Posts tagged Chicago.

Liberal freudian slips




  • When you say something against police brutality and a liberal gets upset and says, “But not all cops are like that! Why do you have to insult the cops like that?” or some shit about how we’re all the 99%. But you just laugh because you never equated police with violence, they did by being offended for all cops.
  • When you talk about white supremacy as an everyday thing and a liberal starts defending white people, and you never once said anything about all white people—again, they’re the ones who equated white people with racism.

I’ve seriously never understood why people are so quick to jump in and defend cops whenever cops do something fucked up (which is pretty fucking often).

Actually white supremacy is already associated with racism, and has been for a long damn while. The title claimed by current white-power entities like Neo-Nazis and the KKK. So when you describe someone or something as ‘white supremacist’ you are referencing in most peoples minds the most active pro-bigotry evil shit they can wrap their minds around. 

So why the hell some people decided to use it for everyday thing when it has that kind of history is beyond me.

Oh cool, please do tell this black woman more about my life, then. I know what white supremacy is. I know it firsthand. I know that it’s “associated” with racism, if that’s how we’re putting it.

It’s a strange assumption that overt, active white supremacy wouldn’t be part of a black woman’s everyday life. Even if you’re defining white supremacy as only being overt racism (which, I definitely wouldn’t, and I know most of the people of color I’m around wouldn’t either). Overt, intentional neo-Nazi level white supremacy has been an everyday thing for years-long periods of my life.

We use the concept of white supremacy in describing everyday things, however minor they may seem to you, because we see smaller things adding up. We use it precisely because we know it “has that kind of history” and that we know firsthand that history isn’t dead yet.

Here is an example of this sort of cyclical history that builds into a larger picture: My grandfather’s family, black and descended from slaves (only a couple generations after emancipation), was chased out of the South by the KKK. They had a few hours’ notice, got out of town and headed to Chicago, and never once went back. They were part of an entire generation of black people in Chicago (The Great Migration) who had been pushed there by racial and economic violence.

Turns out, Chicago is one of the most segregated cities in the US, and only a few neighborhoods would rent to black people at the time. So people who had migrated were mostly packed into neglected neighborhoods. My granddad went to a state college (like who even heard of a black law student in 1935) where he wasn’t allowed to live in the dorms and had to adhere to unofficial Jim Crow-type laws (remember, this was in the North). So that was the climate he escaped into.

Fast forward to my generation, and Chicago is still extremely segregated but is now reeling from racist manipulation of the city’s geography, like tearing down public housing without regard for how dispersing people randomly will affect social relations (gangs, etc.). It is so segregated that even the neighborhood I grew up in was clearly divided by race and class within itself, with physical boundaries being intentionally built to keep my part of the neighborhood out (the black part, what a coincidence).

Imagine then going to grade school at a gifted, test-in public school that’s mostly black and latino kids but on the wrong side of one of those physical boundaries. And imagine that that part of the neighborhood has, no joke, an open skinhead population. Like flying Confederate flags on the Southside of Chicago like that even makes sense. And imagine how fucking salty white people are gonna get when all these black and brown kids are coming through for a special school that their kids couldn’t test into. We’ve all seen the kinds of knee-jerk things white people are willing to do when they’ve been bested by kids of color; in this case it involved swastikas and racial slurs being carved constantly into the doors and walls of our school, and none of us loitering after school a single minute.

Now over the past two weeks, I’ve had to revisit all that to explain to the person closest to me, who is white, why kids of color in segregated neighborhoods might resent white people that we don’t know being in the neighborhood and acting scared of them. And I’ve had to explain that I feel that same resentment and always have. And that at some point, bored and neglected and disregarded and disrespected and harassed and kettled in kids of color sometimes explode, and sometimes what sparks that explosion is the way white people can just float through without interaction or investment and see kids of color as a threat, when meanwhile those kids of color are seeing white people showing up as a threat, cause they’ve already had enough run-ins with cops and teachers and landlords and gentrifyers that are tearing down parts of our neighborhood.

And it bubbles up into random violence, and no one totally understands it and that’s really scary, but there was violence just below the surface all along.

