This is a hot topic for academics and Chicagoans alike. Both sides are saying limited things and having difficulty listening to each other. There are issues of entitlement, race, and self righteousness all around.
the people that are showing up in the boystown or lake view area are not from this area i work at night in the area and i am always chasing them from the store i work from. they r coming from the southside of chicago i hate to say it but the neighborhood is turning ghetto
The problem is not new, it is worse and it needs attention. It has NOTHING to do with being a gay/straight/black/white problem. It is a safety and quality of life problem affecting ALL of us who reside, shop and partake of our community's entertainment venues.
The police need to be more proactive in anticipating problems BEFORE they happen and escalate.
Why are curfew requirements not enforced for individuals under the age of 18? Why are individuals under 21 wandering up and down Halsted at all hours of the night? They can't frequent the bars. Groups form and mob mentality takes over. All it then takes is a spark (a spilled drink) to ignite and a horrible beating and stabbing take place as we saw from the video and narrative.
Possible solutions? (1) Greater VISUAL police presence. (2) Disbursing groups before they form. (3) Making police contact cards on individuals whose actions indicate they might be a problem. This lets the trouble makers know their BEHAVIOR is being monitored. (4) North Halsted Merchants Association needs to step up and come up with options to protect their customers. (5) Our alderman needs to ensure we are getting the number of police officers we need, especially during the summer months. (6) As residents, personal opinions need to be put aside and attention focused on the bigger picture - do whatever we need to do to ensure our community is safe and quality of life is maintained for ALL residents. Most of us live in the community because of its diversity. That is not the problem.
B/c I have a balcony on Halsted, I have seen the progression of disruption over the past few years. I used to be the only one calling the police to report the disturbances and was met with a lot of negativity from my neighbors who wanted to "embrace diversity" - my neighbors also accused me of being racist. Now that the problem has gotten out of hand, my neighbors are looking at each other in complete bewilderment wondering how it got so bad... As a contractor, I know - once you sense a problem (whether it is a small leak, one ant, one cockroach, etc.) you better take care of the problems RIGHT away - otherwise they will multiply!!
And to those who call me racist - I am not!!! It is just a fact that every single loud obnoxious and unruly person happens to be black. I think it may be "cultural" b/c I don't think these people are trying to be offensive or cause trouble - this is just the way they normally act. Even so, their motivation is not my concern. They need to behave and adapt to their environment. I would love to see what would happen to them if you bussed them to Lake Forest or Winnetka or Hinsdale. I bet any amount of money, they would be arrested in nanoseconds.
JJconbrier, while I completely agree that it should not matter what race the offenders are, you have to realize that it IS an issue b/c all of the offenders are black. Again, I don't think the majority of the loud and rowdy people are TRYING to cause trouble - this is just the way they normally behave. We just have to try and let them know not to behave in this way in our neighborhood. If they adhere to the rules of etiquette, they will be more than welcome - we would be happy to have them. Seriously, I assume they are capable of behaving well in a store or library (or juvenile court/school detention), so it shouldn't be a foreign concept to them. We just have to get the message across.
To all of you who live in the Halsted and Belmont area, you need to wake up. If these roving mobs were in my E. Lakeview neighborhood, I can promise you that I would be calling the police and the alderman non-stop. I call Tom Tunney at the drop of a hat. Squeaky wheels get the grease! Your silence is taken as acceptance of the situation.
Is it any coincidence that the major surgeon crime has coincided with the opening of The Center on Halsted? These criminally-prone youths are brought to the neighborhood for these programs (that apparently are of no use) and stick around to perpetrate violent crimes on the very community that's trying to help them, when their own communities have turned their backs on them. So much for gratitude. Maybe the programs need to be discontinued?
I purchased in Lakeview because I was burglarized while in Andersonville/Edgewater and wanted to return to the safety and gentrification of Lakeview. We need to nip this in the bud (neighborhood watch, stricter loitering laws, vigilantism), whatever it takes to take back our neighborhood and keep it safe.
This violence is unacceptable. As in favor of tolerance and diversity I may be, these criminal activites are INTOLERABLE.
Peter just like you, I refuse to set foot on Halsted. I used to be proud and brag about our neighborhood's diversity, now, it seems more a liability than and asset. I think the Center on Halsted's role has to be re-evaluated.
We had a similar problem near Loyola many years ago. However, neighbors worked together with the police and with local businesses, and the area became a better place to live. As a resident of Lakeview, I'd like to see the streets become safe to use at night. I'm hoping people can work together to find a solution that will benefit both the community and the kids in question.
I'm glad the news addressed the issued, even if they did gloss over it.
I was pleasantly surprised to see cops out in full force on Monday, blatently making their presence known, but how long will that last? Or more importantly will the violence just shift from plain sight to the side streets?
I think we all need to be proactive, make our voices known, and refuse to back down until a permanent, ongoing solution is proposed.
Nothing will happen until the media and cops will call it what it is and do something pro-active. This is happening all over the country and it continually gets reported as "teen mobs" when it should be reported as "black gangs" attacking and robbing. Enough of the PC crap already. Report it as what it is.
One thing I've wondered about is the role of The Night Ministry in our neighborhood. I live close to the intersection where they set up shop and oftentimes am a bit uncomfortable walking past or nearby the crowds that come. I don't at all want to diminish or negate the great work that ministry does, but I do believe that it's a magnet for a lot of the perpetrators of said crimes and mob violence that's been on the rise in the neighborhood. The funny thing is that I would be safe to assume that nearly all of the people to come to The Night Ministry are not actual residents of the neighborhood but travel here from other places in the city. While the work they do is invaluable, I feel that the crowds it draws and loitering they do afterward causes concern for safety.
we need to call police asap when we see a large crowd gather any were like on the corners of belmont and clark and i have found out clark divides 2 different police districts the 23 and 19. if there is a problem in the 23 they chase them to the 19 which is at dunkin donuts. and vise versa or on the croner by spin i see this every nite i come home from work or im at work. i see a group in front of my store i call the cops. im not playing with these unruly peolpe who dont belong in our neightborhood
I'm wondering if there's any conenection between these attacks and the "flash mobs" robbing people on the CTA recently. Could just be a coincidence, but...
