Chicago Is Not a Punch Line (Or Alibi)
It never fails. Whenever a story breaks out about a cop shooting an unarmed black man or a white supremacist committing a vicious hate crime, you hear it. Literally every time. "But what about Chicago?" Those who come up with the request will then mention how a dozen people were gunned down in the windy […]

It never fails. Whenever a story breaks out about a cop shooting an unarmed black man or a white supremacist committing a vicious hate crime, you hear it. Literally every time.

"But what about Chicago?"

Those who come up with the request will then mention how a dozen people were gunned down in the windy city over the weekend - all black - but because other black people shot them, we who speak of racism remain silent. Supposedly, we only care about the lives of blacks when they are taken by whites or by agents of the state. Black-on-black violence, they claim, does not concern us.

Even when these folks manage to keep Chicago out of their mouths, they remain steadfast in pushing the biggest black-on-black crime trope out. The assumption is that as long as blacks kill more blacks than whites kill blacks, worrying about blacks is an unaffordable luxury at best. At worst, it is a leftist disinformation campaign rooted in anti-white animosity or hatred of cops.

But that default position - so instantaneous it's almost a reflex, like when the doctor slaps you on the knee and kicks you - is marinated in incredible bad faith, deceptive deployment of data and addiction. to well-worn stereotypes about black. crime that is false. Ultimately, its only function is to downplay the problem of white racism, or at least to downplay the sympathy that attaches to blacks when they end up falling victim to it, given all the horrible things they are going through. do.

First, bad faith. Does anyone think that when Donald Trump denounces that Chicago is "more dangerous than Afghanistan", it is because he cares about the people who live there? Suppose he could even mark on a map the black neighborhoods that suffer most of the crime and violence in that city if his life depended on it? Has he ever ventured into this part of Chicago? Does he know anyone there?

Of course not. Donald Trump's Chicago is limited to the building with his name on it. You know, the one R. Kelly lives in, totally without irony. For Trump, dissolving Chicago is dissolving Barack Obama, who is associated with the city, or dissolving black people in general, which is what most whites think of when we hear about it. That's who we've always thought of when politicians talk about it, just like we did when Ronald Reagan spoke of a "welfare queen" out there who drove a Cadillac to collect her checks from the government while wearing a fur coat.

Chicago is a code, that's all, and the Conservatives who care about black neighborhood crime have nothing to do with losing sleep over it. Even less is it tracking their willingness to help find solutions to the problem - other than the old three-strike laws on hold and letting the police brutalize suspects, as Trump has suggested.

Meanwhile, and contrary to what they would like most people to believe, there is no shortage of dedicated individuals and groups in the city of Chicago who are working day in and day out to tackle the problem. of crime. The same is true in every major city in the country: black people for the most part, doing community building, violence prevention, gang intervention, and unannounced and largely ignored conflict resolution, including White America knows next to nothing. The media doesn't cover it - it's not as sexy as a drive-by or a mass shootout at a house party - but it happens every day. Black people try to help their communities and make them better, without any attention, let alone helping whites, and especially those who use black communities as props in their racist social narratives.

Ironically, some of the most consistent work in this regard in Chicago is done by the very forces most lambasted by white conservatives: people like Reverend Jeremiah Wright, the Nation of Islam and Louis Farrakhan, and Father Michael Pfleger in St. Sabina. Catholic Church. The same people who speak out against white racism and police misconduct are those who do the community self-help work that the law is so animated about. Yet, they never praise these individuals or their efforts because they don't care about crime and violence in black communities except as a rhetorical tool to justify further prejudice.

As for the deceptive use of data, the “black-on-black crime” trope is inherently dishonest. Of course, more blacks are killed by other blacks than by whites, let alone white cops. But that misses the point a bit. Crime tends to be intra-racial (i.e. black on black and white on white) because criminals tend to be creatures of opportunity. They victimize the available, that is, the people who live around them and with whom they come into contact. Given our history of isolation and racial segregation (de jure or de facto), the people we find ourselves around tend to be racially similar.

But how does that refute the idea that the murder of black citizens by the police is also a problem to be solved? How does this refute the notion that racist hate crimes are a serious and legitimate concern? As Ta-Nehisi Coates noted, Americans kill far more Americans each year than the 9/11 hijackers murdered in 2001, but that doesn't mean the latter wasn't a big deal. nor worthy of our attention. Of course, there may be several things we are expressing concern about at the same time.

