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October 7th, 2009
08:54 AM ET

Chicago Violence

The stories are all too often deadly and frightening. The growing violence in Chicago is gripping much of the city – and quickly grabbing national attention. We’re discussing the issue today in the CNN Newsroom and examining what can be done.

We also want to hear from you. What steps should Chicago take? How do you get to the root of the problem, and what do you do about it?

Leave us a comment. We’ll read some of them on the air in the CNN Newsroom, 11am – 1pm ET.


Filed under: Josh Levs • Tony Harris
soundoff (223 Responses)
  1. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The City is out off control all the drug dealers need to be cleaned out along with the gangs . The National Guard needs to be called in and check points needs to be built .

    October 7, 2009 at 9:59 am |
  2. woody wilcher

    The more attention the media gives these people the more the violence will increase, these people thrive on attention to build there street credit. the only thing you are doing is fanning the fire while they get there fix.

    October 7, 2009 at 10:01 am |
  3. Inaam

    I believe that America should leave other countries alone, such as Afghanistan and Iraq. All the troops should come back to save the internal problem which is more important. Let other people manage their own countries. America interferes causing problems on other world. Bring the troops down to Chicago

    October 7, 2009 at 11:00 am |
  4. Dan

    Why not look at large cities that have curbed teen violence, and see what they did.
    Secondly, why are we sending cabinet leaders to Chicago and not New York, Detroit, Miami, Los Angeles, etc? Would it have anything to do with the president claiming Chicago as his residence?? Kind of fishy.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:03 am |
  5. Sonia Vivar

    "$30 million school violence program targeting at-risk students for special attention, including jobs, mentoring and social services"
    A bandaid solution and a waste of funds....in order for this program to work, YOU NEED TO START WITH THE PARENT/GRANDMOTHERS.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:08 am |
  6. Terra

    Hey Tony, why dont we start with eliminating that violent music we allow our radio stations to play, we can preach all day about non violence and bad ettiqutte but when the adults are doing it why not...

    October 7, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  7. John

    These children & teens you showcase in the news are no longer taught what's wrong or right by their parents.  Someone who is taught properly to value & respect life, and be considerate of their fellow man – even in a self-defense situation, would hesitate to pick up a gun and fire at their attacker. However, one who has no respect for another human life because they haven't been taught this by the parents...will shoot and kill someone on a dare.

    The incontestable origin is the rapidly increasing, already overflowing population of irresponsible parents.  Their numbers are growing exponentially, and they are entirely unready and unwilling to fulfill their obligation to teach their children the difference between right and wrong, and to always choose the right path. But there are no positive role models; parents only offer bad examples.

    Fr. Pfleger might consider spending less time on TV and more time teaching parents in his community to raise their children as respectful humans.  Parents are failing, and clergy, first and foremost, should be stepping up to the plate.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  8. Mike Armstrong TX.

    The governer needs to clean up the streets not the kids this guy needs to be fired and so does the mayor and the National Guard needs to be called in to clean up this out of control mess.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  9. Judy

    I think the solution is simple. Leaders, especially need to open the Bible and read what great leaders in History did. They commanded that their people put on sack cloth, repent and pray for forgiveness. Turn your hearts toward Jesus and repent. Follow His advice and things will change. That is the only answer. I know the world thinks this is foolish, but His way works.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  10. Will Farrell

    The voilence in Chicago is going to continue in part due to the fact that we have a fire brigade mayor who runs to his press team to put out fires when this happens but what is he really doing?Its been a lonf time since the rev Martin luther King but in Chicago we have a different playing field for white americans on the north side and black americans on the south side.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  11. John

    As Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan killed the $300 million state grants program for Safe and Drug Free Schools and now he is in Chicago saying something should be done. What a hypocrite!!!! Because of Duncan, Chicago schools will lose $4 million to prevent youth violence. Duncan himself said that he deserved an "F" for his efforts as Chicago school superintendent to keep kids safe.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  12. Richard (Atlanta)

    As an African living legally in America, my heart bleeds when I see the breakdown in the African-American Family structure. I would like to see a better partnership between African men and Black people in America. African men will step forward and help mentor some of these young black men if asked. Notice how young African boys are not on the streets, they do great in school, they are respectful of authority etc. I don't understand why the Black community is not seeking our help and input. We would love to help but no one is asking for our assistance.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:11 am |
  13. Ed

    We can run more after after school programs and pour in more money but it will not work. The bottom line is that parents need to take interest and responsibility in raising their children. They must get involved! If one does not want to do this then stop having kids!

    October 7, 2009 at 11:12 am |
  14. Douglas

    Tony, I have listened to your reporting of the Chicago violence with great interest but have never once heard where the parents responsibility lies in this situation.
    It is not the schools nor the government's responsibility to entertain these kids/teenagers.
    Douglas

    October 7, 2009 at 11:13 am |
  15. anthony lipetri

    When I was growing up in the 50s we had a a place to go after school and after 6 pm in the evening lived in Brooklyn NYand Our parents knew where top find us.. Teachers volunteered their time to chaparone us. we played basket ball dodge ball and stayed out of trouble. All our friends male and female hung out their. The teachers didnt ask to get paid they did it from the heart. I live in Rochester NY now and we have NOTHING like that. The kids have no place to go so they hang out in the streets and get into trouble. Thats how u keep kids out of trouble give them a safe place to hang out and u avoid problems. Me and none of my friends male and female ever got into trouble with the law till this day we all became productive adults

    October 7, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  16. Ken Davis

    Chicago needs to have after school programs in the inner city such as job training,sports activities,mentor advice from adults.What are the aldermen doing?

    October 7, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  17. carlos

    Chicago has to take a look at New York City and embrace the community policing model. Its not just the use of force but a comprehensive community policing program has to be implemented. It work for New York in the 90's it will work for Chicago.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  18. REGGIE

    Hello Tony, I am a 49yr. old Black Man who over the years have seen a growing problem in the lack communities across this country. Young people today are followers of negative things more than positive, what's cool is not cool at all to those who know wht's really going o in the world. But if you lack discipline, respect, morals, honor and dignity, you will succumb to the street life. Older Black males, hold the key to the problems in Chicago,and any other black communities across th country. We as a people need to step up and take control. Where are the leaders?

    October 7, 2009 at 11:19 am |
  19. Tori

    Governor Quinn's call for "more after school programs" is a waste of time and money. I was a CPS teacher for over a decade and I have to say there are several problems with the after school programs. For one thing, the principals get paid a hefty stipend for each program they bring to the school, in addition to their ridiculous salaries, so they will take any garbage that can pass itself off as an after school program! I have seen "dance club" programs where students are paid to be taught the filthiest dances by former students, who are paid for teaching these dances. It's a joke. He's going to pay for more programs? I had students who went a whole school year without math books that were "ordered" but arrived in May, a month before the school year ended! I worked in a school where one class did not have a teacher for the entire first quarter, the kids went to that room and partied, and at the quarter's end, the administration gave them all a grade of "D", which is passing! I was in a school where the swimming pool was filthy and had no water in it! I heard with my own ears a teacher tell her students they could get ten As in the gradebook for watching a movie! Governor Quinn should consider fixing the regular school day before he pours more money into corrupt programs that aren't about kids anyway! P.S. The kids will still fight after the after school programs let out. How about engaging parents in their own children's education? Maybe prayer should be allowed in these schools. They were better when it was allowed... The point is, he can't throw money at this and think it will go away. It's too little, too late.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:20 am |
  20. Tony Riccardi

    I lived in Chicago for 47 years and watch violence in neighborhoods that have no respect for the basic fabric of the American dream. In fact it's quite the opposite! You see the kids running wild in the streets all hours of the day and night. And then when someone gets hurt or killed the mother's and father's are outraged and demand community leaders to do something about. Even Pat Quinn is on the band wagon to have after school programs to keep kids off the street. What a joke! Are all the good people in the world suppose to babysit the bad. Hold the parents and the family accountable. What the hell are they doing when there kids are doing bad things. It's obvious, NOTHING. If you can't teach your own kids respect for others, the difference between right and wrong, and the importance of being civil then guess what brothers and sister it's called "thinning of the heard" and the killings will go on for another 47 years. By the why. Nobody has been killed or even hurt in my neighborhood and I don't think my neighbor's really care what goes on in the southside, westside, or any side that has thug life. So get it together people or stop having kids.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  21. Angela, TX

    I completely agree with Woody. I understand that news is news...but it is like adding fuel to an already burning flame. Maybe someone should take a quick look at 'The Bottom Billion' by Paul Collier. Street violence usually has patterns of people growing up in poor and unstable households.

    You give people an opportunity to make money, to get a leading role in a gang, etc.–do you honestly think they will not take it? The opportunities they get being in a gang or group is like a blessing as compared to the reality of what they believe they can achieve without the group.

    You need to give people a stable family environment and strong education. It takes time and many sacrifices, especially on parents part–but that is part of the job as a parent. Parents need to stop sitting back and "blaming the system" and start taking initiative and some of the responsibility for their children.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:21 am |
  22. Flavio M.

    Born and raised in Chicago, but I live in CA now, and I can tell you that gangs, violence, and drugs have always been around in Chicago. But with todays easy and fast way of communcation such as camera phones, twitter, etc. all these events are magnified. 10 or 15 yrs ago these things were still happening, but it wasn't reported, because it was not recorded and aired all over the U.S. Gangs and Chicago Police play a cat and mouse game all day every day. Chicago Police Dept. is just another gang also, but they have badges to say they are the good guys. I can tell you that some Chicago Police officers are ex-gang members themselves, they just never got arrested, and finished school. So we need to look at the individuals who are wearing the bades as well as the gangs and violence.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:22 am |
  23. Larry McCallister

    It starts in the home where only one of every three children have a father in the home.It is ashamed a person cant walk down any street in the usa and be safe.They have a pack mentality .They need to pull there clothes up,talk like they have a brain,go to school to learn not to knock up some girl and be on our wellfair roll generation after generation. I may be old school but none of this lowering grades to fit the iq will help them .I give up.As soon as i win the lottery im moving to Africa

    October 7, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  24. barbara hooper

    Tony,

    Don Lemon did a program on this following young Derion Albert's brutal murder. Perhaps Don's guests can begin a "challenge" to the community. Fr. Phleger from Saint Sabina's Church, motivational speaker Victor Wood and Chicago Sun Times columnist Marion Mitchell (?) can co-host a panel with some parents, children, youth, teachers, social workers to start BRAIN-STORMING ways for folks to take responsibility for parental/grandparental SUPPORT, to create safe schools, safe streets and safe homes; to discuss ways for the disenfranchised, angry youth to be a positive force in their own community. It is a living, breathing place with a voice, that place called southside of Chicago. Let's hear that voice.

    It takes a VILLAGE to raise a child. Here in Ontario, I care about An-Janette, Derrion's sister, his Grandparents and those who committed the crime. Something will shift but only with hands joined.

    Barbara

    October 7, 2009 at 11:28 am |
  25. scott

    Saw the gentleman earlier while doing house-cleaning, he blames the parents, I loved that comment. He also asked what would have happened if the teen was shot by a white child? Awesome question, I liked that he said it. I worked for Chicago Police for 7 years, I am no longer living there since I want to raise my children in a quiet area of the state. So many people can not make the more and are stuck. Let the police do what they need to do, not what is politically correct to keep the citizens from complaining. Wiese will send all the troops to the southside for a few weeks, that will help for a few weeks after but then back to normal after that.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:32 am |
  26. Sharon

    I found it ironic during the coveage for bringing the Olympics to Chicago that they would be trying to bring all these visitors to the same city that had just had a young man beaten to death right on the street. All the concern should be to stopping the violence that is happening now rather than wooing the Olympics down the road.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:33 am |
  27. John

    Let's work to find an effective means to stop irresponsible reproduction. Individuals must be made to understand if they cannot afford the time that must be invested to properly raise a child to be a responsible, productive, respectful human – they cannot have children.

    A good place to begin would be – stop rewarding irresponsible reproduction.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  28. Quamaine Hunter

    This wave of violence cannot be stopped with governors and mayors talking about the programs needed and communities coming together. This kind of violence depicted needs to be brought mainstream in greater depth as far as the circumstances, factors, influences, and teachings that attribute to this kind of lifestyle that allows our youth to kill themselves. I believe there needs to be a much different approach as far as how to reduce this spread of violence as much as possible, other than the same "action-less talk" that we have heard for many years. In my honest opinion, it's too late for most involved in such a violent lifestyle and more focused must be placed upon the younger generation throughout their development in order for them to understand the realities of violence and crime so they don't fall into the trap many generations before them have.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:35 am |
  29. Kate

    Much of this would end if parents were seriously held accountable! If the child is not in school for a legitimate reason, lock up the parent, if they're out after hours, lock up the parent. Maybe then they'd start paying more attention to where their kids are and what they're doing. And maybe the kids will think twice before they do the WRONG thing.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:38 am |
  30. Jules Gee

    Why are our youth so violent? We are in denial.
    They spend their time watching violence all day long. Extreme this and Extreme that. Ultimate fighter. Violence on Television. Violence in the movies. Horror movies. Violent games on Xbox. Even violence in commercials. To be violent is now macho. They are immune to death, beatings, horror, blood. It means nothing to them now. And society wonders why there is so much violence committed by our youth.!!
    Wake up!!
    Jules

    October 7, 2009 at 11:44 am |
  31. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Why is every one saying it starts in the home the crime starts in the streets with gangs and drugs and prostitution this teacher thing is a way to scam money from the government fire the mayour fire the governer and get to the heart of the proublem with the national guard.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:47 am |
  32. REGGIE

    Tony, I was just wondering why has President Obama not said anything about what's happening in his hometown until now? This issue in Chicago is real and it's a national concern, and one that needs attending to fast. How many more need to die?

    October 7, 2009 at 11:48 am |
  33. John

    Another nice idea, Kate. However, I believe it might be more effective to hit the parents where it hurts – in the bank account! Fine them each time, and put the money towards programs that teach proper parenting skills, stop irresponsible reproduction, etc.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  34. REGGIE

    Tony I have a solution for the issue in Chicago and any other place that has these problems with youth. BANISHMENT. I F YOU CANNOT FOLLOW RULES AN RESPECT OTHERS THEN YOU CAN BE KICKED OUT. you think that's to harsh?

    October 7, 2009 at 11:52 am |
  35. Juan

    Tony, I can tell you first hand that things are getting very, very, bad here on the Southside of Chicago. I live a few blocks from where another one of our teens was murdered. He was burned. Living on the southside all my life, i can tell you that the violence is different, much more sinister and psychotic. I truly believe its the atmosphere here. Over the past ten years, people have become poorer here. Add to that the amount of stress by high taxes, over-ticketing, over-aggressive officers, under-patrolled streets and greedy government. Not to mention a gross lack of afterschool programs for the youth of all ages. Here in the Gage Park neighborhood I have yet to hear of a good afterschool program for the kids OUTSIDE of school. Unfortunately they are forced, in a way, to hang out with gangs.

    October 7, 2009 at 11:53 am |
  36. Rita

    I feel so sorry for the people in Chicago who are so afraid of the gangs running the streets. Who turned these murderous thugs loose on the people?

