America is a promise land where many Americans have the chance to turn their dreams into reality, but in Chicago the dreams of the most innocent of all are not realized due to the senseless violence. As a result of the shootings in Chicago, these children were lost forever: 16-year-old Blair Holt, 16-year-old Derrion Albert, 11-year-old Ryan Harris, 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee, 7-year-old Dantrall Davis, 5-year-old Eric Morse and 6-month-old Jonylah Watkins. Unfortunately, there are many more that can be added to this list that continues to grow.
Surprisingly, those who commit these crimes are children themselves. Instead of turning to an education, these adolescents have chosen to become part of a gang and abandoned their families. They are destroying their lives and simply letting their aspirations die. Somewhere along the line our society has failed these young people who are now locked up in jail instead of contributing to society.
It is not only the children that are murdered in Chicago, but adults are also the victims of violence. Yvonne Nelson, who was 49-years-old, an employee of Chicago’s 311 Emergency System, was also killed. She was an exemplary lady who led a life of service and helped her community. Instead of having the opportunity to assist even more people, her life was cut short.
The people of Chicago have responded to the senseless violence by holding frequent protests because they are fearful for their own safety as well as the safety of their families. Being safe and sound in your neighborhood is a right that everyone should have regardless of race, creed and socioeconomic status.
Even in the New Year, that is supposed to be a time of hope for society, the violence has not ceased in Chicago. President Donald Trump recently tweeted, “If Chicago doesn’t fix the horrible “carnage” going on, 228 shootings in 2017 with 42 killings (up 24% from 2016), I will send in the Feds!”
Even if President Trump wanted to send National Guard Troops to Chicago to fight the violence, he would face obstacles. One of these barriers is the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 which bans the use of federal troops in law enforcement. Posse Comitatus means, “The power of the country.” The preferred use for this practice is to defend our borders.
Bruce Rauner, the 42nd governor of Illinois, does not agree with Trump’s strategy to send National Guard Troops to Chicago in order to stop the violence. Rauner talked about the possibility with police officers, notable leaders and the National Guard itself, and he concluded that it would not solve the problem of Chicago’s violence.
Another method that Trump wants to use to end the bloodshed in Chicago is stop-and-frisk, which is a controversial practice that gives police the right to search and stop anyone who they think is suspicious. Trump said, “I think Chicago needs stop-and-frisk. Now people can criticize me for that or people can say whatever they want.”
Trump also commented on how well stop-and-frisk procedures helped to reduce the crime in New York City. However Mayor Bill DeBlasio has criticized stop-and-frisk saying that it encourages racial profiling.
When stop-and-frisk was used in Chicago to control the violence, it was problematic. The (ACLU) the American Civil Liberties Union even considered suing the Chicago Police Department over its uncontrolled use of stop-and-frisk. The ACLU came to the conclusion that stop-and-frisk is completely unfair as it violates human rights.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who is the mayor of Chicago, backfired at Trump for putting too much emphasis on the size of his crowd at the inauguration rather than on focusing on more important issues. Emanuel also believes that stop-and-frisk is biased. He wants Trump to send more federal aid to fight the violence in Chicago rather than sending in the troops. Even though he does not agree with President Trump on many issues, he truly believes that more needs to be done to end the violence in Chicago.
Whether you agree or disagree with Trump’s extreme measures to end the violence in Chicago, we can all concur that something urgently needs to be done because our children are dying and so is the American dream.
[Featured Image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images]