Making sense of these things and empathizing with multiple parties has been emotionally draining. It has been an everyday thing for me the past two weeks, and that’s just that one incident. Before that, it was a different one, and before that and before that and before that, and before that it was my grade school where everyday it was carved into the door that I was still only a nigger because someone couldn’t handle that I had a really fucking high vocabulary at 6, until I got depressed and slacked off.

So white supremacy really isn’t an everyday thing for me? These are my everyday things. Those kettled-in kids in my neighborhood that have nothing to do for the summer but explode are, at least some of them, students of mine. Very literally, how they are doing and how they’re being treated is a good chunk of my everyday things, and is also determined in many ways by white supremacy.

And this is common vocabulary that we have from these experiences. I can have these conversations with students of mine who can barely read on paper but can read the dynamics of our school and their neighborhood, and who then fight like hell to fix it. I can have these conversations with women of color that I’ve literally met randomly on the street and never see again. I grew up having this conversation with my granddad about how they left the South and all the things that didn’t change by coming north.

Despite everything, lately I’ve been simultaneously homesick for Chicago and stoked on work being done by youth in my current city, because I’ve never been in a setting where white supremacy wasn’t a glaring, driving force in what everyday life looked like, so I might as well be where we’re getting work done against it and in spite of it. I’ve never been somewhere that I was safe from that being one of my everyday things, but that sounds nice.

(via sosungjackskellington)


Suzy X. isn’t real: But seriously


I’m bored of white DIY punks

I’m bored of your art and your long-winded Crimethinc musings about stars and shit

I’m bored of the photos you take of yourselves with your cats and plants

I’m bored of the green hair you can pull off because it doesn’t clash with your skin

I’m angry that I…

Chicago’s punk scene is a great place to escape Overwhelming Whiteness, and I am forever really fucking thankful for that. Definitely not the norm for Punk Scenes of the USA.

This is true, or at least was when I was growing up in Chicago. Pretty much all the punks I knew were kids of color, mostly from Mexican immigrant families. It was rad that kids were making music about being alienated by being a kid of color in public school and by racism and xenophobia and gang violence….. instead of the usual tropes about how boring it is to be white and in the suburbs.

A while after my brother and I had each moved to New England, he had to ask me what was up with all this pushback from POC punks, zines like Race Riot and Shotgun Seamstress. He was never into punk but hung out with punks back in Chicago, and so he’d assumed that punk everywhere was built by queer working class and immigrant women of color and that it was explicitly political. And I had to break the news to him that we’d grown up in an anomaly.

The other thing that’s cool in Chicago and that I haven’t really seen elsewhere is how much overlap there was between punk and hip-hop. Like I mostly hung out with hip-hop kids and that’s what I was involved in, but I always knew at least some of what punk kids were working on. Kids would breakdance in combat boots while punk bands were playing, and punks did graffiti and stuff like that, and there was just a lot of creativity flowing through different communities. It was definitely a really good environment to grow up in, even though I had really fucked up things going on at the same time; I always had models of other women of color, and of other people who really respected women of color and our contributions, and tons of creativity all around and folks were just generally really fucking down.

So when I go to shows now, and I’m the only person of color but still no one wants to talk about, like actually talk about it, and shit is stale and dry as a white person’s turkey dinner (yeah I went there), I’m really bored and mad and bitter about it. Because I’ve seen how much better it could get done.

And there have been way too many times I’ve told white kids here about punk back in Chicago, and they’ve just been like, “Oh that’s interesting” (or in one case just straight up didn’t believe me that there could be a punk scene led by women of color, and dude then wouldn’t admit that my black ass had taught him something about punk) but don’t actually want to change anything about who they book to play shows or where they book them or who they invite or what goes down during the show or who they’re labeling a “normie”, even when I’m giving them concrete suggestions.

So that’s why I’m a little bitter and a little homesick and expect all my white punk friends to endure me saying how much I hate white punks.

