Yesterday, I looked at the new photos which appeared in Tribune and decided that I would not repost any more. Many people who saw the Saturday pictures commented that they looked like from the war zone. But the truth is that they are nothing in comparison with Sunday. I feel like reposting the photos with guns is promotes violence and decided against it.
On Sunday, the Mayor ordered a curfew from 9 PM to 6 AM. She asked the protesters to disperse peacefully, but the CTA was stopped by then, and the bridges were up. How people could peacefully disperse, God only knows.
There was a lot of looting during curfew and lots of fires, and gunshots, and wounds, and deaths. There was no CTA, and no Pace buses and the roads were blocked.
Today, the situation remained pretty much the same. No Metra today and tomorrow, no CTA in the Loop and surrounding areas, no non-essential traffic to the Loop is allowed. There is hardly any store in the Loop that is not looted, including 120 years old iconic camera shop.
Many essential activities are canceled, including COVID testing stations, Greater Chicago Food Depository, and free meals distribution for low-income students. The Illinois National Guard was brought in to guard the Loop.
After the city center was locked, the riots moved to the South and West Side and some suburbs. Most of the businesses were getting ready to open on Wednesday when the city was scheduled to move to phase 3. Now, the situation is uncertain. The governor pulled more of the National Guard troops to enforce the order in the suburbs.
Even when I am trying not to be emotional, writing about the current events is hard. The city is a part of me, and I am a part of the city. It hurts.
I talked with several people who are near and dear to me. I spent at least eight hours in the 24-hour interval between 7 AM Sunday and 7 AM Monday taking to people. And while I was questioning what I can do to improve the situation, I came up with one promise to myself: I will never be silent anymore. I said it yesterday, and I am repeating it today: not anymore. Racism should be called racism. You do not turn away from somebody mumbling that you can’t fix the whole of humankind. You have to raise your voice. It’s not like somebody’s horrible table manners when you turn your eyes away and pretend you haven’t seen. You have to face racism in all its shapes and forms. And never let anybody get away with it.
What this all have to do with the situation? How a policeman who killed a black person is related to your friend who says that she’s afraid to get on the Green Line train? Very much related! Think, for example, about LGBT rights activists. Finally, some laws protect gay rights, but regardless of the legislation, anybody who says that two men kissing look disgusting are discriminating against a gay person.
Same with racism. Any judgment by the color, negative or positive, is racism. Before police officers become police officers, they are our neighbors; they have the same prejudgements, as their community. Like that young soldier whom Boris remembered today, who was saying that his mother “always taught him, that Jews are bad.”