Dear Chicago: What are we really fighting for?

By Starr Lewis ’18

Dear Chicago, we’ve been fighting for some time now. Fighting for freedom, equality, justice, and change. What happens when we are fighting for the wrong fight: we lose the battle that we are suppose to be fighting for. We become oblivious to the real battle, we can’t see the reality because we’ve become immune to the tragedies in our community.

Chicago, I’ve been curious about why you take civilians year after year. In 2016, there were 762 murders, 3,550 shootings, and 4,331 victims of those shootings. Within the first three months of 2017, Chicago has had 119 homicidal shootings compared to the 145 of last year’s first three months.

Chicago, sometimes many get the impression that we fight for the wrong things. Three children were killed during the week of Feb. 15 because of a careless act of  gun violence and links to gang affiliation.

Chicago, when we spend our time protesting and rioting, violently, against Donald Trump, we overlook the real issues. We need to focus domestically. We need to start local and strive for change that will directly affect us not just for the years to come but months. The real issues are rooted in your very home, the change starts everyday going forward. Everyday that we chose to ignore the real fight, is another day someone pulls the trigger.

Chicago, I know you are tired, physically and mentally drained, and angry but that doesn’t mean the war is over. We fight with ourselves Chicago, we beat ourselves. No one person is ever to blame or to point fingers. Chicago is to be blamed, everyone in it. The soul’s instinct is to point at the shooter or the police but what does blaming do? The more we blame and complain, does not make the numbers go down.

Chicago, wise words from J.Cole’s song “Change” expresses, “I know you desperate for a change, let the pen glide. But the only real change, come from inside” . It may take a village to raise a child but it takes a city to lower the gun. It takes a city to protect our children. Educate, execute, and establish. Don’t let fear override your courage nor distract you from the truth: Chicago will deteriorate if we let the wrong fight win. Our fight is right here in Chicago, not in D.C. not at the Trump hotel.

Chicago, we will fight for what will count. We will rise for the generations to come. We will have 0 zero shots today. We will turn on the news and see favor not tragedy. We will win the real fight.

Sincerely,

A Chicagoan