An ‘Honor Student’ Dies Every Year in Black Chicago: Hadiya Pendleton is Reminder of the Civilization Blacks Created in The Second City

Hadiya Pendleton Funeral and Black Chicago: “It is a tale of a society that-in its inability to perform a fundamental duty, the protection of its most vulnerable members-is yielding its claim to the term “civilization.” [ Quote Source: Chicago Tribune, 1993]

There was much gnashing of teeth, tears shed, and prayers to the heavens for ‘hope’ and ‘change’ in the city of Chicago when Hadiya Pendleton was laid to rest. Dignitaries like First Lady Michelle Obama were in attendance at the funeral for the Chicago Public School (CPS) student who was just another victim of the continuous parade of black-on-black crime/murder in the city [Portrait of grief: Hadiya Pendleton funeral in Chicago, The Grio, 1-9-13]:

Hundreds of mourners and dignitaries including first lady Michelle Obama packed the funeral Saturday for a Chicago honor student whose killing catapulted her into the nation’s debate over gun violence.

Yet one speaker after another remembered 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton not so much as a symbol but as a best friend, an excellent student with dreams of going to college and a sometimes goofy girl with a bright smile and big personality. They said she was a typical teen who wanted to borrow her friends’ clothes and who never left home without her lip gloss.

And to her mother, Pendleton was the daughter she tried to keep busy so she’d be beyond the reach of the seemingly endless gang violence in the nation’s third-largest city.

“You don’t know how hard this really is, and those of you who do know how hard this really is, I’m sorry. I’m sorry,” Cleopatra Pendleton told the packed South Side church. “No mother, no father should ever have to experience this.”

 Horrible, just horrible. And to think… I forgot my reading glasses.

But luckily, I found them. Hadiya Pendleton might be a symbol for Chicago’s gun violence/gangland violence today, but the ongoing, “senseless” acts of Spontaneous Blackness in the Second City – which have taken the lives of many other honor students – is a reminder of the true legacy of the ‘Great Migration’.

Let’s just take a stroll down memory lane for a glimpse into the type of community black people have created in Chicago [Slain honor student eulogized; Hundreds gather to say an emotional goodbye to 18-year-old shooting victim Maurice Davis, Chicago Tribune, 12-24-2002]:

Those who had been clinging to their composure during the funeral of high school basketball star Maurice Davis on Monday let go completely when Brenda Gilbert, 18, raised her voice to sing “Missing You.”
“Though I’m missing you/I’ll find a way to get through/Living without you,” she sang as tears streamed from the eyes of Davis’ classmates and teammates. “‘Cause you were my brother, my strength and my pride/Only God may know why, still I will get by.”

Entire pews of people excused themselves from the church to regain control of their emotions.

The impact of the 18-year-old Englewood High School honor student’s life led more than 2,000 students, relatives and neighbors to pack into Antioch Baptist Church, 62nd Street and Stewart Avenue, to say goodbye.

The impact of Davis’ violent death caused numerous religious leaders, city officials and community activists, including Rev. Jesse Jackson and Arne Duncan, Chicago Public Schools chief, to say something too.

“In a time when so many athletes do what they can not to be held up as a role model, Maurice was simply a throwback to another era,” Duncan said.

“Because Maurice was such a good person, this senseless tragedy represents a loss not just for his family, friends and teammates, but for the Chicago Public Schools system and the city of Chicago,” he said.

Davis was shot after school Dec. 16 outside Englewood High School, 6201 S. Stewart Ave., when he tried to retaliate for an earlier attack on his 17-year-old sister, Tempestt Liggins, allegedly by a boy she had dated.

It seems every decade or so, one of Chicago’s rising ‘honor students’ is gunned down in an act of ‘senseless violence’, when it is really nothing more than a reflection of the type of community black people create. In the absence-less of whiteness, darkness fills the void [Killing Our Children, Chicago Tribune, 1-3-1993]:

In 1992, 57 children age 14 or under were murdered in the Chicago area, felled by snipers, sacrificed by gangs, killed by parents. It was a year for burying the young.
No. 44 you know about. He was a 7-year-old killed by a sniper in October as he walked to school with his mother. His name was Dantrell Davis.

His murder shocked people. It shouldn’t have.

Before his death, killers claimed 43 children under the age of 15 in Chicago and its suburbs in 1992. After his death, 13 more kids were slain.

Most of these children you know little about. Many made the journey from birth to a slab in the county morgue with little more notice from middle-class Chicago than the few lines they receive in the list accompanying this story. But like the classified advertisement that writing instructors call the shortest short story-“For sale: One pair baby shoes; never used”-each of those paragraphs describing the 57 deaths is its own short story.

Taken as a whole, the list is a tragic novel of epic proportions. It is a tale of a society that-in its inability to perform a fundamental duty, the protection of its most vulnerable members-is yielding its claim to the term “civilization.”

Yes, we have literature, opera and laws governing the height of grass in suburban yards. But we also have the following, now occurring often enough to be characterized as “routine”: a baby going almost literally from cradle to grave, allegedly shaken to death by his mother’s boyfriend for the crime of crying too much; a 10-year-old killed by a stray bullet as his father parks the family car so the boy can play in the snow; an adolescent fatally shot while nursing a gunshot wound received the week before during gang cross-fire.

Just seven months before Dantrell Davis died, a schoolmate of his, 9-year-old Anthony Felton, was shot to death, also by sniper fire, also on blacktop adjacent to the boys’ school.