    October 7, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  37. RICH MCBROOM, OHIO

    The root of the problem is multiple. The gangster lifestyle of these communities is a national problem, and it will get worse in the suburbs if DIRECT action by the local police is not taken. Number one, these Black youth get brainwashed by the music they hear. Number two, this gangster mentality is enforced by the gang lifestyle in the poorer communities. There are NO jobs! Who will hire these youths if there were? A large section of the male population (19-40) are in prison for selling drugs or murder. They are doing the most basic way to survive that they know. The gangs been in control of these communities since the 1970's. The leaders that started these gangs are all in federal prison. There is no leadership to quell the murders on the street. The thugs only live by the code of hustling, fighting, killing. Send in the guard to break it up. They stoped the BLACK PANTHERS, why can't they stop these youth? Chicago is corrupted. If these gangs were trying to influence politics and big money, they would be stomped out by local police thru mayor DALEY.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  38. el Rey

    Woody..you are joking right? I sure hope so. "street credit" in the hood is not based on news media exposure. But based more on how tough you are and what you can prove to other ignorant folks in the hood or in your circle. Remember, ignorance breeds ignorance. Ever met a thug that enjoyed being around a scholar? Probably not;

    Violence among African-Americans in Chicago and surrounding communities have been a problem for a very long time; especially since the wide spread drug trade and gang influence seem to have replaced the more traditional way of life. Ignorance, illiteracy, lack of job skills are the result of too much secular music and television programs. Talk about freedom of speech/expression, when do we focus on filtering. Well, that's just one half of the problem. The other half is

    How do you change the mindset of 4-5 generations of misguided people who are not built and equipped for success. ie. You know it's a problem when a pair of Air Jordans are worth more than a mans life; When the number of crimes you commit earns more respect than earning a college degree; When the number of women you pimp is glamourized as something good. No disrespect "Don Juan" but it is what it is.

    Black Male mentors, fathers, and what they call real men are needed to be the leaders within many of these communities and serve as examples of what real men do. Which is the right thing, regardless of whose watching. So, how do you build integrity, compassion, dedication, committment and education standards in a race of people? When you figure the answers to that simple question and others below you will solve the problems with violence affected communities.

    What ever happened to organized sports, city/county funded community centers and other places that will shape the minds of young people instead of allowing the music industry and wanna be "bad boy" athletes be the face of success.

    In the streets of Chicago, why is it bad when you speak correct English(diction/grammer), make good grades, and not wear the latest fashion trends make you an outcast.

    Good question: Change the picture of what success is. If artist want to hustle music, do concerts in stead of flooding the radio and tv waves with sex, drugs and murder music. the community doesn't need that anymore because we all know now that poverty is alive and well, even in the richest country in the world.

    Before proposed changes in any hood to stop the violence will succeed, you will first have to change the mindset of the people carrying out the senseless acts of violence. MODERN DAY BULLIES of the streets are like the Somali Pirates at Sea and should be dealt with in the same way. The city of Chicago should focus on dismantling gangs and discouraging youths from joining

    October 7, 2009 at 12:08 pm |
  39. dean

    I think that the problem of violence is partly due to the criminals' identity coming from their alienation from society rather than from being for something. to maintain their identity they have to maintain their alienation which means more violence.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  40. Mike

    Education, education, education.....I haven't done a lot of research on the education system in South Chicago, but I would be willing to be the violent situation there has a lot in common with the situation in South Los Angeles. Hardly any emphasis is placed on education in these places, i.e. the schools are awful, parents don't care, thus the kids don't care, leaving them little hope of becoming more than drug dealers by the time they're 25. While kids in rich neighborhoods with good schools are going to law school and med school, kids from these poor neighborhoods are joining gangs at the same time. In my opinion we need educational reform before health reform. Then we might have enough brains in this country to come up with a solution to health care. In the mean time I just see this country getting dumber and dumber.

    Sorry for the meek outlook.

    -Mike from Los Angeles

    October 7, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  41. Mike Armstrong TX.

    School isnt going to do the job thats stupid the streets are the proublem the drugs are the proublem the gangsters are the proublem and the government officials are the proublem from being stupid to the proublem.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:11 pm |
  42. Ron Sammons

    You say there are two stories Chicago and Afganastan. I say there is one story and two locations. If someone can come up with a stsatagy
    to cure to cure one area it will work in both. Terror in the streets and terror in the countryside is the same.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  43. Pam

    My daughter is a student teacher in the Chicago Public Schools. I am also a teacher and was very curious about the school system..so I visited her school. What I saw was complete chaos..starting from the top down. Teachers were placed in classrooms without the proper certification, 40 kindergarten students in a class without assistants, broken copy machine in office, teachers yelling at their students as if it were a prison...this was kindergarten through grade 5. The principal wouldn't listen to any one in a meeting...just said to write it down and she'd get to it later. It was as if the teachers were being set up to fail so the school would be shut down. Then...a Charter school...privatized...would be put in it's place. Charter schools have ruined Michigan's education system.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:15 pm |
  44. Anita

    Why is there so much crime in Chicago? The same reason there is high crime in Saint Louis, Memphis and many other areas of the country. It doesn't matter if it youth on youth crime, or Black on Black, it is all about lack of opportunity, lack of positive role models and a pervasive attitude that the only way to be "rich" is to have what others have.

    The solution is similar to what President Obama is striving for in a wholistic overhaul of the heath care system, a complete change in attitude in America and a holistic attack on how that everyone can receive the basic neccessities, such as a job, adequate shelter, food, etc. It is hard to impossible for average people obtain.

    All this trickles down to the young. If they see their parents are fustrated over their poverty, no jobs, etc... it all piles up.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:16 pm |
  45. Janay Johnston

    Its a shame to know that now in today's society, peoples fear of snitching has out weight their compassion and duty to do whats right.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:17 pm |
  46. Sharon Baker

    This may be a stupid idea...but....
    I believe violence is born out of poverty and lack of education.
    I am assuming that much of Chicago's violent activity (same for other cities) occurs in poverty pockets.
    I am assuming, therefore, that many adults in those areas are unemployed.
    Why couldn't those adults, in great numbers, virtually walk kids to and from school each day? This action wouldn't fix the poverty/education issue. But at least, it might get some more kids safely through their school days before they get killed!
    Perhaps I am naive.

    It occurs to me that during the time of slavery, there were black people more than willing to die to get their children to freedom. Our country is proud of the men and women in the armed forces willing to die for freedom's sake. During the Civil Rights movement, people of all races were willing to die for the sake of freedom. So, if it would be dangerous for adults to protect these children as they walk to school, so be it. Aren't they worth it? I realize this is only about kids walking to school..but it would be a start, wouldn't it?

    It's time for all people to consider our children to be a treasure worthy of our protection and be willing to act...not just talk!

    October 7, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  47. Rita

    I agree with the Chicago Mayor – the federal government should provide more money to do what the chicago people can't do for themselves. it is the fault of the government and the schools that chicago children are prey to murderous thugs.

    where ever did these thugs come from. the should be sent back so the streets of chicago will be safe once again.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  48. Dodie ~ California

    I consider areas of Chicago a 'war' zone. Therefore, we need to treat it as such. We have to do a three step strategy in order to change this.

    1. We need immediate action to clean up the streets. I would have the support of the American military patrolling the streets for show of force. All gang members need to be identified and taken off the streets for the slightest infraction. We must break up these gangs. If we do not do that, nothing will change. Therefore, a ‘zero’ tolerance must be upheld including curfew for everyone after 9pm unless traveling to or from work. The gangs operate most often after 9pm even though it spills into the day time. All attempts of murder and murder will be tried harshly in an adult court regardless of age. This problem exists for several reasons. Our laws must change.

    1. Children are raising themselves as all parents must work. Therefore, they are looking to gangs for their identification. This link must be broken.

    Once we break up the gangs, then we will use the second phase which is community support. such as after school programs. We have a law for compensatory education meaning all children :"MUST" attend school until age 16 or go to Juvenile detention. We do not use that any more and that is another problem. The kids just have too much time on their hands...

    October 7, 2009 at 12:24 pm |
  49. lawrence adams

    Hey Tony, i know what we can do, IT"S CALLED ""GIVE A DAME"", Is It really that difficult, we travel all over the world to fight terrorists but do nothing to stop the terrorists on our own streets. These kids belong to someone they didn't just drop from the sky, we deny them a voice, an education, a job, and then expect them to care what happens, "IF YOU HAVE NOTHING YOU HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE" ITS CALLED SOMETHING OF VALUE, see the movie with Sidney Porter. Greed and selfishness is what drives this nation, not caring and sharing!

    October 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm |
  50. Woody Edmond

    Chicago have the worst Police department in the nation, we need police to get out the cars enjoying the air conditioning and the heat and just want a big pay day. We need the police to get out in the neighbor hoods and get to knowing who is who and put the fear of god in the thugs that are running the hoods and the city. A new Top Cop is needed, one that don't put up with under performance of officers. We have enough cops on the department to bring the crime rate down. And if the Top Cop haven't figured it out yet the criminals we have a very weak police department and that make their opportunities 100 per cent better to commit crime of murder robberies and rape. Please somebody run for Mayor in chicago

    October 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  51. Bruce From Tucson, AZ

    I was born in South Chicago hospital and went to highschool a few blocks from where the killing took place, near Fenger highschool. This is a very tough area of Chicago. When I lived there, there was fighting all the time, so nothing has really changed, except its now black fighting black. I would not reward the thugs with money for recreation, etc. I would start by locking up their parents and then those who are adults. If you reward these people then the next time they want something they will attack and kill again. Take out the gangs and their leaders. When kids decide to talk to the police and tell them who the bad guys are, then give them a little something, but not too much as rewards will become worthless after time. When they see the gang bangers are gone or on their way out things will start to get better. Cut all the talk and touchy-feely stuff and be tough. Being tough is what these kids understand. Touchy-feely is seen as a weakness by tough people.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  52. Tony

    My first question is where is the parents of these 14 and 15 years olds that are out here doing all these crimes.I cant accept the same old song anymore about being a single parent cause my mom was a single parent raising me and my sister in chicago.I think now the parent now days are afarid of there kids.This ridiculous code of silence should be change to STAND UP NOW take back your own neighood.This is not a goverment problem this is our problem.I dont live in chicago now this still effect me because i still love chicao and like to move back.We have young men and women overseas now fighting a war to keep us safe over here and the war is here.Parents single or not you need to stand up in get in your kids life now.IT sorry when you have young kids who wants to a edcaution but is afraid because of gang violence.PARENTS HELP YOUR KIDS.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  53. Maia Ajanaku-Locke

    Tony, when I was in the daycare business five years ago, a before and after school child told me that she fought with a little girl, leaving her with sever scratches in the face and on her chest and arms because: "I don't like her". Why not ? I asked. Because: "My mama don't like her mama". How do you know? I asked. Because: "I never see them talking to each other". "My mama don't like her mama so I'm not suppose to like her".

    I share this because it is telling. It resonates with something that I often heard from adults when I, in the capacity of a Tennessee DHS child protective service worker, investigated a case. Invariable, at the end of a home visit, when I ask for character references-one from family and two from neighbors, the proverbial answer was: I don't know these people (neighbors). I don't have anything to do with them.

    It seems to me that there is more to this phenomena of violence than the "code of Silence". I would love to hear comments on the cultural provenance of violence.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:34 pm |
  54. nigel

    the way to fix these problems is to get people talking ,get the kids involved .give them a money reward for telling of crimes and those who committed them ,money talks for kids ,they will talk.
    take away the guns ,get them of the street, give kids 300 dollars for every gun they turn in to the police,we did this in toronto it was amazing how man guns where turned in to the police,illegal guns came out in the hundreds and all for money.

    nigel

    October 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  55. lawrence adams

    We spend Trillions to save the thieving crooks on wallstreet and the CEO's, but when it comes to the kids we cant bail them out, we won't let the system fail, yet we have failed the very people the system needs to prosper, what have we done to our kids, what message do we send when we help the rich and ignore the poor. No Nation, No Society can last if we fail the children.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  56. Issa Smith

    Tony
    What amazes me is that neither the media nor the government pays any attention to solid activist community groups that are on the ground. I'm talking about groups like the International Council for Urban Peace Justice and Empowerment. Activists like Amir Khalid A. Samad, Wallace "Gator" Bradley and T. Rashad Byrdsong. Keep the beurocrats in Washington and support the folks who are already in the community.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:35 pm |
  57. Robert Lake,MI

    Lets stop blaming wealth or there lack of on this violence! Lets put the blame where it lies, with the parents! When you have thugs raising thugs well what you will get is a thug! I grew up dirt poor with no breaks in life partly because I`m a white male with no connections and my parents taught me values which I carry on today. The only thing these kids have been taught is that its the white man keeping them down and if they want wealth they will have to sell drugs for it! It is a sad state of affairs but its the cold hard truth! Start teaching these kids right from wrong right from birth and also teach them that if you want things then you will have to work and maybe work damn hard to achieve these goals!

    October 7, 2009 at 12:37 pm |
  58. Carlos

    Tony: Follow Up comments in response to the on-going press conference: My position is boosted even further by the simple fact that the city of Chicago has the attorney general of the USA, Eric Holder, visiting the City to address teenage crime. The mayor and other city officials have failed, miserably. Erne Duncan is a joke! He didn't really make significant improvements in the education system while in office as the superintendent of Chicago public schools. This is only a charade that will continue through perpetuity until the CITIZENS of Chicago initiate action to take their city back from the crooks; who could care less about the poor people of the City. More federal dollars is not the answer! If monies are received, it is highly doubtful it those funds will go to towards the programs that are needed to combat teenage crime.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:39 pm |
  59. lawrence adams

    Did anybody think to "ASK THE CHILDREN, Seems as though we don't have the answer, just maybe we should listen to them! We have lost our way, perhaps the children can show us the way back, if we have the courage to listen.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:40 pm |
  60. Dodie ~ California

    I live part time in another country. What I see is that the length of school matches the length of time the parents have to work. So those children attend school from 7:30am to 6pm. Between the hours of 3pm and 6pm, the children are often bussed to culture activities of their choice to enhance their knowledge of their own culture. These children are being kept very busy. They have in force our compensatory law in which a child has to serve detention if they are not in school. In this country, detention is hard work which is a great deterrent!

    Another big problem with the USA is the break up of the extended family. Therefore, no guidance from Aunts, uncles, grandparents while the parents are working.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:42 pm |
  61. Joseph

    In my opinion, "the Media", of all styles, TV, Cinema, Music and Print are primary culprits in the cultural degeneracy which now sickens us as it displays itself in a particularly vulnerable group developmentally. Instead of feeding off the heat and frenzy of these peaks of trauma, why don't the developers, programmers and writers responsible for the "culture of scorn" inherent in Reality TV and to a far lesser degree "forensiphilia" turn their "brilliance" towards humanistically (sic) captivating signage.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:45 pm |
  62. J. Carrington (jennifercarrington.com)

    Here's a SOLUTION:

    Since it is law for ALL for all parents to be a their childs legal guarian anyway. For each child to step foot into school for each semester......
    Hold a MANDATORY orientation where the legal gurdian MUST attend prior to the starting of the school year. After ADDING a "I am a Mentor/Bulling Consequence Guidless" contract where teachers, parents and students in attendence understand protocal. They understand that it (bulliing) is not tolerating and specific rules/concequences apply. Whistile blowers are monitored for saftey. and at the end of the session, Parents add contact info, as well as profession (email) address so to provide mentorship for other students in the school who could use their mentorship. This Solution includes: PARENTS, PRINCIPALS, and ALL STUDENTS prior to school starting and is montitored throughout the ENTIRE year.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  63. Ashanta Parker

    I am outraged at all of the different people that are being blamed and questioned because of teens violent acts while the parents of these teens are let off the hook. I truly believe that if parents were held more responsible for their children's action then there would be less teen violence. Make the parents go to jail even for a small amount of time may make a difference 2-3 days on a first offense and longer if they dont gain control of the child.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:47 pm |
  64. carrie

    the president sends billions of dollars to banks and car companies, but is only spending millions to help youth violence? that doesn't make sense. he ran on the platform of helping main street. so far he has only helped wall street. the childrem are who the billions should be spent.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:48 pm |
  65. Tony

    Jobs and Cops is what is needed. This excuse about having to go to another area to attend school is nonsense; it's time grow up and learn to live together in a peaceful manner.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  66. Lawrence Wright

    I understand the difficulty of the addressing the level of violence, because no one wants to speak to the root causes and alienating the women who are raising the children. But the truth of it is that if we do not address the parenting issues, then their is no hope of an asnwer.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:52 pm |
  67. david aikens

    Hi i keep watching the killings of children and all i hear is all kinds of reasons,
    Well tell the truth for a change this is the direct results of drug lords from Mexico.
    We need to go after the top dealers in all cities.
    Hire the vets with out a job give them a dog and go to the streets,run these people down.
    Close the boarders or at least load up the security guards with lost of drug dogs.
    last go to Mexico and kill the leaders,for they are no better than tarriest.
    Their is gangs leaders there just like anywhere else.Round up the leaders,lock them up. forget the courts,send them out of the state.
    When they decide to change then go from there.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:54 pm |
  68. David R.