Maybe we just need to flood the mayor's office with phone calls and emails demanding immediate action. Let's be honest, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and a newly elected mayor will be working heavily to assert his leadership and efficacy this early in his term.
I agree that we need to attend the CAPS meeting tomorrow. I think it's at the Inter American School at 7:00?
@mspolitix- are you suggesting that being assaulted by gangs of black teenagers is just a part of the "Chicago Experience" much like corrupt politicians? People of all races fight, but EVERY mob act has been by a group of black thugs. I'm not going to bury my head in the PC sand. Or maybe CPS can follow TSAs lead and begin randomly patting down Iowan tourists in an effort to stop this problem and not offend anybody?
Marc's comment - "It is just a fact that every single loud obnoxious and unruly person happens to be black. I think it may be "cultural" b/c I don't think these people are trying to be offensive or cause trouble - this is just the way they normally act. "
Wow. Sweeping generalizations will only get you so far.
@Sally - a bar owner's hands are tied...not allowed to refuse service or admittance. Much like a person who is being stalked, can't do a thing until a crime happens. Try to refuse entrance to 30 thugs and the ACLU will slap a "Denny's" suit on you and cost you your business in legal fees.
Saying the attacks are being perpetrated by blacks is not racist, it's reality, they are black. But comments like this:
"And to those who call me racist - I am not!!! It is just a fact that every single loud obnoxious and unruly person happens to be black. I think it may be "cultural" b/c I don't think these people are trying to be offensive or cause trouble - this is just the way they normally act"
Are flat out racist, in fact it's the literal definition of it. Come on, blacks are loud, obnoxious and unruly because they can't help it? Seriously WTF.
The problems are obvious and not unique to Lakeview, extreme concentrated poverty on the south/west sides and scattered sites CHA buildings, a severe lack of fathers, much less good mothers and a long standing police shortage.
As for the diversity comments, Lakeview is far from diverse.
has anyone every noticed that these under agers who dont live in the neighborhood never go past roscoes ave the hang out between roscoes and belmont on halsted. only because the police station is on addison. and they hang out also between halsted and sheffield on belmont because there are 2 different police districts the 19 and 23 districts trust me i will be at that meeting tonite i work and like going out to boystown
Tim - you have hit another nail on the head regarding the Night Ministry. Is and always has been a problem. The majority of people NM "ministers" to, are from outside the neighborhood. No one wants to touch it, however, because of the perceived political ramifications. (1) Why park a NM van in the middle bar/nightlife area when many of their clients are substance abusers. (2) Doubt a Night Ministry van would ever be parked in front of the major's home.
Teen Living Center above "Chipolte" (Belmont/Broadway) also problem. Recently witnessed an elderly gentleman trying to pass through a crowd of "kids" in front of the building. It was the middle of the afternoon. Several of these thugs intentionally bumped and pushed the gentleman while the others laughed.
Teen Living admin. staff have stated in past they can't control what their clients do outside the building and basically wash their hands of the problem.
The woman who used to head up the Night Ministry group, maybe still does, is horrible and refuses to even enter into discussions with the community and police "because we oppress the youth". Ideally, the NM needs to find another, less congested location to park (i.e. parking lot at Belmont Yacht club, Open Arms Lot next to the IHOP where Belmont/Halsted intersect).
As residents we need to continue to act on things we see. Thank god for John Cunningham's video. Communicating through video/e-mails/blogs/tweets to keep this issue alive, is ultimately going to be the solution to these roving gangs of thugs because it can't be ignored. Calling the police and making reports of disturbances - asking for a copy of the report (your right) - gives documented evidence there is a problem instead of these problems continually being ignored.
Wow, okay first of all that is not true. There have been plenty of white mobs and thugs that have perpetrated crimes. The fact that you would even write that lets me know that you have allowed yourself to sink into prejudice and yes - racism. This is the easiest/laziest response to fear. Not all people who are disruptive or commit crimes are black. The people committing crimes in the neighborhood right now might be black but that is no reason to post these false statements on the internet about a whole race of people of whom you know little about. You obviously don't really KNOW any black people or you wouldn't have written such a stupid thing.
Enough already about what color the hooligans are! As usual, the focus has been taken off of the actual problem. Every hyper-sensitive observer lecturing everyone on "tolerance" is coming out of the woodwork. Your fake outrage is boring. I am not, and never will be, tolerant of violence in my neighborhood. Color is a descriptive word and it should not be left out of any discussion. Would you not describe the offenders as young, old, tall, bald or thin? That video of the fight was appalling and scary. I intend to stay focused on the criminals and what they are doing to our neighborhoods. I have read enough posts from people who are now afraid to walk around in Boystown and on Belmont. Stop funding the Center and that will be a good start. It was a nice idea.
Mspolitics- can you cite examples of white mob crimes? I can post dozens from the past month of black mob actions...you probably haven't heard of them as msm doesn't report. Kid in SC brutally attacked and left for dead in a park, now on life support. Peoria has has them several weekends in a row. If there is ever a white on black crime it is front page news and Jesse and Al are firing upntheirnprivare jets to stir the race pot. You statistically have a 50 times greater chance of Getting attacked by a black person if you are white than vice versa, even though blacks make up 13% of the population. Ignoring or pretending it doesn't happen deosn't make it go away. No false statements, and i know what i'm talking about...i merely think for myself and haven't allowed political correctness to make me feel guilt for stating the truth.
I think the discussion veering towards race takes the focus off the actual problem. Violence is never acceptable. If you see something, say something, and call the police, period. I've spent a great deal of my adult life on the north side of Chicago, including Boystown, corners of Belmont, Halsted, Clark, and the whole lakeview area. Yes I've witnessed loud, obnoxious, drunk people of every race looking for trouble, yes Dave even white ones.
