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Chicago’s new “Safe Passage Routes” for school kids are anything but

Chicago’s new “Safe Passage Routes” for school kids are anything but

As the nation was gripped by the George Zimmerman trial, over 50 people were shot in Chicago…many of them as young and black as the much publicized Trayvon Martin.

With shootings seemingly so rampant, Chicago area parents are worried about the safety of their children.  This is especially true, as almost 50 elementary schools in the city have been closed due to declining enrollment.  Moms and dads are concerned about the children walking to school in strange, new areas that include gang territories.

Taking a page out of the progressive handbook, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his team opted for a classic solution to their constituents’ very reasonable concerns:  They threw money at it and created a new program with a catchy title.

At the center of that effort will be hundreds of community members making $10 an hour to watch children walk to and from school, build a rapport with them and report trouble. The $11.4 million program aims to literally provide what its name suggests: “Safe Passage.”

How is this working out? About as well as you’d expect from any progressive program:

The eyes of the city were on Chicago Public Schools “Safe Passage” routes Monday morning as a 28-year-old man was shot along one of the routes and a 14-year-old boy was shot to death near another one, the day before school starts.

The 14-year-old boy was shot and killed within a block of a welcoming elementary school, Melody Stem School , 3937 W. Wilcox. It’s at least the third fatal shooting along or near a Safe Passage route since mid-August.

About 12:20 a.m. Sunday, the boy, Lavander Hearnes, was standing outside in the 4000 block of West Wilcox Street with several other people when he was shot, authorities said.

It’s too bad that the good people of Chicago can’t get their politicians to realize its not about gun control — it’s about gang control.


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The “good people of Chicago” are responsible for electing the same caliber of corrupt politician, election after election–so they’re getting exactly what they voted for.

I feel sorry for the kids, but the adults should also look into the mirror when assessing blame for the conditions.

    I feel sorry for the kids too. They’re just “collateral damage” in the ongoing culture wars, I guess.

    MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to persecutor. | August 27, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    Hey I haven’t looked at the poll results of the last Chicago Mayoral election but something like 40% voted against Emmanuel, and in a lot of the aldermanic races even if you don’t want to vote for a candidate, there is no alternate.

    That’s the Chicago made by teh Daley’s tak/e a close look because that is where Obama got his lessons from.

Speaking of gangs, is Chicago a “sanctuary” city? Because nothing bespeaks a respect for the rule of law quite as much as rolling out the city’s official welcome mat for law-breakers.

    styro1 in reply to Observer. | August 27, 2013 at 11:15 am

    Of course it is, along with Oakland, LA, NYC, Baltimore, Miami San Bernardino, Detroit and hundreds of others. Did you really have to ask? Besides being run by jackasses most of them are going or are bankrupt. If Arizona isn’t allowed to ask for proof of citizenship when registering to vote how are hundreds of cities allowed to ignore immigration law. For a list of sanctuary cities go here:

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to Observer. | August 27, 2013 at 11:17 am

    When I moved out ten years ago there seemed to be a rule about which wards the gangs could control, in cahoots with the alderman, of course, and which were strictly off limits. The downtown area and much of the north lake front were off limits and all considered very safe. I never feared being out alone at night. The entirely predictable happened: There are now flash mob muggings right off Michigan Avenue.

    Will voters finally rebel? My own hometown of St. Paul, MN went from notoriously corrupt to squeaky clean when a prohibition sanctuary city deal quite literally blew up. The last of several outrageous criminal acts in violation of the agreement saw the low life who had brokered the deal obliterated in what may have been America’s first car bombing.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to NC Mountain Girl. | August 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Girl do you have links for the events in St. I would certainly like to read up.

        NC Mountain Girl in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 27, 2013 at 3:30 pm

        Too many links to list. Minnesota was a sewer back then. Search these terms for St. Paul: O”Connor System St. Paul (Police Chief who invited gangsters in); Dapper Dan Hogan (St. Paul Crime boss/1st person killed in US car bombing; Hamm kidnapping; Bremer kidnapping (Bremer’s old man was close friend to FDR)

        Minneapolis had bootlegging and homegrown hoods. Search: Minnesota 13 Moonshine; Israel “Icepick Willie” Alderman; and Isadore “Kid Cann” Blumenfeld.

