|Well, not in Chicago…|
The year is 1890. Chicago is a city on the move. With a population of more than one million people, the Windy City was a mere 1.3 percent black (14,271). By 1960, Chicago’s black population would be 812,637 strong, or 22.9 percent of overall population.
As the book “Making the Second Ghetto: Race & Housing in Chicago 1940-1960” by Arnold R. Hirsch makes clear:
Chicago’s black population grew significantly during the twentieth century. Although the percentage increase was greatest during the initial period of ghetto formation, the largest increase in absolute numbers came during the 1940s and the 1950s. Analysts of the 1919 riot never fail to cite the growth of Chicago’s black population; more than 148% between 1910 and 1920. yet, it was the addition of 65,355 new black Chicagoans to a relatively small existing black population that accounted for the large percentage increase. Between 1940 and 1950 Chicago’s black population swelled by 214,534; between 1950 and 1960 it grew by 320,372. Although the percentage growth during these two decades cannot compare with that associated with the Great Migration, the absolute numbers of new black resident represented a movement of unprecedented scale. In 1920 Chicago’s black population totaled 109,458; between 1940 and 1960 it grew from 277,731 to 812,637.
Whereas blacks represented only 4.1% of the city’s total population in 1920 and but 8.2% in 1940, they accounted for 13.6% of the city’s total in 1950 and 22.9% in 1960. (p.16-17)
Why mention this? Because violence in 2012 Chicago is completely monopolized by the descendants of the “Great Migration” of black people to city. While Thanksgiving was being celebrated across the city, 5 people would fall dead and 20 wounded thanks to black violence in the Second City.
But it was a shooting at a funeral that serves as a fitting reminder of the legacy of the Great Migration of black people to northern cities; a powerful reinforcement of what we have dubbed “Manifest Destruction” [Cops: Gang member killed, another seriously wounded at funeral, Chicago Tribune, 11-26-12]:
Shots rang out, causing panic and chaos as hundreds of mourners were leaving a Catholic church on the South Side following funeral services Monday for a slain reputed gang member.
As people scattered for exits, a woman knocked Deborah Echols-Moore, 59, to the floor and fell atop her. Her shoes were thrown off her feet. When she stood back up, she fled barefoot out a door.
“When I came outside, you still can hear shooting. Boom! Boom! Boom! I still ran…people was running behind me,” the longtime CTA employee said not long after the 12:30 p.m. shooting. “You didn’t know which way to go or what to do. All I knew to do was run for my life.”
Chicago police said one man was killed, another critically injured in the bloodshed at St. Columbanus Church. Police identified both as Gangster Disciples members and convicted felons, illustrating once again the high risks of gang membership in a year in which rising homicides have brought Chicago unwanted national attention.
GDs alone make up more than a quarter of the city’s approximately 470 homicide victims. About 60 percent of this year’s homicide victims were gang members, according to department statistics.
Police were still investigating who was responsible for the shooting, but investigators said the neighborhood has long been rife with conflict between GDs and rival Black Disciples.
Illustrating the sudden, often unpredictable nature of the violence, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy just a couple of hours earlier was touting the department’s crime-fighting strategies in tamping down the city’s rate of violence since earlier in the year when homicides soared. Through Sunday, homicides have risen more than 19 percent over the same period a year earlier, department records show.
There were five fewer homicides during the first 25 days of November compared to the same period in 2011, according to department statistics. But shootings during the first 25 days of this month have risen sharply by 45 percent.
From November 1 through Sunday there were 161 shootings compared to 111 during the same period in 2011, department statistics show.
Rev. Corey Brooks, a well-known South Side pastor who officiated at Monday’s services for James Holman, 32, said a church would have been off-limits for gangbangers at one time.
“Now we are living at a day and time where these younger criminals have no regard for life or for street rules,” he said.
bout a dozen bullet casings littered the steps outside the church where yellow evidence markers were placed. Beat cops blocked off traffic with their squad cars and sealed off the church’s entrance with yellow and red tape. As evidence technicians took photos of the crime scene, detectives went door-to-door to nearby homes scouring for witnesses.
April Smith, 30, said she looked out a second-floor window of her home when she heard her car alarm sound off and noticed a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and blue jeans walking toward the church entrance on 71st Street. She then heard about a dozen gunshots and saw two passersby crouch for protection.
Moments later, the same man in the sweatshirt ran back onto Prairie and fled south, said Smith. Mourners then frantically exited the church.
“To know that something like that happened right across the street…it’s terrible,” Smith, who has lived at her home for seven years, said in disbelief. “It’s broad daylight.”
Brooks, who is pastor of New Beginnings Church of Chicago in the Woodlawn neighborhood and is considering a run for former U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr.’s vacant congressional seat, said about 500 people attended the funeral, including about 50 children. The church was so crowded that people were standing in the back.
Brooks had finished the eulogy and Holman’s family and close friends had gone out the front door of the church when shots rang out.
“That’s when all the gunfire broke out and it was just crazy,” Brooks said. “People were hollering and screaming and kids running everywhere.”
Charles Childs, a co-owner of the A.A. Rayner and Sons Funeral Home across the street from the church, held an uneventful visitation for Holman on Sunday. On Monday he said he saw the gunman firing his weapon as he came down the front steps outside the church.
“No place is safe,” he said. “It’s just despicable.”
Well, actually a lot of places are safe; but one must understand that the “blacker” an event, the greater the odds are that ‘random violence’ might suddenly occur. Even at a funeral [1 dead, 1 critically wounded at gang member`s funeral, My Fox Chicago, 11-26-12]:
The Rev. Corey Brooks said he spoke at a funeral for James Holman, 32, of Chicago, who was shot to death Nov. 19 in the 6000 block of South Michigan Avenue.
“I preached that we have a great need for God and peace in our neighborhoods,” said Brooks, who is running for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s vacant congressional seat.
About 500 people attended the funeral and Brooks heard the gunfire after the service, Brooks said.
“It was crazy,” he said. “It was the worst thing you could imagine. People were running, screaming, trying to get safe. When people were going out the door, they saw the bodies.”
Brooks said he didn’t know the identity of the two people shot.
“This was at a funeral home,” he said. “At least on the South Side, no one is safe in Chicago.”
“I’ve seen a lot of things in my life, but this has probably been the toughest and most heart wrenching,” Brooks continued.
Outside the church, a sign said: ‘‘Pray for Peace.”