I currently live in Rogers Park. There is a heavy police presence along Sheridan Road and for that I'm grateful. It's not crime-free but still fairly pleasant and I'm comfortable walking along Sheridan Road although I don't let me guard down as it's still a big city. But I will call the police if I see anything remotely suspicious, and so will my neighbors.
It is not a cultural issue so stop looking for instant answers because there aren't any. If we really want to stop the violence, stop with the finger pointing and start working together and respecting each other as people.
I consider myself to be a color blind liberal however, the issued at hand was caused by black thugs raising havoc. To call it by any other name or color is pretty disingenuous and nonsense. Never be afraid to call a spade a spade.
Clearly you missed the point Dave. Yes I do think those who live or work in the area should work together and respect one another. A lot can be accomplished. Yeah, how PC of me.
I was born and raised on Chicago's west side and have friends and family who live all over the city, including the south side. I've visited bars, restaurants, parks, cultural events, you name it, in every community. Yep, I would gladly visit a bar on the south side and have on numerous occasions. Yet, I've never had a problem there or anywhere else for that matter.
People, bottom line, how do we stop the violence in the area? What can the community do to send the message that violence will not be tolerated? Please do not live in fear because your silence will be considered acceptance of the problem. That's what troublemakers want, for you to be afraid to speak up. I believe the meeting is tonight, attend, and let your voice be heard. Let your alderman know you want a increased police presence along certain corridors and throughout the community. Keep your eyes peeled for anything suspicious and call the police. Good luck.
Here's an idea - what about taking the whole white/black racial profiling issue out of the equation all together? It gets us no where and pits people against each other when in reality they all want the same thing -a safe and peaceful place to live.
What about focusing on BEHAVIORAL profiling as this has no color.
It's simple, as long as your BEHAVIOR doesn't interfere with the safety and quality of life of the Lakeview community, you'll be welcomed. Conversely, if your behavior is such where other people feel their safety is being threatened or their quality of life is in jeopardy, you are not welcome in Lakeview and steps will be taken to ensure your BEHAVIOR is not going compromise the safety of those around you.
I'm sure this opinion will make me REALLY unpopular but I grew up in a ghetto-type neighborhood. Blacks, whites, latinos, they were all "unpriviledged" And you know what? Most their problems were self-inflicted. They chose to do drugs, to smash out their own screen doors, to let the lawn die and be filled with empty liquor bottles and fast food wrappers. They made the choice to keep having kids and increasing the welfare check instead of getting a job. Nobody was "holding them down". My teachers made every effort to educate us and try to get us to overcome our beginnings and very few of us did. I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in my city and I have NO CRIMINAL RECORD. I have no kids out of wedlock, I've never even been arrested. It's all about choices.
I just wrote this on facebook but I propose a neighborhood watch/patrol. The uniform could be the same color t-shirt and berets. I like the idea of Pink berets, a nice bright color would be noticeable from far away. They'd be equipped with walkie talkies, cellphones, whistles and legal personal defense items. They could come and "positively loiter" wherever our "youths" are congregating and make it harder for them to cause shenanigans. How about it?
Local businesses could encourage membership in the patrol by having incentives, maybe you could always get free coffee at 7-11, or maybe a pop at some restaurant, discount on food, it could be a good thing. They could put on their website "We support the Pink Berets" or something.
When the mob is whipped up into a "Lord of the Flies" frenzy, whistles and pink berets will not save you... I think it could work but only as maintenance. The police have to take care of the problem first.
Peter - having lived in the neighborhood for 35+ years, the only time problems have been solved is when EVERYONE involved works together to come up with the solution!
Having a neighborhood/watch patrol made up of residents/business owners/staffs from the businesses in the area as you have proposed, in my opinion, is an integral part of getting this problem under control. Positive loitering does work.
However, its success or failure is going to be dependent on the partnership that is formed between this group, the police, the alderman, the GLBT center, the Night Ministry, Teen Living, and the Halsted business community. No one group can handle this roving groups of people by themselves.
We are working on Positive loitering to address some of the problem areas of Edgewater too. I have been taking the approach of everyone has to work together if we are going to put a stop to the issues that seem to problems that we are all facing.
Community Groups/Residents, Business Owners/Staff, Cops, and the Aldermen all have to work together.
In the area that I am specifically working with, it is one of those border spots between police districts which means we have gotten both 20 & 24 to sign on with what we are doing.
Just don't give up hope. It took awhile for the group that formed that I joined to get off of it's feet, but the lady who worked to get it started didn't give up.
Dave, you are clearly very attached to your racism. I think they call your kind "rabid racists". I clearly stated an irrefutable fact in my post. That is that not all black people commit crimes and not all crimes are committed by black people. Simple, clear, and to the point. Instead of accepting the unquestionable truthfulness of this statement you have continued to whip up hatred of a whole group of people with your Jesse and Denny's and your sweeping indictments of a whole group of people. If you can't think of instances on you own of white mobs killing people maybe you have not attended school/college and I certainly am not going to spend this post educating you on American History! Kathryn it is not hyper sensitive to address prejudice and racism wherever we find it. Marc and Angry in Lakeview you can hide behind the taunt of political correctness, but I am not afraid to call a spade a spade either and so I call you "racist." I absolutely will not pretend I don't see you all on the net writing these things. Your posts clearly show that you hate black people. Bad news, Chicago is almost 30% black. Your attempt to keep them out of "your neighborhood" will not work. If you want to be happy you should either 1) move to Montana and surround yourself with 1940s German Memorabilia or 2) work with all of your neighbors to understand the issue, and stop making enemies by posting hateful things on the net. Though you may not know it I am SURE you have some black neighbors and this position in a city that is 1/3 BLACK will not be helpful to you in the future. So what do you all think? All black people are bad and we will just keep THEM all out of our neighborhood and things will be fine. We will put on pink hats and make them leave. We will make them carry passes when they are on this side of town. Yeah, passes-papers. That way we can tell who is SUPPOSED to be here. Yeah. Sounds good.
I always find it curious that people throw around the label "Liberal" as if they've landed a devastating blow against a person or their thoughts and ideals. I'm personally proud to call myself a liberal.
