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May 18th, 2009
04:44 PM ET

"A genocide in our own backyard"

It's a stunning number: 36 students have been gunned down in Chicago since the beginning of the school year. CNN SIU reporter Abbie Boudreau has filed gut-wrenching stories on families caught in the crossfire. When we saw Chicago high school senior Ronnie Mosley in Abbie's story, we knew you would want to hear more from him. He became an activist when his best friend was shot dead two years ago. Watch CNN NewsRoom's Kyra Phillips' conversation with this young man. You'll be as impressed as we were with his courage and conviction.

To watch Abbie Boudreau's pieces on the Chicago killings, click here.

Filed under: Kyra Phillips
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Logan

    It is not the gun that kills. This is a result of not wiping out gangs. Shoot them all down.

    May 18, 2009 at 5:36 pm |
  2. Bob Wynn

    Applause to Ronnie Mosley. Ronnie check out our programs at in Wisconsin. Contact us if you'd like us to explore bringing the programs to Chicago. Bob.

    May 18, 2009 at 7:09 pm |
  3. Chanelle Hyde

    "Rather than effectively intervene in the lives of at-risk youth, we as a society often wait till they are old enough then we lock them up. How creative of us, how responsible of mean, and cruel and unforgiving..." – Thomas Cahill

    It is because our cousins were gunned down on the south sides of our respective cities why we have become activists; I'm sure it is because we as a society need to intervene effectively in the lives of at-risk youth why we continue the fight.

    As a fellow (college) student activist against gun, youth, and gang violence – Ronnie Mosley you make me very proud! I too have lost my cousin to gun violence in Mount Vernon, NY. His murder provided the city with the highest murder rate in Westchester County in August 2008; a city measuring just 4.4 square miles. We've had 15 murders in 15 months so I completely empathize with your situation; it is the reason I have formed an advocacy group for mothers whom have lost their children and loved ones to gun, youth, and gang violence in Mt. Vernon, NY.

    Although I am not familiar with the reasoning behind Chicago's gun violence, I do agree with your recommendations for the city to provide more social opportunities and outlets for the youth. Those are some of the very same things I fight for for the youth in my community.

    In my studies of the youth, gun, and gang-violence problem erupting within Mount Vernon, I find that some core reasons lie in the high dropout rate, straw purchasing, poor educational standards within the district, high poverty rate, high unemployment, etc... Study the causes of the problems in Chicago – look beneath the gangs and analyze why the youth are joining in the first place. Look at community-police relations; here in my city the majority of the south side (where the violence takes place) does not embrace our police force and that also adds to the problem on a number of levels. In my work, I find that there is a repressed anger amongst the youth and within their families. It has been allowed to continue unchecked, which more often than not results in a juvenile delinquent turning into an adult offender. These are just some of the underlying factors you may come across.

    Continue your work into college, build the coalition you speak of in the interview, and don't ever stop fighting! People will believe in your cause and your efforts will transpire into change.

    Finally, don't be afraid to lobby for effective laws to combat the violence. As an activist, that was one of the first things I did, and it works!

    Keep up the good work!

    May 18, 2009 at 10:07 pm |
  4. Fred

    I'm with you on this one. What a brave, smart and impressive young man! Maybe we will se him run for office some day!!! Interesting that he mentioned that in the separation of Church and State he suggested that we need something in between : civics & some strong sense of civic ( & social ) responsibility. Some have said in the past about your political culture : it's not freedom from religion but freedom for religion. Religious values can impact upon the civic domain. Isn't that what MLK did? And with nonviolence! Hopefully Soledad O'Brien will pick up this topic again in her Black in America 2...But make no mistake ; it applies to all America & around the world too. Just a few pennies for thought.

    May 19, 2009 at 11:45 am |
  5. jeimy

    It's so sad... I lived in Chicago in my early 20's, I love the city, the people, the culture, everything. I even took my husband to see the windy city and he loved it too.
    This is just to sad!

    May 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  6. Clark

    Yea, Quarentine chicago, let the gangs kill eachother off, move in and wipe everything out! Call me communist but force works!

    May 19, 2009 at 8:38 pm |
  7. Jaime Diaz

    In El Paso, Texas around the mid 90's was a bad town to be in. There were a lot of gangs around at the time. So some of the neighborhoods were not friendly. I don't know how it is in Chicago, but in El Paso the city did something to reduce the violence. It had to do with being intellegent about the gangs and their enemies. Placing these individuals to another neighborhood or simply arresting them, sometimes isn't the answer. You need to go after the leaders of these gangs and prosecute them so they can be in prison. There is only so much they can do from prison. I feel sorry for all the victims and I hope justice is served to those who are responsible.

    May 20, 2009 at 3:26 pm |

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