Chad Johnson, a well-renowned Twitter analyst, was recently asked to describe the city of Chicago in one word.
The NFL free agent replied, “Iraq.”
Calling Chicago “Iraq” is not even an over-generalization. It is an understatement.
Gun violence has plagued the city of Chicago for many years. Many residents have renamed the Windy City “Chiraq” for its high rate of violence. Chicago, according to statistics, has a higher homicide rate than Kabul, Afghanistan.
In 2012 alone, the city recorded 506 murders.
The beginning of 2013 didn’t show any slowdown in pace. Chicago saw its deadliest January since 2002 with 45 homicides reported, according to CBS.
NBC Chicago estimated the Windy City is on pace to reach 730 homicides this year.
In Chicago, the homicide rate is disproportionately higher amongst its minority residents. There have been 2,045 homicides since Jan. 1, 2007 amongst the African American demographic, according to Red Eye Chicago. There were 647 homicides amongst Caucasians since 2007.
The crime rate that has a firm grasp on the Chicago is not new. Violence has long been embedded in the city’s culture.
Many are calling on the nation’s government to address the city’s socioeconomic problems.
Rapper Shyne has been the most vocal.
Shyne said in an interview with Vlad TV the murder rate in the Windy City is “disheartening” and breaks his heart.
The “Gangland” rapper is calling on Barack Obama to do more to address the senseless slaughter occurring in Chicago.
“I think the President of the United States could be doing far more to address the issue,” he said. “He can be more verbal about it. He can give a greater effort. Obviously, I don’t believe he’s a magician or he’s some type of Houdini and he can wave a magic wand and make that problem go away. But the same way they declared a war on drugs, they need to declare a war on poverty, they need to declare a war on genocide in these inner cities.”
Lupe has actually taken up the task after holding a youth summit to brainstorm strategies to promote peace in the violence-plagued city.
On Friday, March 1, Lupe held the “Streets On Fire- Peace For Hire” conference to hold an “intimate discussion for strategies for peace” in the Jacob Carruthers Center For Inner-City Studies.
The discussion featured Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton, the mother of slain Chicago teen Hadiya Pendleton who was murdered after being struck by a stray bullet.
Lupe Fiasco took to Twitter to express gratitude for those who made it to the event, calling it “powerful and enlightening.”
Lupe said the next step is to “plan.”
“Tonight’s event was nothing short of amazing. There’s work to be done in Chicago! Streets on Fire, Peace…
“Until they see radical change in the ways in which the ENTIRE city and EVERYONE in it responds to the violence in their lives.
“Last night the future of Chicago spoke loud and clear. They asked us to DO and so it must be DONE. #The1stOfApril #NoMoreFoolingAround #CHI
“We heard the teens. We felt the shift. Now it’s time to plan and prepare for action. #The1stOfApril #NoMoreFoolingAround #CHI
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