Chicago ended 2012 with homicide rate over 500. (photo by Quinn Dombrowski/flickr)
By Erica Thurman
This time there were no flags flown at half-mast.
No Presidential press conferences held while the President and the nation forced back tears. You will not be inundated with days of news coverage designed to make sure you know that these victims are human beings, with loved ones and legacies left incomplete. Instead, December 27th passed like many others.
We heard the number. 500. The number of homicides logged in the city of Chicago in 2012. It has been 4 years since we had that many murders (there were 512 homicides in 2008). Still, some of us remember when that number was significantly higher. We lived through 1992 and 1994 when the numbers were 943 and 931. Yes. 943 and 931 people killed in one year. In one city. And now, like price-gouged gas, we have learned to be relieved when the numbers are not as high as they were once.
They won’t plaster your television screen with the faces of Chicago's lost, lest you start to believe that these individuals are people. People who deserve just as much sympathy as those lost to acts of terrorism and war. It is, after all, a war-zone. A war we are losing because we never showed up to battle.
Erica Thurman is a writer, speaker and consultant on issues of diversity and women's rights. She is the online content editor of Life Behind the Veil with Erica Thurman. Born and raised in Chicago IL, Erica is a graduate of Illinois State University with a B.A. in Philosophy and Women and Gender Studies. Erica has served as a speaker, facilitator, and panelist on issues of Critical Race Theory, and Critical Race Feminism. She provides workshops and lectures on diversity and inclusion, intersectionality, sexual assault prevention and crisis intervention, reproductive justice, privilege and oppression, Hip-Hop political theory, media bias, and the social construction of Women of Color identities. She resides in Central IL with her three children.
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