(via modernistwitchery-deactivated20)


hey err’body. 

i am part of a collective called the Rabble Rousers, made up of people of color. We have started a project called Self-Destruct to Reconstruct, a youth violence intervention program in Chicago. We formed because of the staggering rates of homicide and shootings since March, where there were 60-something shootings in a 10 mile radius within a two day period. The violence has continued to rise as the days get hotter with at least 10 murders each weekend, many of them victims under the age of 21 

- We, as a group, recognize that the individuals perpetuating this violence are acting as a direct result of the way they have been failed by our system 
-WE’ve narrowed down the neighborhoods with the most violence: Englewood, Austin, Lawndale, South Shore, and Humboldt Park.
-These hoods have been historically underserved by their schools and have the SMALLEST concentration and access to community resources 

All of us, as Rabble Rousers, are from these neighborhoods and we have put together the SD2R project, where we have gathered volunteers to set up anti-violence arts workshop pop-up spots in these neighborhoods. It is important to us that WE be the ones doing the work, as people of color who know the dynamics of these neighborhoods, vs outside sources/well-intentioned folk who don’t understand the community (but usually have the $$) 

In each neighborhood we’ve contacted a community space to utilize so that our volunteers can host 1 hour workshops using the arts as a way to encourage social change and community change, starting with our participants, who are mainly youth between the ages of 8-18. The 2nd hour will be dedicated to providing the participants with information on resources outside of their community that they can utilize (affordable housing, healthcare, arts programs, tutoring, counseling, etc) 

We have workshops on 

-creative writing
-self-love / self-care
-using the internet/technology as a resource
-performing arts
-DJing and sampling
- identity & pride in your ethnic background

& more. Workshops just started this week and will span all summer. 

We must pay each site location 250$ to compensate for using their space and for materials, which means we need to raise about $2000. About $1,000 will be granted to us via grants/community funding. 

If you can afford to donate, even if it’s a dollar, it would be greatly, greatly appreciated. 
You can donate here:

Here’s more info if you want to read more:
“Rabble Rousers have organized 6 Hot Spots, 54 workshops, and the involvement of about 50 Black and Brown people to continue in the efforts of taking back our streets.” 


Please donate!! I love that people are doing this work, but I hate that it has to be done. I’m from Chicago and am always stressing about things going on there.

School Occupation!


Occupation of Piccolo School! They need more people there ASAP! 1040 N keeler chicago!

Who’s in Chicago? Pass it on! A little background here.





i liked the art pieces put up of “white hipsters” by the kids from yolo cali(sp?) better

This x infinity. Pilsen goes hard. Simple & to the point, although I’d love to see what Yolocalli kids did too.

Had to flee or 'I might be dead,' victim says of racial attack Cops: 3 white teens put noose around black teen's neck ›

Joshua Merritt said he had no reason to be suspicious when one of his friends texted him, asking him to hang out with two other teenagers they both knew.

But after Merritt, 17, arrived at the home of one of the boys in Chicago’s East Beverly neighborhood Dec. 23, he realized his friends weren’t simply looking to have a good time.

The three teens, who are white, allegedly put a noose around the neck of Merritt, who is black, and hurled racial epithets at him before one of the boys held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him, police and Merritt said Thursday.

The teens were apparently upset about Merritt’s relationship with one of the boys’ female cousins, police said.

People wonder why I’m so grumpy all the time: this happened two blocks away from my parents’ house, the house I grew up in. In fact, I just wrote about 2 weeks ago about the threats of violence that come from growing up black in such a segregated and racially tense (racially fucked up?) environment. And now here we are, and I am not surprised but wish I were.

This is exactly the sort of stuff my mom warned me about when I was a kid, about not going past the cemeteries alone because that was how the white kids jumped out to beat the shit out of you when they were drunk, and why no one stayed around my grade school once classes got out.

Meanwhile, my parents’ block just became the border of their ward, because Chicago had a ward redistricting fight going on and the two blackest, lowest-income streets were a worthy thing to compromise and kick out the ward.

Why I don’t often go back home, and why I’m mad about it even when I’m not there. In my zine class we’ve been talking and writing about our neighborhoods and conflicts and violence, so they’ve been asking me what my neighborhood growing up was like. This is all I’ve got for them.


Where am I?

This is making me really happy but also homesick.

(via jadedfucker-deactivated20120302)


Two Words - Kanye, Mos Def & Freeway

So many places I recognize!


