By: Sam Fleming, Teen Voice Contributor
Every Chicagoan knows the story of the typical Chicago entertainer. Like Kanye West described on “Homecoming,” Chicago entertainers “always leave.” Fortunately for the city, however, Chance the Rapper is on a mission to prove he is different.
Two weeks ago, Chance the Rapper donated a million dollars to the Chicago Public Schools system and later announced that nine additional schools would be receiving $10,000 checks as well. He is encouraging both corporations and individual citizens to join him by changing the url to his site, chanceraps.com, to link to a “Support CPS” page where anyone can donate.
Although Chance’s donation is more symbolic ($1 million hardly dents the $250 million CPS deficit), it shows that Chance is still here for Chicago and our youth. He isn’t just talk. He is willing to go the extra mile to put money behind his words. The city needs a representative with the power to make others listen. After years of Chicago entertainers running away from responsibility, Chance has taken it head on.
Really, this shouldn’t be a surprise. In the past year, few people from Chicago have meant more to this country than Chance. He has always had the power to shine a positive light on the city, while simultaneously addressing our deep-rooted issues. He is genuinely dedicated to the community and, at times, it feels like he is the only one here willing to fight for and save our city.
Although CPS students certainly deserve Chance’s generosity, the administrations of Gov. Rauner and Mayor Emanuel do not. The Governor and the Mayor’s offices have done nothing but fail Chicago students with their inability to address the budget deficit. They both need to see this as a wakeup call. The fact that private citizens are now pitching in money to help the failing system is inspiring, yet also embarrassing. It shows that the city of Chicago cannot take care of our youth and exposes the incompetence of Illinois leaders. We cannot let the Illinois legislature get away with what they have done to our public school system. Even if Chance’s efforts alone prove successful, we still need to hold those in power accountable.
Hopefully, in the coming weeks we will begin to see an outpouring of support for CPS, but right now it’s not looking promising. Chicago youth deserve better from their state government. They deserve more Chance the Rappers. They deserve more people who actually care; people who are strong and unabashed in their support for the city.
Photo via Joshua Mellin Instagram
Sam Fleming is a junior at the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools and teen writer for BYP. He enjoys all forms of entertainment, but is most passionate about music. He has lived on the Southside of Chicago all his life and loves the Southside’s hip-hop, footwork and house music scenes. He primarily writes music criticism, and works to highlight music with a strong message.