moved to Chicago from the suburbs in December of 2005. I picked up my
stuff and moved to the big city to follow my dreams. I even remember
the small panic attack I had after I signed my lease to live in Hyde
Park; an upscale neighborhood on Chicagos Southside. This was a big
deal for me. Id changed jobs, left my suburban lifestyle and even my
family and friends to try my luck in the city. True enough I was only
40 minutes away from the life I once knew and I figured if I fell on my
face I could always go back home. Through it all I would give my all,
and win or lose at least Id tried.
So here I am, almost three years later living in Chi-town. A SBF, no kids no husband. Everyday
I get up, I go to work, I come home and its just me. The time has
flown by so fast sometimes I wonder where it all went. How have I
survived? Its been a struggle, but Ive manage to make ends meet. To
having paid highest gas prices in the country to the highest sales tax
in the country, Ive made it through.
I sat in my office on last Friday (October 24) doing routine tasks my
phone rang. It was one of my staff members. She told me that Jennifer
Hudsons mother and brother had been killed and her nephew was missing.
I was devastated, heart broken. Id had the privilege of meeting
Jennifer this past summer, she had a wonderful spirit and seemed like a
real cool gal, and I could only imagine what she was going through.
further details emerged in the case it made me think about all the
other murders that had occurred in the city since I decided to move
here. It seems like every year that passes by, the total number of
homicides gets larger and larger, and kids are getting killed daily and monthly in increasingly random situations.
drove on the expressway that evening and I saw the Amber Alerts where
the traffic times are usually posted. It made me sick to my stomach.
Where could Jennifers nephew be? Some crazy person had him and I
prayed that he would be found a little shaken up by but alive. All
weekend long the city was in shock, the country was in shock. And here
it is Wednesday and now that Darnell Donerson, Jason Hudson, and Julian King are gone its hard to digest. Jennifer
is back home in Chicago trying to be as strong as she can in the
city that helped shape and mold her into the star shes come to be.
question now is: how safe is it in the big city I left my safety net
for? According to recent statistics Chicago is currently Murder
Capital U.S.A. The crime here is out of control, its up 13 percent.
Chicago is expected to exceed 500 murders by the end of the year, but
ironically that number falls short of approaching a record. In every
year between 1991 and 1994, there were more than 900 homicides in the
city, peaking in 1992 with 943 murders. The standing record for
homicides in Chicago dates back to 1974, when there were 970 murders.
2008, Chicago has had more murders than New York and Los Angeles, two
bigger cities that have larger populations. And I just want the
senseless violence to stop. I want to feel safe in the city that I
moved to in hopes of following my dreams. Yeah Im from the suburbs, but
where Im from it aint all roses. Crime is up there too, but it
doesnt touch what city life is like.
am fortunate to live a few blocks down from where Senator Barack Obama
resides and the Chicago Police and Secret Service sit at the top and
bottom of his block 24 hours a day 7 days a week. But do I feel safe? I
guess... I just try not to think about being a victim of a violent
crime. I know living in the city is risky. But it was always a risk I
was willing to take. And after this weekend, reality has truly sunk in
and I no longer feel as safe as I once did. Ive got to be way more
careful and watch my back. And pray that things calm down here in
is really an interesting time in U.S. history. And I can only imagine
whats going to go down in Chicago and in this country between now and
November 4 and 5, the day of and the day after we know who are next
president is going to be. And when you think about it, isnt it
crazy our next potential president will be hailing from Chi-town,
Murder Capital U.S.A.
just pray yall. People lose their lives every single day all over the
world to senseless acts of violence. I pray for Jennifer, I pray for
Senator Obama, and I pray for Kanye who is approaching the anniversary
of the death of his mother Dr. Donda West in a couple of weeks. I pray
for everyone everywhere.
love my city and I just want to feel safe again. I want Chicago to
uphold its outstanding reputation for the positive attributes its
produced over the years and not the negative banner thats been
bestowed upon us, Murder Capital U.S.A.
For all of you who took the time out to read this, I just want to say thank you.
Live in Chicago,