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October 5th, 2009
01:01 PM ET

Chicago Violence: Your Views

We heard from many of you right here on this blog about the violence in Chicago. CNN's Fredricka Whitfield and Josh Levs highlighted a few of your comments on the air.

Filed under: Anchors • Fredricka Whitfield
soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Robert Lake,MI

    Problem is these kids were raised with no morals or values! All they have been taught is you either go on welfare or sell drugs, this is all they know! If they choose welfare then they will have nothing the rest of their lives, if they choose drugs then they probably wont live to see 30! Its sad and the parents of these kids need to start be held accountable for their kids`s actions! Start putting these parents in prison for their minors actions and you`ll see this crap stop! I grew up poor, I mean very poor but had good parents that taught me to respect others and their property! So I dont want to hear the same sad story they keep giving as an excuse for their behaviors! Being poor is no reason to disrespect others or their properties, Being poor is no excuse to go and sell drugs! Being poor is no excuse for living like a rat! Being poor is no excuse period!

    October 5, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  2. MiMi

    - i think that it was not riqht what happened
    & some thing needs to happen like how many kids are going to die untill the city & state says its time for a change like dont just put people in jail for the bigs what about the little things they do like you show people its time for a change like i can understand where they come for with the dont tell thing but how far are you gonna let this go with out telling. A boy who went to school & got good grades is now dead because of what ! I keep hearing how you WANT to make a change like you guys need to start the " DONT TALK ABOUT IT BE ABOUT " it phase becuse its getting to crazy your not gonna have no one living there cause every one is killing each other over colors like its getting old now . well i cant change you guys state but you can try & this time dont give up .

    - siqnedd , MiMi FROM LONG BEACH N.Y

    October 6, 2009 at 9:19 am |
  3. tacobell

    i think that these people need t not snitch and that kid should have not been there at the time and just go home
    he would have known that there was a gang fight and he was not going to be safe around there he should have thought
    go home and do the daily thing

    October 6, 2009 at 9:20 am |
  4. Ryan

    I think what we should do is discipline these teens more. There is no reason why a kid should be killed on his way home from school thats just ridiculous. How we can help these kids is council them in school

    October 6, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  5. Mike Armstrong TX.

    I think the city is under Mafia control and every body in the Chicago government are receiving pay offs to stay out of the way.

    October 6, 2009 at 9:38 am |
  6. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The National Guard is the only option to clean this city up the police are afraid too stick there necks out and do there job the whole bunch in the Chicago government need to be fired.

    October 6, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  7. Marcus

    I think that is really reflective of the problems we have in America. Unemployment and economic issues are at the heart of a lot of this violence. Most of these kids normally would be busy with after-school programs and jobs, but with rising unemployment and educational programs being slashed what do you think will happen? I am not saying what they are doing is right, but anger, hunger, and poverty can be dangerous motivators. I have been robbed at gunpoint in Greensboro, NC and he could have took my car, phone, everything, but all he wanted was twenty dollars I had in my wallet. I could see in his face he did not want to do it, but I understand why he did it. Again it is not right, but it is reality.

    October 6, 2009 at 10:12 am |
  8. Felix

    I think these big cities like Chicago and Philly, La etc... should take a page from New York old Mayor Rudy G. He change that city for ever when he was Mayor. It was tough with the police, but in the long run it work. I live next to Philly and it is horrible to hear about all the killing. They need to rebuild these neighborhoods and come up with programs to get these kids out of the city.

    October 6, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  9. Jaye

    This problem in chicago and the inner cities with gangs will never be solved unless the people affected by it rise up,demand and take action. They refuse too! They use the "fear" excuse. It is inexcusable that people in the black communities witness these crimes and do nothing about it! Is it not the "white man's" problem to come in and clean this up. Amazing how some of these communities stand tall screaming about all the wrong things and all the so-called injustices. Sadly, the taking of another's life in their community, their screams are so low. Why is it our "black culture" is so destructive against each other? Let us start looking in the mirrors and take some responsibility for a change. Black mothers, it is time to put the word "STRONG" into action and raise our children to care for each other. We need to ask ourselves what are we doing wrong in raising our children. Why are they so angry? Clearly, we need to take some responsibility for these angry kids. Lets just stop all the excuses and take charge! Enough already!

