A 14-year-old boy was eating pizza with his sister in a neighborhood in northern Chicago when a man fired shots into the pizzeria, hitting the teen in the head and killing him.
The night before, a 33-year old man was shot near a holiday party in the South Shore neighborhood of Chicago as partygoers ran from the scene.
Sadly there’s more, much more. All in all, 53 people were shot and 11 killed in Chicago over the recent Memorial Day weekend.
As horrific and tragic as this is, I’m bringing this up today not just because it’s a very sad and alarming story, but because of the subsequent and bold response of one writer to this violence.
This past week, Michael Skolnik, a writer for GlobalGrind.com set the Twitter world on fire by posting the headline: “53 WHITE People Shot! 10 Dead! One Weekend!”
Now to clarify, Skolnik, who is white, knows full well the victims of Chi-Town’s Memorial Weekend shootings were not white. But that’s exactly why he used GlobalGrind.com, where he’s an editor, to broadcast this fictitious headline that raised so many Twit-brows.
Skolnik wrote this:
Imagine you saw that headline. By the time you read it, the Governor would have already deployed the National Guard. The President would have already made a statement. A curfew would have been set for anyone under 18. Check points would have been set up around the city. CNN, MSNBC and Fox News would all break into their regular scheduled programming for a special report. Just close your eyes for a moment and imagine that 53 WHITE people were shot in one weekend, in one city, by 53 different people.
Skolnik was making an obvious point, but he knew the impact was in actually saying it. As a white person, he was acknowledging that white lives are more valued in America than black lives.
And his headline was designed to jar people of all colors from their complacency and get them to recognize that, regardless of race, or the circumstances surrounding these shootings, 53 shootings over a 3-day period is a tragedy and a crisis.
He goes on to suggest this to his white peers: “As long as we can contain the violence to the imagination of black and brown people, then we never have to worry about this nightmare. But, if we are to say that this country gives every individual the right to the pursuit of happiness, then we will invest in urban communities the same way we invest in white America.
We will build the best schools possible, the job-training programs that lead to long-term high paying jobs, end racist drug policies that house a disproportionate amount of people of color in warehouses that we call prisons, invest in local, small businesses that re-invest in the community, build infrastructure and energy policy that supports 21st century technology, tighten gun laws so these killing machines don't get into the hands of the wrong people and ensure access to high quality healthcare.”
Well, I second that. If you want to read the entire piece you can go to GlobalGrind.com and search for Skolnik (S-K-O-L-N-I-K).
I’ll leave you with these statistics from Kanye West in ‘Murder to Excellence’:
It’s a war going on outside we ain't safe from; I feel the pain wherever I go; 314 soldiers died in Iraq, 509 died in Chicago.
Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.