    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different results is a sign of insanity. That's what everyone does when it comes to the problem of kids and violence. They throw money at the problem and they look to the police and schools to solve everything. The problem is the HOMES that these kids come from. The boy who was beaten to death, why was he being raised by his grandparents? Where are his mother and father? That's the starting point for working on this huge problem. These kids start school without any socialization, rules, limits, manners and consideration for others. We keep trying to unring the bell; the problem needs to be nipped in the bud and that's targeting the homes from where these kids come.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  69. Donald R. Krause

    I'm astonished that the lady/mother of the 6 year old who was shot can do nothing! If it were me and I knew for sure who did it, WOW. I sure couldn't walk by that person each day. On day one that I saw him all I can say is that he wouldn't be out on the corner on day 2! CALL THE POLICE AND HAVE THIS IDIOT ARRESTED!

    If the parents can't or will not control their own kids then let the police. Petition for a curfew to be enacted when the sun goes down. Anyone caught who doesn't have a job that causes him/her to be out after dusk is arrested with the penalty one (1) year in jail, no if and or butts!

    If you really want to stop all this nonsense the penalty needs to be great!

    What about Guardian Angels??

    October 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  70. Sharon

    Some man who just commented on this story in the newsroom basically said kids in single parent households have "no" role models in their lives. That rhetoric must be amended. These kids may have "FEW" role models, but to say they have "no role models" conveys the idea that single parents, mostly women, are not role models to their kids. That can't be farther from the truth. The fact is, single parents are the only ones, in many cases, who advocate at all for their children, pay the bills, and take care of their own kids. Quit negating the parents, and some of these kids will start to turn around.

    Instead of making the statement about "no role models", let's start asking "Where's the father?" (in most cases) and get the guys on board who made these babies to take responsibility for their children's safety and welfare instead of blaming the single moms who are doing all the work. In Derrion Albert's case, he not only had his mom, but his grandfather, aunt, godmother, and a whole church behind him.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  71. Sharon Carroll

    I have so much more to say on this topic, but I must agree with Lawrence Adams! The problem we are having is that we the adults often make decisions that effect the youth without even consulting or informing them of what's taking place! We do not give them a seat at the table! The senario that is now being presented about the BUSSING of students from one neighborhood school to another definitely is contributing to the problem! WE FORGET THAT THESE ARE YOUNG ADULTS THAT HAVE A WORLD OF THEIR OWN THAT IS OFTEN DISRESPECTED OR OVERLOOKED BY ADULTS AND POLITICIANS, yet we step into it, do not involve them and make decisions that are often times NOT IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILDREN!

    October 7, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  72. myview

    I was born and raised in Chicago and have recently moved back and my heart has been grieved with what's going on in our city. I applaud CNN for bringing national attention to the issue of violence on Chicago streets. We absoultely need more programs and funding for these programs. Yes the parents need to take responsibility but the truth of the matter is that they are not so someone needs to step in. It takes money to run these programs and there are people like myself willing to help. This is a great start, thank you CNN again for letting the world see what I see everyday.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  73. Heather Morrison

    We can barely afford to pay teachers to work the regular school hours, so what makes people think we can afford to have them work after school and weekend hours as well?

    October 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  74. 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 |
  75. Corene

    Chicago street violence is a big problem. CNN continues to report that the residents do not turn in the killers because they DO NOT WANT TO BE A SNITCH. It is not about being a snitch, it's about saving their own lives. The residents of that area know who the killers are, but they do not want to die also. They know if they turn the killers in to the police, they could be the next to die. Stop using the word "SNITCH" it is about life or death of there own lives.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:58 pm |
  76. hawley

    Think about it ! How many rich affluent school districts have this problem. NONE!! You provide hope to people they thrive. You provide poverty and despair they kill each other. With the gap between rich and poor this is only going to get worse.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  77. Kevin B.

    I think that many of these comments come from the wrong place, that of anger. Instead I think that Arne Duncan is right in not looking for someone to blame. It's important to realize that this is a societal problem and that in some ways we are all implicated in one way or another whether directly or indirectly in our apathy. Instead of looking for vengeful political solutions like militarizing Chicago we should focus on realistic and level headed choices that can make a brighter future for many children failed by the school system. Divisive political strategies have alienated many reform minded individuals and we need to focus on solutions rather than ideology.

    October 7, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  78. alflemming

    Too much glamorization of "da thug life." There is a prevailing attitude that to be a man you have to beat someone down and all the better if you happen to kill someone in the process.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:00 pm |
  79. Patrick

    I'm sure someone must have suggested this already, but why don't they get Colon Powell or someone of that military stature to establish a youth army in America of some sort that would provide a structured form for all of the kids who don't want to be in a gang?... A sort of "anti-gang" gang that would provide visible strength and support for kids who want to stay out of the gangs or resist them.... Giving it a quasi-military structure would allow for clear oversight and guidance to the group by adults with organizational skilla and life experience and wisdom as well as cross-linkage with local police who could mesh into the structure... No, this would not be the Hitler Youth... This could be a positive structure for these kids to help them rebuff the sociopathic gangs...

    October 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  80. cathy acosta

    The immediate safety of the children of Chicago is absolutely necessary first. Those children still have to walk those streets everyday. SEND IN THE TROOPS.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  81. jacs

    My daughter was beat up by a girl and when I addressed it with the police and school, well, nothing has been done. Also, trying to hit someone in the pocket book, heck, we are all so poor here in this city, the parents would just laugh. I like the idea of the guy that said "put the parents in jail" for the kids doings. Then allow the parents to be parents. Our government has taken our rights away. If you yell at your child, you are treated as if you have been wrong. So what are they to do? What am I to do to help my child that was beaten up? Just keep allowing it? Oh thanks! Believe me, only one teacher that I spoke with even had a clue about what had happened.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  82. Raeschelle

    Good Afternoon!

    As my husband and myself discuss the problem og teen violence, he becomes very emotional as he grew up in Chicago on 78th street, now residing in Atlanta.

    His take is the city has problems that are deeper than we need to provide the teens with after school programs. That is a small beginning, but as he discuss the history of chicago he believes the changes must begin with the following:

    The city goverment
    State Jails and penatary
    Separatig gang violence
    Parents

    The city has seen so much corruption from those in leadership that it is negative. The jails are like a revolving door in and out. You have a lot of kids who grow up in poor,durg abused,sexual abused homes, that most of them escape what we call home to be a memeber of a gang where they THINK someonescares.

    You must begin to change the mind set of the young kids by showing them better, getting the community involved and having positive role models.

    We walk the streets and people turn their heads at violence, no one cares, we have become quiet at a time when we need to yell the most.

    Robert Keith Jackson

    October 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  83. 2tonez

    Where is Rev. Al Sharpton in all of this? Why is he not out trying to gather community leaders, parents, police, and schools to help solve this. That's right, you only see him when its a hate crime.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:02 pm |
  84. Traci

    I agree with many of the previous comments that this is not just a Chicago problem. I was born and raised there and have lived in New York and Atlanta and the same problems of violence, poor education, lack of parental guidance, etc. exist in these places as well. I've worked in public schools in these various cities and have seen and heard the needs of children and their parents. I wish the media would focus not only on mentoring for children but for parents as well. It is hard for a child to have a great relationship with a mentor and then come home to a parent who doesn't care about them or is so stressed out and depressed that they are unable to spend time with their child and reinforce the positive relationship the child is having with his/her mentor. Perhaps, Saturday classes suggested by Arnie Duncan can be for parents and their children. Parents need help! Everyone doesn't know how to be a parent. Parents need the same loving mentors and loving relationships that their children do. And believe it or not while there are many parents who don't want the responsibility of taking care of their children, I believe that there are MORE who deeply love their kids and want to be good parents. They want to be able to love, support, teach, and financially provide for their children but they need help.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  85. Derrick

    what kids really see is that even if their parents work to provide they are struggling, everytime the state or the the govt do budget cuts the first to cut is something with education, after school programs, art programs, social programs, so what is left for them. what they see is them being cut off by us with our decisions. Also i will make this point, we dont allow teachers to teach and discipline our kids while they are in school anymore, so they are running wild. When i was a kid my parents and my teachers were on the same page they wanted me to be successful so my parents always gave my teachers permission to discipline when it called for it, now a days our teachers are restricted ourparent are always working or not doing well them selves and the kids are turning to something they can bond with, gangs, because they portay themselves as family, the kids believe that because they dont see it anywhere else.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  86. Carolyn Sims

    Chicago should do whatever it takes to combat this kind of senseless and tragic violence. Personally I believe it stems from lack of parental involvement. Too many times parents are using schools as day care providers instead of learning institutions. Parents should be emulating morals, decency and values so that their children can have self respect and will have respect for others.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  87. oscar (CA)

    The ideas people gave sound perfect but I think we shouldn’t be limited to just one. A combination of more public security along with a local and nationwide control plan for gang organizations can have more impact. It is a problem that needs to be tackled from different directions.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  88. Carlo

    This problem is too intricate to say there is a straight solution – but here is one aspect. This problem goes back several generations of poor parenting – which isn't always the fault of the parents.

    Kids in these poor areas are raised by TV, Music, Friends and whatever else they are exposed to on a daily basis – things that are no where near qualified to parent. Parents have no choice but to work all day to support their family. How do you raise your kid if you're always at work? But how do you provide for your kid if you don't work. Its a dilemma. This generation moves on to become parents, and then they end up not knowing how to be good parents themselves. Several generations down the road, we have what we have today.

    We need to find a way for families to function in a HEALTHY way.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  89. michael

    Hey tony, the mayor should stop spending so much money on thangs like the, mirror bean' and use the money in places where chicago needs it' like fighting the gangs and vilance. let's worrie about the citizens first...

    Michael,
    Aurora,il.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  90. Shelby Johner

    Hi country. I'm writing in response to the first question asked by the media at this press conference. He asked "How much money it will take to fix this problem?" It doesn't take money, it takes people to make the difference. We all can be adults and do something in our own communities to make things happen.

    I'm a 40 year old dissabled male in a podunk little town. We too have our share of problems. From parents who don't give a crap to drugs and to needless violence. I myself have never had kids, but have found that I have taken on a BIG BROTHER type of role.

    I have a handful of teenage boys that seek my guidance and or help. I have listened as well as counseled. I have taught them. Showed them. Helped them. Things their parents should be doing. Mostly I have seen improvement in their attitude and their actions.

    Just being there as a mentor for these boys does help. They are looking for the guidance from us, because they are lost, and they want help. The problem is, they don't know how to ask. So we, as adults, need to recognise and reach out. Even if you help one! You have made a difference.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  91. Sharon Carroll

    Maybe if those with all the money who are not doing anything to HELP but instead are thinking about how to make more money off the backs of poor people and minorites, would change their mind-set, this madness will stop! Maybe if they decided to TEACH AND EDUCATE others less fortunate financially, and who probably are dealing with HEALTH ISSUES within their family this would provide some hope and show them that the people and the "system" does care!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  92. Ed Whatley

    I agree with you. Parents must get involved in the lives of their children. Parents must become part of the solution. When Gary Tuckman interviewed a Chicago Councilwoman her answer was "we need more social programs." Tuckman was obviously dismayed at her answer. Her answer, however, is all too typical of politicians nations-wide. The politicians do not have any real answers or solutions because they leave out the parents.

    Secondly talk to young people. The only jobs that could replace the allure of dealing in drugs in terms of immediate "pay offs" and a life of "power, importance, and riches" are on Wall Street. It is a cycle of culture that must be broken first in the home.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  93. Dodie ~ California

    We need immediate action to clean up the streets. I would have the support of the American military patrolling the streets for show of force. All gang members need to be identified and taken off the streets for the slightest infraction. We must break up these gangs. If we do not do that, nothing will change.

    1. Children are raising themselves as all parents must work. Therefore, they are looking to gangs for their identification. This link must be broken.

    Another big problem with the USA is the break up of the extended family. Therefore, no guidance from Aunts, uncles, grandparents while the parents are working.

    We need to reenact our compensatory law in which a child has to serve detention if they are not in school. We used to 'lock' up children in Juvenile detention who were not in school.

    Community support and no amount of money will make a change until we "Break UP The Gangs & Drugs"

    October 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  94. Dawn

    I Agree with the secretary, This is about values. the problem is NO one in this country seems to understand that the conversation is about WHAT we value. and it is abundantly clear by the conversation itself that all the majority VALUE is MONEY.

    Value is a reference to what you value, what you value is what you want, what you hold as valuable. and clearly in this country our government and most of the people value MONEY over people.

    Lets look at the conversation. the problem is the kids are angry as hell, and begging for Mentors. The media and the Press fail to grasp that we are a consumer society full of unemployed people, and if you arent unemployed, you are OVERWORKED. the media and too many people assume these childrens parents arent working at their second or third job.

    and for the people that say dont have them, They DO have them. and they shouldnt give up their children because the economy is bad. so what do you value???? not children or families, currency.

    IF the parents have jobs and living wages they would mentor their own children. the hypocrisy in this nation is disgusting. Any one that values money over people, be it in the healthcare debate, or the gun debate, or the financial debate, education debate, any debate that values money over people is UN CHRISTIAN< UNAMERICAN. fundamentally.

    The government and the currency exist to provide for the general wellfare of the people. why arent the needs of the people funded, the entitlements BEFORE the Fed determines if the banks have enough money or not? YES people need to spend as much time as possible with their children. and they need to teach them to repect people, and value people over money.

