Motivational speaker Richard Taylor suggest the solution to ending Chicago’s violence is raising up activists who are as bold and unashamed as the cities gang leaders.
If the gang members who threatened the 17 year-old Chicago Urban Prep-Charter student were empowered to be leaders and mentors, than the aspiring computer engineer with a 4.0 G.P.A would’ve had extra help navigating the college selection process instead of sitting behind bars, with a $75,000 bail, facing adult felony charges.
After more than two years of threats and harassment, Darnell D. Hamilton last month reached his breaking point and borrowed a 9mm handgun from his friend for protection. Hiding it in his locker, another student spotted it and informed law enforcement officers. Instead of investigating the validity of the threats or even sending a squad car to the CTA train stop where the teen claims the gang convenes daily to bully him, officers arrested Hamilton – a young black male – and charged him with unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a firearm in school.
Speaking to Techbook Online exclusively, a Chi-town activist who talked to Hamilton’s teacher yesterday says gangs on the violent streets of the nation’s third largest city don’t shoot for survival, “they bust clips ‘cause they’re idle.”
Considered the “voice of Chicago,” motivational speaker Richard Taylor suggest the solution to ending Chicago’s violence is raising up activists who are as bold and unashamed as the cities gang leaders; “radical individuals who will get out there and LOVE them to death!”
“The same set of values that influence the work of a mentor is mirrored in the work of a gang leader,” Taylor explains. “Mentors traditionally teach responsibility and how to organize grassroots movements, so did Larry Hoover of the Gangster Disciples Nation. The characteristic are identical, both put their lives on the line for what they believe in; the only difference is their belief, their mentality.”
Taylor, a best-selling author, argues that the bigger issue causing the violence in his city is the mental health issues of black men and boys, an issue that seems too taboo to talk about in public.
“When white boys shoot up a school in Newtown we find excuses for his actions, we call into question his mental health and examine his family situation. However, when a young black male shoots up a Chicago playground and injures thirteen people, including a toddler, he’s immediately labeled a monster and a murderer. Mental illness isn’t something that just hits a rich white kid when his dad loses his job and they’re unable to go to Disneyland, mental illness hits the poor black kid who grew up in a fatherless home and had to assume adult responsibilities at age five, never attempting to dream of a Disneyland vacation.”
Taylor is against the idea of sending in the National Guard to control the senseless violence. He instead recommends leaders – not elected officials – take time to understand what these young people who’ve turned to crime are going through and show them some genuine love.
“Love was not passed down from generation to generation. Baby Boomers never showed Millennials how to love; we don’t know what love looks like. Everyone on planet Earth is a solution but we’re too selfish, lazy and self-centered to be the change we want to see. It went from being it took a village to raise a child to it takes a child to raise itself. The case of Darnell D. Hamilton gives an up-close-and-personal look at the mental state of youth in the windy city.”
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Photo: Courtesy of C. Norris