CHICAGO, March 19, 2011— “My neighbors of Chicago, what have thou done? You brought in the darkness, removed the sun.
“My neighbors of Chicago, have you lost your voice? How can you just stand back and let our future take its course.
“My neighbors of Chicago, our youth is in danger on the streets of the town with the false code of silence while they shoot each other down.
“My neighbors of Chicago, take back your home. Don’t spare the rod and leave your children to roam.” (Chicago Tribune)
Tuesday was cold in Chicago. Another child, this time an infant, was laid to rest in the cold hard ground. Six month old Jonylah Watkins was buried today. During the funeral at New Beginnings Baptist Church on Chicago’s south side her grandmother poetically stated the obvious: “My neighbors of Chicago, what have thou done?”
There was no pathetic pseudo symbolism at this funeral. First Lady Michelle Obama did not show up offering symbolic sympathy and false hope. Flags were not lowered at half-mast throughout the city. Since the shooting of the six month girl there has been little public outcry.
Politicians have not only been silent but absent. People in Chicago moved on going about their daily lives as if nothing happened.
A six month old child was shot and killed. No one cares. How different this murder was than those of teenagers whose lives supposedly held so much promise. What can you expect? Jonylah Watkins did not live long enough to exhibit promise- whatever that is.
This infant is just another dry statistic from the bloody streets of Chicago.
On St. Patrick’s Day the Chicago River was dyed green. It should be dyed red with the blood from the deadly streets of Chicago.
Contrary to previous reports Jonylah Watkins was not slain as her father changed her diaper in a parked van. She also was only shot once, not five times. The bullet tearing through several organs in her tiny body.
The infant was slain while sitting on the lap of her father in a parked van. It is alleged the father, an ex-offender, has gang ties.
It was a cold day in Chicago. Chicago showed how cold hearted it is. There are no calls for the street gangs to be dismantled. There is no hue and cry for action against the roving bands of urban terrorists turning our streets into war zones rivaling the streets of Iraq or Afghanistan.
There are more cries for action when a small child is killed by a reckless speeding driver failing to stop at a stop sign than for this infant murdered by vicious gang members.
The release of rapper Kevin Cozart, aka Chief Keef, got more attention than the murder of Jonylah Watkins. He even received more sympathy and empathy than a murdered infant. More media space, ink, and time was wasted on a thug than on a murdered child.
“My neighbors in Chicago…” should be a call to action. People all over this metropolis should be outraged. People should not rest until every gang organization is dismantled. People should not stop shouting until every drug operation is shut down or sent packing someplace else. When people become inured to the murder of children, especially infants, we have a real problem.
There are no reports of letters and emails flooding into aldermanic offices and the mayor’s office demanding a harsh crack down on street gangs and drug organizations. There are no reports of protests to demand action. The politicians have been silent. All we know for sure is that the police are looking for the murderers. The real problem will fester and keep infecting Chicago.
“My neighbors” we are all responsible for the death of Jonylah Watkins. We all pulled the trigger that fired the gun. She is not a victim of gun violence. There is no such thing. She is not a victim of one shooter. Jonylah Watkins is a victim of the apathy of a population that allows organized crime to permeate the fabric of Chicago. She is the victim of a city populated by low information voters who elect and reelect politicians who refuse to do anything to stop the problem.
“My neighbors” I hope you are all proud of yourselves. A cosmopolitan civilized city allows savages to rule the streets. Instead of calling for an all-out war on gang and drug organizations we just go about our daily lives as if nothing happened. We bemoan the 17 year-old rapper who belonged in jail. We ignore the six month old child who was placed in the cold hard ground.
It was a cold day in Chicago Tuesday. “My neighbors” in Chicago showed how cold hearted they really are.
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