    SO HOW are they supposed to do that when the government doesnt?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  95. SJ - MD

    We as a nation should stop using our school system as being a babysitter and providing education for our kids. We as parents – need to – continue the education at home. Violent kids should be handled with a 4 prong approach:
    1. Additional after-school programs
    2. Encourage and re-educate parents on how to engage their kids at home. Teaching values and working with the kid's homework and most important – Listen to the kids in what they are saying or not saying.
    3. We as a nation should acentuate the positives and stop glorifying the negatives or the violence.
    4. We have to find a way to cut down the lucrative business of buying or selling drugs.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  96. Eugene

    The government must revamp its disciplinary laws. You are holding the parents responsible after you told them if you chastise your children you may go to jail. You have children that know thiers parents have no authority. The parents are not totally responsible tis is the fruit of the governments attempt to regulate househhold discipline.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  97. Tom Hickey

    The violence found in today's neighborhoods is a form of "terrorism." To fix this problem the people residing in these neighborhoods need todecide what kind of neighborhood they want along with local government support. The Government needs to get it's priorities straight and invest monies, support, and make every effort to resolve this cotinuum found in a lot of neighborhoods throughout the country. We go to other countries to deal with all kinds of terrorism but we fail to see and/or help when it's out our back doors. There should be no neighborhood in this country where Law Enforcement fear to patrol. Shame on us!!! Let's work on that next generation to succeed where we haven't!!!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  98. Ruth Standiford

    In the 1990's the Urban Peace and Justice Movement came together and founded the National Council for Urban (Gang) Peace, Justice and Empowerment which held summits in Chicago, Kansas City and cities across the United States. The efforts of this group lowered the gang related crime rate by as much as 25% (See FBI Uniform Crime Statistics). The promised peace dividend did not materialize. Obviously they have the answers. The group is still together, and the organizers of those summits, Amir Khalid A. Samad, Wallace "Gator" Bradley and T. Rashad Byrdsong are still active and have been in Chicago since the murder of Derrion Albert. Why is this group being ignored? They have the documented results. Why not try something that works. If he is serious about addressing the violence, Attorney General Holder should meet with this group. Peace

    October 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  99. Ken - Long Beach, CA

    If communities can't control thier children, starting from the parents, then people need to stop having so many kids.

    Seems like officials think the only answer to this is to throw more money at it for after school programs. The funny thing is, when I grew up, my after school program was doing chores around the house and chopping wood.

    Parents and communities need to stop pandering to kids running wild. I bet a little boot camp for these kids will knock some sense into them.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  100. Hans Bosman

    "Every Child must be a Wanted Child" There are too many people in this world as is. Too many kids that are not being parented correctly. China will be the world power not in the least because of "the one child rule...! It is too easy to become a parent and almost impossilbe to hear about birth contol and how to get it or how to use it!
    Just say No has not worked and never will for some. There are almost no parenting skills that are being taught in today's society!
    Leave it to the Parents is not working!!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  101. jaybee312

    Everyone talks about cleaning up the streets. How do you do that? Most blackmen fit the description. How do you determine who are the violaters? Your answer would probably be lock them all up. This problem was created by society as a hold. In this country as far as socitey goes if you dont have X dollars you dont matter. There's been crime in those areas forever and nothing has been done about. It seems that the thought process was/is let those people continue to kill each other. Until it affects Lincoln Park, Gold Coast, Loop etc. It doesnt matter because it's not really affecting the people that count or the people that have X-Dollars. It makes me wonder if there wasn't a video of the beating would we be having this attention drawn the crime in these low income areas. You people who have never live in these areas or who don't have a clue about what it is like to live in these type of conditions just shut up please. We have enough negatively if you want to do something other than run your mouth try volunteer work in these areas. Actions speak louder than words.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  102. richard e doren

    Hello is anybody been listening ? get the "police"out of there.
    all they will do is agravate the situation,bring in the mentor's
    bring in the" rap&pop star's",they look up to. bring in the mentor's
    people they can, "look up to". "not run away from"
    richie,San francisco,CA.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  103. JuanFelipe

    Teens get bombarded by war news every day, the glamour of guns on on all media, the "heroism" of killing (from video games to song lyrics and performance culture aimed at youth), then they are hauled to crumbling schools, overwhelmed teachers, irrelevant curriculums, their families are drifting further into debt, with less economic supports, career training services, little education resources and widening class differences, and not to mention the ongoing wave of color discrimmination, and not to mention the historical gang communities in marginalized social spaces, the easy availability of guns, bullets, knives, and other instruments of death, the easy "criminalization" of youth in marginalized communities, the lack of effective training for police, social workers and other service agencies, the easy encarceration of youth - how do you get respect, a sense of self, safety, belonging in this bloody scene, what's left for a teen in this horrific set of conditions? To blame the family, to call for military, to have an "after school" program will not match these lethal social pressures.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  104. Gail

    Tony: I am not a supporter of Afterschool and Saturday programs. Been there, done that in low and moderate income communities. This is a mere babysitting service and band aid approach to dealing with the real problems that plague these inner city neighborhoods. The gangs must be removed permanently from the State and not allowed to return. The parents (which in most cases are single parents, basically women) need to increase education and employment opportunities; the neighborhood needs comprehensive revitalization, i.e., housing, infrustracture, etc. and the youth need to be provided with adequate educational and recreational facilities with competent individuals running them. Until all government entities come together to develop a "real" comprehensive approach to overcoming gangs, drugs, violence and neighborhood revitalization, the current plan will not work.

    They need to look at "Best Practices" that have occurred in other cities. One that I recommend looking at is Phoenix, Arizona. Their diligent work in this area is phenomenal. I am quite sure there are many more. Neighborhoods USA can provide other examples of Best Practices undertaken in various cities.

    This is not a government problem, however, they can provide resources for the development of collaborations that include everyone including the neighborhood residents. They should not be left out, rather they must be at the table or the problem will not be resolved. Neighborhood leadership training, revitalization and collaboration is vital. Again, anything else is just a bandaid approach to resolving the problem inner city neighborhood issues.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  105. Katherine

    I was just watching CNN as you read off some of the comments posted. The things suggested in them truly upset me. the suggestion that we should set up militarized zones in Chicago to break up the gang violence is just ridiculous. this will only lead to more violence.

    I grew up in a city and went to public schools. not a big city like Chicago but it had its own share of urban problems and fights. I think the biggest problem is that by the time kids get to high school they have pretty much already set their path in life. intervention and prevention of violence needs to begin way before these kids hit puberty. The secondary schools are just trying to control the violence becuase its to late to prevent it.

    from kindergarten up we need programs that show kids that it does not take violence to prove your a man. a real man solves problems with words. we need more than just a few lesson plans a year about anti violence. we need one a week showing historical examples and also giving kids conflict resolution techniques to practice.

    and of course Parents need to be involved becuase as long as parents are disconnected or are not setting good examples it will be impossible to really get kids to learn the message if they are constantly getting opposite information at home.

    the problem is so complex it will take much more than just one program or one increase in funds to solve. It will require a reinvestment in the education system and a re-examination of what we value in our young men and women as a country. we need to set aside our political and moral affiliations and figure out what is the thing that will be the biggest benefit to solving these problems. I don't have the answers. but i hope as a country we can come together and come up with some REAL solutions not just far fetched demands.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  106. Deborah Byers

    It saddens me to hear and see the destruction of our youth. I have read previous comments about ways to curb the violence in Chicago's streets. The majority of the comments are being expressed by individuals who have never lived or been exposed to violence on a daily basis. I grew up in Chicago (formerly Cabrini Green housing projects) and was exposed to gang activity, drugs, violence and destitution throughout my childhood. I can't tell you why I didn't become a statistic... I can give you several reasons to why our youth have become desensitized to violence. When you are faced with a sense of hopelessness, living on welfare, living in ghettos where no human being should be living in, then you have no future. If we can change that attitude, that behavior, then we can change their future. But, if you have never lived it , then you will never understand!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:12 pm |
  107. Dominick F

    You know people have been debating this issue for years and it baffles me that the we sit like the three monkeys of the see no evil, tell no evil and speak no evil proverb. We have let the family unit decay in this country and that goes for all colors ethnic groups and so called faith group, while we're pointing our fingers at each other making ourselves feel good and stating that the other group is of a lesser quality our kids are depreciating there worth as people of this planet.
    I'll say it load and clear.."IT BEGINS AT HOME" and if we are not loving and caring too our children then they will not be loving and caring to each other. Some are now shaking their heads saying 'You are correct' don't be so righteous, how do you know what your kids are doing! My country is in decline because of its politics and because we are all hippocrates.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  108. shirley

    Re: the Chicago teen violence: It's time for the black community leaders and parents to step up and take responsibility for their own children, rather than asking government officials and police officers to do it for them!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  109. Chris - Chicago

    Honestly this is not about violent music, or needing billions of Federal dollars, and it's definitely not about sending in the National Guard! It's not a black problem, or a money problem...... It's a loss of hope. Usually it starts at home with the parents. We can charge the parents with crimes or fine them, but somehow I don't think that's going to help the situation. I think that "we", the ones who do have hope, need to step up and HELP. And we need to do it just to do it!! I have two "good" kids. 16 and 6. They're happy and hopeful. Obviously my wife and I have done something right. I'm out of work right now, and would love to start making a difference in our community. We live on the south side...... sometimes it's not pretty. Who's in with me? What do you want to do?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  110. Rob

    While most of the comments I've seen seem to address certain problems i.e. drugs and gangs, they do not recognize the root of all of the problems plaguing our countries' big cities; a lack of parental responsibility. I am a firefighter in one of the worst parts of Chicago, I see first hand every day the effect that this lack of oversight has. Until the younger generations stop having children that they cannot take care of these problems will persist. There is no amount of money put into schools or afternoon programs that will solve this. These children need to stop having children of their own.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  111. Danita L.

    Responsibility is in the hands of the parents. When you have so many single parent households (mostly mothers) and the fathers are not involved, it becomes a revolving door. All the young people see is the struggle and opt for what they see is an easy way out of selling drugs and using them. This is a sad reality of all areas, not just Chicago. The community needs to get the men involved with the children they produce or don't produce them. They need to learn responsibility and accountablity. Start working with the young men early. Stop making excuses.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  112. John W Dietrich

    I've been watching the news in Chicago and the challenges given by US Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. I wondered why I haven't seen anyone introduce the challenge already given through a program called "Rachel's
    Challenge" that has been given to hundreds if not thousands of high school and middle schools throughout the United States. Rachel was the first girl murdered at Columbine. Her ideals of a better world would be furthered by one act of kindness toward another hurting child. My granddaughter, Kelcey, was given the challenge and she said that the impact on her was awesome enough to tell me about it and to treat others with kindness and respect. I hope that someone will look into this program and see for themselves how effective the presentation of "Rachel's Challenge" is.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  113. Carlos

    Tony:
    The primary problem in Chicago with its consistent poor record on education and teenage crime is that the people of Chicago continue to elect a mayor (19-20 years in office) and city counsel that are corrupt and simply too inept to effectively deal with prolonged problems; especially those problems that exist on the south side-predominately black neighborhoods. No one has seriously called for the mayor to resign. Why haven't you in the national media done so? Additionally, nor has the city council and the citizens of Chicago seriously considered putting into effect "term limits." At least that would get some new blood, and- perhaps-less corrupt people in office, collectively speaking, instead of the same old appointed POLITICAL MACHINE candidates.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  114. Carl Tripp olympia washington

    We can't jail the parents, how many are single parents? Jail the parents and you leave the delinquints with no supervision, fine the parents is stupid too as I'm sure most of those parents are poor. Make gang membership or violent offenders a reason for the police to have reasonable suspicion for searches of there persons. Why not, if for nothing else just to confiscate the drugs and guns? There has to be a way to untie the hands of police, without turning our cities into military zones.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:16 pm |
  115. James in Idaho

    As far as youth violence...

    Put an R restriction on violent video games like we do movies, and put that same 17year old restriction on who can purchase it. It won't stop some parents from buying it, but when a parent hear's that the games have that restriction they may think twice. I highly reccomend it for Grand Theft Auto and those like it. Apply this to online games as well.
    Of course afterschool activities are an excellent idea, but the problem is getting the right activities that teach valuable lessons, but also are things kids are ACTUALLY interested in. And I can't say enough about tough love with young thugs. As with ALL of these ideas, and those i havent' mentioned, it is the Follow Through that is most important.

    As Far as Afghanistan, we have only a few legitimate reasons for being there... the capture of the international Criminal Osama Bin Laden, Fixing what we've broken, and obliterating either the Taliban's or Al Queda's ability to even be pretended to be either athreat or anything more than an extremist tea bagger party.

    This means we need to napalm the poppy fields that are critical in the production of opiates and heroine that funds these violent extremisty cells, and replace it with corn seeds and wheat seeds and the like, or possibly even an invasive bamboo. All high ranking taliban and low ranking vioent taliban, and all Al Queda opperators and sympathizers period need to be either captured (prefferably) or killed (only if we must; you can't seek justice on a dead person). We need to obliterate the sex and slave trades coming out of those countries and the surrounding ones, or at least cripple them, and we need to make sure that the Afghan citizens understand the meaning of our song, "This land is your land, this land is my land..." and they need to have a similar sentiment in their own country, for the right reasons.

    America can't so all of that, but we can Capture Osama Bin Laden, and we can fix what we broke.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:18 pm |
  116. James in Idaho

    As well, we need to send Shirley to Chicago so she can help implement her one sided approach to parenting... you know... show em how it's done

    In case you all missed it.... that was sarcasm, and well deserved.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  117. alm

    Chicago violence is a result of the education system in Chicago not giving young people a bonefide job skill. The education system in Chicago doesn't even accept the majority of applicants to it's Universities. With no job skill given in high school and no job skill given at university, school becomes nothing more than an attempt to frustrate young people into a life of crime to support themselves. This is of course the goal of the attorney general of illinois, to route out the criminals by frustrating and harassing them to the point they commit crimes; and hopefully getting them to kill each other so they are not a burden on the state. The states attitude towards young people has to change from one of hate and disgust to one of partnership and co-operation. It's not the young people's problem it's the governments problem.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:19 pm |
  118. Herb

    I've been a teacher and administrator for LAUSD. The public, politicians, and the media tend to blame low scores and violence on lack of money and bad teachers. What the media does not want to see is teachers cannot teach because a few very disruptive students do everything possible to stop the learning process. These disruptive students use profanity towards teachers, throw things in class, run in and out of class, hit other students, threaten students, destroy school property, and other very extreme acts. How can a teacher teach and willing students learn when a few extreme students go to school everyday with the sole purpose of destroying education? When the public hears of disruptive students they can not imagine how extreme the behavior has become. Its not what bad students were when we were growing up. I've been hit, pushed, threatened, and cussed out many times. A few aggresive sudents rule the school and there is little schools can do. Expelling a student is very difficult. All a school can do is send the student to another school but that school can send the student back. A school can only send a student to another school two times, but the really extreme students are sent back fast. After a student is sent two times to other schools and returned to the home school the home school is stuck with the student. I wish the media would focus on how powerless schools are to deal with agressive students.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:20 pm |
  119. Darlene Anderson

    There is a consequence to the Free Check rather it really does not matter who gets the free check. So there was social welfare and the educational free check so much money was pumped in the educational system. But it did not matter if the poor children generated this free check that was all the more better, because who was going to complain about the lack of success for these children. That right no accountability for this free money, so the dropout rate continued to rise and who was talking about this no one it just did not make a difference. Who really cared because the children did not look like the children that were benefiting from the free check. No the payment has become due and I do not believe that America is ready for the price to be paid from the lack of educational responsibility. No one want to blame the teacher but if you have an educational system without any accountability there is a price to be paid when 70% of the students of color drop out before they reach the age of maturity. There is a lot of money that goes out to the free check system because it only matter that the student start school not finish. There is a hold harmless clause in education so no one is responsible if children do not learn. I can't believe that student of color cannot learn. Look we do have a president of color. So where is the responsibility for children in the public education system. And who looks at the free check system and how there is a ramped case of nepotism going on in the public education system. Look at California going from the top to the bottom in less than 20 years. But you have to look at the Administrative salaries to really understand money is not going to the classrooms but rather to salaries and consultant contracts.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  120. Antonio C.

    Why didn't Daley take the Olympic Comity through that neighborhood and show true Chicago? Why have so many tax been dollars used to promote the Olympics in a City with so many issues. More real estate prices would have risen and caused more people to go into poverty because they cant afford the housing. Too many Chicago politicians want to push the problems towards south Chicago and into Indiana instead of dealing with it.

