LZ Granderson: Treat Chicago Gangs as Terrorists
A powerful editorial by LZ Granderson calls for a new way of framing the rising tide of violence in Chicago.
According to Granderson, there is very little difference between the impact of an act of terror like the Boston Marathon bombing, and the terror experienced by young people in communities carved up into gang territories.
Our youth are unsafe, afraid to go to school, and afraid to walk the streets of their own neighborhoods.
Why doesn’t America fight gang violence with the same sense of urgency with which it combats terrorism?
After all, if children are afraid to walk to school because they might get killed or if residents are afraid to identify perpetrators for fear of retaliation, I think it’s safe to say they are being terrorized.
What seems like a linguistic shell game is really an exercise in empathy. The thought of elementary school kids walking across areas of a city controlled by three terrorist groups becomes unacceptable to everyone, not just their parents. Hearing that 25 Chicagoans were shot in one weekend becomes a threat to national security, and not just the mayor’s problem.
Last week, millions watched as an entire city was shut down to look for one guy. Every major news station was covering the pursuit of one guy. We all know the face and relatives of this one guy. And it’s all because he is an alleged terrorist. But more American were murdered in the south and west sides of Chicago than there were U.S. servicemen killed in Afghanistan last year, and yet for some reason we don’t view those neighborhoods as terrorized.
Thoughts on this editorial?
Should America treat gangs as terrorists?
What will it take to bring the necessary national sense of urgency to Chicago’s gun violence crisis?
Sound off below?