Black on black crime is a growing problem across the United States and it seems to be a real problem in many Chicago inner city communities. I was appalled to learn of the fatal shooting of another black male in Chicago, Chavez Clarke, 18, as he left classes at Simeon Career Academy on the South Side of Chicago. Two black male teens, Samuel Hill, 17, and Ronald Little, 19, were both charged with first-degree murder, according to the police department. An autopsy has shown that Clarke died of a gunshot wound to the chest and his death ruled as a homicide. Even before I read the actual news article, I just knew it was black-on-black crime. What are our young black men doing to one another?
I don’t know if this young man was in a gang, but it seems to me that he was doing something progressive–going to school on a Saturday to recoup credits. What is damning is that he was the second student in three weeks killed by gunfire after being dismissed from school. I remember the days when school was a safe haven and a place of learning. Not a place to dodge bullets or be fearful of your welfare. Most often than not, the violence is black-on-black crime. Clarke, who was enrolled at Hyde Park Academy but was taking Saturday classes at Simeon, was with his twin brother when he was shot, authorities said. Police think the shooting could have been motivated by retaliation, police spokeswoman Monique Bond said. Neighbors near Clarke’s home described him as a quiet, hardworking teen with a tight circle of friends who steered clear of trouble.
Clarke was one of two CPS students killed this weekend by gunfire. 15-year-old Miguel Pedro was shot to death on the Northwest Side Friday night. They were the 19th and 20th CPS students killed in gun violence this school year, officials said. This is a real shame. We are losing our youths to gun violence and to many increasingly falling into the wrong crowd. I lay the blame for the perpetrators of such crimes and other acts, at the doorstep of parents who have not done right by their kids. You cannot expect the school system and the police department to be babysitters for your kids. People in those neighborhoods have to get up and act. You cannot wait for the police department alone to fix your problems. Start by getting involved in your community and by joining groups and organizations that aim to uplift and eradicate crime from neighborhoods.
It was great to hear that religious leaders and community activists plan a rally downtown Tuesday in the wake of the two shootings. Rev. Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Catholic Church on the city’s South Side said supporters had planned to campaign for stricter gun laws after Pedro’s death when news spread about the Simeon Academy shooting. The parish also plans to offer a reward whenever a youth is fatally shot. “We should be outraged that 20 children are dead from guns this school year,” Pfleger said. “That’s a classroom.”My sentiments exactly. It won’t fix the problems immediately, but it is a step in the right direction.