Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Typical Day in America: Violence & Racism

Just a few disheartening news headlines I came across this morning. Again, I'm from Chicago, so more times than not, by news headlines will focus on things occurring in or around the city.

Chicago teen charged in "brutal slaying" of another teen:

The Southwest Side suspect confessed to dragging Alex into an alley and beating him in the head with a brick, police said. But the suspect said he did not shoot or burn the boy.

Three other people have been charged in connection with the death.

Officials have said Alex was walking with three girls to a friend's house in the 3000 block of West 54th Place when he was twice confronted by neighborhood gang members. The first group was on bikes and second rode in a Ford Mustang.

The gang members asked him "what he was about" and demanded he "throw up a crown" in support of the Latin Kings street gang, prosecutors have said.

But Alex resisted. He allegedly told the group he was about "nothing" and even lifted his shirt to prove he had no gang tattoos, authorities said.

Read the
rest here...

Teen shot in neck while watching motorist argue:

A 15-year-old boy was hospitalized after suffering a gunshot wound that went through his back and lodged near his neck after an apparent road rage incident Wednesday night in the South Side’s Englewood neighborhood.

The boy was standing outside watching two motorists argue after they were involved in a “minor fender-bender” at 10:20 p.m. in the 6800 block of South Throop Street, police said.

Both drivers got out and started fighting with each other and one produced a gun and started shooting into the street -- not coming anywhere close to the motorist, but striking the boy in the back, according to police, who said the boy does not know the motorists.

Read the
rest here...

Two female firefighters from Houston are victims of racism & sexism:

Just one day after discovering racist and sexist remarks drawn on the wall of Station 54, the two firefighters at the center of this scandal are breaking their silence.

"It's demented. Somebody is sick," said Houston Firefighter Jane Draycott.
Keys and Draycott claim the harassment has been going on for months; acts so low, they say, as defacing photographs of their family, even a deceased daughter.
"They wrote 'dead' on her face and they wrote 'die' on my face," said Draycott.
The women's attorney told us about the harassment he claims they endured during the months leading up to Tuesday's incident.

Attorney Joseph Amad said, "Ranging from turning the cold water off in the shower so they got scalded, from having firecrackers to go off when they opened the bathroom stall to taking the mattresses away from their beds."

Read the rest here...

In addition to this story, a captain at the same fire department, Keith Smith, reportedly kept a nooses in his locker. He later issued an apology claiming to have kept them there as a reminder of his training days and had no idea what they symbolized. Davey D (who I stole this article from, haha) made a good point in stating that the fact that Jena, La is only 6 hours away from Houston, so that makes it hard to believe he wasn't aware of that news story (which centered around the hanging of nooses). The coverage on the Jena 6 story (which was only 2 years ago) was constantly flooding the airwaves and newspapers, so unless he was living under a rock, he should have been notified of its symbolism then. Besides, who just keeps nooses around?!

Instances like this make you realize that although African Americans have played a large role in shaping American history their history is often overlooked. Although, I'm confident he knows what a noose symbolizes, the sad part is, a lot of people really don't know, whether young or old or black or white. Education regarding minority groups in the school system is certainly lacking, and this case is just further proof.

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