We as South Siders know exactly what you mean when you talk about our neighborhoods in such a demeaning way. We’re aware of the challenges in our neighborhoods and we take on that weight. Last year, I logged onto Facebook to find out that my friend’s wife -- who was working for an anti-violence non-profit -- had been shot in front of their home. Of course, folks around here aren’t happy about the spread of violence, just as they aren’t happy to reminded of it over and over again and have it made out to be their sole characteristic.
Unfortunately, violence is a part of our culture. These days, people walk into schools, movie theaters, college dorms, churches and act out. So heartbreaking violence isn’t exclusive to the South Side. Remember during the mayoral election when Senator Mark Kirk told the Chicago Sun-Times that if Mayor Emanuel wasn’t re-elected, the city would turn into Detroit? He may not have been aware of what he said, but he was only stoking the fears people have about city life, stirring the same sentiments that brought about white flight in the first place.