The Chicago south side neighborhood of Englewood is ripe with violence and has been described as a battlefield. According to the New York Times, the Seventh Police District, which patrols most of Englewood, led the city in homicides last year with 60. The Seventh and the 11th District, on the West Side, accounted for about 25 percent of the city’s homicides last year. This year, the two districts have had about a third of them. So far in 2012, there have been 400 hundred murders, and at least 320 of them have been gang related.

Walter Jacobson, a reporter with CBS2 in Chicago, wanted to find answers to the violence. So he went straight to the source. He sat down with several gang members from the Englewood section, to see what insight they had to offer. But unfortunately, he didn’t receive very encouraging words.

“There’s no solution to the violence,” one gang member tells him. “Killing, killing is the solution.”

This is the sad commentary, which is many people’s reality, whether you’re living in Chicago, or another neighborhood marred with violence. Gang members can’t see beyond making their next dollar, or trying to live to see the next day. “We’ve got to eat. We want to. We want money. We want to get fresh, we want fresh eggs almost every day. We want all that,” another young man said. In making their next dollar, they do what they have to do. “Rob, steal and kill. That’s the only way. We didn’t grow up in Beverly Hills. We don’t get it handed to us,” he said.

What would it take to show these young black men that killing and violence are not the solutions? Most of these men don’t even know if they’re going to be alive in 10 years. When Jacobson asked where did they seem themselves in 10 years, one said living in a mansion with lots of cars and women. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Taken straight out of a Rick Ross video. Another gang member said he just hopes that he’s alive in 10 years. You have to wonder what is the probability of that happening.

When you’re surrounded by death, drugs and violence at such a young age, like most of these men, do you know any better? Most of these gang members were brought into the gangs by “OGs” when they were kids. And if history repeats itself, they’re probably inducting a whole new generation as well.

Not only are the gang members at war with rival gangs, they are also at work with the Chicago Police Department. “The police hate us,” a young man said. “Every time they ride past us, they shoot us down and do all that. Do what you want to do, I don’t care about you all, keep riding. Who are you all? We’re not scare of you all. I’ll fight you too. Take that badge off.”

With not enough manpower to control the gang violence, many feel that the police departments are out numbered. One solution proposed by the Chicago Crime Commission is that the city increases the number of sworn police officers by 1,400 and work to prosecute armed gang members to the fullest extent of the law.

“By increasing law enforcement manpower levels and taking a tough stand on prosecutions, we will send a message to the gang bangers that law enforcement means business and will not tolerate this senseless violence any longer. Similarly, local residents and businesses will become safer and able to live and work securely in Chicago’s neighborhoods as a result of this powerful two-pronged approach,” said Art Bilek, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Crime Commission.

Stating the problem is always easier than finding a solution. People will always cite tougher gun laws and longer jail sentences as solutions. But what can you do to help young black men before it gets to that point?

What is the solution to the killing and violence? Is there one?


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  • Agreed! These young are clearly out of touch with reality based on their answers. I solely don’t blame environment on the way people turn out, sure your environment plays a part in your behavior and how you view the world but it isn’t the sole reasoning. With the bad examples, there are countless great examples too on how to escape the dark side of hood life. Some of these young men need to look at themselves and hold personal accountability and responsibility over themselves before we can even begin to fix the problem. Clearly their lifestyle haven’t improved with their choice tactics if they scraping to survive. The Commissioner is just out of touch too because clearly tougher sentencing and penalties don’t work either it is just a temporary Band-Aid. Sadly, this is a generational problem that continues to get worse and worse we need to look at everything from the black family structure, socio-economic class, poverty, etc. to fix the youth.

  • paul


    it’s clear that no one here has ever had any prolonged contact with young boys else they’d know that boys tend to exaggerate their “lethal” tendencies and capacities

    Also, taking the most threatening things the boys allegedly said out of context and highlighting that, is just sloppy.

    The worst kind of tabloid churnalism.

    That’s, assuming of course that the boys actually said any such thing and that they weren’t goaded into “incriminating” themselves by leading questions.

    When all is said and done, I know that these boys BLACK MOTHERS and fathers love their sons and daughters, and want the best for them That’s why theirs are the only opinions that count.

    Not yours because you don’t have black people’s best interests at heart.

    The takeaway from this is – if you wanna know how to help any child, ask her mother.

    Not lunatics.


    • No not that Jess

      @Paul: “it’s clear that no one here has ever had any prolonged contact with young boys else they’d know that boys tend to exaggerate their “lethal” tendencies and capacities ”

      GEEEE if those other young boys (and girls) that have been shot on their porches only knew that all these Chief Keef-wannabes are just exaggerating! I sure wish somebody had told that to my 21 year old cousin before he was SHOT DEAD COMING HOME FROM WORK in the (now demolished) Robert Taylor Homes. Or maybe told my female friend who was VIOLENTLY ATTACKED AND LEFT FOR DEAD IN HER HOME that it was all just a simple case of braggadocio. Geee, what were they thinking????

      Don’t try to turn this into some kind of Black-women-hate-Black-boys crap! Instead, how about facing the reality of the situations in some of these neighborhoods and try to help out? Or maybe give as much attention to Black violence victims as Trayvon Martin received (and deserved). Blacks killed by Blacks deserve just as much attention as those killed by whites, and those voicing their concerns should not be brushed off as Black-male hating. Face up to what too many of our brethren are doing to each other! If it just so happens that the majority of the murders happen to be Black men, oh well! Speak on it, and end it!

  • Patience

    Chilly Road and her cohorts have nothing to say?