        Finally search Walter Liggett (newspaper editor) and Floyd B. Olson (governor) Liggett was investigating the corrupt Olson and his radically socialist Farmer Labor party’s ties to the when he was machined gunned in front of his family, probably by Kidd Cann. His wife suspected it was ordered by Olson. Olson had earlier put the state under martial law and banned newspapers from defaming state government.

        Yeah, this all happened in Minnesota. And there was a backlash. Three years later a Republican was elected governor at age 31. He quickly ended a corrupt patronage system, cutting the state workforce by a whopping 40%. (Harold Stassen wasn’t always a joke.)

“About 12:20 a.m. Sunday, the boy, Lavander Hearnes, was standing outside in the 4000 block of West Wilcox Street with several other people when he was shot, authorities said.”

That’s the middle of the night! What’s a 14-year old doing out at that hour and why would a school safety program, even if it is ill-conceived, be expected to protect him at that hour?

    NC Mountain Girl in reply to JayDick. | August 27, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    I think the incident was merely cited as example of how unsafe the area can be, not as a suggestion that the so called safe passage monitors could have prevented it. While much gang activity does happen at night not all violent criminals are night owls.

myveryownpointofview | August 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

Well now, if the children must walk through those areas that are so unsafe, perhaps the parents who enable all this by looking the other way will begin to become active in making real changes.

What can a politician actually do? Put more police there, that’s it. Which does nothing really. If the residents won’t fight back against the bad guys then they will have to live with what they made.

They bear the responsibility for what happens in their neighborhoods after all. Not the little occasional crimes, but the taking over of gangs – which their children eventually join.

It’s a good start. As in Syria, both sides should be provided with better weapons and basic firearm training in order to be more efficient in their endeavors. I am tired of hearing of non-fatal shootings.

Get some range time, homeys, one shot one kill. Do us all a favor.

    Get some range time, homeys, one shot one kill. Do us all a favor.

    That’s kind of a horrible thing to say, especially where there are innocents getting caught up in the cross-fire.

      AYFKM in reply to Amy in FL. | August 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

      In essence, you agree with me – if those thugs could hit who and what they were aiming at then no “innocents” would be shot.

      Since the place is already a shooting gallery they need to learn better gun control – hit your primary target.

Henry Hawkins | August 27, 2013 at 10:55 am

$10/hr Safety Passage monitors?

I wonder what percentage of these kids’ parents are on welfare, disability, and/or unemployment – are not working – and have nothing but time to see to it that their kids get to school safely?

There are many reasons to despise the city government of Chicago, but I’m going to take time out to despise this hack propagandist instead. Even though he’s on the “same side”. Because I don’t like hack propagandists.

This doesn’t even rise to the level of monkey-poo flinging. To illustrate, let me add some parallel arguments:

(1) The shooting happened at night – and %smear_target% members are known to be active at night!

(2) The shooting happened in Illinois – and the Illinois legislature is dominated by %smear_target%!

(3) … and so on, forever…

This is the language of advertising or propaganda. Repeated presentation of unrelated concepts actually builds a connection in people’s minds, changing their behavior. The connection can be nonsense. It doesn’t matter. It works anyway.

If a guy sees enough images of attractive women draped on trucks, he will in a measurable way come to believe that buying such a truck will increase his chances of having sex with such a woman. And increase the odds he’ll buy such a truck. Ka-ching FTW!

But it’s like, you know, invalid? A total logic fail? There is no connection between the target and the incidents being used to smear it. I don’t believe the author doesn’t know this, so I am left with the crappy taste of their contempt for their audience. Pfaugh!

    This doesn’t even rise to the level of monkey-poo flinging.

    Bless your heart, you’ve thoughtfully provided a review of your own comment, to save everyone else the trouble. “Thumbs-up” for that, anyway!

How long before Chicago sets up a “Green Zone” like the one the US military had in Iraq. How about building walls such as we did in Iraq to separate the Sunnis from the Shias. They could wall off the Bloods from the Crips and any other gangs. How many of the Safe Passage Officers will be gang members themselves or former gang members or parents of gang members? Most of these so called parents don’t think their sweet innocent child can do no wrong even though they have no idea what they are doing. Sure they might like to fight but they would never kill someone, he she or they were at home.

