We have heard horror stories about Chicago. From news stories of children dying in the street, to Spike Lee’s Chiraq which depicts the chaotic ignorance that clouds its city streets. The media depicts Chicago as they once depicted Harlem, Brooklyn, and Washington DC—crime infested and in desperate need of government intervention.
I visited Chicago two and a half years ago on a day trip. While there, I had possibly the greatest meal of my life and met warm-hearted individuals who looked a lot like my loved ones. I not only made it home alive, but left with a much lighter heart. According to the reports, I should have been killed or at least mortally wounded- I was not. What I will say I noticed about pre-gentrified Washington, DC, Brooklyn, Harlem is abandoned property, most once promised businesses that have since closed down. Interestingly, much of this abandoned property because costly apartments, condos, restaurants or specialty stores for a “fairer” buyer.
This post does not function to suggest that black communities are without flaws. Any suggestion of the sort would be simply untrue. Blacks indeed endure what Dr. Wade Noble refers to as“…a shattered consciousness and fractured identity,” but I would be remiss if I did not mention that whites induced this fractured consciousness to fawn their own privilege and false superiority. It is white society that makes it easier for blacks to access firearms or drugs than to a college education. Yet, said behavior attaches itself to the black body as an innate trait, not attributes nurtured by the western world.
Stories of the continent function similarly. Africa is frequently portrayed as an impoverished continent filled with civil wars and poverty. However, these stories fail to mention that Africa suffers because the western world continues to rape her of her resources. A quick look at documentaries like, “The Secret History of the Democratic Party” reveals the Clintons (amongst others) as cashing six figure checks from countries where some citizens go without the bare necessities of life. The overwhelmingly negative information that surrounds Africa works to subtly suggest the slave trade was a good thing, and the stolen labor known as slavery was actually an act of rescue.Thus, to address Chicago without addressing white supremacy renders these assertions as stereotypes publicized to validate black oppression.
Ironically, Trump referenced the Chicago environment as “complete carnage” and even went on to compare the environment to Afghanistan. If I am not mistaken, Trump campaigned on the promise to “bomb the hell” out of Isis. Thus, he boasted of western induced carnage overseas, conveniently overlooking and denying this same influence within North America. American minorities and third world children are often murdered before given the chance to understand the depth of their mistreatment. Both dynamics present the tragedy incurred as a result of western action, despite being mocked by western culture. This personifies the essence of white privilege- not having to burden yourself with the means of your well-being.
Chicago’s depiction as a warlike territory exists to validate the racist phrase-law and order. The law and order referenced by the Trump administration and mainstream media justifies the mistreatment of black bodies to enforce white supremacy. Law and order translates to prison cells and murder–extreme measures taken to solve issues fomented by white supremacy. Where was law and order when Donald Trump avoided paying taxes for decades? Laws often become optional in correspondence to whites, as their sole “order” of business is to occupy a position of superiority.
Places like Chicago function to illustrate black on black crime as more significant than white violence onto black bodies. “His” story boasts of numerous “conquests” accrued by violence, slavery being one of these violently acquired “victories.” Even if whites never laid another hand on a black body from this day forth, the violence afflicted onto the black body figuratively through systemic racism and literally through centuries of beatings, murders and lynchings supersedes any black on black action. To implement one of the most resonant quotes from Dr. Bobby Wright’s The Racial Psychopath “blacks kill blacks because they have never been trained to kill whites.” White supremacy functions largely because of the fractured unity it affords the black collective. Thus, Chicago as a war-like territory functions to depict blacks as animals in need of cages issued in the form of jails cells.
Chicago also functions as a means to validate gentrification. It was not long ago that Harlem, Brooklyn and Washington, DC were depicted as crime infested and warlike. All three areas have since experienced extreme gentrification. As a result, Harlem, Brooklyn and Washington, DC are commonly attributed to adapting a different tone—the darkness of a previously black neighborhood assumedly “seeing the light” in their new white neighbors. During the Trump era, Chicago will not only experience law and order, but Trump will undoubtedly use Chicago as the western world has used other formerly black neighborhoods—for the benefit of the rich and powerful, namely, white real estate.
In closing, as a black person in America, I find it nearly impossible to believe any of what I hear. Nearly every news article or reputation surrounding anything black functions to fester insecurity and inferiority within the black mind. Growing up there was a movie theatre near my house which was frequented by hundreds in surrounding counties—but most of their patrons were black. There was a single incident that happened there and the stigma attached itself to the cinema until it was torn down two years ago . It has since become a shopping center. While the theatre showed black films not shown at neighboring white theaters, the succeeding shopping mall has no black owned businesses. The western world easily labeled this theatre, with the same “unsafe” labeling afforded to Harlem, Brooklyn and Washington, DC . Yet how many people regard the western world with such scrutiny given the horrific acts cast onto the black body?
Thus, I entitled this piece “The Myth of Chicago” to conceptualize the one-sided horror story that western ideology foments to fester an oppressed mindset. Terrible deeds, people and neighborhoods solely operate in correspondence to the black body—operating as myths construed to deflect from the true bearer of said detriment. The myths of Chicago exist to falsely suggest that incivility results from anywhere blacks are in abundance, an incivility only cured by the presence of whites. Whiteness as the antidote to blackness is as true as Zeus, Ares and Juno, so I regard white truth as the western world regards black excellence–with scrutiny.