JUST a couple of weeks ago, a United States government agency released the crime figures in major cities across the country, and it declared Chicago, Illinois as the crime capital of the country. It is shocking to note how people are murdered in this city, with most of the victims being young black men in their teens and 20s. What is also disturbing is that these killings are being committed by young black men.
In fact, in its documentary on the Chicago killings, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) describes Chicago as a city being ruled by gangs who fight for the control of drug sales, as well as other criminal activities. Even Chicago residents have come to realise that while they are alive today, they could be gone tomorrow. It is shocking to note that less than 8,000 US soldiers lost their lives in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but more than this number have been killed in Chicago alone since 2001. Unfortunately, this is the same situation in other black communities in the US.
Also just recently, the governor of Maine, a state in the US, described blacks as the problem of his state, saying they are mostly involved in drugs, crime, and constitute the majority of inmates in prisons in the state. This reality should be cause for concern for black leaders in the US, and campaigns on promoting love, while doing away with drugs should be sustained in black communities in the country.
One of the most vocal campaign movements in the US today is the Black Lives Matter campaign; this movement is working towards ending police brutality against blacks, with most of them ending in loss of black lives. While this movement is necessary, it is also important movements that work on the need for blacks to ‘drop the guns and drugs’ should be more vocal. The naked truth is that blacks are killing blacks on an unimaginable proportion in the US, and this is fuelled by drugs.
As a result of this, more vocal campaigns against violence, particularly against drugs, should be started. It is also important that the US Congress supports President Barack Obama in his efforts towards reducing access to guns.
It is not as if crimes are also not being committed in other parts of the world, but unprecedented access to guns is making killings in the US to be above the ordinary.
- Yemisi Soares,