2nd Ammendment Mother | August 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

Why do I see this as parental malpractice? The dangers they face are not only on their way to and from school but from the gangs that will pull them in and further risk their lives. It would seem that a concerned parent will do what it takes to remove their children from these environments. It means making sacrifices, taking risks and hard work, but you’ve got to leave it behind.

I know it’s possible because I’ve met families from Chicago who’ve made the choice. They’ve relocated with the help of family, friends or their churches. One family loaded their car one night and drove until they ran out of gas. They lived out of their car for a few weeks and took odd jobs along the way to conserve their small savings.

Is this crazy? Compare it to making the deliberate choice of making your children live in a war zone.

    You are correct that the smart parents have been active. They have chosen. They wisely chose to move somewhere else where they can actually impact local politics and therefore their schools, parks, roads, etc. It is one of the reasons so many urban parents encourage their kids to get into traveling sports. AAU gives their kids the opportunity to see a wider world beyond the gun violence. They can see with their own eyes how other communities function.

No sympathy whatsoever for the loyal liberal stronghold of Chicago.

MouseTheLuckyDog | August 27, 2013 at 12:39 pm

They should know that the monitors are useless unless they arm them and do background checks.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to MouseTheLuckyDog. | August 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Perhaps prosecutors are hoping for more shooting eyewitnesses to subpoena. On second thought, yeah, that’s not gonna happen. No snitches.

NC Mountain Girl | August 27, 2013 at 1:06 pm

The key line here is the last one. Despite losing in court the powers that be keep fighting hard to keep legal gun ownership both rare and expensive.

It isn’t working. The wide gap between the number of people with Chicago addresses who hold state FOID cards allowing them to buy guns and the number who have met the additional requirements to be licensed by the City of Chicago suggests people are simply ignoring the city ordinances.

The problem remains one has to to learn how to shot. Guns aren’t cheap. Nor is ammo. If you also have to drive miles into the ‘burbs to find a range where you can learn how to use it the cost rises sharply.

I’m from Chicago. I moved out of the city because it would have been twice as hard to raise a family there as compared to Minneapolis.

I lived in the Uptown neighborhood where two gangs operated. This safe passages are actually very vital. Here’s why.

The routes to school are where the gangs target to harass and influence the next gen recruits. This is where the kids are watched. Cat calls or pressure are used to let the students know the gang is waiting for them when they are ready. Having one or two concerned citizens on these routes is a good start, but they have to be willing to cooperate with the police on which bangers are hanging around the routes.

One thing to understand about my old neighborhood. It’s a very sad story of how politics works in Chicago. The gangs will actually leave the gay neighbors alone. They won’t harass them or assault them. The gangs know the blowback will be more than they can handle. As a result, young black children are targeted because they often do not fight back and the parents lack the skills to fight for them. The bangers are in fact living in the same building as the kids.

One more thing to consider. Some of the parents of the bangers are just about insane. I saw one mother of twin boys. The boys were 21 years old, but she talked about them like they were toddlers. Her boys had been arrested 21 times for selling narcotics. This mother believed that laws prohibiting the sale of narcotics by her boys were “Jim Crow laws”. That’s just one neighborhood in Chicago. The concept of conspiracy runs deep in the culture. It’s why locals may be more friendly to gangs than cops even though it is the gangs that are getting their kids killed.

If it wasn’t for the cool pleasant summers and the warm temperate winters, there would be no reason to live in Chicago.

The concept that in the third largest city in the US the democrat party monopoly city government would make the implicit admission that “safe passage zones” are required is so sad. What is next, Mad Max style armed convoys for commercial vehicles, protecting them from the residents? Where is Snake Plisskin when you need him.

I cannot imagine this in a republican governed city – this says more about the people in charge than the underclass they govern

It all comes down to gun laws. Unarmed citizens are subjects and subject to the whims of evil men.

[b]It’s too bad that the good people of Chicago can’t get their politicians to realize its not about gun control — it’s about gang control.[/b]

But then they’d have to admit that they had a gang problem…

Black people just can’t stop shooting each other and they want white people, or white Hispanics, to stop as well. We will when they do.