    If you walk in the Lincoln park neighborhood you don't see half the issues you find on the south side. Yet, you find a ton of media swarming to report what happens in the upper class neighborhoods for something that is a daily event on the south. Those that say that there is too much media attention on this issue of violence really have no idea what they are talking about. This doesn't even scratch the surface. This normally gets overlooked by the media and city officials because it's just such a normal thing to ignore the problems in Chicago and any ghetto neighborhood.

    Too many people slide by without having any type of repercussion for their actions. Chicago needs to incarcerate people in gangs and make tougher laws for people who carry guns that are unregistered. Chicago needs to beef up the amount of police and the technology that they use to fight drugs and violence. Community centers and schools need to be improved in Chicago. Funding was pulled away from after school programs when they are needed more than ever.

    The educational system is corrupt in Chicago as well. Teachers are forced to lie and pass students because they fear loosing their jobs. Schools are overcrowded and the Chicago solution is to close those schools down with the bad reputation instead of improve the situation. Yet, the taxes in Chicago are among some of the highest in the nation. Where is all the money going? Daley is all talk and no action. He is no better than Jesse Jackson and looking for the spotlight. I don't care about what they say to the cameras. I care about the actions they take. They say they will take action but don't set a plan and they don't follow through.

    Why not build mechanic shops and community technology centers that give some of the families and young teens something else to focus on. Give the youth a sense of belonging and direction towards a positive path when they are young. Open military bases near these communities so the gangs know there is someone bigger and tougher watching whats going on in these neighborhoods and will not put up with it. Do something to nip the problem in the butt.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  121. Kerry

    I don't think the problem is music , parents, or media coverage as much as it the living conditions. We have to think about the root of the problem. Why do kids join gangs in the first place? Maybe because their family is tight on cash, or because they need security in their community. In many communities like this, the police barley step foot on the streets let alone even care what is going on. These gangs sometimes act as the neighborhoods poliece when the government resources that we take for granted are not there. Instead of comming up with solutions like putting more poliece in Chicago or other urban areas, we need to focus on the bigger picture and ask ourselves why these people are in the position they are at in the first place. That's when we can come up with a reasonable solution.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:22 pm |
  122. Mike Armstrong TX.

    Ok so the president sent in his A-Team lets sit back and watch and see if it does any good.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:24 pm |
  123. Ronnie Mahurien

    Chicago violence can be traced to one basic problem(GANGS) Untill we get them under control this will this will continue to haunt this great nation. But all i heare is more gun control and after school programs this has gone on for years and nothing to control the gangs. It does not work Law enforcment towards gangs would be a big help,don't punish the law biding people with more gun control punish the guilty enforce the laws that we already have get rid of the gangs Thank you Ronnie

    October 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  124. Les Dillon

    I come from this area and related to Derrion Albert. What I'm finding is not being discussed here is the damaging effect today's music and images have on unsupervised young adults (let alone children) in which it's marketed to. There's absolutely no accountability for what's being sold and marketed. The negative down turn of Hip Hop is approaching 20+ years now (since NWA) with a whole generation growing up on these anti-society messages. Some parents of the kids today are young themselves and have the same mentality as their children. If the world around one is hell and then the radio/videos/movies play up the same environment what do you think is the outcome. We can talk all day about solutions but it's a hard fight to promote getting a job when a whole entertainment industry promotes success threw thugging, pimping, and bucking the legal system. Even sports players in many cases play up this thug lifestyle and in the end get rewarded. Until we address what's promoted in our society versus platitudes things will only get worse. African Americans first and foremost (let alone the rest of the nation) need to hold entertainers accountable for what they put out. This nation needs to find a way to profit off of positivity not glorify hight level gang members who in turn use the medium to put out messages like 'No Sniching' to further their criminal activity. Most recent movies like Transformers II need not play up the mannerisms of the same mentality that sent my Derrion to his grave.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:26 pm |
  125. Tony

    Why are we have to worry about education of young children in Afganistan when we are facing with so much trouble with violence like in Chicago? What have we to offer children in Afganistan then?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:29 pm |
  126. Bill

    As I watched CNN today I suddenly realized why we have so much violence in our streets by our youth. The day started off with the president meeting in Washington to discuss strategy in Afghanistan, basically how to kill more Taliban. Then I listened to people call in and make statements that America never quits and that is not what our flag stands for, we must never back down from a fight. The very next thing I see is National Politicians meeting in Chicago making speeches telling the children to put down their weapons, stop protecting their turf and learn to settle disputes without violence. This is when I realized exactly what the problem is, we need National Mentors. Our country needs mentors and I feel the children are being failed at the highest levels of this government. Can anyone else see the hypocrisy of this?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:31 pm |
  127. Jim Meeter

    This is not a Chacago only issue, they are just the current city in the news. The real value of life needs to be addressed by the family the community and the individuals. There is a disconnect that has allowed the superficial to become the primary driver in action across this nation which manifested in drug wars, Ponzie schemes, corruption of politicians, lying, cheating on spouces, etc. The kids see this and to some this beating of a fellow human being is no more than a minor bump in the road of life. When I came back from South East Asia in 1967 I told my family "I hope life never becomes as cheap in the USA as I have seen in South East Asia." Hear we are!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  128. Tony

    The mob rule mentality in Chicago latest tragedy remains me of behavior of the youths in Mogadishu.
    I have a trouble to understand this.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  129. Tony

    Who are we to teach other nations when we lost control of our own youths in Chicago and elsewhere?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  130. Michael J Russ

    The previous administration wasted time and tax dollars on fighting a WAR in the traditional sense. This is what you get when ego and pride are running things. Obviously, this strategy hasn't worked. The current General in charge has some creative ideas that should have been implemented from the very beginning. He needs a chance to set things right and I think he should have it!

    Remember, Afganistan is a very complicated mess that cannot be solved in a fixed time frame. There is corruption on a massive scale, tribal differences and perceptions, a lack of basic resources we take for granted, and daily challenges of every kind imaginable. If we leave them in the weak state they are in now, the Taliban will trample right over them and set things back to where we began this fiasco.

    We cannot force our values on another culture, just to ensure our own safety (this has never worked for the long haul). And its not about whether we fight them over there, instead of over here. The Taliban and Al Qaida (and the warped ideology they represent) are a Global problem, not a US problem. Every country needs to come together and decide how best to deal with extremists that threaten everyone's ability to live a peaceful life.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:36 pm |
  131. Goldie

    It's nice to know that the world cares so much about the violence in the city of chicago. But what about the many other cities in the United States that is deteriorating from this same exact violence. I would hate to believe that Chicago is the top priority simply because its the presidents' homefront. If we dont began to realize that this insane crime is a national problem, and demand immediate action in every city affected with on-going murders, places like Louisiana, Camden NewJesey, Detroit, St. Louis, And Oakland California will continue to be the American cities with so much potential, yet, the highest crime rates.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  132. Mark Watson

    Very few posts have hit at the core issue of this debate, but how to legislate it will cause an uproar. I'm a former Social worker for my state. The vast majority of the clients that I dealt with were single mothers with multiple children by multiple fathers. We keep throwing money at this problem and have for a couple generations. What has it taught these mothers? I had some say that the more kids they have the more benefits they receive. This process should be in reverse. We are dumbing ourselves down as a society. The educated are limiting the children they have, the ignorant pop these children out like a Pez dispenser, with no accountability. I kow this does not sit well with some, but when will the village say enough and stop this madness.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  133. Tony

    Pull out the troops from Afganistan and place them to protect our borders with Mexico, the best way to protect our cities from drugs and violence. Why are we protecting someone else?

    October 7, 2009 at 1:39 pm |
  134. anonymous

    I’ve taught students with difficult home environment and it does affect their learning/behavior. These students were in a kindergarten class but one thing I have learned is that they have the potential and they could learn. I believe there are five parts to the whole of effectively nurturing such children so they have a chance to succeed despite circumstances like the children in Chicago.

    1. money – it isn’t the solution but it provides for the necessities such as quality programs, tutors, infrastructure such as quality community centers and supplies.
    2. Parent involvement- there are 2 types:
    a.one who cares but don’t have the time b/c of work & financial obligations (usually single parent)
    recommendation: provide counseling to these parents on weekends or at their convenient time at the local community center
    b. another that do not really care b/c they grew up in similar environment and it’s a vicious circle
    recommendation: enforce accountability by requiring them to attend with their child a weekly counseling at the community center and keep progress report; if they don’t attend, then fine them or tax them or whatever it takes to change behavior
    3. education – make sure to have quality teaching staff; longer school days or Saturday school a good option but difficult to ensure quality by enforcing such change b/c of longer hours & their own family responsibilities
    recommendation: have a QUALITY after school program (at school or community center) where quality tutors and activities (Clubs such as art, music, dance, sports,band, key club, debate,etc.) are available to choose from. And as an incentive after completing their tutoring until parents or relative picks them up they could choose an activity.
    4. community – provide extra security to enforce strict curfew time where they have to be home at a certain time. If they are out w. friends and stopped by security, they have to have written permission from parents
    5. students- the older students are PAID to be mentors to younger students. First they have to be trained effectively so they can make a difference. They have a sense of worth and I’ve seen the power/transformative effect of mentoring. For example, fifth grade students are paired with kindergarten kids for reading with buddy program. It is amazing to watch troubled kids become caring and attentive when they are working with younger ones. It truly empowers them and gives them a sense of worth.

    It’s a lot of work and requires a lot of commitment both in time and money (when it is handled by non-corrupt public officials!). But I truly believe it could work!

    October 7, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  135. SeeMyChicago

    I've never feared for my safety in my neighborhood in Chicago. Now I do ... daily.
    We have real problems here and Mayor Daley needs to come up with a real solution – and fast.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:43 pm |
  136. Rob

    This is why people revert to blaming video games and music for the violence and drug problems, There is no good solution to the problem of teen pregnancy and single parent homes. There are solutions but they all smack of Communist China and a serious breech of Constitutional Rights. Something has to be done, however, and I for one applaud people like Bill Cosby who speak the truth. More people need to speak that truth. It is the only way to start the conversation that will hopefully lead to a solution.

    October 7, 2009 at 1:46 pm |
  137. Brenda Wade

    School violence is one of many challenges facing our teenagers today. As a high school social worker in Baltimore City, I witness the effects of school violence on our young people too often. I believe in reaching out to our children, one at a time. Everyone must claim some responsibility in solving this world-impacting problem.

    October 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  138. JuanFelipe, Redlands, Ca.

    Well said Brenda!

    October 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  139. SimpleSimon Gutier

    Hi Josh-
    It's always a "cop-out" when government officials assert that it's not about money. "Resources" are the key to helping schools galvanize communities to come together to provide a learning and extra-curricular environment that becomes the center of this effort. Schools, especially in poor areas, should be the nicest buildings in the community, with facilities that make them the place where kids want to be, and to, by their undeniable physical presence, overcome the influence of poverty, drugs, gangs, hopelessness, and resignation that the American Dream of a better future doesn't apply to them or their community. Schools should have extensive facilities that provide a positive affirmation that the kids are important, their education is the community's top priority, and that activities are available, such athletic programs, performing arts, academeic clubs, intermural & intramural activities and schools events, mentoring programs, social activities and dances. There should be availabity of school campuses on weekends for supervised use of gyms, pools, theater, music rooms, and computer rooms. Community organizations should have access to schools for meetings and events that improve the community. This is about building character as much as it is about scholastic achievement.

    We continue to fund a whole host of bailouts for the rich – bankers, shareholders, corporations, insurance companies, etc., but neglect to invest what's needed in communities all across this country. Schools can be the best resource for reinvigorating our economy because they can reach people where they live, where they can participate, and make a difference in their kids' (and their own) lives. This is where a large portion of the economic stimulus money should go by Presidential decree. Isn't there something providential that Chicago is not only the place where the plight of our school children has become undeniably evident, but is also the home town of our President?

    Mr. President, put communities back to work building and improving schools. Use federal dollars to supply classrooms with computers, textbooks, lab equipment, sports equipment, athletic fields and facilities, music and arts facilities, et cetera. By doing so, Mr. President, you will provide economic stimulus to a whole range of businesses, especially local businesses that are part of the towns and cities where the schools are. Encourage business sponsorship of sports and academic team competition, concerts and exhibitions. Encourage volunteerism in mentoring programs and outreach programs. Encourage healthy eating in school cafeterias. Make sure every school has a Nurse and a good medical facility on campus. (Maybe that's where universal health care should begin – with our children). Let no child go hungry or hurting in America. Have a local police officer on the campus of every high school. Let's know who the trouble makers are and reach out to them before they become part of the prison population of this country. Let's identify troubled kids whose families are in need of outreach and let community social workers and religious leaders provide help and assistance. Let every child feel safe, on campus and off. Give every child a safety net.

    Mr. President, give every child a sense of his and her value, hope, and a vision for the future and we, as a nation, will make the "change" you promised in the most profound way that could be imagined.

    October 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  140. Mike Mihalek

    We have a president who’s intimately familiar with the problem, in low income neighborhoods in general and specifically in Chicago. I hate to go there, but we also have a situation in which, much like our energy policy, healthcare, the mortgage/financial meltdown, and a ballooning federal deficit, were completely ignored by the last administration and have gotten so big as to require immediate and decisive intervention. Too bad the answers to these problems are so deeply rooted in our flawed social and political system that they can’t be solved by a quick fix, something our shallow and self-involved citizens are so fond of. So what’s the answer? Well, let’s put it this way. As disturbing as the video of the beating of that young man was, what should bother us even more was the interview afterwards of the assailant’s parents saying the police couldn’t possibly identify their son because of its poor quality.

    October 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  141. John Babitskas

    These Kid and their parents need a good dose of Bill Cosby. So few have fathers in the house. Single Moms having kids because it's cool. It is no secret that Black Men don't want marriage. The culture tells them marriage is no good. When the culture changes, so will the violence.

    October 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  142. jerry zwecher

    On the chicago violence, a witness protection & relocation tactic would pull the rug from the no snitching movement. On the lighter side I'd suggest bringing back an old chicago tradition of the singing groups (doowop) (50's music) by the people still around to teach it to the kids and let then compete with each other musically in front of a microphone on local tv instead of competing with each other violently in the streets.

    October 7, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  143. nancy

    There are many reasons for this violence but what about hiphop music filled with violence, abuse, and the gangster mentality of snitching

    October 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  144. Joe

    This has been going on for a long time, why is Obama just now concerned? My second question is, why are the people of Chicago asking other people to help? Get up and take on the responsibility of being a parent, stop expecting someone else to do things for you!! Show your children love and how to be responsible and maybe they won't turn to violence and crime and eventually gangs.

    PArents now days rely too much on government control. Stop using the TV as a babysitter, take your kid out and play ball. Our government already runs the TV and radio, which it shouldn't be able to regulate according to our "freedom of speech." Stop asking for more!!

