support America’s imperialistic agenda abroad and have the audacity to lecture black youth about our alleged lack of morality.The entire white population in America sits on land stolen from the Native-American people. Ronald Reagan, a conservative hero, once said America is a city on a hill. I agree with that, but inside that hill are the broken bones of African slaves, mixed and mangled with the blood of Native-Americans.Black people are told that America is a city on a hill, and with “hard work” we too can have a piece of the American pie. Those of us that actually reside in urban areas see the violence, endure the anguish, and live in the most congested and deteriorating areas easily see the foolishness of such a viewpoint. The libertarian then says:
“Quite Honestly, I don’t get your underlying source of the trouble. Racism? In the US, we live in a society filled up to the neck with reverse discrimination (at least for ethnic minorities). (A)nd now you think guns for the law abiding public is a bad idea?”
This libertarian believes, as do many uneducated white people, that since the passage of civil rights legislation that whites are becoming the new oppressed minority. You’ve likely heard the argument before; that affirmative action, job quotas, and scholarships reserved for minority students constitutes ‘reverse racism.’ These claims of ‘reverse discrimination’ has become the slogan of racists who seek to eradicate public policies designed to alleviate racial inequality that blacks and other oppressed ethnicities have diligently fought for.
However, the claim of reverse discrimination as some type of systemic oppression of white people is an absolute ludicrous statement. Black people face discrimination in every area of American society. Though it is illegal, housing discrimination continues to affect African-Americans in Chicago. All civil rights legislation did was ban “No Colored” signs, but racism in the housing market continues to disenfranchise blacks. African-American borrowers were given higher-interest on subprime mortgages when compared to whites – even when they qualified for much better deals. Even “blockbusting,” referring to racist practices by real-estate agents against blacks, was pioneered in Chicago! Today, because of these discriminatory practices, Chicago stands as the most racially segregated city in America.
Moreover, another study I’ve repeatedly cited in my articles, discovered that discrimination continues to be perpetuated against African-Americans in the job market. Studies have found that applicants with more “black-sounding” names on resumes (i.e. Jamal, Lakeshia) were less likely to be called back for an interview than applicants with more “white-sounding” names (i.e. John, Emily) even when credentials were identical. Even more troubling, a study found that employers were more likely to hire a white person with a criminal record than a black person without one, even when qualifications were exactly the same.
African-Americans also face discrimination in schooling. According to the Progressive Labor Party, “In 2000, 54% of black public school students in Chicago attended schools that did not have a single white student enrolled, 274 schools were 90% or more black, and 173 of those schools, 30% of all Chicago public schools, were 100% black.” Many whites attend schools with greater infrastructure and resources, located in suburban areas.
African-Americans also face discrimination in health-care. Discrimination and apartheid-like conditions characterize Chicago’s health-care system. Despite there being high levels of violence and shootings on the Southside, there is no trauma center to operate on victims, leaving youth to die in the streets. Conversely, there are plenty of hospitals and trauma centers in affluent white areas despite low levels of violence. Blacks that are exposed to this violence often develop post-traumatic stress disorder, similar to troops returning from combat. For many it isn’t “post-trauma” but a continuous cycle.
In spite of this, Rahm Emmanuel has plans to close down mental health facilities in Chicago’s low income areas. In the current hospitals located in Chicago, blacks face rampant discrimination. Several studies have indicated that black patients receive excessive wait times and have been subject to expensive deposit requirements prior to treatment. According to a study from UCLA, researchers found that racial discrimination is the key factor in explaining why blacks suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, heart disease, and strokes, more than any other demographic.
Thus, in every area in Chicago critical to living a prosperous life employment, housing, health care, and transportation, African-Americans face discrimination. Reverse discrimination/reverse racism is a hoax conjured up in the minds of white racists who want to deny that the American government continues to privilege them. Much needed affirmative action laws and job quotas for minorities are in place, however the government does not even enforce legislation and many studies have discovered companies to be in violation of such quotas. The libertarian goes on to say:
“Oh, and a lack of morals and values is vastly important in this. A loss of values and morals when put to the extreme causes collapse in any civilized society. For example, although the folks here (albeit think very different than I) endorse equality and hard work to optimize the well being of society. We all have values. I think avoiding drugs and not shooting people should be pretty universal morals, so I’m not even going to have to delve any further into your ‘lack of values and morals is irrelevant’ claim.”
