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The city of Chicago continues to be wrapped in a cloak of senseless violence. This weekend, authorities say that there were seven people killed another six wounded in random shootings around the city. One of the dead was a 34-year old man whose mother has already lost three of her kids to street violence. Ronnie Chambers was his mother’s youngest child and was shot in the head while sitting in his car.
Police also say that there were two other double homicides in the city, one involving a 16-year old boy and another with a 32-year old man. Two other men, roommates in their 40s, were shot at a hamburger stand on the South Side of the city.
The increasing homicide rate in Chicago has been a source of concern for many in the black community. The rate is not as high as it was during the height of the drug war, but it still makes residents unsafe.
This week in Chicago, former NBA player Etan Thomas held a panel on fatherhood at the Trinity United Church of Christ. During the panel, conversations were held on how parents can protect their kids from violence. Dr. Boyce Watkins, one of the panelists, says that parents must prepare their kids to avoid the violence and social factors that might ruin their lives.
“When a black child is born on the south side of Chicago, there is a prison bed and a casket already prepared for his body,” says Dr. Watkins. “One of the reasons that African Americans deserve reparations for the War on Drugs is because many of these social factors that have led to fatherless homes and teen violence were designed by others who were seeking to suppress social unrest in the 1960s and 1970s. A generation later, it’s a big ol mess and everyone acts like we created it.”