I'm generally appalled by some of the reactions I have seen come out of this website over the past few weeks about any number of issues.
I guess if this site is supposed to help us get to know our neighbors, it's working... I'm just shocked at some of what I am discovering.
"Lord of the Flies" is the term that comes to my mind, too. How do you solve this trend, though? These kids aren't gang bangers, generally. It's seems like group-wide criminal mischief and a breakdown of social order. The breakdown of order and the evaporation of inhibition against violence are the most disturbing aspects, in my mind.
I'm thinking we need more cops on the street and on the El, and more enforcement of existing code: loitering, open container laws, public intoxication, public disturbance, etc. And everyone -- cops, business owners, parents, aldermen, store workers, people living in town -- need to significantly raise the expectations of decent behavior in our city!
Kevin, google "mob peoria" and check out what is going on there EVERY weekend. Then try "miami mob", and follow with "mob beats teen south carolina", "walgreen's mob chicago", "beach closing chicago", "gold coast mob chicago" All in the last month, all not reported by any major news outlet. All causing me to be labeled "racist" because i don't call it a "teen flash mob" and see the obvious pattern
Pete, you are right, i am shocked to find that meighbors who are confronted with facts and events in their own front yard still make excuses for the offenders...shocked.
Angry in Lakeview your opinion of me hardly matters. Dave, way to not deal with anything I said, again. So we're back to it Dave. What do you want to do? You are the genius that has figured out "the pattern". They are all black. Now what? You've shared with us your feelings about how all the trouble makers are black. You've told us (and so have some of your neighbors) that all people who act up are black. All the trouble makers are black. All mobs are black. All people who commit crimes are black. Some of your neighbors have likened black people to cockroaches. They have said they are not afraid to call a spade a spade. And that when they say all blacks are bad they are not racist just observant. They have called them animals. You've all said that you will not be stifled by political correctness.(and clearly you are not, although it's not so much political as human). You've shared your crime statistics. You've entertained us with your witty remarks about Jesse Jackson and Denny's and race riots. Yet I am still not sure what the point of all the identifying is. What does Dave want to do next with his facts and his certainties. That, you don't seem to be willing to share. However, that would be the logical next step. I wonder why you have not been as forceful about sharing that with us all?
Kevin, I could not agree with you more. Mspolitix, do you often find yourself standing by yourself at cocktail parties because you cannot stop labeling and lecturing? This type of threat to our neighborhood is not defined by color or politics. It seems to be a serious and major trend. Although there are no teen mobs on my street, I have seen some disturbing behavior in my neighborhood lately too. I plan to participate and fight. Power to the people!
You can attribute any of the things i said and i will back them, but the thigs i sisn't say (cockroaches, animals, etc) you need to take up with those who made the remarks.
What should be done is for police to be able to halt the actions before they happen, yet they are hamstrung by people like you who scream "racial profiling!" when they do. I see a lot of posts about calling the police...have you ever tried to get the CPD to respond to anything less than a murder in progress?...doesn't happen.
Groups of punks (white or black) in a neighborhood they don't live stirring up trouble should be paddy wagoned and moved out with a do not return label...as beat cops used to do...recognize potential issues and be proactive.
People such as yourself have coddled and defended offenders for years, now you reap what you have sown and can't handle the facts.
You don't know me so don't presume to tell me what I have or have not done. I am reaping what I have sown and that is a very happy crime free life. Ah so here we finally have it. Racial profiling, that is Dave's big answer. If only we could stop all these black kids coming up here into our neighborhood, harass them and make them go home so I can feel safe and comfortable again, like I used to. The Bush doctrine of policing. Yes! That is it. That is the answer. If anyone was suggesting stopping white kids even though historically white people have committed the most murders (look it up), your head would spin off into the atmosphere and explode. What does the cpd not responding to calls have to do with black people being the cause of all malfeasance?
Twisting words again, spin-meister. I said CPD doesn't respond to anything...nothing about race mentioned at all. Your white guilt is making you crazy.Figured you'd go into an anti-Bush rant sooner or later...you're very predictable.
Check your crime stats before you cite, informed people don't buy it.
Actually, mspolitix, there have been a few things said that I thought were a bit much. However, there are facts regarding the mobs that cannot be denied and you are attacking the messenger. George Bush? Really?
Damn teens! With their mybooks & facespaces..why in my day we had pagers & pay phones & we liked it! But we also had a stable economy & some semblence of a middle class so that teenagers in the 80s & 90s @ least had the possibility of a stable home life. 2day the kids' parents are fighting over table scrap jobs that don't pay them enough 2 supervise the youngsters...all I'm saying is that ever time u point a finger @ any group u have 3 others pointing@ the fact that capitalism is a failure & our society is collapsing around us everyday
Capitalism isn't a failure, our 50 year social welfare program is a failure. Generations of families taught not to suceed, but to look for government handouts and vote for the self-servicing pols who promise them more, but keep them down.
A government that robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the vote of Paul.
Xander Joseph 47east lakeview resident combined 20 yrs.
are you really saying Fight the Enemy???? Geez. we are trying to be peaceful and working with these 'underclass' ghetto kids invading our neighborhoods with no simple manners whatsover. I see what you mean.... but we're not training dogs after all. Can't they just be nice and cordial to others in a new neighborhood to them? not much to ask at all. be nice to on and other is all. maybe I read to much in your comment, so i aplogize in advance if so.
Karl, my husband "lays" me every night so don't you fret over that. Kathryn and everyone else I never said there weren't "things" about the attacks that should be denied. Only that just because all the attacks are by black kids does not mean that we should start writing things about all blacks on this site, as some have done. Or making a case for how horrible black people are as Dave is insists upon doing. Can no one read!
Mspolitix, can I point out that YOU'RE the only one saying all black people are criminals. Nobody else said that. Yes, the youths involved in this attack and the majority of the mob attacks have been black. They've also be youths, Chicagoans, etc. It's a violence issue, not a racial issue, quit trying to make it one. There are many wonderful black people in this community who are loved and appreciated and affected by this violence the same as every race, sex, age, creed, and income bracket. Race may be a factor in describing the offenders, but it's not the issue at hand.
