#Fixingchicago was born just a few hours ago.
It’s a hashtag devoted to ideas on how to curb the city’s violence. And boy are there a lot of them. More police. Less police. More God. Less God. More parents. Less parents. More schools. More jobs. More wages. You get the picture. (Scroll to the bottom of this post to read a Storify that links up much of what is being said via social media.)
The hashtag came about because some social media activists or activists on social media tire of what I call a culture of accusations when it comes to fixing city problems. Rather than blame the victim, they are offering actual solutions – or at least engaging in a discussion that’s seeing a lot of eyeballs.
For context, read Roland S. Martin’s Daily Beast column about why he thinks the Chicago police need help from state police and the National Guard. He’s not asking for martial law, but he is advocating for extra policing to get initial crime issues under control in the short term, while also working on long term solutions.
“As a resident of Chicago for six years, I’ve witnessed its problems up close. I’ve had discussions with pastors, community leaders, police officials, parents, politicians and business leaders. And I have talked several times with Ret. Lt. Gen. Russell Honoré, the man who kicked butt and took names when he lead the military response in New Orleans after Huricane Katrina.
In September, I talked with Honoré during my segment on the Tom Joyner Morning Show. I’ve now spoken with him several times since, publicly and privately, and he says there is no doubt that the National Guard should be considered a serious option for Chicago.
“It’s one of the tools in the box. But the first thing, normally, is they would call the state police in for backup, and then federal law enforcement, to go after two things: go after the cartels that’s providing the contraband that’s fueling these gangs, which is drugs and the weapons,” Honoré told me.
For even more context, read the Sun-Times opinion piece by Scott Smith, in which he says:
When the mayor asks “Where are the parents? Where are the communities?” it implies neither exists where there is gun violence. That’s reductive. And wrong. Especially when the underpinnings of those communities have been ripped apart by lack of economic investment. Gun violence doesn’t start because a kid wakes up and decides not to listen to his parents. It starts when he thinks a gun keeps him alive. And that happens when crime seems like the best – and safest – possible way to earn a living and keep on living.
(And if you’re really feeling ambitious, you can read my own story on the move to stop calling Chicago by its new-ish moniker of Chiraq right here.)
Social media, as usual, responded in droves.
Here’s where Storify comes in handy. It’s long. #Sorrynotsorry. For more, just search for the hashtag #fixingchicago on Twitter and Instagram.