    October 6, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  10. N

    The problem is that parents are not allowed to punish kids. The problem is that teachers are not allowed to punish kids. In short, the problem is the immidiate authority over these kids are not allowed to enforce good behavior, if they try they are hauled into court for abuse. The real abuse is letting kids get away with everything. The court system should not reward idiocy, which it does everytime a stupid law suit is allowed to go forward.

    As for guns, if the police cannot protect the citizens then it is up to the citizens to protect themselves. Gun control is knowing how to handle a gun, the problem arises when people are too afraid to handle a gun properly.

    October 6, 2009 at 7:27 pm |
  11. dave in des moines

    What are the solutions to the problems of the people living in the south side neighborhood of Chicago? The following is an essay to finding solutions to this problem.
    Do emotions have its physical laws? Are we witnessing hate gaining momentum?
    According to Newton’s Laws of physics. Every action there is like reaction. Then there is the momentum effect. Plus there is the math formula of Force=Mass times Acceleration. There is goodwill. There is hate. Emotions, it seems, can be between individuals, groups of people and between nations. Mass could be equal to the number of people. Acceleration could be the change in emotions.
    Hate it seems is like a virus. It can infect individuals. It can infect groups of people as well. Like a living cell, with enough action and reaction; with enough momentum, viruses can infect a living cell. Could enough hate infect people like a virus infects a weakened living cell?
    Having said this, the following are ideas to change the hate momentum being experienced in the south side neighborhood of Chicago. The hate momentum needs to be changed into Goodwill. Just like trying to turn around a large ship, it is going to take a lot of energy to turn this hate into goodwill.
    One answer is to recruit an army of volunteers to mentor kids and their families in this neighborhood. The volunteers need to win “the hearts and minds” of the teens living in this neighborhood. Some studies have suggested people who are attending a college or are working, are more productive if they are allowed to volunteer in a community a few hours per week. Perhaps thousands of people from area colleges and places of employment could volunteer some of their time to fix up neighborhoods, teach music or mentor kids.
    Just like soldiers are seen as mentors for kids living in Afghanistan, authorities could perhaps be seen as mentors for kids living in the neighborhood. With enough mentors, this hate and distrust momentum can be changed. Perhaps new after school programs could be started, as well.
    Some studies have suggested, if you live in cramped quarters, people are generally more aggressive. Perhaps part of the problem is that there are too many people living in a fixed amount of available housing in this neighborhood. It is sometimes magical to leave home on vacation; you arrive back refreshed after the “vacation.” Perhaps new mentoring programs could include “work in vacation” programs to give the teens an opportunity to leave a neighborhood temporarily.
    Physical improvements need to be shown in this neighborhood. Empty parking lots could be changed into green space. Buildings need to be repainted. Music can affect people’s moods. Perhaps as part of changing the mood of a neighborhood is to recruit students to play music for money.
    I believe sometimes emotions are tied to Newton’s laws of physics. Sometimes there are other affects that can change moods. Having said this, this is my opinion what needs to happen in order to solve the problems of the south side neighborhood of Chicago.

    October 7, 2009 at 8:30 am |

    i think that the kid did not deserve to get abused and killed. but he deffinitly was either doing something he shouldnt have been or her was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    October 7, 2009 at 9:10 am |
  13. Joe

    its not a big deal that these kids are fighting, kids fight its the way of life. everywhere u go, everywhere you are kids are fighting. Doesnt matter in what city, its going to happen. Its the face that people just sit there and watch when kids are getting hit over the head with 2 by 4s. For the Derrion Albert situation was a horrifc accident, but i blame the people who sat there and watched, dont get me wrong the kids who were involved were to blame also. but i blame the people who stood there and watched, and then wonder why there is so much violence. When kids think they can get away with something there going to do it. But if people are breaking up fights and not watching them, stuff like this wouldn't happen.

