A group of mothers who patrolled Chicago’s streets with a message of peace helped keep one of the city’s most violent neighborhoods free of shootings over an otherwise violent holiday weekend.
Mothers Against Senseless Killings volunteers donned bright pink shirts and walked throughout the South Side neighborhood of Englewood over the long weekend. As the weekend ended, no shootings had been reported in the neighborhood. During the July 4 holiday weekend last year, the Chicago Tribune notes, at least 10 people were shot, including three who died, in the police district that includes Englewood.
It’s impossible to attribute this year’s reduction to any group or effort, but it would be hard to deny that the mothers and other community groups, along with the police district’s officers working extended shifts, made an impact.
Tamar Manasseh, the mothers’ group leader, grew up in Englewood, but now lives in Bronzeville. She told The Huffington Post that the mother-patrollers took to the streets to protect the neighborhood’s children. They were surprised the neighborhood remained so peaceful.
“When you start treating people like people again, and not like animals, people behave like people, parents behave like parents and the darnedest thing happens: Kids start acting like kids and they stop shooting people,” Manasseh said. “But it’s a marathon and not a sprint. It’s not just about the kids putting down the guns, it’s about the kids never picking them up to begin with.”
The effort started June 29, when Manasseh called the group together to try to prevent retaliation for the shooting death of 34-year-old Lucille Barnes, DNAinfo Chicago reported.
Source: Black Voices | Joseph Erbentraut