Are you kidding me. Clearly you did not read the previous entries or you don't know what racist means. This is the first I have heard of any appreciate black people in this neighborhood on this blog. How can you read all that Dave has written and say that. What a freakin joke!
Xander Joseph 47east lakeview resident combined 20 yrs.
seriously have to address the ghetto kids that are recycled from the center on halsted. something we could do better for them ya know. the deserve better than we had as young gay kids... not even knowing if you are included. Some police and center programs could assist than just throwing them as wild queer drag queens into halsted in the middle of the street in the middle of the streeet????
please share.... i feel help less.... everyone knows this.... young uneducated drag queend let loose on Haslted as Gang Bangers! it's what it is. they admit it.
Xander Joseph 47east lakeview resident combined 20 yrs.
honesty...... always nice.... unerstand ghetto people....most of my firends are black for 20yrs... nothing acting ghetto with no matters, always welcome here.... ghetto loud and out of control drunk can go back where you know..... I don;t have to say..... you know..... drunk.... loud....drunk..... throw up, display of unclothe, not talking appropriatietly..... just being drunk and trashy is all.... need to back to the south soud. Even CTA determinied that!!! determinted that all. South Ghetto people had to go home. thanks when they did. w Welcome back when you behave!!!!! Geez! Leave the Ghetto behind. Tell your folks that you learned better geeze! all. don't be suck ghetto folkes after all. have some manners for heavens sake you all. Shame on you all!
Xander Joseph 47east lakeview resident combined 20 yrs.
geez...hope you can let me introduce more things into the center on Halsted with mentor programs with the local police part time programs and others for mentor programs to help train these young men. Sorry if I still refer them to you Ghetto Gang Bangers. Its what they are! Maybe we can work together somewhow. The Drag Queen Drag Bangers are still making threats along Halsted going even beyond than you could imagine. They are out of control..... same as their Drag. Can you help or even touch them. I've lost with them. It's all Drag and Drugs and Crime at this Point.... and Center on Halsted knows all about it!!
Xander Joseph 47east lakeview resident combined 20 yrs.
of course dont relate to your issues thank you. We are now having issues with the Center On Halsted and the Gang Relatives that are allowed and causing a problem there. not against the different ages.... but some kind of policing and training and and teaching these young kids and giving them some kind of come of aging type of thigs before sending them out as wild young wild drag queens of 13 in the streets! lt them have some mentoring of someking. they always go into violence and vagrancy and homelesly.... we could help them. The Society just lets them go at 13!!! GeeZZZ
Maybe we need to either but the subject to bed or redirect the discussion to the stabbing and related violence?
I know in the past, I've seem small squabbles among friends and just ket it go if it was non-violent and seemed to be between friends. Maybe we need to start calling the cops EVERY TIME there are people in an altercation. Or anytime there is a group of unruly people (regardless of age or race). If nothing else, increased police presence will help deter blatant violence. By watching the video, it's clear the assailants are acting without fear of retribution; possibly because there aren't enough reports and ramifications?
The only thing we can do is be more involved. Hatred never solved anything, but neither did ignorance. Help where help is needed; either to quell an altercation or lend assistance to someone in need. If the message comes across that we care about this community and this type of behavior will NOT be abided, not without retribution, maybe the violence will abate.
So I implore you to be proactive and get involved, no matter how small. Don't want the change, make the change. Dirty looks and snide comments are of no avail. Now I'll step down from my soapbox and wish you all well.
We're all neighbors and need to look out for each other. Peace
Much of the rhetoric and language in these comments scares me. There seems to be a lack of awareness of whiteness and privilege, limited understanding of Chicago's history, limited understanding of systems of oppression, and a lot of assumed entitlement.
Y'all know the Lakeview neighborhood was only been gentrified within the last couple of decades, right? Like y'all haven't owned this soil since the dawn of time. This may be a little arbitrary to the previous comments, Lakeview/LP were not as plush and bourgeois even in recent history.
As an advocate for NPOs, I was extremely saddened and disheartened with the comments about The Center on Halstead, The Night Ministry, ect. These are NPOs with awesome programming for queer people of all ages typically negated by both the GLB and Chicago community at large. To point an entitled finger at these guys, blaming them responsible for the violence is devastating to read. I didn't know wealth thought of these organizations as a way to "fix" the community, to wash the community clean of disruptions to the norm.
The comment about the neighborhood's diversity shifting from an asset to a liability reminded me of a piece I read in college by bell hooks. These people are violating "whiteness" (as a social construct, not color). By erecting virtual fences and segregation through law enforcement and wealth, you're potentially stifling dialogue. Dialoge, listening, unifying, support, and understanding is what's going to create peace - Not threats and hostile rich people. Ever look up the word solidarity in the dictionary? Now might be a good time.
Dudes and gals, when you thought this diversity was an asset, how many of you actually attempted to involve yourself in understanding people outside of your own race? To understand the history of your community? How many of you have ever volunteered in social service organizations such as The Center or the Night Ministry?
By involve yourself in understanding people outside of your own race, I REALLY don't want to hear another "but I have black friends" comment. There are so many issues with those types of statements I don't want to even get started. To relate, it's just like how our buddy Santorum has "lots of gay friends"
Field Report Everyone: I went to the CAPS meeting down by Hasted tonight. Wow, lot of people there, supposedly about 600 or so (how's that for community involvement!). So many people wanted to speak that they didn't get to the "solutions" part of the meeting, so that will be addressed at a subsequent meeting. The crowd was very raucous, sometimes in a good way, sometimes in a bad way (but there was a young contingency that kept shouting and chanting over people and calling everyone racists, screaming the f-word, etc.
