Chicago has unfortunately become known for unprecedented violence that seems to peak each year when the weather gets warmer and the 4th of July holiday weekend yet again saw an extraordinarily high number of people injured or dead from gun violence.

Among those who lost their lives as shots rang out across the city 7-year-old Amari Brown, who was fatally struck in the chest while watching the fireworks just before midnight. The boy’s father, who was with him, said he mistook the gun shots for fireworks until his son let him know that he had been shot. Police have yet to make an arrest for the shooting, which also left a 26-year-old woman wounded but in stable condition.

Amari joins 8 other residents who died of gun shot wounds over the weekend, along 46 others who were injured by survived. NBC Chicago offered these details on the holiday weekend gun violence:

-The first homicide of the long holiday weekend happened Thursday evening in the Little Village neighborhood. A 20-year-old man was riding a bicycle in the 2700 block of South Karlov when someone ran up to him and began to shoot him repeatedly in his upper body, police said.

-Another victim of a fatal shooting was a 17-year-old boy who was shot near recently named Hadiya Pendleton Park in the 4300 block of South King. The teen, identified as Vonzell Banks, a junior at Dunbar Vocational High School, was likely not the intended target, police said.

-A 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl were shot at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday in the 1400 block of North Hudson in the Old Town neighborhood.

-A man was shot in the arm and chest at about 12:10 a.m. Sunday near the Chicago Blue Line station in West Town.

-A 19-year-old man was shot in the abdomen at about 10:05 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of East Ohio Street, just a few blocks from Navy Pier, following the Fourth of July fireworks show.

-A 24-year-old man was shot in the foot at about 11:45 a.m. Saturday in the 6600 block of South Bell in the West Englewood neighborhood.

-Two men, ages 23 and 21, were shot at about 6 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of West Addison in the Portage Park neighborhood.

-A 41-year-old man was shot in the back and arm while sitting in a car at about 3:20 a.m. Saturday. The incident happened in the 4200 block of West Cermak in the North Lawndale neighborhood.

Needless to say, the atmosphere in Chicago has been a tense one per the usual since the start of the summer, but members of the community are still hopeful that things will begin getting better sooner than later.

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  • One big reason why some in the federal government are constantly talking about international terror threats and neglect the epidemic of violence in Chicago is, to be frank, because some people in government don’t care. They want the status quo. This problem has existed for a long time (for decades). One big reason for this problem is the decline in the standard of living of many communities of Chicago for the past three decades. There has been massive deindustrialization and some of the newly service jobs don’t pay much. There have been massive cut backs in education (like the record closing of public schools in the city) and other services by current & past city mayors. Some people exploit the illegal gun trade and the drug smuggling, which expands crime. Many people lack meaningful employment especially in the poorer communities of Chicago. Also, some people are just nihilistic, have no core integrity, and just want to kill innocent people (which is evil). We all feel sympathy for the victims’ families. Enough is Enough. The only solution is a combination of things. A simplistic solution will not cut it, because this is a complex problem. The solution will have to involve not only all levels of government enacting progressive policies. (Rahm has promoted his neoliberal agenda which has been terrible).

    Religious groups, community organizations, individuals, etc. will also have to continue to fight for change too. We have to build in our families and in our communities (as no community can grow without strong families. That’s commonsense) and also we should confront the structural economic oppressive forces (from capitalist exploitation) that perpetrate poverty (and economic inequality) in the first place. We have to do both in essence. That means that investments in jobs, education, health care, and other real services are needed. There should be a moratorium on foreclosures and continued support for activists & other courageous people, who are making a difference in the city of Chicago. Solutions involve risks. We have to take risks. We have to acknowledge that many of these community organizations are doing great work in helping people in Chicago, but we have a long way to go.

    RIP to the victims.

    • elle D.

      Bravo–excellent post–once again Brother Truth! I would like to add that it is not just Chicago, but any city USA that has a plethora of guns, gangs and little jobs with barely cost of living pay. I am going to need some folks to get their heads out of the sand– talking about just add more police and to quit the finger pointing–that solves absolutely NOTHING.

    • Thank you Sister. I agree with you 100 percent. This problem is nationwide. When there are many violent gangs, illegal guns, little jobs, austerity policies, and massive poverty, then that will cause massive crime. It’s as simple as that. We can have all of the police in the world and that will not solve the problem since this problem is complex and it’s structural. Wehave look at the origin of this problem and attack it. Our elected officials have to take risks. A comprehensive solution is in order.

    • “because some people in government don’t care” could it be that they won’t do much about it because we are so deaf dumb and blind we are doing the wise wicket bidding by killing each other off so they won’t have to do it and there will be less trouble for them?

    • One concept that intrepidly comes to my mind on this issue is also about the Knowledge of Self. We both agree on that concept. There is no liberation without us having the Knowledge of Self or understanding our value as black human beings. It is certainly critical that people suffering in Chicago (and those who lack hope) should be reminded on their value and dignity as black people. Racists love chaos in our communities and some in the government just wants the status quo (or token measures) instead of revolutionary solutions. Some of our people (not all) are blind. That is why we have to work and help the blind to see and help the deaf to hear (without blaming them completely for the current system of oppression and exploitation) just like the prophets of old.

      Also, we have to do more than build morality and integrity in our people (which is very important). Our problems are social not just individual. The massive school closures, the cuts in pensions, the cuts in well paying jobs, and the high poverty rate in some areas of Chicago must be confronted. Therefore, the system of economic oppression, racism, and of austerity must be confronted as well. This is a complex problem. Thank you for your social commentary.

