Chicago suffered through its worst summer of violence in decades. In August, over 400 people were shot and 80 killed.
Activists and public unions blame income inequality. Income inequality is rising, but very few understand who is to blame. And the tax hikes and pay hikes that unions seek exacerbate the problems and cause white flight.
Many claim education is the answer, but the Chicago public school system is not only financially bankrupt, it is morally bankrupt.
Bloody Chicago Summer
In Chicago, activists confront longstanding issues of inequality and poverty following a long Bloody Summer.
There has been little peace this summer in Chicago — where President Barack Obama began his political career. Last month alone more than 400 people were shot and nearly 80 killed, the most violent month in two decades in the city’s metropolitan area, according to the Chicago Police Department. This violence occurred exactly 50 years after Dr Martin Luther King Jr marched through the city’s south side demanding civil rights for African Americans.
Community leaders cite a vicious circle of poverty when discussing violence in the poorest African American and Hispanic neighborhoods. It is driven by inequality, poor access to good schools and food and has led to an evaporation of hope that they say perpetuates this crisis. This is particularly pertinent in Chicago, which remains one of America’s most racially segregated cities.
Research from the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Great Cities Institute published this year showed that 40 per cent of African Americans aged between 20 and 24 were either out of work or out of school, compared with 18 per cent for the Latino population and 6.3 per cent for whites in 2014. The rate was higher in Chicago then elsewhere in the US, where the average for blacks was 28 per cent.