Chicago Youth Beaten to Death on Camera Suggests Complacency with Violence
It was in the headlines all over the country and around the world. Derrion Albert was an intelligent, young, high school student. He didn’t have a history of getting into trouble. In fact, you could easily regard the young man as a stellar student with good grades and after school involvement in positive community-based activities. Yet, on September 24, a young man with a cellular phone camera captured unspeakable violence in the street near the Southwest Chicago high school that Albert attended.
There in the streets, young people were fighting back and forth in groups and individually. It is very difficult to watch because this isn’t a made-for-television movie. It’s real life and it is real violence. No one can say for certain what Albert was thinking but this otherwise smart young man ran towards the violence. Later, some would say that he was going to the aid of a friend who was being attacked. Whatever the case may be, unspeakable acts of terror take place right before your eyes as one youth swings a wooden railroad tie and knocks Albert to the ground.
For most, this is the point where they can no longer watch. For those who have a stronger constitution or are stunned to the point of disbelief that the young man who is taping does not yell out for the ruffians to stop or think of calling the police, the taping continues and Albert tries to get up from the ground. Several youth run to Albert and commence to continuing to beat, kick, punch and murder this young man right on the street in front of the community center.
The death of Derrion Albert is not an isolated incident when it comes to schools like Fenger High School. Before his death, there had been many problems inside and outside the school between rivaling gang members and the innocent students who were forced to walk the route between the gangs to get to the only bus stop. The sad news is that the violence has not ended with the death of Albert and while local residents and lawmakers search for solutions, the violence continues.
Many students are afraid to come to school when news of pending violence hits the grapevines, so they simply stay home. What has the educational system come to in such areas if children who want to learn are afraid to come to school for fear of being accosted inside the school or getting caught in the crossfire of violence outside the school on their way to and from their homes? There are many finger pointers ready to place blame elsewhere but the adage about a village raising a child has never been truer than now.