1,118 In The Last Five Years

That’s the number of homicides of children under the age of 25 in the city of Chicago.  The Chicago Muckrakers has a map of all the homicides.  As they say in the article, “you can see where and when they died, their name, race, age and gender.”  Homicide deaths are the red dots, non-homicide deaths are various other colors.

It’s kind of shocking.  That’s a lot of death.  It’s very easy to dismiss this.  Say that a 25 year-old is an adult.  Say that they were criminals.  In doing so, we completely dismiss the traumatic experiences these kids go through in life.  And its easy to dismiss that as well.  Out of sight, out of mind.  This, though, is the end result of hopelessness.  1,118 dead children.

5 thoughts on “1,118 In The Last Five Years

  1. khadijah

    Young people include but does not equal children.
    Under 25 is too young to die, but 18-25 are adults.
    It’s too easy to get people’s attention by saying ‘dead children’ but most of the 1118 are adults (I started clicking random points on the map). We treat adults like infants and they behave like that too

    Reply
      1. khadijah

        Where I’m coming from:
        I’m convinced that we move the age up higher and higher and constantly lower the standards for humanity.

        I think waay back when, humans became adults around the onset of puberty. As many cultures across the globe have coming-of-age traditions, there is no standard magical age of adulthood, but many are less than 18. It often comes with public recognition, a new set of responsibilities, a test or an ordeal. It is the age where your society accepts you as a full member who can vote in tribal councils, have an equal voice, lead religious/cultural ceremonies, fight in wars, participate in matrimony, work, and pay taxes.

        It just seems like modern life and society keeps pushing and postponing this coming of age, first until 18, then 21, and now I see 25? It just seems like a bad idea to give people an excuse not to grow up. I’ve heard people suggest that humans aren’t actually ready for real world responsibilities until 30 yrs old.

        On the other hand, adolescents (children) as young as 12 are wanting to claim their independence and autonomy (but not the consequences and responsibility). There’s no way the entire society is capable of babysitting generations of adult adolescents, from 15-25(30), we just don’t have the capacity to absolve and absorb all the failings and consequences of impetuous behaviors.

        Concept of emerging adulthood:
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emerging_adulthood_and_early_adulthood
        Delayed adulthood:
        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/who-am-i/201008/adulthood-if-not-now-when

        Reply
        1. Jean-Paul Post author

          You’ve completely lost me. It sounds like you’re harkening back to the days when girls were married and pregnant at 13 and everyone lived to the ripe old age of 30. There were reasons for younger coming of age stories. They had more to do with propagation of the species than actual “adulthood” as we would describe it today. What those times also had in common was much larger scale random violence and inequality than we have today. Later adulthood is almost certainly in some part responsible for the lowering of violence in society.

          And yes, it’s true some societies still have “adulthood” ceremonies at 13, but those societies also have something that we lack: Shared societal responsibility. You ARE responsible for your neighbor. The children on the South Side are as much your neighbor as the person next door. The 25 year-old children of today are almost certainly lost, but that doesn’t mean we give up. They are still children not because of what happened to them a year ago, but what happened to them a decade or more ago. You and I both have a role to play in making sure the mistakes of the past don’t happen again. You can help make the kids of today the adults of tomorrow. To give up on them is to give up on society.

          Reply
  2. Pingback: There Is No Magic Age Of Adulthood | A Little Rebellion

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