    October 7, 2009 at 3:01 pm |
  145. Aldo

    I am watching CNN and I am disgusted at what is happening in Chicago with the student beating that killed another student. There has to be an answer to this epidemic of violence among young people...especially in the inner city.
    I grew up in Queens,N.Y.....I was lucky enough to be put in Catholic schools throughout my growing up...all the way through highschool....the discipline and smaller classroom sizes have to be the answer....when you are allowed to get lost in the crowd and there is no one to answer to...you go with your peers and peer pressure. Let's put more money into smaller classroom sizes and more teachers.....uniforms are not a bad idea as well. We need to teach respect and responsibility. It is obviously not being taught or learned at home.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  146. Les Dillon

    Since we're talking about single mothers, why generation after generation women choose men who are more liabilities than assets? Since some are against the idea of the music/video industry being an influence I challenge you to check most of these absentee fathers (if you can find them) and see if they don't look like vary much like these primping Hip-Hop artist you find in these various music videos (I'm speaking strictly inner city context here). Very few of these out of controlled kids have toned down average professional looking fathers missing in action. Many inner city women turn their noses up at men trying to achieve the right way for whatever reason, their boring and not appealing. It's more exciting to chase a thug and try to change him if even that. In the end society pays the price for this never ending cycle. The culture dictates what's cool and what's not and if the going thing is thugging very few people see past that. There's more followers in the world than leaders that's why if crap is put out crap is what we get back in the forum of murders like this. If we start promoting professional achievement on a national scale like what we once did people will follow suite. The best example is where Hip-Hop was in the 80's that had a message of upliftment for the youth. The African American community is notorious for following trends. A video get's put out with a rapper wearing 'Dicki's' and Braids you look down the block everyone is changing their hair and attire. Next young women want to date men who look like what's in the videos without any concern as to where the guy is going in life. 'Imature' is the best word. This was fine until the music and artist got more and more brazen. In the 50's it was greesers and/or suited up black men with slick back hair now it's thugs who's attire would exclude them from most well paying jobs (outside the music and sports industry). A man striving to go to college is unappealing and therefore get's looked over thanks to the latest trend.

    Beyonce/Destany's Child said it best in their song, 'Soldier'.

    Now I was in the military and I'd bet you that's not the kid of soldier their talking about. Soldier on the street is a gang member (even though Beyonce would explain it away otherwise). Beyonce married a successful Drug Dealer turned rapper (JayZ) so why can't something like that work for the average girl in South Side Chicago, Bronx, or Compton. The stone cold truth is it doesn't in real life... This is the crap we're selling kids...

    On the flip side there's so many talented underground rappers/artist that have huge followings but the majors want nothing to do with them because their positive. If we change what we sell to the kids it goes along way in addressing this problem. It's not the total solution but it's a huge help especially in the classroom when the teacher tells kids (not trying to squash their dreams mind you), 'not everyone is going to be a major sports player or musician and education is the key to success'.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:06 pm |
  147. DJ in Denver

    This is what happens when kids have too much unsupervised time. We had really good music and arts programs when I was a kid. We also had a great summer program. Hmmm maybe that shouldn't have been strangled in the last eight years. Bush really liked jails and jail time. It may take a village to raise a child but it seems to take a nation to ignore one. If you have a child get him or her into music and pay for the lessons yourself and take them to church at least twice a week. It would not be a bad idea to spend Thanksgiving at the local shelter feeding the less fortunate. Teach kids to give and give kids something to do. Afterschool programs should be looked at as something our nation and our local leaders can get more involved with.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:13 pm |
  148. Bella709

    OMG!!! NO MORE PROGRAMS–NO MORE MONEY–NO MORE EXCUSES!! These kids parents need to stop making excuses, suing anyone that tries to make their kids behave and stop allowing their kids to act like thugs to the rest of us! Why is it the rest of the country can control their kids, their kids make good grades and keep out of trouble with the law ***WITHOUT*** millions of dollars spent on them and without after school programs galore!!! Start parenting like you know you should, pull up their pants and cut out music or pop culture that teaches bad values. I'm sick of my child having to put up with thugs because you won't and I have to pay high taxes to pay for all this stuff so you don't have to parent your children!

    October 7, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  149. Kenneth E. Hilliard

    Kyra, after watching your report of Chicargo's civil unrest..I have visited Chicargo dozen of times...The incident is not unique to Chicargo, it happens in every major city in this country, and I have been to every major city in this country...Problem No-1..and this is a major issue...the precint responsible to that district has failed the citizens living there...Regardless of the magnitude of the gangs, drugs , etc...the fact remains, the police is not providing a safe enviroment for the people.In your report,the young mother's son shooter roams the streets void of fear from the police...You ask why aren't people talking to officials ,police ,etc ? The people are not provided a safe haven, when gang members come calling...the potential snitch has to defend for themselves.If the police can not apprehend the person responsible for shooting a child , everyone else is fair game for the attackers . The gangs rule with fear, the only mechanism that will work to combat that is having protection, and the people are not getting that...It is easy to say someone should step up, and do the right thing,but if you are awaken in the still of the night by gun shots piercing your walls, and windows, if you are lucky enough to survive that....compounded by inadequate police protecton...it certainly will make you think twice about what you say, and do in the future.. The police department, clearly need to step up, and do their part...and everyone will see some changes among the citizens of that district...It is a beginning, an urgently needed one....

    October 7, 2009 at 3:49 pm |
  150. self born allah

    peace:
    I am a 42 year old former resident of the Chicago. I was raised in the now defunct Ida B. Wells-Extensions public housing projects on the lower south-side. It truly saddens me that there is a blatant disregard for life in my former city. And while gang and youth violence is nothing new for the city, we should always know that for every cause there is an effect. This is not a matter of seeking to ascribe blame for the current outbreak of violence to any group of people. Still, people are destroyed for lack of knowledge, and while the politicians scream outrage over the rash of senseless violence, I consider it wise to pay especial attention to the minds (cause) that bring into existence such ill behavior. Sure, something must be done and what we need to do is look into the idea of recycling our humanity, our greatest resource. We recycle materials but we do not recycle people. Daily, men and women are returning to our neighborhoods from the many prisons that make up the prison-industrial complex, and many of them have great intentions and ideas to be of positive influences based on their determination to right their wrongs. But what happens is that we Americans have a negative stigma that we attach to any one unfortunate enough to have traveled the road of perdition that the street life and criminality is. However, when these men and women return to the community, ( and I am one of these men) they should be welcomed to share their mistakes. Instead, we are relegated to a virtual third-class citizenry that leaves much to be desired. So, when the think-tanks and committees and forums convene they need to take notice of the precious jewels that are right before them. We need to come together as a people to stop the violence and step out side of the box of the same 'ol same 'ol.
    Thank you for this opportunity, and my positive thoughts of good intentions goes out to all of our deceased.

    October 7, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  151. Valerie Burbank

    Earlier the report on Chicago with the boy and his aunt. He was feeling bad about losing his parents, I understand this. Aunte Mom has steped up to give him a good future. Aunte Mom should get credit and praise for caring about him.

    October 7, 2009 at 4:03 pm |
  152. angel zapata

    After watching this tape,broke back lotsof memories,when I was living south bronx,new york.Back on those days,we boricuas,had to fight our african brothers gang.Everytime,subways,parks and also across the street.We fought with knife and anything we could find.Especially we fought with our hands,but in groups,My point that I,m trying to make is,now is more violent.We didnt have that snich rule,we take care our brothers,we knew who they were.If some of this gang members like to fight,them lets give them the oportunity to do so.Draft them to U>S>M>C>.There will give them the courage to becomes real mens, instead of little punks.They are not tuff guys,they are just oportunities,always chasing the weaks in their towm.Lets clear the streets of this vicious,non-productive human beings,Thanks.

    October 7, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  153. Akua Njeri

    Thank you for having the courage to ask the questions re- who put policty in place, did duncan inherit or implement policy. Knowing which neighborhoods to go in or not is not new to Chicago or any other place. Blacks knew years ago never to be caught in Bridgeport (Daley Sr. and the Hamburg Gang -precurser to Democratic Party Machine).It was common knowledge that the police would take children from one side of town to another and "drop a dime" to let certain people in the drop off neighborhood that a "stranger was in town." Arnie Duncan should be arrested and charged with the crime he orchestrated – Renaissance 2010... which is another aspect of urban renewal = n@#?+r removal. Chicago has become a feeding frenzy for any group that wants to get paid off the suffering of our people – becoming "interveners" or purveyors of the destruction that is beyond our creation. Let's re-examine Rhwanda – objectively – and how a "war" was orchestrated by 2 groups that were the same people.
    The fear of "crime" children creating violence has allowed alien police officers to buy huge tracks of land/buildings in "crime ridden" areaa.

    October 7, 2009 at 4:30 pm |
  154. Justice for all

    I am cpd. If you wanted to learn how to be fix a car would you ask a mechanic or someone who read about it and studied graphs and charts? I am assuming most would ask the mechanic, so why wouldn't they ask a working policeman and by that one, like myself, who has worked in the black communities not one that has sat crunching numbers. The answer is at home. Period. No amount of programs can cure, they can help but won't cure. Being a good parent cost the same as being a bad parent...FREE! If you want to help as a society stop making excuses for people! Put more blame and reprecusion on the parents. Not music, not tv, not "the street". Lastly, the hands of the police have been tied by the extreme liberal thinking in Chicago. We have been under constant ridicule by the media, and money hungry lawyers. I was a hard working HONEST policeman, but the criticism here is too overwhelming. WE NEED REFORM TO THE TORT SYSTEM!!

    October 7, 2009 at 9:33 pm |
  155. Carol - Los Angeles

    children that are expelled from schools for violence should not be allowed (recycled) back to the same schools that they had problems with. These kids should be sent to a jail so they do not disrupt the learning environment and the lives of the students who do want to learn. And another thing, why make public school mandatory, school should be for those that want to learn. Too many thugs are forced to be in class and don't really want to be there and their parents are just sending them to school to be "babysat".

    October 7, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  156. jaybee312

    Justice for all whatever. 5 out of 10 cops are corrupt 3 out of ten know the corrupt ones and do nothing about it. You have a hard job and I respect that, but you guys suck.. You disrespect every opportunity you get and you call it enforcing the law. If you are one of the good ones than you need to clean house at the station and then speak about helping us.

    October 8, 2009 at 10:14 am |
  157. Rita

    What is the difference between Chicago and the Taliban? Nothing. the taliban and chicago street thugs both kill and destroy and terrorize their own people for no other reason than because they can.

    October 8, 2009 at 11:09 am |
  158. Robert Brown

    Why, Tony and Company, do you never speak to the children' (victims or perpetrators) father!! ?? You always interview the Mother. Even your commentator (on one show) said he had gotten into trouble because he had not listened to his Mother or his ....... (what do you expect to hear?) and he said Grandmother (not once, but twice). I firmly believe you and audience would have a much clearer understanding of everything if you were to interview some Fathers next time

    October 8, 2009 at 11:55 am |
  159. Al Mills

    People think why Chicago was not consedered for the Olimpics.
    It's because crime and thugs,drugh their rep. is kinown all over the world.

    October 8, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  160. brian

    this violence is disgusting, even though i do not live right in the city but on the out skirts, i fear for my own life any time i walk into the city, these gang banging thugs need to be run out of the city, they are ruthless, ignorant, and have nothing better to do then kill someone to get there reputation up in their gang, and be the new bad ass in town. If you want to be bad ass go get a high school diploma, and maybe even go to college, and help this city turn around!!!!!!!!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 11:57 am |
  161. Sigma

    It's horrific what many children have to go through nowadays, it truly is a tragedy that even schools are safe from the violence. It is sickening to know that there are people out there who kill their own people, for no reason whatsoever! The people should unite and speak up against what is going on. Most are too afraid, and too unwilling to do anything and this is why the violence continues.

    Children are dying because their parents won't speak up for safety. Horrendous!

    October 8, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  162. chicagometro

    Hello;
    The kids/gangs are tough, at war.
    At war with what? Survival? Survival from what? From themselves/each other at this point?

    Their gangs, violence, killings of each other request an officlal presence to control these Kids. Yes, Kids. (Hello, gang members, you are kids, many Uunder Age, not matter How tough you want to seem.)

    I feel their created culture of violence against their own selves, their own neighborhoods, their own cousins, requests a presence from the National Guard.

    They have taken up arms, they are in War against each other–other Kids.

    Tough Love requires Tough actions.

    Wrap the comforting swadling baby blanket around them, send in the National Guard. That is what they are looking for. Security. Boundaries. Safety.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:00 pm |
  163. Joe Casella

    We must address the real issue... These acts of violence occur in African American and Latino communities .. a fact. We fail to say this for fear that it is racism.. But in reality we do not address this issue because of racism.

    The violence in contained in these neighborhoods and do not directly affect "mainstream" consequently we do not care. This so prevalent now that only drastic action can eliminate it .. Build police stations in the areas of high crime and get back to street patrol. Housings Projects should be phased out they breed this activity and impair children from escaping this cycle.

    We abhor the violence in Iraq or Afghanistan and have it right in out backyards. Wake up!!!

    October 8, 2009 at 12:01 pm |
  164. George

    The problem is rooted from the program that requires children to attend schools miles from there homes. Mayor Daley has acknowledged this is a must do program. (arnie duncan's too).

    It's obvious it has major flaws... like the unneccesary deaths of children. Prohibits participation in extracirricular activities...etc.

    SO?... keep the program running mr mayor, the program should be called "Kids running for their LIVES!."

    A major part of the solution is stop this program immediately.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:02 pm |
  165. britt

    I am from chicago, and love my city. I know live in Sacramento, and am often struck by what people here consider "bad" neighborhoods. They are nothing compared to the South side. Perhaps I am longer shocked by what surrounded me growing up. Almost half of my friends went into education, and not one of them chose to work on the South or West sides. I find this to be an epidemic. I am now finishing school, and plan on returning my family home to Chicago, where I seem drawn to helping families and children with no one to turn to. If educators stressed the importance on this new generation of teachers, I believe not only would violence subside, confidence would be restored for families to take their neighborhoods back, because that is what makes Chicago so unique to other American cities, all of our diverse neihborhoods and beautiful cultures to learn from.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:03 pm |
  166. Rodney

    And why is everybody always blaming the autorities when things like that happen, so sick of the finger pointing on authorities. Shouldn't the parents be responsible to raise those bad kids as human being instead the animals they turn out to be?

    October 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  167. muslimhumanist

    Noone is saying the obvious. The problem isn't police or parenting, the problem is urban african-american culture. Look at their icons. Look at who they pattern their dress after. Look at the music they listen to. Most of these young men think it is cool to be a "thug", a "playa", a "gangsta", or what have you. The corruption that has seeped into the african-american community is horrendous. You can't even go into a black neighborhood without locking your car doors and traveling in constant fear. I say that and I AM black. The corruption has even saturated the religious establishments, it's horrible. Black culture has to change. The govt can help to – stop allowing the promotion of crime in music – there's a start!

    October 8, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  168. Midge

    Hi Tony,
    I believe that the only way to clean up any area is first to know it I mean really know it. Find out who you have living in a neighborhood ie: who is the woman with the most control of her children, who is the handiest with fixing things, who has the highest education etc.
    Only when you have these facts can you enter an area and tap the people for their expertese in helping the children.
    The people living in an area have the most to lose when their children are failing and thus the most incentive to fix it.
    When we are willing to spend some money and time helping them help themselves we will start to turn first neighborhoods then this country around.
    Thank you,
    Midge

    October 8, 2009 at 12:05 pm |
  169. Larry Walton

    In order to solve the crime in Chicago or any other city, is to solve the poverty level. Where there is poverty there is crime. The children see the stress their parents are under, trying to survive on little wages or now due to the economic problems and unemployment rate no wages at all. These children cannot visualize any hope because there has never been any hope before now. It keeps getting worse. These children have to deal with the stress and tension at home. These kids are mad and frustrated so they lash out toward someone a little weaker than them just in order to have some kind of identity. Give these families hope with jobs and wages to be able to survive. Give these kids the same opportunities that all the other children get in the rich neighborhoods. The crime level will then decrease but until then nothing will change.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  170. Phyllis Sandvos

    Chicago needs to gather together people such as Shelby Steele, Thomas Sole, Micheal Payne, Juan Williams, Bill Cosby.and other very intelligent people to form a think tank and try to figure out what to do with this awful violence. One thing to note is that we have lived all over this country and the blacks that are in the south are nothing like the horrible situation in the northern cities. The south is much more family oriented. They have huge family reunions etc.

