The extreme violence choking the life out of inner city Chicago is perpetrated by uneducated black men who feel like they have no other options. Nearly half of the city’s African American men are neither working nor going to school. The bleak statistic highlights the grim reality facing Chicago’s black men.
Violence in Chicago is so endemic that the beleaguered city has earned a nickname–“Chiraq.” The moniker was born after a particularly brutal spell which saw more lives being lost in the city than in Iraq. Harsh gun laws have done nothing to stem the madness. Bloody weekends where dozens of people are shot are normal. The violence is contained in the lower income, depressed parts o the city. Chicago is divided between the rich and the poor, white people and black.
Barack Obama’s election was supposed to herald a new beginning for black men. His administration was going to cure the social and political ills that still infect the community. Obama catapulted to the most powerful position in the world on the strength of those promises.
Liberal black broadcaster Tavis Smiley told HuffPost Live, “Sadly — and it pains me to say this — over the last decade, black folk, in the era of Obama, have lost ground in every major economic category.”
He’s correct. Black people in America slid further into poverty during Obama’s two presidential terms.
“But, more ominously, the seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black Americans across the board has slipped from 63.2 percent to 61.7 percent — down 2.4 percent,” reports the National Review. “The seasonally adjusted labor-force-participation rate for black teenagers also sagged from 29.6 percent to 28.8 percent — down 2.7 percent.”
Most black intellectuals now balk at publicly supporting Obama. Their early enthusiasm has dimmed to a simmering disappointment. The problems that existed before his election have become more deeply entrenched.
“Forty-seven percent of 20- to 24-year-old black men in Chicago, and 44 percent in Illinois, were out of school and out of work in 2014, compared with 20 percent of Hispanic men and 10 percent of white men in the same age group,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
It’s shocking how badly the city’s minorities are faring. A nearly 50 percent unemployment rate would be high in many developing countries. What are those men doing? If you’re curious what happens when large mobs of young men with nothing to do gather in one spot, take a look at the refugee crisis that’s imploding across Europe.
Chronic unemployment paired with a lack of education spoil a man’s chance’s of ever doing bettering himself. Once he’s enmeshed in a life of crime it becomes difficult to pull him out of it.
“That jobs give youths something productive to do with their time, as well as providing needed income, is not a revelation, but a study two years ago showed the measurable effect jobs have on curbing criminal behavior,” reports the Tribune.
“Working with the One Summer Chicago Plus jobs program, the University of Chicago Crime Lab found a 43 percent reduction in violent crime arrests for youths who secured eight-week-long part-time summer jobs…the positive effect lasted 18 months after the program ended.”
Human beings aren’t mean to be idle. A man who isn’t working or going to school is susceptible to becoming depressed. There’s no overseer, the “man” isn’t keeping anyone down. Poverty is the real villain, and Obama’s economic policies failed to address it.
Obama’s experiment with bigger government was a flop. He stunted the economy’s growth by increasing business regulations and raising taxes. House Budget chairman Tom Price complained that “the result is an economy that is under-performing and denying opportunity to millions of Americans.”
Obama continues to blather to the press how “proud” he is of his economic record, a boast that makes sense only if he turns a blind eye to the suffering of millions of Americans. Just the announcement of Donald Trump’s election was enough to spur the economy. Business leaders are rejoicing over the prospect of growth. Analysts expect Trump’s presidency to encourage record growth.
“David Elam, 25, who testified alongside Allen at the hearing, credited a summer job with redirecting him when he was headed downhill — entrenched in a gang, selling drugs and expecting a child — as it taught him about having a work ethic, managing time and money, and getting up early for work,” writes the Tribune.
“Young people can’t be what they can’t see,” said Elam, a youth organizer with a group called Fathers Who Care.
He’s exactly right. Youths who grow up cocooned in a world of violence have almost chance of breaking free. A man growing up without a father looks to the men around him for cues on how to behave. If the only men he sees are thugs, that’s what he’s going to become.