I am watching the most beautiful “mile” in the world turn into a war zone where black bodies embody the spirit of the enemy. For those that don’t know, Chicago’s downtown area has been taken over by groups of violent teenagers looking to steal Ipads, for which the Chicago Police Department (CPD) has formally named “flash mobs.” Last week Chicago has seen nearly one flash mob a day and unfortunately the perpetrators have been young Black men. Press coverage seems to stay race neutral in their descriptions of the mobs, but the same language of the Illinois State Riffle Association (ISRA) places a red dot African-Americans.
Horrific robberies carried out in ways similar the theft of Krzysztof Wilkowski’s—who was sucker punched off his scooter by a thrown baseball and beaten on Chicago Ave.—provide leverage for gun policy. Advocacy groups emphasize protection, which has an intensified concern due to mobbing; thus, making the situation’s solvency incapable for police hands forms an effective strategy. What the ISRA encourages however, is more alarming: “the most effective defense a victim could muster against a flash mob would be for the victim to draw a concealed firearm.”
The profile of a “flash mobber” has inevitable physical characteristics: young, t-shirted, and Black. Permission to carry concealed firearms will only proliferate wrongful preempts and furthermore, an extension of institutionalized racism. Even though the writing doesn’t express explicit racial terms the appearance of a mobber always refers to a culture and a history. Since “mobber” is associated with the pictures and stories of young Black men terrorizing the city, the image will make shooting young Black the gut-reaction of this newly politicized fear.