There was quite a bit of criticism of the Center on Halsted and the Night Ministry. From what I gather they've brought a seedy/dangerous element into the area that wasn't there before, at least not in those numbers. At one point some guy gets on the mike, and starts insisting that the violence is being caused because we're not giving these troubled youths enough alternates, not funding enough programs, so we need to build more facilites for them, give them jobs, secure funding for more homeless shelters for troubled gay teens in Boystown -- then some guy stands up and goes "What are you talking about, we just spent $30 Million dollars on the Halsted Center, and look what that got us!" and the crowd went wild in suport.
There was one guy from the South Side, african american guy, who stands up and goes, "I've lived on the South Side for 30 years, and we've been dealing with this type of violence the entire time, and we've seen what it's done to our community, and let me tell you from experience, you do not want to see your neighborhood turn into that!" which got another huge response, tons of cheers, etc.
The race issue was there and was discussed, but thankfully it never exploded. It's a tricky situation. It will be interesting to see how the new Police Sup and Rahm handle this very loaded situation. Hopefully everyone can find a way to bring order back to this city!
I hate to say it but I believe the center on halsted is the source of the problem. Many times when I went via there into whole foods, I had to get by teens hanging around, and sometimes begging for money. Too many unruly and acting out teens are not being dealt with. I do not know why this misbehavior is not being dealt with. I do not feel safe or comfortable going to the center now.
Being tolerant does not include excusing bad and dangerous behavior. It is more about commonsense and decency than race or gayness.
The CAPS meeting almost dealt more with Social Injustice than the intended issue of Safety and Security. In other word, for the most part, the meeting was hijacked from its intended purpose. The one thing I took out of it was: the Center on Halsted has to be re-evaluated, audited and perhaps investigated. Are we harboring the enemy? that's almost how it feels. No good deed goes unpunished.
If there is any type of silver lining in this incident it is the awareness that has been generated to the fact we have a problem and the passion with which people are responding to the issue. It is long overdue as those of us who live in the neighborhood can attest to.
However, blaming groups, individuals, name calling, etc. accomplishes NOTHING and takes the focus away from bottom line that all any of us who live in the neighborhood want is a safe environment to walk around in, shop, partake in the nightlife and live.
Those who continually belittle certain groups accomplish little and it is sad that so much energy is expended this way when it could be channeled into problem solving. The police can't do it by themselves, the alderman can't do it by himself, the residents and businesses can't do it by themselves - people need to come together to arrive at solutions.
Please - at least until the muggings, stabbings, burglaries, break-ins, strong armed robberies, vandalism, etc. - anything that affects our quality of life in the neighborhood - is under control, use your energy to come up with solutions rather than lashing out at each other.
The issues here are regarding unacceptable, dangerous, and violent behavior that should not and must not be tolerated by anybody, whether gay or not, and no matter what color.
The center on halsted must firmly and without ceasing set some standards for these teens, for their and the good of everyone. The center may have to bar any person who refuses to adjust to life, like everyone else, or suffer the consequences. Why would it be surprising that I among others are too fearful to go there?
PMSPOLITIX i have an idea. We can sponsor anti-violence training, but not force the thugs from the Center to go because that would be offensive and racist. We can pick random people from the area and force them to go...40 yr old white women, 80 yr old mexican me, blind albino monks, etc. That way it won't offend you or those that are being offensive.
I've followed this discussion closely and had hoped to see some more solution orientated thinking.
Let's start with the idea that the Center on Halsted and the Night Ministry are providing valuable services.
I run by CoH most days, and can attest that in my two years of living in the area the number of people hanging out at/around the corner has literally almost gone up weekly (by a factor of 10+). These must be the best places for the youths to hang out, as they are voting with their feet. They wouldn't be patronized if they weren't dosing out some value.
That said, with that popularity comes responsibility both within their doors and neighborhoods. Ever seen a "please respect our neighbors and leave quietly" sign in a bar? Yeah, I thought so. Bar owners don't want to piss off the neighborhood and usually try hard to limit the nuisance they cause. The CoH and NM are no different.
How about making community rules part of all of the services? Barring troublemakers from services/privileges? Etc?
Regardless of crime, it is just annoying to have to squeeze for space on the sidewalks with groups of 10+ youths hanging out. I go by on my way to the lake, and on my return 30 minutes later. These kids aren't going anywhere and seem to be multiplying.
I doubt the cops are the answer, how about some other constructive ideas?
Tom, good response. I'm still testy about the communities fantastical view of what CoH and NM. The violence and the NPOs involvement much more complicated than people are assuming. However, in seeking a more immediate approach to the violence, the best thing to do is to work constructively as a community united. I'm just curious, but has anybody incorporate the youth in question into any of these meetings and discussions? Has the violence been directed at the neighbors or is it mostly within the circle of these youth? From what I understand, the violence is happening between the youth in question and that the neighbors are mostly just experiencing fear and paranoia. Another question too: if Boystown is segregated to only those who behave and interact like the wealthy demand in that neighborhood, where will these youth be given a safe space? Could it be possible that part of the solution won't be just controlling the behavior of the youth, but modifying the behavior and involvement of the residents with concern? Could it be possible we could unite the youth with the residents?
I am still perplexed by last night's CAPS meeting and particularly by the defiant attitude of the Center on Halsted's youths. More than a grateful stance I found what appeared to be professional agitators with a sense of entitlement. I still believe that the Center needs to be re-evaluated, Its Mission Statement revisited, its directors and staff re-appraised. Is there a Code of Conduct? Youths seem to play the "victim" card and yet offer nothing in return. They seem to despise the community that embraced them. Maybe its also time to approach the corporate and private donors and even review their government funding.
One more thing, every teenager rich or poor, black or white, educated or illiterate has at one point in their lives, going back to biblical times, viewed as a sexual object by predators. What makes the Center on Halsted's youths believe that they are the only ones being victimized? Maybe it's their demeanor? Or maybe that's what they are being taught?
