Community leaders and Christian ministers in Chicago are calling for local residents to step up and speak out following yet another weekend of continued violence, this time resulting in the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old boy.
“Where’s the outrage? Where’s the outrage for this 3-year-old that was killed? The same type of outrage when George Floyd was killed by the police in Minneapolis,” said Tio Hardiman, executive director of Violence Interrupters, Inc, during a Sunday press conference. “There should be 30, 40, 50,000 people on the streets right now, shutting down the black community until we get it right.”
“Black men need to shut down the black community until we get it right,” he continued. “[M]y message to the mayor [is] you’re not gonna reduce any gun violence in Chicago trying to be politically correct.”
Hardiman criticized Democratic Mayor Lori Lightfoot for pledging to give away millions of dollars to organizations that have “a track record” while failing to acknowledge the nearly 300 homicides in 2020 so far in Chicago.
“Black death is a big hustle in Chicago,” he added. “Even though these young guys have been shot and killed, somebody’s gonna get a million-dollar check telling them they’re gonna stop the next one, then they’re gonna say they’re gonna stop the next one, and nothing’s going to change until black men unify and shut their own community down in a major way.”
Another activist who spoke before Hardiman rebuked many protestors and rioters in the Black Lives Matter movement, condemning them for going out and “act[ing] like heathens,” burning down buildings and looting stores, while remaining silent on the violence plaguing places like Chicago.
Later during the presser, another speaker said to elected officials: “I’ve heard you say, ‘Black lives matter.’ I need you to show black lives matter, because right now, we’re hurting right here on the Westside of Chicago.”
“There’s no need to make comparisons,” he continued, “but if a white baby was killed, it would be different. So now we’re saying, ‘All lives matter,’ well these black lives here matter, and I’m asking the governor to take action immediately.”
Watch the full press conference:
The deadly Father’s Day weekend in Chicago following weeks of intense protests and violent riots around the country in response to the unjust killing of George Floyd, a black man, at the hands of a white, former Minneapolis police officer.