Police cars attacked and banner dropped in memory of Shelley Hilliard — Chicago, IL

The communique:

“In the wee hours of the morning of November 13th, a banner was dropped on a bridge over the I-90/94 in Chicago reading, “Don’t Mourn, Attack! Avenge Shelley!” and three police vehicles were disabled in response to the brutal murder of a young trans woman named Shelley “Treasure” Hilliard, whose torso was found next to the same highway (I-94) in Detroit this past week.

It is easy to become lost in the sorrow of the brutal violence of gender that exposes the bodies of trans women to a one-in-twelve chance of violent death at the hands of the partisans defending this wretched society. But our violence is the alchemy that can turn our tears into a potent poison dripping down the throat of the social order. Take action to avenge Shelley’s death and to remind us all that in the face of the terror of prisons, police, and queer-bashing, that it is our obligation to bash back against all that would destroy us. We look forward to hearing about more attacks for Shelley and for us all in the coming weeks.

Solidarity to all the trans women and gender rebels surviving and rebelling in the belly of the prison and under the guns of the pigs!

Solidarity to our all comrades in the US, Mexico, Greece, Chile, and many other places who has chosen to attack and now face the violence of the law!

Solidarity with those whose survivals have been made criminal who are reclaiming their ability to struggle!”

(via notyrcisterpress)

Three children are looking for their mother, too bad the media doesn't care ›



It’s been two weeks since a 30-year-old South Side mother of three dropped out of sight.

Latasha Nevitt was last seen walking to a convenience store five blocks from her home in the 1300 block of West 107th Street, CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

On Oct. 10, the young dental technician student set out on foot and headed for a food mart and liquor store on 112th street, east of Vincennes.  She never got there.

“Powered off the phone – nothing,” her mother, Brenda Morgan, says.

Morgan says Latasha had everything to live for and was doing well at Everest College. She doted on her three children, 10-year-old Ariel and her 2-year-old twins, Brian and Ryan.

“I just don’t see her walking away from life, just walking away from her kids like that,” the mother says.

Chicago Police confirm there has been no activity on her cell phone since she vanished and no word at all from her.

The woman’s father, James Morgan, is puzzled.

“We have always kept in touch with each other,” he says. “I’m telling you, this is not right.”

Latasha’s husband, Isaac Nevitt, is believed to be the last person to see her before she disappeared. He does not believe she’s chosen to drop out of sight.

“No matter what’s going on, we still talk to each other,” he says.

Tears streamed down Ariel’s cheeks as she talked about her mother.

“I just want to see her and I miss her a lot,” the little girl says.

Police searched and used a cadaver dog at the house where Nevitt lived with her husband. There were no signs of any foul play.

Latasha is 5 foot, 4 inches tall and weighs 118 pounds.

Chicago Area 2 Police are investigating. Anyone who can provide information is urged to call 9-1-1 or (312) 747-8274.

Locals will tell you that a serial killer has been operating in the area for some years now, though the police never seem to publicize how many women have gone missing. Admittedly, the common factors seem to be that they are black & petite (I haven’t heard that they are all the same age, but I would not be surprised to hear that they all look to be in the same age range), but this is probably the most attention I’ve seen for any of the cases. I suspect the fact that she’s married & in college plays a not so insignificant role in the fact that I’ve actually seen this in the news here.

Holy shit, this is right near my parents’ house.

(via jhameia)

OMG I just got so homesick suddenly!! A dude pushing a Mago paleta cart used to come by my high school all the time. There are so many things that I care about that are abundant in Chicago and nowhere in Connecticut, and this is one of them.

Sobbing forever until the next time I’m back in Chicago with a strawberry milk paleta, a decent pack of tortillas, and a skin-thickening winter.

(via tofuboots)

Occupy Chicago to Join Unions Monday | NBC Chicago ›

Anti-Wall Street protesters in Chicago will march with labor unions demanding jobs for the masses.

Occupy Chicago will rally with several unions participating in one of five Take Back Chicago marches scheduled for Monday afternoon, according to an Occupy Chicago press release.

The demonstrators plan to gather outside the Federal Plaza on Adams and Dearborn demanding a solution to the unemployment crisis, according to a release.

More than 7,000 people are expected to join in the protests focused on housing, education and job creation, according to Take Back Chicago.

Occupy Chicago and the Chicago Federation of Labor say they want to get the attention of the Mortgage Banker’s Association Annual Convention and Expo and the Futures and Options Expo, both taking place in Chicago this week.