Pick a few more: There were Raphael, Christopher and Danielle Turner, ages 5, 7 and 4, killed by arson. There was Taylor Briana Huggins, 7 weeks old, allegedly beaten to death by her 15-year-old father. There was 12-year-old Shamin Watters, stabbed to death in a fight with a 14-year-old girl.

Emily Hernandez, Tyjuan Cox, London Akins, Kevin McMillan, Holly Staker . . .

 This article was part of a Pulitzer Prize winning series,but it is this line that stands out the most: “It is a tale of a society that-in its inability to perform a fundamental duty, the protection of its most vulnerable members-is yielding its claim to the term “civilization.”

Demography is Destiny: Civilization dies in Chicago as white children abandon the CPS System and the city is remade in a black image. The CPS system is 8 percent white today [Source: Chicago Divided}

Black people in Chicago are yielding the term “civilization” to the barbarism of their own devices, their own creation.

Because black people are using guns to commit such vicious acts of terror in Chicago, the Obama Administration is hoping to convince Americans to willingly disarm themselves and scrap the Second Amendment — of course, in 1982, Chicago did scrap the 2nd Amendment because the demographic changes in the city brought unprecedented levels of violence to the city.

Black violence.

And what better way to highlight the violence then by discussing the death of an ‘honor student’ like Hadiya Pendleton, whose limitless promise was snuffed out because white people in Arkansas want to be able to purchase guns without background checks.

After all, Chicago is a city where the black population has made high school basketball games so unsafe, that only parents are allowed to attend the games. Civilization in Chicago? Please… [Duncan calls for police presence;Will be security at selected games in Public League, 1-15-2003, Chicago Tribune]:

Chicago police officers will provide security at selected Public League basketball games, Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan said Tuesday, less than two years after officers stopped supervising games to cut back on police department costs.
Duncan also has ordered a security audit at all high schools after two recent shootings near schools, including one that killed Englewood basketball star Maurice Davis, and incidents involving disruptive behavior by fans at basketball games.
Crane’s game against visiting Manley was suspended last week after fans began to fight in a packed gymnasium. The teams finished the game Monday, but three Manley players refused to attend despite assurances of added security. At least 10 police officers and members of the league’s security team were on duty for the completion.
Other incidents involving fans have been reported at Manley and Westinghouse.
“One incident is one too many,” Duncan said. “We’re not going to tolerate a handful of troublemakers.”
Duncan said each Monday CPS officials will submit to police a list of games where additional security is needed, and the police department will cover all costs.
“I think it will be helpful,” Westinghouse coach Quitman Dillard said. “It gives coaches a chance to coach and not have to worry about security problems. It gives the fans a sense of relief. They can enjoy the game and not worry about outbursts.”
School principals also have been encouraged by Duncan to restrict attendance at games to students with school identification and players’ family members. Some schools, such as Austin, have adopted stricter measures, banning opponents’ fans altogether except for parents or guardians.

And you wonder why only eight percent of the 400,000+ students in the CPS system are white…

But wait, there’s more [Barrett Harris, 15, Honor Student, `Self-starter’, Chicago Tribune, 1-17-1998]:

Barrett Harris, an honor student and a promising leader, died Monday in his Chicago home.
The 15-year-old freshman was killed by apparent home invaders in his apartment in the Ida B. Wells housing development late Monday morning. Barrett stayed home from school because he complained of feeling ill. He was waiting for his mother to return when the attack occurred.

Barrett, a Wendell Phillips High School student and a member of the Junior ROTC, served as a role model to his peers, according to friends and family.

Barrett’s enjoyment of an academic challenge went beyond his weekday classes. On Saturday mornings, Barrett attended programs at the University of Illinois at Chicago,
“He was always a hard worker,” said his mother, Lolita Harris. “He was a self-starter who wanted to make something positive out of his life.”

Barrett had several goals. He considered becoming a lawyer and then going on to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. Barrett also dreamed of becoming, if not the first, one of the first African-American U.S. presidents.

Mr. Barrett was gunned down in the prime of his life, depriving both Chicago and America of a future legal scholar. But it wasn’t as gruesome as the death of Dantrell Davis. It was the sniping of a 7-year-old back in 1992 that should have been enough to change the culture of death pervasive in Black Chicago. But it didn’t [Sniper Kills Cabrini Kid Steps From School, Chicago Tribune, 10-14-1992]:

It usually took Dantrell Davis about a minute to walk across the cracked blacktop that separated his Cabrini-Green high-rise from his school.
Yet every step of that short journey was filled with danger, just as every minute of a child`s day in the Near North public housing project holds the threat of violence. The smallest and most innocent of Cabrini residents are not safe.

On Tuesday morning, as Dantrell started toward the Jenner School, yellow- jacketed members of the Cabrini parent patrol stood watch to fend off trouble. At the school door, teachers waited to shepherd children inside, more concerned with safety than tardiness.

Two police officers were stationed at a nearby corner in a squadrol. As a final precautionary measure, Dantrell`s mother, Annette Freeman, accompanied the 7-year-old boy on the short walk across the lot.

Dantrell never made it 10 feet. Moments after the 9 a.m. school bell rang, a single rifle shot was fired. It struck Dantrell in the head.

His mother crouched over the small body, screaming. “Please baby, don`t die. Please come and get my baby. Please hurry,“ Ray Baker, a teacher who witnessed the shooting, recounted.

Black people in Chicago are to blame for the conditions within their community. Hadiya Pendleton, Dantrell Davis… there is no honor in 2013 Chicago.

There is no civilization either.

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