The first 100 questions about Rev. Pfleger’s Dan Ryan protest

SHARE The first 100 questions about Rev. Pfleger’s Dan Ryan protest
Father Michael Pfleger and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson march arm-in-arm alongside thousands of anti-violence protesters who poured into the inbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway on Saturday morning, July 7, 2018.

Father Michael Pfleger and Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson march arm-in-arm alongside thousands of anti-violence protesters who poured into the inbound lanes of the Dan Ryan Expressway, Saturday morning, July 7, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Rev. Michael Pfleger’s anti-gun violence march shutting down the Dan Ryan was the big Chicago story over the weekend. It raised a lot of questions. Here are the first 100:

1. Who were the protests for?

2. Does anybody not know about the problem at this point?

3. If so, will they learn about it from this?

4. Or were the protests supposed to jar those already aware into action?

5. What should those peopledo?

6. Aren’t those inconvenienced by closing the Dan Ryan the ones whose attention the protest is trying to snag?

7. Are they now more sympathetic?

8. Or less?

9. Did the mayor really suggest the march might deter shooters?

10. What dream world is he living in?


11. Is this crisis even a matter of caring?

12. Can we care the problem away?

13. Don’t officials care more about the Dan Ryan being shut down than Chicagoans being killed?

14. How screwed up is that?

15. Did you answer “totally?”

16. How does awareness help, anyway?

17. Aren’t residents of violence-plagued neighborhoods plenty aware?

18. What should theydo?

19. Start jobs programs?

20. Is the march mainly for their benefit?

21. Ever notice how personal responsibility is rarely mentioned?

22. Is that blaming the victims?

23. Why do protests insist affected communities don’t control their own lives?

24. Do they?

25. Aren’t protests appealing to some higher power to fix everything?

26. Isn’t that what priests do every Sunday?

27. Is question No. 21 a sign of white privilege?

28. Should this column have been written by a black pundit?

29. Would it offer different questions?

30. What are those?

31. Would those questions have more validity?

32. Why?

33. Or why not?

34. Is anybody in favor of gun violence?

35. Beyond gun companies, that is?

36. Wouldn’t restricting bulk sales help?

37. Federal databases?

38. How much is racism a factor in the American gun fetish?

39. Isn’t that how Trump got elected?

40. Does shutting down a highway feed Trump’s rhetoric?

41. To what degree do protests merely vent frustration?

42. Is that bad?

43. If you lost someone to gun violence, how would you feel?

44. What would you do?

45. Are you sure?

46. Are answers in plain view elsewhere?

47. Didn’t New York and Los Angeles slash crime over the past 25 years?

48. Did those solutions involve mass protest?

49. Didn’t New York’s involve gentrifying crime-ridden neighborhoods?

50. Would that work here?

51. Didn’t LA police focus on community problems?

52. Is that happening here?

53. Aren’t the Chicago police part of the problem?

54. Didn’t the mayor promise to address this?

55. Didn’t he drop the ball?

56. Did Pfleger let himself be coopted?

57. When he said “we won” did he mean something tangible had actually been accomplished?

58. Or just that he shut down the Dan Ryan?

59. Did the mayor play Pfleger?

60. Doesn’t the mayor play everybody?

61. Why was Rev. Jesse Jackson there?

62. Hasn’t he been gumming this problem for 50 years?

63. Was he there just for the cameras?

64. Isn’t he always?

65. Is there no new leadership?

66. Any idea who Dan Ryan was?

67. Did you know he was the Cook County commissioner who created bonds to fund the expressway?

68. Did you know there are Dan Ryan Chicago Grills in Asia?

69. Why was Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson there?

70. Kinda weird, wasn’t it?

71. How do cops feel about Johnson linking arms with Pfleger?

72. Are neighborhoods where police live safe?

73. Why is that?

74. Could anything they do be done elsewhere?

75. Really?

76. Do you have any solutions?

77. Why not?

78. Isn’t the problem rooted in slavery?

79. Aren’t you forgetting a century of Jim Crow?

80. Given the lengthy gestation, how can anyone expect a quick solution?

81. What can Emanuel do now he couldn’t seven years ago?

82. Are any candidates challenging him more likely to fix this?

83. Is getting a Whole Foods in Englewood enough?

84. Can we assume this protest will have no effect?

85. How could Gov. Bruce Rauner call the orderly protest “chaos?”

86. Is it because he’s clueless?

87. Does Rauner’s economic policy increase violence?

88. By shredding the public safety net and undermining unions?

89. Didn’t you love Emanuel’s “Delete your account” tweet to Rauner?

90. Does that mean we all were played, too?

91. Given Pfleger’a “take it up a notch,” what’s next?

92. Will he close other expressways?

93. Will the police keep accommodating him?

94. Doesn’t the protest imply that solving this problem should be easy?

95. Just a matter of mobilizing public attention?

96. Wasn’t Pfleger involved in Spike Lee’s “Chi-Raq?”

97. Didn’t that also suggest a simplistic solution?

98. Does Emanuel’s involvement wash the blood off his hands?

99. Is that why he got involved?

100. What are the next 100 questions?

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