There is a really important distinction between who is joining whom. This is something I think has been lacking, and I’ve seen it first hand in talking about “outreach” in Occupy New Haven. The idea is often that some group starts doing some work (or thinks they’re the ones who started it, as is the case at least with Occupy New Haven), and then is told they aren’t diverse enough, so they step back and decide to “include” other people. But the original group remains central, and other people are supposed to feel blessed by being included.

Anyway, I’m glad to see that an “occupation” (can’t really use that word comfortably on already occupied land) is instead asking to be included in work already being done, and, at least it seems, asking how they can support that work, instead of telling other people why they should join or care about their “occupation.” That mentality needs to be happening here.

Chicago could raise fines for breaking into abandoned buildings ›

Clout Street

2:10 p.m. CDT, September 1, 2011

People breaking into abandoned buildings in Chicago would face stiffer fines under a proposal headed to the City Council.

Aldermen and Fire Department officials have sought ways to give more teeth to city ordinances governing abandoned buildings, which often become havens for crime and dangerous fires.

Ald. James Balcer's plan seeks to deter homeless people, drug addicts, prostitutes, gang members and others from breaking into the buildings by increasing to $200 the fines they could face. The Zoning Committee approved the plan today, and it will head to the full council next Thursday.

The proposal is the latest response to the December 2010 deaths of two Chicago firefighters when a roof collapsed as they searched an abandoned laundry business in the 1700 block of East 75th Street. The building, where homeless people were known to seek shelter, had caught fire. Another 17 firefighters were hurt.

Yes, that is a shame that firefighters were killed and hurt putting out a fire. That is the risk that’s always present when you become a firefighter, though. Definitely try to prevent fires from happening, or from happening in a way that might be a bigger risk to the firefighters—but a measure like this to keep homeless people from having a safe, warm place to stay is going to hurt and kill a whole lot more people. Chicago gets damn cold in the winter—there’s usually a spell in January-February that doesn’t go above 0°F for about 2 or 3 weeks. People freeze to death. People’s health conditions are compromised greatly by the cold. Keeping people out on the street, exposed, is a massive death sentence.

Not to be too callous, but the lives of two firefighters are worth how many homeless people’s lives?


Seeing many maps of Manhattan that magically cut off right above 125th St (or 110th St), where the majority of the population is Black and Hispanic. Makes me feel erased. Like my neighborhood isn’t really  part of Manhattan.

I once flipped through a travel guide to Chicago, don’t remember the publisher but a major one, and there were tons of specific things listed to do on the Northside and downtown and neighborhoods to visit, and a few things in the gentrified parts of the Westside. Then the section on the Southside, where I grew up, had a disclaimer that there are “very few attractions” on the Southside, other than the University of Chicago and the area it has gentrified around it. The Southside is overwhelmingly black and latino, and has incredible, underappreciated diversity and cultural histories. They seriously couldn’t scrounge up more than about 3 attractions on the Southside; it is 136 blocks long at its peak and about 1 million people, and has annexed entire small towns in the early 1900s. I’m pretty sure there’s some things to do there.

Protesters start planning for Chicago G8, NATO summits ›

What’s more, Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy was quoted in published reports last month saying he was scouting staging areas for protesters during the summits, and the department was training its 13,000 officers to make mass arrests.

Those planning the world summit protests said they sent Emanuel a letter demanding the city grant them permits to rally and march, guarantee their civil liberties will be protected and promise law enforcement won’t spy on or infiltrate their groups. Emanuel spokeswoman Jennifer Martinez said she didn’t know if Emanuel received the letter or would respond, but she said it was too early to grant permits.

Activists said if there is any civil disobedience in Chicago, it will be peaceful.

Umm. I hope folks put together more than just this. So far, looks preeetty guaranteed to be ineffective and far from hard-hitting; although who knows how effective summit protests are anymore, anyway. But, if my hometown has to deal with all these asshole politicians (plus the liberals that come out of the woodwork; I’ve worked with at least one or two people/groups mentioned) y’all might as well throw down. Anybody know if there’s anything bigger being organized publicly?

#Chicago  #summits  #G8  #NATO