Follow @MaryMitchellCSTLook at her face.
What immediately jumps out at you?
The glow of youth? The lush eyebrows that frame her eyes? The slight smirk of her lips?
Naome Zuber, 17, had the gorgeous looks that boys chase andgirls envy.
She also had the spark that comes from hope.
The Curie High School senior was on the school’s cheerleading squad and worked part time selling concessions at U.S. Cellular Field.
But ambition and looks were not enough to shield Zuber from the gun violence that has out-of-towners calling us the “murder capital.”
Neither was race. Zuber was Caucasian.
Follow @MaryMitchellCSTIronically, Zuber’s tragic death comes on the heels of provocative commentary by Edward McClelland in which the author argues that “even in the midst of a gang war” he has no fear of getting shot because he’s white.
“Walking through a high-crime neighborhood without fear of being shot is the ultimate white privilege,” McClelland said in a commentary in the Washington Post last week. He cites statistics that show that of the 550 people killed this year, fewer than 30 were “white/other.”
Of course, statistics never tell the whole story.
One of the Caucasians killed was 25-year-old Aaren O’Connor.
She had relocated to our city from the West Coast for a job and to be closer to her boyfriend. O’Connor was sitting in her car outside of her Pilsen home, talking to her parents on the phone, when shots were fired on the street.
A stray bullet struck her in the head.
Quiet as kept, a lot of black people thought if just one innocent Caucasian got killed, citizens would rise up and demand action.
Mass shootings are followed by a public outcry and a push for tougher laws.
But too often, urban violence is dismissed as gang-related, as if all we have to do is keep away from these miscreants and we can avoid getting shot.
Frankly, it is sickening that so many elected officials don’t see the need to do more to get illegal guns off the street.
Our legislators are literally sitting on their butts bickering over nonsense while innocent people are getting mowed down in our streets.
When I look at Zuber, I see a young woman much like Hadiya Pendleton.
Hadiya was 15 years old when she was killed on an unseasonably mild January day almost four years ago.
She was not the intended target either.
An honor student, Hadiya was with friends in Harsh Park when two alleged gang members fired on the group in a case of mistaken identity.
When Zuber was killed Saturday, she was doing exactly what a lot of young women her age do.
She was going to a party on the weekend.
“This is just so sad. How often do we have to hear ‘was not the intended target,’” wrote Martin Chovancik on the GoFundMe page set up to raise money for the young woman’s funeral.
By late afternoon, the fund had raised more than $7,000.
For those white Chicagoans who still believe the unspeakable gun violence does not concern them, Zuber’s murder is a wake-up call.
“We lost a daughter, a sister and a friend to many. She was the sweetest most lovable person I knew,” a close friend wrote for the GoFundMe page.
Naome Zuber’s tragic death shows that no matter what you may think, we are all in this together.