How Bad Is Violence in Chicago? Depends on Your Race

How Bad Is Violence in Chicago? Depends on Your Race by Noah Berlatsky

To read this article on the Atlantic website, click here.

After hearing about the Chicago shooting last week in which 13 were injured in Cornell Square Park, including a three-year-old, I and writer Mikki Kendall, both Chicago residents, had very different reactions. It’s “not just the park incident,” Kendall told me by email. “20 people were shot this weekend. People are being shot almost daily. And I have a 14 year-old son who can’t go to the McDonald’s in Hyde Park at lunch because the school has noticed an uptick in crime at that location.”

I was depressed and horrified, too — but depressed and horrified in the way that you are when you hear about gun violence anywhere. Unlike Kendall, I wasn’t directly concerned about the safety of my family.

Based on our reactions, you’d think that Kendall lived much closer to the shooting than I do. But that’s not the case. In fact, we’re both in Hyde Park, about 4 miles away from where it occurred on the city’s South Side. I can walk to the McDonald’s she mentioned.

So why does Kendall feel personally targeted and I don’t? Well, Kendall is black and grew up here; I’m white, and didn’t.