    • you are right on point.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      An excellent point Sir. As I watch BOTH parties fling the gates of the country open to anyone who can sneak across the border it is blatantly obvious to me that the target is the Americans. But the black Americans will feel it first and hardest.

      In reality, I first noticed this in the late 90s with construction sites. In 1998 most of the sites I saw had a majority black workforce. The only whites you saw were engineers and architects and city officials. By the end of 1999 the crews were all Hispanic at most sites. It was 2002 when I saw this in Atlanta and Houston.

      By 2003 the only black people I saw on construction sites were engineers, architects or city officials! Which, on the face may seem like an achievement. It was not. Corporations propped up black engineers and the like to defuse the obvious replacement of the labor crews. They pushed 5 black guys to a site where a hundred Hispanic laborers had replaced 100 black guys. This is the way corporations work around Americans.

      I’ve said before that the only Americans who can challenge this are black Americans. You see what happens to any white guy who says a word about illegal border jumping peasants, gangs, heroin mules and rapists. Why do we hear so few black voices on this issue? It’s marginalizing blacks first and whites second.

      The KKK used to have a border watch program. What are the black panthers up to these days? Flapping their lips and angling for money to buy kooky uniforms, same as the KKK.

    • you are exactly right Sir, I have lived long enough to have seen the same thing. I remember a time when black men did most of the brick, cement and construction work in the south. I said the south because that’s where I grew up. “Why do we hear so few black voices on this issue” Why because the political left and the so call eastern liberal establishment got a grip on the black educated elites and popular put up black leader who quite frankly look down their nose on the working class black man they care less about him and he do not have any advocate yet they push government assistance on his women and grants for her to get training an education so she can operate without him and the result of that is what you see now.

    • Rizzo

      i agree with every word you and sheik yerbouti have written.
      obama said ‘ … our future rests on dreamers … ‘ in reference to the ‘dream’ act – an acronym for development, relief, and education for alien minors. according to some reports, not all, but most of the dreamers are the children of illegal mexicans. one of the big pros of this dream act: immigrants can boost the economy because they can take jobs many americans do not want — including many of the jobs Sheik Yerbouti and you are speaking of.
      where does all of this leave the poor and disenfranchised.

    • Rizzo

      i’ve read those sentiments in racist-filled comments on other sites.

  • Content Generating Machine.

    This is terrible.

  • Mary Burrell

    Lost of life is tragic

  • binks

    This is an of genocide and warfare in the middle of America. I am tired, beyond tired of saying rest in peace and not being being surprised by the senselessness and the lost of human lives. We need to force change and take action, what that action is I don’t have an answer for right now but random answers and solutions are better than sitting on the sidelines, but if we keep going like this not only in Chicago but many other cities across America either it is going to break us or we break it. This is everybody’s problem and have been for a long time.

  • Chazz A

    The status-quo, conservative wind-bags and mass media are having a field day over the extreme violence in Chicago.
    There has not been one concrete, active solution from the current administration on steps that must be taken to preserve human life.
    This type of senseless violence has plagued urban communities for over 40 yrs, since the Nixon administration dismantled black progress. I’m familiar with the chaos in Chicago because the same violence took place in my city, BK-NY during the “crack wars” of the late 80’s-early 90’s
    Brooklyn’s murder rate reached epic proportions at that time and it wasn’t just black people killing each other. The Italians, Russians and Irish had their own mob wars, adding to the body count as well. In fact, Brownsville has a 100 yr history of criminal violence just like Chicago. A murderous group of Jewish and Italian thugs called “Murder Inc” once lived there and was allegedly responsible for a
    thousand murders, post Prohibition.
    This is why I don’t believe in the bs phrase “black on black” crime. That phrase was coined during the Reagan era and I dismiss it to this day.
    The South-side of Chicago is in a state of utter chaos. It is the main pipeline for the Mexican drug cartels and illegal gun runners.
    Lack of educational and job opportunities, combined with the stress of poverty, hopelessness, and the loss of family structure, leads to violence, regardless of ethnicity. The elite know it, the POTUS knows it, yet the blame game continues.

    • Those are excellent points. People understand that socioeconomic problems, poverty, the lack of job opportunities, etc. will contribute to crime regardless of ethnicity. It is just that people want to constantly use the mantra of “black on black” crime to make crime a mostly black issue when this is a global problem. We know that black crime rates have decreased nationwide over the course of three decades. The political establishment has not take real action in addressing these problems for generations.

    • Chazz A

      Exactly. Mass media has conditioned the general public to believe that this is a “black” problem, while ignoring the root of the issue.
      Its much easier to blame a troubled young brother with a 40 cal in his waistband, than to focus on those who hold the power to end this mayhem. I seriously believe that, if drugs and guns were being
      pumped into rural, poverty stricken Caucasian areas, violence would have never come to this point.
      When poverty is prevalent in any community, crime is bound to occur and usually the crime is committed against people of the same ethnicity.

    • Poverty and oppressive conditions will cause crime without question. The mass media is controlled by the same corporations who benefit from the prison industrial complex. Yes, most crime in intraracial and most crime occurs in areas next to each other. We have to look at the root of the problem and proceed from there without condemning the black poor and the black working class all of the time. This is a complex problem and a multifaceted approach is necessary in order for us to see real solutions.

    • Chazz A

      Exactly, no question.