Chicago Coffee with Christine

My thoughts on the looting and violence in Chicago today

Waking up this morning, just like everyone else, read the headlines about the looting in Chicago. The downtown and near north and south sides were hit with looters and violence following a police shooting in Englewood. When things like this happen, it really impacts me. Like for some reason it genuinely hurts. Our people. Our businesses. Our children. Everyone is impacted. And I feel it. As most of us do. Maybe now more than ever because I am a parent? All I want to do is protect my kids, our kids and raise better humans than myself.

The last time I felt this was this past Father’s Day when 104 people were shot, including 5 children. It’s like a hit to the gut. Again.

I had to take the day off of social media to process it all. I postponed the collaboration I had set for today. Really, just needed a pause.

After watching the press conference this morning and doing some research on the events leading up to the looting and violence, I turned all media off for most of the day. I set up the baby pool for the kids, watched Toy Story and ate Mac N’ Cheese. All and all, it was a good day. But it was only a front for the kids. I have been anxious and upset all day.

I don’t have all the answers

In fact, none of us do. There isn’t one answer. I also want to note this is NOT a 2020 issue. These are systematic issues that have been going on for DECADES in Chicago. But because of Covid, the murder of George Floyd, police brutality, high unemployment rates and more, everything is now coming to light.

I want to say that I don’t support the looting and the violence (also note *protesting and looting are two different things), but at what point do we have to ask WHY? Why are these things happening? Maybe that’s the former teacher in me, but still! Why do people feel the need to loot when they are upset and angry? I believe that when all hope is lost, this is the result. Again, looting isn’t going to help that (like at all), but it gives some people back control they want. When humans feel hopeless, there isn’t really anything that will hold them back. The need to just take what you want or feel like you need certain things; I just really want to ask why? What’s the driving force behind that? It’s not an easy answer and yes, there’s several reasons why

But what can WE all do?

I think with us being in the middle of a pandemic. Our businesses are hurting. We are at a point where enough is enough. And I absolutely feel that. I hate waking up to headlines of violence. But if 2020 has taught me ANYTHING, complaining and blaming doesn’t always solve anything.

We can blame our mayor. We can blame our states attorney, the police, etc. But what are we doing to bring about change? Who are we voting for-our judges, aldermen and more all make huge impacts!

Are we teaching our kids to be anti-racist? Are we signing petitions to end police brutality? That’s just a start of course.

It may not be big changes, but there are few things we can do to start. Something I have been more focused on is becoming more involved. Being active with nonprofit organizations and agencies that work on setting people up for success. Here are a few ways to help our city right now:

  • Do research! Sign up for local new alerts. I like the NBC app. I know many of us our so invested on what’s happening around the country and our upcoming election (which is important, obviously), but knowing what’s happening here in Chicago is crucial.
  • VOTE in your local elections! Judges, mayors and aldermen effect your EVERYDAY life.
  • Support local when you can.
  • Get involved! Organizations like My Block My Hood My City has a number of ways to volunteer, raise money and give back to our communities in need.
  • Deborah’s Place-Helping women who are homeless in Chicago. They provide supportive housing and services to women.
  • Volunteer with organizations that desperately need it since Covid. The Greater Food Depository (I just signed up for an event) needs volunteers to pack lunches for communities heavily hit.

These are obviously just a few ways, but these are a few resources I have been focused. If you have anymore, please share below!

I am hoping for a better tomorrow and I know it won’t be overnight. But any small changes are something we can do.

You can find other posts on the blog here.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Until next time,

Christine

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