    October 7, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  14. Bernice and Andy tate

    No society of children in history has ever had to put up with so much vulgarity, cheapness and ugliness in its surroundings. If our children are ever to have a sense of purpose, that purpose will have to be voiced by plain-talking grown-ups and moral standards that will have to be put into daily practice by tens of thousands of dedicated teachers, ministers, editors, managers, and community administrators, and legitimate political leaders. No people or nation that has not achieved the highest level of education and culture for its children is worthy of respect. It seems our political and social leadership may be more concerned about private self interests than the public interest of our children? Are we now reaping the negative consequences of not being conscious of how we did not invest in the intellectual resources of our young people? “If you're not aiming for excellence, you're wasting everyone's time.” It seems the only thing our children are aiming at is each other.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:46 am |
  15. John Ball

    It's not a school problem.

    It's not a police problem.

    It's the permissive society problem.

    We have disempowered parents to bring their children up respectful.

    We would send a parent to jail if they gave a kid a cuff up the side of the head and made them understand proper behavior at school, with friends, with neighbors, and on the street.

    We have to put the responsibility back with parents and empower them.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  16. L. Miller

    We've been talking about the problem of violence video games, music, and sexual violence for years. When are we going to do something about it? I am saddened by the rise in youth violence in the last 15 years alone. These youths will grow into adults. What then?

    I think that part of the concept of not snitching is reinforced by those who have been convicted or have committed crimes. Threats are made by these so-called powerful people, forcing innocents to cower to protect themselves and their families. I don't blame them. If I had to decide to "snitch", knowing I would certainly risk the well-being of my family, I would keep quiet too. If people didn't fear retribution, some of this secrecy might disappear. There's no where to run or hide when you live in such close quarters, and word moves quickly through the grapevine.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  17. Ryan

    Video games? Are you kidding me?! Video gamers are not out there bullying people and causing destruction. If anything, gamers are the biggest geeks and nerds on the planet! If you really think that censoring video games, or movies for that matter, will change anything then you're in for a surprise because violent games do not turn average kids into brutes who beat other students to death.

    Secondly, I'm sick of hearing about how evil men are and how perfect women are. Why do men act violent and aggressive? Because women love dangerous bad boys! I'm a nice guy who has no luck with women at all, but constantly hear about how all the men these women have dated are dangerous jerks. Maybe it's because they're only dating jerks? Why don't men just talk out their differences? Maybe because women don't swoon over men who compromise, as opposed to men who take charge and kick ass. Violence is never the answer but there's enough blame to go around and I'm sick of the constant man bashing on television.

    Also, why is it that people have a right to have as many children they want, even if they can only barely support themselves, and suddenly it's everybody elses fault when their kids start stealing cars and causing mayhem: It's the media's fault for not having positive programming; It's the governments fault for being too harsh(or not harsh enough) on criminals; It's the schools fault for not teaching their kids between right and wrong. Whatever happened to parents teaching these kids positive life skills? Maybe because these parents don't have them either.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  18. Dede Vandyke

    The youth violence in Chicago cannot be cured by money, programs or outsiders. It is a politically incorrect FACT that certain elements of our American Society do not act as
    role-models for their children from the time of their birth. Children deal with life as they see their parents, guardians, and care-givers deal with life. Violence begets violence. Rage begets rage. Etc. The reality is that a change in the violent behavior among ANY youth is questionable because their emotional growth is formed. Some of them might be core touched by the good influences within their own communities. The ONLY hope for a future without disproportional youth violence is if that small culturally isolated segment of our society curtails their own unacceptable personal behavior the moment they are responsible for a baby. Family structures that are weak with immature, uneducated, deprived, mentally unstable, and/or drug dependent, breed children who view violence & unfit behavior as normal. Therefore, it follows that ANY human who is a product of hopeless anger & violence is destined to be hopeless, void of compassion, and therefore VIOLENT.

    October 8, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Dede Vandyke


    The question of the Century:

    Since creating new life is sacrosanct, mini-culture's societal responsibility is to community counsel the pregnant mother & her extended Family. The question is: how can community activists be motivated to have this happen, rather than demanding outside funds and solutions, therefore negating personal responsibility of the life producing Family?

    October 8, 2009 at 2:40 pm |