Shane, I am not sure you understand how serious this problem is. Based on the fact that you are a student, I am guessing that you are not a homeowner. When a neighborhood gets a reputation for being dangerous, residents and businesses suffer. You call the area homeowners "wealthy" and somehow imply that this means they don't care about the youth? What these people care about, whether they are apartment dwellers or condo owners, is a safe and positive environment for all. Right now, this reality is threatened. I really don't care why the thug stabbed someone five times on our streets. I don't want to have a discussion with this person or make excuses for his behavior. I want him to be punished and people like him to stay away from E. Lakeview. Pie-in-the-sky solutions won't work. We need beat cops and tough love. You disobey the rules, you are banned from the center. Period.
Agreed, I lack the perspective of a property owner or business owner and I need to consider those views and opinions. Also, I'm not as articulate as the organizing groups advocating for the safety of the youth, such as the advocacy group Gender Just. To call my opinions idealistic and ungrounded is frustrating. Also, why would it be difficult for you to listen to and talk to the perspective of the offender? What would have happened if the people in the community listend to the offender and supported the offender before the violence occurred?
I understand residents are seeking a "fix it now" solution, but residents have to understand they are upholders of long-term systematic oppression. Creating and enforcing classist and racial divides supported events leading to violence. The resident's own indirect involvement in the situation is a violence in and of itself that needs awareness and understanding. The best solution would be if the residents could admit their own involvement in the violence and offer a solution beyond segregation through law enforcement. Is threatening a group of people based on a profile with more and more police (with their own biases and ability to cause violence in the name of the law) going to make the community more "welcoming" and "safe"? What if the people of the community were able to contribute to a solution instead of commanding the NPOs and law enforcement to do their bidding?
There was a young lady who got up to speak at the meeting yesterday and started complaining about the lack of programs and resources in the area, and then started lecturing the audience on how that was the solution, not increased police on the beat, enforcement of laws, etc.
She then went on to say that she just moved here a few months ago from another state (South Carolina, I think), and starts rattling off the list of IL-taxpayer funded assistance programs she's on. I was like, where do get the gall to come in here and lecture people and families who've lived in the neighborhood for 5, 10, 20, 30 years about how they should deal with stabbings and crime in their neighborhood?! And not only that, but lecture them on how they need to pay more of their money into "social-assistance" programs, many of which are arguably drawing problems into the area to start off with?
Shane, I respect your wish to help the less fortunate and I believe that your motivations are positive and sincere. Once a crime has been committed, however, all bets are off. I don't care to know what motivated the offender to stab someone five times or beat someone to a pulp with a baseball bat. Talking ends at that point. Once the knife comes out, I don't care about the offender's racial experiences or problems adjusting because his mother can't support him in the style that he wants. The whole idea of the Halsted center in question was to provide the youth with a safe place to talk and congregate! It does not seem to be working.
Have been following this blog closely. It's heartening to start to see some turn around where people are coming up with positive ideas on how to solve the problem with some of these groups instead of soap boxing on personal issues.
Tom on Kenmore's idea of setting up some community rules for everyone to abide by is a great idea.
Hopefully someone from the North Halsted Business alliance or alderman's office reads this blog as it makes sense for one or both of them to spear head the formation of a task force. Members of the task force should include reps. from businesses/bars/restaurants/Night Ministry/GLBT Center/residents/police etc. to draft some common sense community rules. The "rules" need to reflect this fact so there is no misunderstanding about the businesses/bars etc. being unified and on board with each other.
Ideas for such "rules" include (1) rowdy and threatening groups will be disbursed; (2) bar owner/staff will deny entrance to their establishment to people they feel are there to disrupt their business; it is okay for the police to enforce curfew; (3) police will stop individuals whose BEHAVIOR indicates a problem and make a contact card out on them; (4) on the nights the Night Ministry van is parked at Halsted/Belmont, a representative from the NM needs to be physically on site until the bars close to help handle any situation involving their clients; (5) ditto for the GLBT Center - they can't continue to draw individuals into the neighborhood and not accept some responsibility for them after the center closes. (7) curfews will be enforced, etc. etc.
Copies of the "rules" should be handed out by the bars, the Night Ministry, the GLBT Center, the police. There should be no misunderstanding that if your BEHAVIOR is appropriate, you are welcomed into the community; conversely, if your BEHAVIOR threatens the safety and quality of life of the community, you will be monitored, arrested if need be, and prosecuted.
This situation is not a race thing, its not a diversity thing, and it's not a privilege thing. In Boy's Town and the rest of Lakeview, we residents simply just don't want trouble. We moved here to feel safe, day and night, and we want the people that we care about to be safe as well. When trouble happens we, as human beings, as concerned residents, start asking questions: Who did the macing and mugging on Aldine? Who is involved with the flash mobs? Who was involved in the video of the beating and stabbing on Halsted? Then the natural thought progression goes from there. These individuals are causing trouble close to our home. Who are the trouble makers, where are they coming from, and how do we get rid of them? It's natural for humans to look at what the sources of the problems have in common and try and remove that element from the vicinity, or some how get them to stop. You can't assimilate people if they don't want to be assimilated. If they don't conduct themselves in a manner that is congruent with the neighborhood standards created by those that live there, then they don't belong there.
There seems to be one thing missing from this conversation, and that is the perpetrators. We have no idea, yet, who these people were, whether or not they were gay (although the victim stated he thinks they were), whether or not they were associated with the Center on Halsted, what their economic background is, whether or not they were drunk, what neighborhood or "side" of the city they were from, whether or not they had gang affiliations, etc, etc...
I have faith that at least one person out of that group of people will be found by police, just as they found over a dozen of the people involved in the mob attacks in Streeterville. Personally, I look forward to finding out answers to a lot of these questions.
Until then, I think the residents on both sides painting people with a broad brush -- whether as "gangbangers from the southside" on one side or "racists and classists" on the other -- in the long run are going to do far more damage to their neighborhood than good. Events like this should bring a community, and the city as a whole, together, not drive it apart. Become involved, but put away the pitchforks and torches.
This was just one incident among many over the years. The difference is that it was video taped and hit the news.
Finding the perpetrators so they can be punished is one issue and I agree, they will be tracked down. At this point, however, does it really matter what they are or were - gay/wealthy/poor/gangbangers. Regardless of what they are, the BEHAVIOR they exhibited was unacceptable and wrong.
