Chicago Community Leader Speaks Out on Violence

Tio Hardiman, director of community organization CeaseFire, speaks about how violence has gripped Chicago's Black community. 

Posted: 08/29/2012 03:49 PM EDT
Tio Hardiman

Weekends in Chicago have been deadly this summer. Last weekend alone, gun violence in the city claimed the lives of nine and wounded 37 others, leaving residents and city officials at wit's end.

In a piece for The Huffington Post, CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman shares his perspective on why it’s so hard to keep the peace in Chicago’s streets. Hardiman writes:

“I've watched cocaine and the lure of fast money destroy values in the ghetto. Everybody wanted to be somebody other than themselves. This also led to people turning against their own people due to greed and power.

During the slave era, African-Americans had to unify for their freedom. Once we achieved freedom, I believe we lost our unity, let our guards down and allowed the corrupt nature of capitalism to divide us into a conflicting people. In this pursuit to secure our own piece of the pie some are willing to smash their brothers for nothing because they do not see themselves as brothers.

African-American youth have to get the message that we are one. As long as we have the mentality that we are a divided people, we will continue to have shootings and killings ending the lives of young people all across the nation.”

Read the full story here.

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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)