“The roof, the roof is on fire we don’t need no water let that muthafucka burn, burn, burn mutha burn”. Although this quippy party catch phrase is a bit antiquated, I believe it still carries relevance today, specifically in Chicago. For a city that has risen like a phoenix from the ashes of the Great Chicago fire of 1871, it seems that an arsonist has poured kerosene on Lakeshore Drive and is attempting to raze the land of Dusable. Let me just cut to the chase and skip all the Chicago historical allusions, people “act a fool” when the weather warms up. Clearly, my assertion is a truism. Nevertheless, I believe this widely accepted fact needs further interrogation. In light of the upcoming season where the sun finally decides to make a full commitment to being present instead of cutting and running like a father derelict in his duties, I thought it was more than appropriate to at least shed light (no pun intended) on the correlation between warm weather and crime in Chicago.
According to the Chicago Sun Times, teenagers in Chicago are 10 times more likely to be victims of gun violence than Illinois youngsters living outside the city. Why? Are the schools failing Chicago students? In some instances this is the case. In fact, if former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall was alive to see some of the inequities that still exist he would be livid. Are the parents failing their children? Yes, enough so that Bill Cosby might have enough material to write another book. However, I didn’t write this post to examine social and institutional inequities, I wrote this post to shed light on the phenomena of global Negro warming in Chicago.
Whether written about in a national or local publication, many journalists have brought attention to the harrowing stories of young people who have had their lives cut short because of violence. Why are so many lives cut short in the spring and summer months? Just this past April 5 people were killed and 25 were injured in a string of separate shootings that spanned just a little over 36 hours in Chicago.
Usually when it gets warm I get a little more cognizant of my surroundings and I am more attentive to the sounds I hear. This is not to say that I’m brain dead during the Fall and the Winter, but living in a city where there seems to be a positive correlation between violence and temperature makes me get on my p’s and q’s a bit more. By no means is this a shot at (no pun intended) Chicago. However, I could not let another day of gorgeous weather and scorching heat go by without telling you all to enjoy yourselves, but have a safe summer!