Wildin’ Out Where It Don’t Matter

The hip new trend in Chicago the last couple of weeks is what some refer to as “Wilding” and others “Flash Mobs.” This is when a few to about 16 or so young people converge upon an area and start mugging people en masse. Because they’re such a large group, when they find resistance, they fight back, violently and ruthlessly. And they flee usually before the cops can get them.

Magnificent Milephoto © 2005 Yo Hibino | more info (via: Wylio)
What’s particularly news-worthy about this is that they’re doing it downtown. And in the Gold Coast. And on the Magnificent Mile. And at North Avenue Beach. (And we all know that it’s Black-on-White violence, amirite?)

This has become our Windy City Nightmare.
Of course, not the fact that teachers’ pensions and rights-to-arbitration are on the chopping block. Not the fact that our city is being sold, block-by-block, to the highest or most-connected bidder. Not the fact that there are very few jobs available in much of the West and South side neighborhoods so young adults from those neighborhoods have to go downtown or to the North side in order to find barely minimum wage jobs in the first place. If they’re fortunate enough to have a job, that is. Not the fact that mega-conglomerate/uber-rich corporations are getting tremendous tax breaks at the expense of social programs, schools, and homeowners. Those aren’t nightmares to the power brokers and gate-keepers that get to define what is and isn’t a nightmare.
The fact that few impoverished adolescents of color are afforded the kinds of opportunities that those of us of White heritage take for granted – and that Chicago is geographically segregated by those opportunities – is the long, horrible nightmare to me…
Which isn’t to say that Wilding isn’t important. Nor that it shouldn’t grab headlines (besides, how else are you going to sell newspapers these days? You can only talk about Sarah Palin so much, y’know). But it would’ve been nice to see those headlines and to hear the desperation in the police superintendent’s voice way back when the incidents began and these kids were almost exclusively terrorizing black men, women, and children in the South and West sides.
But then, the local media and the city’s halls of power would have to acknowledge that African Americans are real Americans and citizens, right? Not just votes to discard after election season…
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6 thoughts on “Wildin’ Out Where It Don’t Matter

  1. who said it isn't important? i just think we need perspective, Ed. It should have been important *BEFORE* it went downtown into white, affluent areas.

  2. The fact that crime is under reported in certain areas and that resources are unfairly allocated affects everyone. Violence–like economic and educational deprivation–should not be tolerated so long as its contained. It is a detriment in any community–whether lawndale or the gold coast–and until we begin to internalize and put into practice the reality that we are each others keeper, the cycle will continue. thanks for posting.

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