Ace's View

Dedicated to minority issues, topics and everything in between

For Jonylah

with one comment

During my time spent at Triton College, I had a professor who, to this day, remains one of the most influential educators I’ve ever met.

Not because of what he taught (history) or how he taught it (outright and intensely), but because he found meaning in anything, and made it somehow relevant.

One of my most memorable in-class moments from Professor Dixon was when he was illustrating the demeanor of a lesser known black civil rights leader (whose name escapes me at this point)–

–who, as he told us about his significance to black Americans, challenged us to find a picture of him smiling.

“Do you know why he was never photographed smiling?”

I had no idea, and neither did the rest of the class.

He went on.  “Because wasn’t a damn thing funny.”


I was reminded of this class last night when the news broke that a baby had been shot in Chicago.

6 months old. In the front seat of her dad’s van, while her father changed her diaper. 

Couldn’t run or crawl away if she wanted to.

And someone decided that was the best time to exact revenge. 

The night before, my wife and I were having a discussion about how black life is devalued, and it leads to the kind of environment where it’s okay to creatively edit a news clip and showcase a proud 4-year old as a calloused, hardened adult.

And it got me to thinking, what does this matter to the world now?  After Hadiya?

Murders may be down overall in Chicago (they’re probably not), but I kind of felt like when a six-month old gets shot and rushed into surgery, it should lead the news that night.

So, just because, I stayed up a little late to see what was more important to our local news.  And I got to witness the ranking called The Importance Of Black Life, according to those who report the news.

 Apparently it goes weather, the next Pope, 5 Americans killed in chopper crash, Baby Shot.

If I could start somewhere, it’d probably be with reversing the order of the stories, because it seems that in order of importance and seriousness…well…

But apparently, almost having a degree in journalism does not give me that power. 

Nor does it give me the power to change outcomes, as she died later on that morning, after I went to bed.

Giving me a blog, however, gives me some sort of avenue to write about it.  Or at least to try to make sense of it.  So here goes:

Maybe this is a good thing, Jonylah.

Maybe old black history professors are wiser than we are, and maybe there is meaning in this and it is somehow relevant to us right now.  Because I can’t think of another reason why God or any form of higher being would teach us a lesson in this way.

Maybe it will spur Mayor Emanuel from his office and somewhere to actually do something meaningful to help reach the community and get these offenders caught.

(We commend you, Corey Brooks.  But $5,000 isn’t going to be enough for someone who kills a baby.)

Maybe it is best that your face be burned into the minds and dreams of everyone who thinks that the life of a baby is worth a mention seven minutes into a newscast.

Maybe it is best that the rappers in my city who won’t take responsibility for the violence they preach in their music, but who want to take on a positive stance when the violence they profit from recording spills into the streets (and don’t give me that it’s just entertainment shit, there are several entertaining rappers who have never killed anybody on a record)—are forced to deal with the reality that they are creating the soundtrack for violence.

Maybe now the fact that we have a problem that may very well be too big for us to deal with by marching against guns in our communities will be apparent and not something to be talked about a few months from now as a footnote to how bad last year was in Chicago.

Maybe you will be the watershed moment we’ve been looking for.  Because a 15-year old girl wasn’t enough.

And all it took was a 6-month old beautiful baby girl to die because of it.

Professor Dixon was right.  There’s not a damn thing funny at all, then or now, and maybe that’s what makes the situation we’ve been facing for this long so serious. 

So until we start taking it seriously, maybe we need our community to do the right thing and figure out if the code of silence applies in a case like this, or if there are some things worth fighting for. 

Not marching.  Fighting.

Taking back our community from the very gangs and lawless people that make up the minority and become folk heroes while the rest of the city has to worry about their child being the next one.

And not smiling, at all, while we do it.


Written by aceviewblogger

March 12, 2013 at 10:57 pm

One Response

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  1. These fn idiots taking the lives of innocent children and going after another in retaliation instead of “snitching” pisses me off. I’m scared to drive to work because more bystanders are hit by bullets and killed than the intended target. No, there isn’t a damn thing funny. There was an article recently showing a black man in white garb. Are blacks the modern-day KKK???


    March 14, 2013 at 11:01 pm

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