The following post originated from the Chicago Tribune. It was written by John Kass. While this is a controversial subject, it is worth debating in the black community. 

By: John Kass

Antonio Smith, 9 years old, was assassinated the other day. He was Chicago’s youngest fatal shooting victim this year. He was shot at least four times and fell in a backyard on the South Side. And when I went out there on 71st and Woodlawn less than 24 hours after he was murdered, here’s what I didn’t see:

I didn’t see protesters waving their hands in the air for network TV cameras. I didn’t see the Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson playing their usual roles in the political race card game.

I didn’t see white college anarchists hiding behind their white plastic Guy Fawkes masks talking about being oppressed by the state. I didn’t see politicians equivocating. But the worst thing I didn’t see was this:

But in Chicago, a black child is assassinated, and Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t on his way here. There are no hashtag campaigns saying #saveourboys. And instead of loud anger, there is numb silence.

“It’s only the second day. I don’t know what will happen,” said Helen Cross, 82, a neighbor who lives down the street from the shooting. She’s lived in the neighborhood for 49 years.

“Everybody says it’s a shame,” she said. “It was terrible. But nobody’s … nobody is …”

Her voice trailed off.


She nodded.

“A lot of people don’t want to be involved until it happens to their family,” said her son, Lewis Cross. “And that’s the shame.”

The screamers and the race hustlers buzzing in Ferguson like flies have it easy: White cop/black victim is a script that sells, and the TV cameras come running.

But in Chicago, young African-American and Latino men and boys and girls are shot down far too regularly, by neighbors, meaning other black and Latinos.

“This city is crazy,” said neighbor Arnold Caffey, a mechanic from Detroit. “I mean, Detroit is better than this.”

We were sitting on his porch out of the rain.

“A baby has been assassinated, and where’s the anger?” he asked. “When that child was shot, some people out there were still drinking, I’m saying a baby has been assassinated, they’re like, well, they don’t care.”

What if the shooter had been police officer — a white police officer?

“You know what would happen, the whole Ferguson thing,” Caffey said. “But it’s not.”

“This 9-year-old boy — in my mind — when you get multiple shots for a 9-year-old boy in a back alley, that’s an execution,” he said in a telephone interview before the event. “That’s not a drive-by, that’s not an accident. That sounds like an execution.”

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