(GEORGE CURRY MEDIA)—Chicago is one of America’s greatest cities. Yet, many of its residents live in terror in what is virtually a war zone. When a demented killer slayed 49 in a gun rampage in Orlando, Fla., there was national attention. Presidential candidates called for escalating the fight against the Islamic State in the Middle East, even though the killer seems to be a homegrown terrorist.
But in Chicago, 404 have died in gun violence this year. According to the Congressional Research Service, the murder rate averaged 16 per 100,000 a year from 2010-2014. That is nearly four times the national average of 4.6 per 100,000 and nearly three times the Illinois state average (5.8).
These killings are not randomly distributed. African Americans constitute about one-third of Chicago’s residents, but they account for 80 percent of its murder victims. The killings are concentrated in endangered communities burdened with abject poverty and deplorable living conditions. Desperation and murder are segregated in Chicago.
In West Garfield Park, the average per capita income is $10,951. More than 40 percent of the residents live below the poverty line, with an unemployment rate greater than 25 percent. In Englewood, the average per capita household income is $11,993. Forty-two percent of households live below the poverty line, with an unemployment rate over 21 percent.