    To send in people like Eric Holder and others that just left the situation there is not the answer.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:06 pm |
  171. Sheldon R. Burt

    What has come to the spotlight in Chicago is but a preview of a deadly serious problem that threatens every metropolitan area in our nation. It is exactly the text book issue that should be addressed and solved by the use of our "National Guard!" Unfortunately, our National Guard is being misused and abused in other places!

    October 8, 2009 at 12:14 pm |
  172. stacy

    the city went after the street gang leaders in 1994.They tore down the public housing pooring 80000 families throughout the city.Tony read your email there a real story thier.Evidence of murder illegal wiretaps by the government

    October 8, 2009 at 12:23 pm |
  173. Shelly

    In response to the mentor program useing stimulus funds, I personally think that it is the best idea I have heard yet. I would much rather see my tax dollars going to the youth of our country, after all they are our future. I would even be willing to donate funds for this cause. To all those who would oppose...not everyone has the luxery of living in a safe community. No parent should have to worry about sending their child to school. And no child should have to choose between education and safety. Hats off to Chicago for comming up with a plan...its a good start!

    October 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm |
  174. Mitch Dworkin - Dallas, Texas

    I really hope that CNN gives Michael Ware much more time on the air to explain what is happening in Afghanistan!

    Michael Ware in my opinion is by far the most knowledgeable, credible, and objective journalist in the business when it comes to reporting about and explaining complex foreign policy issues!

    I would even hope that President Obama would call Michael Ware into the Oval Office to ask for his advice about Afghanistan. While nobody is perfect or infallible, I have never seen Michael Ware ever make an unsound call on anything that he has reported about and explained!

    Mitch Dworkin
    Dallas, Texas

    October 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  175. Phyllis Sandvos

    How about starting with – getting rid of the hate mongering churches – like Reverend Wright's church. This sitting out there in bright lights for all to see. It should have been examined before. That is the news media's job.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  176. Allen Johnson

    The boys that were fighting were wearing black. The boy that was killed was wearing a black shirt and was struck from behind. Once he was down all the boys that struck him saw was a black shirt. This is a gang problem people that no one wants to talk about .

    October 8, 2009 at 12:36 pm |
  177. Lionel

    This particular incident was brought up to awareness as it was caught on video, but this is something that happens not only in Chicago, but in the entire nation all the time! It is actually a good thing that it was caught on tape!

    First and for most, Parents have to be more responsible with their children! It starts at home. The educational system cannot do it on its own! There should be bi-weekly meetings where members of the board of education meet with parents, counselors, after-school programs (sports, art etc) to work together. The city council and the police should also attend those meetings so that a clear communication can be established but most important, a partnership among all these various organizations and the parents! The parents have sometimes to learn how to educate their children and understand their responsibility as well!

    I am bi-racial born in France, but grew up in Boston MA. My father is from Haiti and my mother is from France. I had the taste of the inner city life and what it has to offer! There are good programs but there are also a lot of dangers (Drugs, guns on the street). I currently live in the south in Columbia SC where I am finishing my MBA! I often start conversations with regular people and my understanding is that a lot of people sometimes are opposed to have certain rights taken away from them. For instance, Gun laws don't make sense in my opinion. When gun ownership was mentioned as a right in the constitution, we have to remember that the times were different. We are now in 2009!

    My country has far less violence and guns are prohibited! it does make a difference... Of course we are going to have people here that will argue that they want to protect themselves... Look when I grew up in Boston, I was robbed at gun point by a young criminal! If I would have owned a gun it would not have resolved the issue! Later on in 2000, I worked in a prevention program (Department Youth Service) and saw kids locked up in a detention center for petty crimes... This is not a way to solve a behavioral issue. It is teaching young ones to become criminals further more!

    Not too long ago, CNN showed a new way to teach in a school in GA and and it is actually successful! It would be great if all states would have departments sharing information, ideas and solutions that are successful in reducing violence and hopefully creating a safer environment. Sending kids to jail is not a solution! Having qualified teachers that care, having after school programs involving individuals that children can relate to (college students who successfully graduated and want to give back to their community are great role models) would be a powerful way to show kids the right path to success! We have to have people who can listen to the children who have issues at home sometimes... I can go on and on!!! I see it everyday in my neighborhood and 5 miles further because of the race division, I see great environments with all kinds of great programs...

    Some people are selfish and don't care about certain parts of the city because of particular groups living in those areas. I hope the video of this young man who was killed really awakens all the people to really start a positive peaceful revolution against violence in the streets.. And by the way, this code of silence of the streets needs to end to! It starts with the parents again, as well as the big brothers and big sisters who introduced the little ones with it! Help the community in solving crimes should not been portrayed as ratting out but rather at carrying a peaceful revolution to reduce the violence! Let's remember MLK who fought using his brain (rather than guns) against segregation rules that were written in the constitution not too long ago! Things changed and the law changed, as we are all equal! Again, the parents, and all organizations need to meet bi-weekly or monthly and start a clear communication to come with resolutions not stimulus, as it was mentioned last night over the air.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:38 pm |
  178. Michael (NY)

    There is no "one cause" for all of the violence in this country. It seems to me that it is a "perfect storm" made of many others
    1. When one or both of your parents is a deadbeat, convict, 3rd generation welfare....what example are the children to follow?
    2. When you can make more slingin' rock than you can studying and working hard(in the short term, which is all these kids can see) why not do it?
    3. If thier parents, and thier parents' parents don't have respect for rules/laws/what is just plain right......where shall the young learn it then?
    4. The police are NOT allowed to be police. If they do thier jobs they are jackbooted bullies. If they aren't there when something happens, it's always because the "victim" was black/yellow/red. Not because there aren't enough of us. Then when the police try to do thier job, it's "Why are you picking on my son/daughter?"
    5. You can not expect what you have not taught.....

    October 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm |
  179. Duane Carpenter

    People are asking, "who is responsible" for helping Cities like Chicago, where violence is running the streets? Local,State or Federal, Governments? Churches, Temples, and Mosques? Parents,Teachers? Young or Old? Democrats or Republicans? Rich or Poor? Black or White? Asian, Caucasian? Or "Anybody I left out?
    How do "We" define "Society"? How do "We" define, "America"? "We" have an "Invasion" upon our City Streets, and in Our City Schools. When "We" allow "Our Cities" to Fail. Eventually, the "Cultures" become "Our Cultures" in which "Our Children" learn, through all of the examples in which "Our Society" is "Entertained" through "Mass Marketing".
    The Inner Cities, have the largest markets, and the Culture has spread like a Bacteria, upon every known locality of "Our Nation". The Inner Cities Music is now, "Our Children's Music" where Sex and Violence, is being "Preached"
    You can't turn on the Radio, without hearing the Slang of Words, the "Sludge" of the "Primordial Ooze" from which "We" as "Human Beings" have risen from. You can not turn on the Television, without some form of "Soft Porn" influencing Our Eyes and Minds. We can't even protect "Our Children" when its very influence is in the Magazines of the "Ladies provoking the "Eye's of Lust".
    What are "We" Man or Beast? We define "Our Selves' through "Our Nature" lets not have "Nature" define "Us". We either "Act like Animals" or "Act like Conscious Beings" .
    "We" can not Unconscionably walk away, unless "We have no Conscience for Others", especially when it comes to Children, neglected by a Nation, of Wealth, of God, or Mortal Human Beings.

    October 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  180. S Stewart

    Hi Tony
    I think the first action is to keep the children safe. So I suggest a bus or small van pick up these children at their door and put them off at the school door. No more walking to school. No lingering on the streets. Even Moms meeting them at school is not sufficient. At least someof the million dollars could buy a couple of buses or vans.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  181. Henry Dart

    Its such a simple matter. Put God back in the schools and teach them what is in the bible about having a fruitfull life. The Bible is the most informative book in the world that tells the truth about life. Its like a washing maching manual, if you read it it will help you run the maching the correct way, like the bible tells you how to run life. Ignore the laws and precepts and you can see what is happining in Chicago.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  182. Nashly

    I actually have a lot of friends in gangs, so seeing this violence isn't a big shocker. I believe it's the economy. People will do whatever they can to get money. My friend actually tried to get me into a gang. Of course I said no. The gang violence will continue no matter what, cause to get in a gang you either have to get "jumped in" or "sexed in". Sometimes people join to get protection, or cause they thing it makes them look tuff. I also believe it's artists like Lil Wayne. His music is all about gang activity and violence and drugs. In my eyes it's true stupidity.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  183. S Stewart

    I agree totally with the comment about the National Guard every few feet to patrol day and night. I am sure people need to go to the store, church and other places. They deserve to be safe.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:03 pm |
  184. Kai

    Hasn't anyone ever watched the show The Wire? There are five seasons of ideas on what to do in cities like Chicago.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:04 pm |
  185. Brandon Anderson

    Unfortunately, my generation doesn't understand being their brothers keeper. I am not perfect but I can easily see that the fight that excist among adult in the 60's and 70's is gone now. So many adults are afraid to lead and it leaves my generation abandoned and making their own rules. Being broke and always struggling can make you crazy as a teen. Then add everyday exaggerated violent rap, fearful adults, and Leaders who don't show up; that will result in teen dead.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  186. Josh

    Because kids are so convinced that reporting violence where people can be seriously hurt, killed in some cases (the recent video an example) rewards should be offered such as $20 for stopping a fight or more for tuning in a thief.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  187. Ryan

    To blame music and media for teen violence is futile. If you look at everything in a historical context, gang violence existed long before television, computers, or hip hop music. Humans are destructive in nature, so you can't blame over one hundred years on rap music.

    I'd much rather have my child in his or her bedroom writing songs than out on the street with the wrong people. In fact, I would encourage creativity. Not every hip hop artist talks about violence and crime. It's a narrow minded mentality who searches for an easy scapegoat. It seems like those scapegoats are rock and hip hop music.

    Children born in an urban world will little family structure and discipline, vent...and sometimes violently. We need physical programs to let these kids vent their anger in a constructive way. We need something that can teach them, discipline and self respect. Something that can give them something the lack of parenting can't.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  188. Bruce

    Provide jobs in the inner city – jobs provide responsibily and improvement of life. Eliminate welfare to unwed mother, but take care of the kids. People have to take resposibilty for themselves.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:06 pm |
  189. John

    I don't understand everyone saying there are kids. They are street
    soldiers, 16 going on 30. The only way to stop this violence is to get to the youth, the very young and start programs with them. Then start a Special Police gang force to stay out all night and patrol the area's that have the most turmoil.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:07 pm |
  190. Steve H

    You can stop the violence in Chicago very easily. Someone with money needs to pay for 100 of these families, where the parents belong to gangs, to move to a high rent district. When the problems occur there, they will be dealt with. Out of sight, out of mind, is the philosophy of many of the rich people of our country. When their kids start dying, then something will be done.

    Also, if the city can't keep law and order, the county needs to get involved. If the county can't do it, the state needs to get involved. If the state can't do it, the Fed needs to get involved. If we can't maintain law and order in our own streets, why are we in Iraq and Afganistan trying to help them keep law and order?

    October 8, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  191. Sylvia

    I think the kids that commit these hideous crimes are lacking in love and hope. They are products of their environment. Most come from poor, urban neighborhoods where the only way they know how to survive is on the streets. Whats sad is that its mostly young black boys between the ages of 15 and 24 that have these violent mentalities. People need to understand the disparities in the criminal justice system. People also need to understand that once a young black boy commits a crime, no matter how serious it is, he's scarred for life. He can't get a job so he sells drugs to make money, drugs always tend to lead to more violence. They have a street culture, a street way of dressing, a street way of acting because thats all they know is the streets day in and day out. Their parents can be strung out on drugs, they probably have tons of babies they can't take care of without income from a real job that they can't get because they have a criminal record! They are denied housing, jobs, and financial assistance. It's a vicious cycle. I know because I had a son who went through it. It was almost as if they police were targeting him, which they do here in Boston. These young thugs need mentoring and an opportunity but too many neighbors are afraid to step up to the plate and do something for fear of their own lives. Thats where the stop snitching stuff comes in. Dime droppers, what good are they when the police do nothing?

    October 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  192. Brandon Anderson

    Unfortunately, my generation doesn’t understand being their brothers keeper. I am not perfect but I can easily see that the fight that existed among adults in the 60’s and 70’s is gone now. So many adults are afraid to lead and it leaves my generation abandoned and having to make their own rules, good or bad. Being broke and always struggling can make you crazy as a teen. Then add everyday exaggerated violent rap, fearful adults, and Leaders who don’t show up; that will result in teen dead.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  193. Hugh

    I love Chicago have viisted many times but it is a dangerous place if you stray to the ghetto. The root problem is love and respect in the family which spreads to the community and makes people feel they aren't worth anything so who cares what I do with my life. The poverty in some areas and the wealth in others causes a divide that cannot be gulfed until people from poor and rich are seeing themselves as fellow Chicagoans and not problems to avoid. When you get the schools intergrated that is a start but they should also do swaps with other neighburhoods to see who your other neighbours are. You need to beef up the counselling services in schools and teach them valium is not a cure but positive affirmation from home and school are. If the parents are poor and desperate they need to be helped to afford and raise the kids properly. Turn a blind eye and you suffer the gangs picking up your next generation like is happening now. Big Brothers and Sisters and other programs like that are also necessary to provide support as are Al-Anon and Alateen for kids raised by Alcoholics are necessary. Money to help give food must be givien to Schools and the Schools held accountable for preparation and distribution to kids who are malnurted. They can't study on an empty stomache and they can't study when the family is disfuntional. It is difficult but it is possible to reverse the trend it takes rich folks giving time and money to help it work and administraters being hired who really care more about the kids than the money in the burbs.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  194. Luis

    While all of the reasons given for the violence are relative, we're missing the root cause at it's center. We've succeeded at removing the morals and values this great nation was founded on. We've taken God out of everything that's public. No prayer in schools, no manger scenes or displays of the 10 commandments in our court houses. We've let a few non-believrs place our country on a collision course of self destruction. Shame on us.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:10 pm |
  195. Wendell

    Tony,

    We tend to place blame where it is easiest placed, and in this case it is on music and entertainment. I am 33 years old and I have lived in Chicago my entire and this is not just a Chicago problem. The first area for improvement is our parenting. This is a completely different generation of parents. There is nothing to say about Jody Weis and the Chicago Police Department because they have done nothing......exactly! And we were set to throw a party if we were chosen as the host for the 2016 Olympic games. It is as ridiculous as it is absurd. Mayor. Daley didn't need to be in Copenhagen, he needs at home figuring out how to resolve his city's problem of youth killing youth. Long before rap music was around, people frowned on snitching. This is not about snitching. To concern ourselves with snitching, or the lack thereof, is to concern ourselves with solving murders. We need to focus our attention on STOPPING the murders.

    One thing is certain; there needs to be a little butt-kicking going on. I'm not sure if the kids, the parents, Jody Weis, or Mayor Daley need a butt kicking. Maybe everybody needs to go get a switch off the tree!

