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Engulfed in a world of guns and violence

How does the city emerge from a nightmare of poverty and desperation mixed with crime and misery?

Demonstrators march down West Fullerton on April 16 near Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s home in Logan Square to protest the fatal shooting by Chicago police of 13-year-old Adam Toledo.
Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Color.

A nation’s palette of pain.

Black. White. Brown.

The reality of policing in America.

The videotaped murder of George Floyd under the knee of former Minnesota cop Derek Chauvin is more than a question of justice being served equally.

It’s more than unlawful street violence vs. unlawful police violence.

Or whether a police action is a justifiable incident. Or just plain tragic.

It’s about what happened to one of us ... can happen to all of us.

In this nation of justice for all ... isn’t one of us supposed to be all of us?

As a Chicago newspaper journalist since late 1968, visiting all of Chicago’s police districts — as well as the unexpected tour of the violent crime section of the Cook County medical examiner’s office — was part of a reporter’s baptism.

Crime was news; crime sold papers; and crime stories so popular, crime reporters had their own press office at police headquarters.

Then things changed early in my career.

The police press room disappeared. Crime reporters headed back from their perch at the predominantly white CPD headquarters; returned to desks at their newspapers ostensibly informed by primarily white sources in their predominantly white newsrooms run by white editors and owners.

It was the era of anti-war protests, which were becoming as common as dancing on a Friday night.

And now the ugly secret always known by the Black community is out: a long history of Black mistrust based on policing less fair for Black men and women.

Only this time it took a nine-minute video to finally grab the nation’s attention.

Recent data showing Black men are more than two times more likely to be killed by police than white men may finally bring change.

It has become a warning to their children.

The city is now engulfed in the world of guns; the killing of babies and young children shot in the backseat of cars, or at birthday parties or in their homes or in parks; the victims of gang violence, road rage, drugs and mental illness.

It’s a nightmare of poverty and desperation mixed with a salad of misery and crime.

And good cops are going to be required to become even better. And we are going to need to make sure we truly get rid of all the bad cops.

And guns need to be corralled or gone.

And God help us all.

The royal rift . . .

All is quiet on the Western front.

Pssst!

Although there are no reports of public mewing and spewing coming from the Montecito mansion of Prince Harry and wife, Meghan, following his return from grandfather Prince Philip’s recent funeral in England — where Harry was basically out of sight.

  • Backshot: Harry’s family rift with his father and brother, Prince William, was left unresolved following his exit from England and his “trapped in the system”/royal racism bombshell interview with Oprah that grabbed the world’s attention.
  • Upshot? Royal watchers are now anxiously awaiting word on whether the couple will return to England this summer for a COVID-19 postponed 2020 unveiling of a Kensington Palace garden statue dedicated to Harry’s legendary mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a 1997 Paris car crash.

Brace yourself.

Sneedlings . . .

The magic of Misericordia! Although the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered Misericordia’s “Spirit of Candy Days” street collecting, don’t forget to donate virtually. It’s not just a good thing. It’s a one-of-a-kind honor. . . . Saturday birthdays: Barbra Streisand, 79; Jean Paul Gaultier, 69; and Kelly Clarkson, 39. . . . Sunday birthdays: Al Pacino, 81; Tim Duncan, 45; and Len Goodman, 77.