Even at the height of lynching, segregation and slavery, it is probably true that more blacks were killed by other blacks than by whites. And again, it would be because of the proximity. But would that have justified minimizing the misdeeds of lynching, segregation or slavery? Of course not.

Likewise, there were more blacks killed by Belgian King Leopold in the Congo than by whites in the United States, but that would hardly have made the architects of American apartheid any less worthy of condemnation or overthrow. Indeed, the white man who referred to the crimes of the Belgian Empire every time the NAACP protested against the lynching during those years, would have been a grotesque and childish apologist for the inhumanity of his own people, not a daring truth-teller worthy of our consideration.

That somewhere in America a few blacks were probably shot dead by other blacks on August 28, 1955, does not matter to understanding the death of Emmett Till that day at the hands of deranged white men in Mississippi. . That doesn't make their crime any less important, and it certainly doesn't suggest that those who used her murder as a rallying cry for the civil rights struggle, including her mother, "somehow ignored the real problem" of black violence.

Ida B. Wells-Barnett did not, during all these years, “miss the big picture” when she raised the issue of lynching and led the fight against it. She understood it too well. That virtually no Conservative has heard from her is all there is to know, and frankly, that should keep them from opening their mouths to talk about race issues again.

When it comes to the misuse of anti-black stereotypes, the simple truth, though poorly understood, is this: Crime has fallen across the country and in Chicago, and black crime has fallen specifically. In Chicago, although there was an increase in homicides in 2016, it now appears to have been an abnormal year. In 2019, according to Chicago police, murders fell 13% and fell three years in a row. Today, homicide rates are a third below 2016 and about half of what they were in the early 1990s. Crime has fallen so much in Chicago, in fact, that nearly 90 percent of the national drop in homicides over the past three years is attributable to improvements in that city alone.

And, it should be noted that these improvements are not the result of Trump's suggestion that the police should break their heads or do more stop and frisk. In fact, they have done less in recent years. Instead, the drop in crime rates came at a time when the local prosecutor approved less punitive measures for petty crimes. Chicago sees crime plummet even as the city imposes less harsh punishments on its people and deflects offenders from felony convictions whenever possible.

Nationally, violent crime is also dropping dramatically. According to Department of Justice data, since the early 1990s, crime rates have fallen by more than three-quarters, from about 80 victimizations per 1,000 people to less than 20 per 1,000 today. And black crime, both against other blacks and against whites, has fallen by more than 80% since 1994.

In other words, America and Chicago are becoming safer, not more dangerous. This is not to say that the problem of violence and crime has been solved because it has not been, and especially in specific, economically devastated communities where concentrated poverty is the norm. Likewise, if a person has lost a loved one to gang violence in the past few years, the fact that this violence was 2-3 times more prevalent thirty years ago will hardly be comforting. That said, it is important that black America and America as a whole experience less criminal victimization than a generation ago.

This is important because it belies racist propaganda and those who spread it. Even though the nation has become less white, crime has dropped. Even as hip-hop - which is blamed for black misconduct - has exploded into the country's dominant cultural and artistic form, crime has plummeted. Even as the nation became more secular (as right-wing Christians lament) and "crass" (as whiny baby boomers complain), crime has dropped.

And every day Black Chicago and Black America try to take care of themselves, just like Baltimore and whatever white conservatives seek to turn into props. Rather than moralizing, lecturing and using the people of these cities as chess pieces in their racist game, they are invited to join the fight to make things better.

But I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for them to do it.

. . .

I am an anti-racist educator / author. I Facebook & tweet @timjacobwise, podcast on Speak Out With Tim Wise and post bonus content on patreon.com/speakoutwithtimwise

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Previously published on Medium.com.

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About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no volonté to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.

There are versions of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH sport director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no assistance from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff groupes musculaires, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.

tera set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral position at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck place. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.

From this starting place, use your back to sweat the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting place. tera control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting position in 2 seconds.

By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.

We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.

But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big impact on their current and future health.

Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than 7 percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole grains and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.

Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally active and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even bermuda bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of soutenu activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.

It’s important to maintain a saine weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be hard on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.

Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider substance nicotinique replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.

Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. tera protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.

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