It looks like we have a serious problem with violence in America? You don’t believe me? There are more shootings outside of Chicago than there are in Chicago. Honestly, the British killed 5 people in Boston & history called that a massacre. Just five people? In Chicago you call that Friday.

“Be careful in Paris at night, it can be dangerous.”
“That’s right? How many times have you been shot at?”

Seriously, thank you for the warning, but I come from a city where the patron saint of police officers is Saint Jude.

Six and three is nine
Nine & nine is eighteen
Look there brother baby and
You’ll see what I’ve seen

Yes, I have a chip on my shoulder, but for good reason. I do live in the greatest city on earth. It’s the Third Coast, the Windy City, & it has spawned a new breed of American. We are more polite than New York, more grounded than LA, &, as a people, far less refined than Boston. It’s also the most beautiful city in America, we have alleys, our garbage doesn’t collect on the streets, the rats stay in the shadows.

But we do have our problems, the epidemic of crime & violence has lasted so long, the Chicago Police Department exchanged Michael for Jude as its acting patron saint–which, if nothing else, stands as a testament of Chicago’s good humor. The city is run by the Irish Mafia; South Side shootings stopped being news three generations ago. The dead regularly vote, and yet the people take the rampant corruption with a good humored shrug. That’s how our political machine has always worked, and for some unknown reason, America elected one of us to the highest office in the land.

Now it could be that I grew up here, but I can’t help but judge other cities by their versions of Division & Michigan, & they’ve always fallen short. The skylines aren’t as beautiful, & the people, well, their not from Chicago. The people on the East Coast & the West Coast both have their extremes, by the time they get to the Third Coast the unnecessary eccentricities have washed away.

But that’s just it. That’s my city. I have a love affair with it. At the same time, I’m not going to travel around & invite innocent people to come visit me there. I’m not going to talk to some poor, peaceful man in Beirut, Baghdad, or Belfast, & suggest they move to Chicago. Honestly, you don’t want to extend an invitation to come & visit you when you live in a city that requires the occasional honor box dive.

What you really don’t want is for the rest of your country to start living like that. This latest shooting was over women…you really feel like doing that from time-to-time, but this time someone actually did it.

But there is a plus side, Chicago has always been violence for profit & politics. The rest of the country has really been violence for phobias & isms. We don’t lynch people here, that used to be the rest of the country. We don’t queer bash here either, again, the rest of the country. Those have never been Chicago things. Unlike most of the rest of the country, the police have to protect the KKK when they march in Chicago.

That seems to have faded a little. There might be white supremacist stand-your-ground shootings every once & a while, but that seems to have faded. The serious shit is random.

That’s right the serious shit is random.

It makes you want to start inviting people to Chicago.

Welcome to Chicago, we might be America’s war zone, but we can promise you will only get shot if you get caught in the cross fire.

Welcome to Chicago, where we promise to only kill you for business.

Welcome to Chicago, you’re safe unless you cross the Daley clan.

Since when did Chicago become the sane city in America? Sure, we are still the most violent, but you are safer, because you’re only going to get shot at for a reason. Unlike the rest of America, we aren’t going to kill you at random.

Unlike the rest of America, murder is still a business here. We don’t do it recreationally.

This makes me seriously fucking worried. It could be the eccentric thing. We aren’t as flighty as the coasts.

It could be a Haymarket thing. Chicago still has some fight in it. We aren’t so hopeless we’re going to kill you for no reason. We have enough fight to only want to kill you for business & politics. We don’t have that desperation that breeds insanity.

We aren’t going to shoot up a school, there’s no profit in it. The rich suburbs, places like Barrington, they have to watch out for that shit. That’s where the mass shootings tend to be. That’s where people snap & start killing at random. In places like Chicago, there is generally a targeted individual & everyone else is accidental collateral damage.

When did it become safer to live in my home than the rest of America? I mean, we are world famous for our organized crime. If you travel abroad we are famous for our organized crime. If you fly into ORD you are flying into an airport named after an aviator with ties to the Irish Mob. The same thing if you drive down the fucking Ogden.

World famous for the Italian Mafia & LA weather. Most of the time. Occasionally you’ll meet someone abroad that thinks we have Juno weather. For the most part, when you leave the US, we are famous for our crime rate.

Remember, Jude not Mike.

When, why, how, did it become safer for the ordinary person to live in the most violent city in America? Statistically, in America, you are safer in Chicago. Statistically, in America, you are less likely to be a victim of a random act of violence in the most violent city in America.

That represents a serious problem America. I’ve worked in ChIraq. I know what fucking Drill music is. I should not be living in a city where statistically, I am less likely to get shot than the peaceful & affluent suburbs.

It’s time to wake up America. The suburbs have no honor boxes to dive behind.


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