The problem with this statement is that America is not a civilized society, but a barbaric one built on the slaughter of Native Americans and the oppression of Black people. Of course, people should not shoot each other, and of course people should not turn to drugs. People turn to drugs to help cope with the pain that they face every day under capitalism; Lorenzo Ervin writes that , “The drug addict (the new term seems to be “crack-head”) is another tragic figure; he was a human being just like anyone else, but because of his oppressed social environment, sought drugs to ease the pain or to escape temporarily from the “concrete jungles” we are forced live in the urban ghettos of America.“ I don’t know how to make this any simpler for the libertarian: black people reside in urban ghettos in DIRE poverty—the ILLEGAL economy is the only way to get food— when a rival gang encroaches on your territory they steal your customers, which means that you starve and don’t eat,- either you shoot them or starve. Black youth in urban areas cannot survive holding onto your morals. He then states:
“I read the entire article, when it was time to provide evidence for your case (you know, the part that actually makes the it real), you immediately turned to hundred year old stories (presented very onesidedly, to say in the least) about white people doing bad things to blacks. They weren’t even vaguely relevant except that they showed white people being mean to blacks, probably why you couldn’t seem to contain yourself to share that as well.”
These events I documented were obviously relevant. This is more than about the attitude of whites and them being mean to black people; they carried out actions and riots which contributed to the disenfranchisement of the black population. The racist Chicago Housing Authority literally created housing complexes for African-Americans that lacked plumbing; they would not even give these communities the benefit of regular garbage disposable services. This decision on the part of the Chicago Housing Authority to deny blacks basic privileges given to whites directly lead to skyrocketing rates of black infant mortality; an example of systemic poisoning directly attacking blacks. Also, I want to apologize for my summary of the race riots being one-sided; in my next post I’ll be sure to include the perspective of the racist whites involved in the riots.
Housing: “A Short History,” http://southside.uchicago.edu/History/Housing.html
“Chicago Race Riot of 1919″.Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.. 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-04.http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/110488/Chicago-Race-Riot-of-1919
.) Tuttle, William. Race Riot Chicago in the Red Summer of 1919 (Urbana, IL; University of Illinois Press, 1970)
RACE NOT SPACE: A REVISIONIST HISTORY OFGANGS IN CHICAGO John M. Hagedorn* gangresearch.net/Archives/hagedorn/articles/racenotspace.pdf
Housing: “A Short History,” http://southside.uchicago.edu/History/Housing.html
Arnold Richard Hirsch, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960″, University of Chicago,1998,http://books.google.com/books?id=px0PuO7GWhsC&pg=PP1&ots=9I1rYsYyNh&dq=%22Making+the+Second+Ghetto%22+hirsch&sig=IPgKY-xgpCRZwpCsboI_rk0UPgc#PPA18,M1
) Arnold Richard Hirsch, “Making the Second Ghetto: Race and Housing in Chicago 1940-1960″, University of Chicago,1998,http://books.google.com/books?id=px0PuO7GWhsC&pg=PP1&ots=9I1rYsYyNh&dq=%22Making+the+Second+Ghetto%22+hirsch&sig=IPgKY-xgpCRZwpCsboI_rk0UPgc#PPA18,M1
Asraa MustufaFriday, June 17 2011 http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/06/chicago_activists_push_for_trauma_center_on_the_south_side.html Chicago Activists Push for Trauma Center on the South Side
) “I See Everything Through This Tragedy” February 12, 2012, 11:00 am ET by Alex Kotlowitz http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/social-issues/interrupters/i-see-everything-through-this-tragedy/
) Karen Jordan Activists rally against mental health clinic closures
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/local&id=8624017
) Race, Health Care and the Law Speaking Truth to Power!
Institutional Racism in US Health Care http://academic.udayton.edu/health/07humanrights/racial01c.htm
12) Discrimination Contributes To African-American Health Disparitiea http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/55345.php 01 Nov 2006 – 3:00 PST) Chicago’s Jackson Park Hospital Settles Discrimination Charges
Written by Molly Gamble | November 22, 2011http://www.beckershospitalreview.com/hospital-management-administration/chicagos-jackson-park-hospital-settles-discrimination-charges.html
) Black Borrowers Face Higher Hurdles in Lending, Study ShowsBy Stefanos Chen Feb 24th 2012 1:48PM
) A Requiem for Blockbusting: Law, Economics, and Race-Based Real Estate Speculation Dmitri Mehlhornhttp://ir.lawnet.fordham.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?articl The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve
Chicago Most Segregated City In America, Despite Significant Improvements In Last Decade
http://www.plp.org/leaflets-pamphlets/pamphlets/Racism_pamphlet2.pdf PROGRESSIVE LABOR PARTY ON RACE AND RACISM
) The Schools Chicago’s Students Deserve
Consortium for School Research at the University of Chicago
) “Are Emily and Greg More Employable than Lakisha and Jamal? A Field Experiment on Labor Market Discrimination,” Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, National Bureau of Economic Research, July 2003.
The Mark of a Criminal Record Devah Pager Northwestern Universityhttp://www.princeton.edu/~pager/pager_ajs.pdf
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~blnchflr/papers/finalrestat.pdf DISCRIMINATION IN THE SMALL BUSINESS CREDIT MARKET