    October 8, 2009 at 1:11 pm |
  196. Sean

    It has been suggested that the problem would be solved by God, or the National Guard, or after-school programs, or parents, or reform. The simple fact of the matter is that this will not stop until these kids don't make money by being violent gangsters. Imprisonment doesn't work, they just get street cred for doing hard time, and the smarter ones network inside the prison. And the street gangs that are already out there make it so that younger kids band together to protect themselves. The cycle will not end until there is no black market for drugs and stolen goods, and that just won't happen.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  197. Autumn709

    NO MORE MONEY–NO MORE PROGRAMS–NO MORE EXCUSES! What happening in Chicago is truly a shame but the cause is simple. Why is it the rest of the country can raise their kids that get good grades, rarely violent and excels in most areas–all without anyone’s help or money? PARENTS THAT FOLLOW THROUGH with their kids!!!! Stop pointing your finger at everyone else–the parents and ONLY the parents can turn their kids around! Maybe it’s time to take a serious look at the pop culture monster that‘s been held in high esteem for years now such as Hip-Hop and Rap music. They created a monster that praises killing, spews hate, disrespect of women and society. Like all monsters–they eventually will turn on their creators! No more excuses!!!! Be a good parent–it doesn’t cost a thing, it’s not hard to do and you get great returns!

    October 8, 2009 at 1:23 pm |
  198. Corey

    Its money its allways money.Arne Duncan says money wont do it bull.Just go look in his neighborhood and you will see it will.The corruption in Chicago runs deep,there Mayor, Governer,and leaders,and Chicago PD,are all corrupt.They dont care about the poor.They all should be fired.This is a problem that they Created with the rich in Chicago.They don't do nothing cause they wan't them gone.It all started in the eightys when the CIA became Crack dealers.Chicago needs a real man that cares about the poor more then the rich.The 70 million the spent on bidding on the olympics that they did,nt get has the blood of young poor black Kids on it. The poor thought that President Obama would clean up the Corruption in Chicago like he said he would but instead of change they got more of the same.NO HOPE, NO MONEY, BAD SCHOOLS ,AND NO HEALTH CARE.Money needs to go directly to them not leaders that line there pockets with cash and shift the rest of the money to areas that dont need it.ITS TIME FOR REAL CHANGE.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  199. Emily

    Where are Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton when you need them?
    If this were a racial situation they would be right on it.
    These men could step in and help by working together to go in to these schools and speak about how this violence is pulling their race down.
    These kids obviously have no positive and tough role models.
    Parents should become more involved to create a force through watchdog groups. Start from within and work together as groups.
    They need to depend less on law inforcement and focus more on a fight for their kids inforcement. Strength through numbers!
    These people need be as passionate about saving their kids as they do about the civil rights issue.
    Create role models if there are few!
    Black leaders,stars,atheletes,RAPPERS get together and help stop this war. Get involved!

    October 8, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  200. Geo

    With the vilolent crimes in Chicago making the news, we all know every city in the US is impacted. Do we realy want to address this or not, if we do then lets fix it. First thing that will be encountered is the second amendment, if you can't control the sales of firearms certainly you can control the manufacture and sales of ammunition. If only the Police Departments could sell ammunition, it could be a profit center for these agencies hiring more officers, they would be able to verify social security numbers, drivers licence, residency and age. If you can use a laser to identify a medical implant you could do the same with the ammo and absolutely identify where it was sold, and who purchased it. Not a bad deal for an honest law biding americans who would like to see the Olympic Games come to our great cities.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:37 pm |
  201. Lewis Fox

    Hi, Tony

    If one takes a look around at the homeless( among them are Vets) look at the Hungry and the sick without access to healthcare, One would have to say we are a society that forces life long insecurities. This is happining in what we say is a Christisn Nation and the WEALTHEST nation on earth. Everyday we display violance as the way to solve our problems here at home and abroad. We are willing to go into national debit to kill hundreds of thousands of people who have done nothing to us, Yet we run from the thought of a national Health Care system to save lives.
    Hey! all of you on the right, In that day of Judgement, How are you going to explain that to the Christ you say you believe in?
    The violence we see today is the harvest of the seeds planted decades past. It will take decades to change.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:38 pm |
  202. Anibal Cardenales

    Tony,I wish you well:
    Chicago has being a violent city before you an I were born,and the
    violence it's not worst than it was.Law makers,Law enforcement ,
    Parents and the school system are the problem. I can not explain it's
    to much. There was a man in Chicago that ,eye witness of a crime and
    wanted to testify even that his father told him not to:No need to explain.
    The judge was bribed for 10K and let the killer go free.The witness life
    torn apart, drug,alcohol,divorce and jail.They found out about the judge
    (It commit suicide) The man testified again and the killer convited. Tony not to desrespect but I jus laugh watching news because of what
    I hear from all the Phds,and that CNN choose for comment about the
    diferent issues in America everybody is doing his/her "job". I know what the problem is but I don't have a degree not a Phd. Tony I wish you the best, I just wanted to share ,Thank you Anibal

    October 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  203. Steve H

    Everyone says it's up to the parents. The parents are gang bangers, and left to the parents, the children will be gang bangers.

    Is this a covert genocide? Allow them to kill each other and the problem will eventually go away? It has only gotten bigger using this philosophy. What about the innocent children and families? Are they just collateral damage?

    Our country has many sick individuals that hide behind religion and political rhetoric that are about as unchristlike and insincere as one could get. They pretend to care, but really hate. We are all human beings people, time to start acting like it!

    October 8, 2009 at 1:47 pm |
  204. Brandon

    We're so worried about what's going on overseas that we can't (or choose not to) see what's going on right here in the US. Maybe we should focus more on us (USA) rather than them (to many to list) for once.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  205. Corey

    They Blame rappers and the parents and anything they can so the rich can keep things the same.The rich think that they are all below them and are drug dealers and bums that don't want to work witch is not true.The rich know that there's money to be made by keeping the poor poor and locking them up.Chicago Police are nothing more then the Mob for the rich. They bully the poor and beat them down untill they snap.Thats why they turn to gangs so easy. They don't want to but they are tired of being beat up and beat down and locked up.They need real jobs,real schools and homes and health care not programs and fake leaders that are two faced and lie to them.This happens not just in Chicago but in every big city in the USA.I voted for Change but all we got was more of the same the rich get richer of the backs of the poor.

    October 8, 2009 at 1:51 pm |
  206. Corey

    The 70 million they stole from the poor to bid on the olympics could have went a long way to sloving the problems that they are having but they just dont care.Theres always money for eveything that the rich want but when its come to the poor theres never money. If they had someone that cared about them it could change and it would'nt take that much to do it just some one that cares enough to start. When i heard Oprah say that American kids want i pods and not new schools it made me sick.You we think she would remember where she came from.You would think that Oprah and President Obama would care more about them then the Olympics but it will alway be about the rich and there greedy needs.

    October 8, 2009 at 2:11 pm |
  207. Richard E. Craver

    I don't think you will put this on but I think we could take care of all the financial problems our government has by taxing all Religious holdings.

    October 8, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  208. Ryan

    The poor wouldn't exist without the rich. The rich keep the poor and the poor have no choice but to survive by any means necessary, most often that means crime.

    Until we become a nation that can provide for all and not just a select few, violence will flourish, and poverty will continue to climb.

    You think AIG cares about Chicago's dying youth?

    It's an American nightmare, and nobody is ever going to wake up.

    October 8, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  209. jaybee312

    I have read many good comments. Lets talk about rap music. Dont any of you realize that rappers speak about what they have lived and experienced. They came from the same conditions. Therefore they have to speak about it. It is an expression of them. They can;t talk about living in the burbs and going to good schools if they didnt do any of that. Most rappers have just as many positive songs as they have negative ones. But for the people that dont listen to rap music, you wouldnt know that. You know about what you here in the media. This is a problem within itself. You need to know more about things before you make those type of comments. You need to be more responsible or in other words do your research before you speak. If not your words are empty and make you look as dumb as you are.

    October 8, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  210. Carol - Los Angeles,

    ... this whole thing is a tragedy. The nicer you are and the more programs you give is not going to help. Your kindness will be taken as weakness. You have to be extremely tough on these individuals and hope for the best. Nothing else will work.

    October 8, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  211. Carol - Los Angeles

    ... no matter how poor you are or what background you come from you know that you do not beat someone over the head with a wooden pillar and stomp on them. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to know that that is not right. C'mon now.

    October 8, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  212. Chris

    Somewhere along the way people have to be held accountable for their actions. Most "african-Americans" in this country claim to be descendants of slaves brought to America years ago. The slaves were given freedom, some of these former slaves were even given land taken from white land owners who had no money to pay taxes levied against their property (in short, this land was stolen from them by our government), some former slaves were given US dollars to buy the very land that was being taken for taxes. While some former slaves benefited, most did not. These that did not had the toughest time of it all managing their "freedom". Yes, they were free, but to do what? Work? Some did, while many waited for someone to take care of them. This waiting for others to take care of them has continued until today. Those who choose to escape do escape, usually through hard work or effort. Those who don't have it in them to do so turn to crime, to gangs, to drugs, and all that goes with this decision. As long as our government continues to give, give, give, then these types of people will wait, wait, and wait for someone to take care of them. The beat will go on, and on, and on until the American people stop the music.

    October 8, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  213. Jarrel Austin

    Josh I'd like to Thank you and CNN for keeping the issue of violence
    actively covered and discussed in the media.The senseless and brutal murder of Derrion Albert shall not be in vain. I hope this is a wake-up call to the African-american community and America at large.
    This is my bone to pick and no holes barred. If Congress can hold hearings on baseball (Roger Clemmens and steroids) why haven't they held a briefing and had hearings on this issue and other issues
    that are occurring in our urban / minority communities. Our supposedly African-american leadership in Washington, DC the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) has failed us. I certainly do understand now why Congress approval ratings are in the gutter. Has anyone from Congress from Illinois Jackson, Rush or Burris spoken out on how they plan to address this issue in Chicago.
    A resounding No!!!. President Obama sends Holder and Duncan
    for what it's all a farce just bogus. Although this was criminality
    but being humane or behaving civilized with a conscience is the core problem is no morals or values are being taught or instilled. I have many more thoughts to share but I'm signing off. Thanks for reading.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:20 am |
  214. Arine Ward

    I look through "All" these comments and it amazes me. That everyone has an opinion, exercising the right to "Freedom of Speech" but there are other important blogs listed here, with no comments, because they aren't zooming a negative image. Its not a Black problem, its not a White Problem, its "Society's" Problem. You (I)(Us) (Them) (They) (We) get so caught up in wanting to voice what we feel inside concerning on culture or another that we miss the mark every time. The problem in Chicago, is the same problem in every city in America. Chicago just gets the raw end of the stick, another way to shine a Negative image on the President of These United States. What about Oakland, CA when officers killed a young black man, or the Ramsey Killing, no talk on that anymore, but it still exist. Black men and women aren't your or anyone's problem...It doesn't always go back to Parenting...but it starts with "Everyone" understanding and believing we all are equal rather than speaking behind screens, with code names, and trying to dehumanize the black community as thugs, and gangbangers when its "Everyones" problem. If it hasn't hit your community it will!

    October 9, 2009 at 11:01 am |
  215. la - ca

    .. I live in Los Angeles; it has hit my community. People are called thugs because they are thugs. You talk about dehumanizing the black community but what those thugs did to that young black man was dehumanize him. You are doing it to your own people.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  216. Arine Ward

    People are called thugs, because that is another "Stereo Type" placed upon people, and when you speak it, they become that thing. Living in LA Angeles, you would surely understand the Watts Riots, and what it meant...so those were thugs? People just label what makes it comfortable for them, verses trying to see the root of the problem...take a look in the mirror, and see where you in your private moments, with your circle of friends, and some of the "Negative' things you have said about all cultures, you spoke that into existences so don't come crying that we, us, them, thugs, you spoke it upon them, so now its a Society issue, change your way of thinking, life and death are in the power of the tongue. America has yet to understand the chaos she has spoken just by her "Freedom of Speech"

    October 9, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  217. nora

    whent kids don;t respect the parents thats what happen and this country to many stupid lawsand the policecoming to your house, the police ar just following stupid staff you know like when my son trow a rock,they go to school for that ,thats why they don't have time to got the drug dealers o maybe they don't want they are to scared , we need new and rrealy inteligent laws

    October 9, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  218. Sharon Baker

    To Arine Ward:
    You are so right on target! Unfortunately, most people just don't get this....yet. Hopefully, more will and soon!
    We have, indeed, spoken our world into existence.

    October 9, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  219. Duane Carpenter

    I often hear, the problem is due to, "This or That". I really think the problems are "Multifaceted". It is "All of the Above".
    You can not blame any one thing, maybe some things more than others, but they are all part of the blame.
    Example: When you blame the parents, remember, there were and still are, kids raising kids.
    There are generations of families that don't have a clue, on how to raise a child.
    There are parents, who don't have emotional stabilities, derived from their own experiences as a child.
    There are parents, who lack the most basic senses, in which they are ill equipped for cognitive reasoning.
    We have public schools which, "House" the young, in which they have the least amount of time for many children.
    Children learn from their environment. School offers the least amount of "Adult Support and Supervision" Children are communicating Child thinking to each other, thoughts and idea's of basic human nature. Violence and Sex is just a stream of these images, which cross their minds, whether they picture them from their environment or learn them from others.
    Put a bunch of children in a cage and have hardly any adult time for them to learn how to function as "Human Beings" and I assure you, you will have "undomesticated wild animals".
    This is not an issue over race, it is an issue over "How we treat each other as Human Beings.
    These children "Need" activities to keep their minds "Enjoying Life" not "Abusing Their Life." When there are no functions for these young kids to enjoy life, then they will find some thing to replace it, Drugs, Sex, and their Music Illustrating their "Impoverished Minds."
    We have a "Perpetual Problem" and it is going to take "Resources and Adults" to End this Cycle, otherwise, "We" are Creating a Dependency on Government Assistance, and Creating the Largest Law Enforcement and Prison Populations, EVER....thank you for reading and hopefully we can do more for the kids.

    October 9, 2009 at 10:06 pm |
  220. Darlene Anderson

    I really just trying to understand why people don't think that WELFARE did not have to do with this gap in parenting. When WELFARE was the way of not having to follow what your parents were saying there was no other requirement to have to grow up until welfare reform but that really did not have an effect on the poverty that was created by the welfare system.

    October 11, 2009 at 9:29 am |
  221. Adrian from Toronto

    I'm a liberal minority, but I support Rush's bid for an NFL team. Why? Because all he really is is the Jon Stewart of conservatives. He's a POLITICAL SATIRIST. Listen to his full radio shows, rather than just the soundbites you play. I think we get way too sensitive, because he's one of the few who slams black people's actions, and he is clearly not black. It's not fair when we (minorities) can slam all people, but white people get in trouble for making fun of us.

    I thought we were past this...

    October 13, 2009 at 12:04 pm |
  222. James Mckelvie Lee Jr

    Rush has the right to buy anything for sale . It is his tenor, his antagonistic disrespect of people and views opposed to the views he holds. It is his racist and sexist comments that calls into question his suitability for NFL ownership. He has parleyed his negative and divicesive, hate filled diatribe into a multi-million dollar bank book, now he wants to join the real world. He should not be denied an opportunity to buy a NFL team based upon his politics, but rather would he be good or bad for the NFL

    I for one think he could very well bring the NFL down. There would be no end of controversy among the players, fans and eventually among the owners.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:46 pm |
  223. Jen

    Medical Malpractice-
    This hours discussion failed to address the insurance costs to doctors and hospitals. In mentioning Missouri, it is worthwhile to note that insurance costs are significantly higher than in Kansas, a state that has reasonable tort reform on its books. These costs are the result of statistical reviews similar to auto insurance. A recent discussion by local medical professionals cited the costs as $40k/yr in KS vs. $120K/yr in MO for individual doctors. This is precisely the reason doctors have moved across the state line in the Kansas City, MO area. These costs and further cuts will be enough to create a real gap in the number of doctors.

    October 13, 2009 at 12:47 pm |