While most of the country was celebrating Independence Day at barbecues and other fun-filled festivities, 10 people were killed and 55 wounded on the streets of Chicago. Sadly, this comes as no surprise given the reputation of the city.
In the first half of 2015, 216 people have been reported killed in Chicago, according to RedEye data. That outpaces 2014, with 189 homicides being reported through June 30th. A staggering 426 people were murdered in 2014 and 422 murdered in 2013. With all these murders, it’s no shock that the city is regularly compared to Iraq—coined “Chiraq” by Chicago Rapper, Chief Keef.
We’re facing an epidemic that is barely even spoken of on a national level. We certainly heard about the church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. For weeks, the hearts of hundreds of thousands of Americans cried out. Leaders and global citizens got on planes, jumped in cars and travelled to Charleston to stand up for love. It was beautiful and empowering.
We are not pinning one tragedy against another, but what about the daily, monthly and yearly tragedies that take place on the streets of Chicago? Who is campaigning about the traumatic experiences these young people are facing simply walking home from school each day. Where are our leaders who are feverishly taking action against crimes that stem from social ills that every American plays a part in.
The situation has gotten so out of hand that institutions like the University of Chicago offered $1 million for the best idea to help curb youth violence. Artists like Common, Rhymefest and Chance the Rapper have begun taking steps to address and shed light on these matters. BUT IT’S NOT ENOUGH! We need more. More people talking, walking and standing up for peace and harmony.
We challenge you, whether you live in Chicago or not, to figure out where you stand in all of this and share your thoughts. Please hashtag #ChicagoUnheard and #HeartOfCool so we track, act, and impact together. Thank you for listening.
Also, take a look at the organizations below that are currently using their resources to remedy some of the issues plaguing Chicago.
– Cris & Mobolaji Akintunde