What is also equally important is to question what do we need to do as a community to prevent an incident like this and all the other incidences of thugery, intimidation, muggings, burglaries, thefts, etc. that have been happening and ARE increasing in the neighborhood from happening again. It was unfortunate the 23rd District Commander came stated in the media this was an isolated incident. It was not an isolated incident as those of us who have lived in the neighborhood for several years can attest to.
The ONLY way to arrive at solutions is to foster discussion between ALL parties involved .
Those who are not seeing the bigger picture and who continue to make this a gay/straight/black/white/transgender/gangbanger issue need to be tuned out. Let them have their tantrums because like a child having a tantrum, if less and less attention is given to them, they will ultimately wear themselves out.
@Kathy I really appreciate your respect and I have seriously considered how to bridge the gap between youth advocacy groups and area business owners/residents. Also, violence should not have happened and violence should not be tolerated.
I am extremely sad a community would allow violence like this to take place. It is even more depressing to see the community lack preventive systems and then revoke responsibility when violence occurs. (Please keep solidarity in mind) Ultimately, I think the youth advocacy groups are going to face an uphill battle reaching a solution united with the locals. I would even go as far to say it's a lost cause to even try to talk to the locals. I, for one, began boycotting Boystown shortly after turning 21, along with many of my friends, because we were not comfortable contributing to businesses enforcing profiling, classism, and body image policing. Boystown already had a fairly transparent facade of welcoming and openness, and if the locals aren't willing to gain awareness of the larger issues at hand, this incident is about to make that facade even more pellucid.
If the locas succeed in creating and enforcing a list of rules profiling youth, people outside of the typical boystown image will feel threatened by entering in the community. The youth that partake in the Center and NM's programming will feel endangered in a community that used to welcome and support them. With that, the local businesses will offend the educated leftists who will turn in disgust and boycott businesses (as my social circle has done already). I'm not against organizing a more official boycott.
If locals continue to use segregationist language and profiling (via class, race, and age) as a response to a single instance of violence, not only will hostility rise, but businesses may feel a negative economic impact.
Shane, there have been a number of attacks recently. On June 18 there was a similar attack by a mob/group outside the 7-11 on Halsted, where one man was stabbed. That's right, he had a knife stuck into his body His boyfriend spoke at the CAPS meeting. The young man who was stabbed, slashed, punched and stomped on last weekend did not know his assailants.
There aren't just "rich white privileged" gay men in that neighborhood. There are single women, single mothers, senior citizens, families with young children, etc. These people are totally and fully within their right to take concrete action to deal with the violence and general breakdown of order and behavior in their neighborhood, and I find it sort of appalling how quick others are to label them as racists or elitists.
For those of you who haven't seen it, check out "Boystown Out of Control" post. under Everyblock Another incident this morning at Belmont/Halsted about 5:00am and 30 minutes later, a group of 35 - 40 people prevented anyone from entering/exiting Belmont "El" on north side of street.
This needs to make the media - especially coming so soon after the stabbing incident.
@Shane...how dare propery owners expect to be safe and expect the police to enforce laws, and for taxpayers who fund the Center to expect the people who benefit from their tax dollars to follow laws and act with decency and civility.
Hadn't read the last post, are you serious in saying you will boycott business woners who wish to protect their property and life from theives and murderers (yes, that is an outcome fromstabbing)? If so, please post those businesses so i can support them).
There is a book that may no longer be in print now, but it is called "a thousand years of lynching". It graphically depicts the lynching of black men, women, children, Jews by white mobs, done for sport. The race riots of 1947 is a euphemism for white mobs in chicago, beating and killing blacks at will. Then there was a group of doctors that used black men to study a severe STD, and when the doctors found the cure-they let the black men die anyway. It took the civil rights act to protect all of us from this madness. This fight was led by black, whites and other minorities working together to effect the law and change the culture for the better.
Now my point is this, I do not justify what is currently going on with these roving gangs harming people in boystown. What seems to me to be lost, is that such behavior would not be accepted in any neighborhood. This neighborhood has long time black residents, some of them elderly and good neighbors, now being painted and slandered due to problems with these hoods.
We must get down to brass tacks with the com; nm; and the chateau,that youth center at belmont/broadway. They are the underlying cause of why so many out of control youths are here, acting out right in front of these providers. Have these providers bitten off more than they can chew? They must be examined and defunded if found to be negligent in providing appropriate services-jobs, social skills, appropriate activities. Yes, the police provide protection and social controls for the benefit of all. Let us encourage them to do their job, regardless of a persons race. I was at the zoo, and noticed many loud and rowdy white youths- but that is no crime, even if a kid happens to be black.
We cannot tolerate crimes against any person. Let us watch and swiftly report CRIMINAL behavior, and remember it is not a crime to be black, or white or any other color. But it is a crime no matter what color a person may be to harm others.
Once people start focusing on "behavior" as opposed to race/gender/age/sexuality, etc., the smokescreen as to why nothing can be done is going to be taken away.
It is very simple - (1) the word needs to get around that as a community - the residents/business owners/police/alderman - are not going to tolerate inappropriate BEHAVIOR (thuggery, stabbings, mob action, intimidation, being high, being drunk, over the top exhibitionism, prostitution, assaults, robberies, burglaries, etc) from anyone. (2) if there are elements within our community who might seem lax in their helping to oversee these groups coming into our community (police/Night Ministry/Center on Halsted/Teen Living to name a few) then they need to at least be willing to start a discourse on problem solving or know that the community IS going to hold them accountable, is not going to put up with their "inappropriate behavior" and will continue to bring attention to this fact through various ways available to us as we all saw with last weekend's video.
We as a community willl stand hand in hand and reflect our DIVERSITY (which is our strength) AGAINST VIOLENCE.,
Witnessed another incident this morning 7/10/11 at approximately 5:00am at the 7-11 on Halsted. Fight broke out, individual beaten on his back with wooden stick sustaining numerous raised welts. Victim refused to make police report - consequently incident would not make it into the crime "stats" even though it did occur.