Chicago violence was a long time coming

Previous elected officials loved to blame the victim as we witnessed economic devastation in mostly communities of color.

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A poster that reads “Stop the violence” hangs on a tree at a “No Crime Day Picnic” in West Pullman Park on Aug. 7, 2021.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Politicians and others like to put the blame for violence on Chicago’s current police chief, but in truth the city’s violence has been a long time coming. Previous elected officials have all loved to blame the victim as we witnessed economic devastation in mostly communities of color.

After the West Side burned in the 1960s, white residents fled, and the city has ignored Lawndale all these years. I would take the Pink Line to the Marcy Newberry Center on South Springfield Ave at 15th Street. I would walk along broken sidewalks past the garbage strewn in empty lots, but I would be welcomed at the welcoming Marcy Newberry Center, where a 101-year-old receptionist smiled as you entered.

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And of course, I learned about how banks red lined communities. Families of color were denied an opportunity to live in the newly created suburbs, even those who invested in homes on the South and West sides saw their wealth stolen.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot is the first politician I know of who has sought to send investment to communities that have been ignored for at least 80 years.

Janice Gintzler, Crestwood

Let the police be the police

The runaway violence we are witnessing in Chicago is a manifestation of the anti-police rhetoric pushed by the media and politicians. The movement to defund the police has assisted as well. You cannot have civilians overseeing or dictating policy for a police department. Being a community activist does not make you an expert in policing. And you can hire all the police you like, but if you don’t let them be the police, you have accomplished nothing. The “bad guys” know this.

You don’t have to agree with me. Just sit back and watch.

Mike Rice, Jefferson Park

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