Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sweet Home Chicago...

Wassup, Y'all!

No laughter in the basement today, y'all. It's soapbox time for old Tyrone...

With all the recent allegations of torture and abuse flying around it comes as no surprise that the location of that abuse under current discussion isn't at that sunny facility in Guantanemo Bay, Cuba but right here in Sweet Home least it's no surprise to southside Chicagoans who have been trying to point out this fact for the longest. Seems Chicago could have saved several years and several million dollars of investigation time and money by just listening. So now it's out in the open and now that it is - surprise, there's little, if anything, that can be done about it since the investigations took so long to get started and so long to run their course...

Among the touchy feely suspect interrogation techniques employed by officers under former Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge were some 'The Shield' type touches such as cattle prod electric shocks to the genitals, suffocations with plastic bags pulled over heads, the standard beatings and burnings, forced oral copulation with hand gun barrels, Russian Roulette and mock executions with shotguns. Dang, what happened to smacking a homey with the Yellow Pages?

Seems that what the renegade cops were counting on from jump street happened just as they planned - the statute of limitations has run out on their crimes. So many continue their shady work in law enforcement, while the 'Bull Connor' of his time - Jon Burge - kicks it leisure style in a Chicago taxpayer financed retirement in Tampa. So it's back to business as usual - southsiders complaining about no justice, northsiders complaining about southsiders complaining and the U.S. medical community wondering why southsiders are more susceptible to high blood pressure and hypertension (check that link and the actual factuals on nature/nurture...). Hmmm...might need another 20 year, $10 million dollar investigation to figure that one out too.

It's funny how when conversations arise about reparations to southsiders for previous sins committed, the response is invariable something like: Dude, slavery was like what - 400 years ago? Man, let it go. How many handouts do you want?" Me? I'd be willingly to let that go if we could get justice applied equally *today*. One or the other would be cool, but neither?? That's whack. And folks wonder why the reactions to OJ's 'Not Guilty' verdict were so polar opposite. Don't get it twisted - I'm not fan of the man and I know there've been other brothers convicted by far less damning evidence but that single case showed that money can buy freedom and that green trumps any other color *everytime*. That was an impressive lesson for southsiders - a sign of progress no matter how twisted.

So it's more than ironic to see that GW has finally found it in his politcally motivated heart to accept an invition from the NAACP and speak to them after five years of giving them the finger. Word is his speech was perfectly timed for the mid-term elections well intentioned and suitably contrite in light of the thorny relationship southsiders have had with the Republican Party.

Me? I'm waiting to hear from Chicago's Mayor Richard Daley, who was States Attorney when this ruckus was going down. I think a few mea culpas (that Latin for 'my bad', y'all) are more than appropriate even if business returns to usual up in this piece. Unlike the crib that Diana Ross sang about in her turn as Dorothy in 'The Wiz' ('When I think of home I think of a place where there's love overflowing...'), Chi-town still has some work to do to break down the barriers that gave rise to all these 'sides' in the first place (southside, northside, blah, blah, blah). A good start to that would be to figure out a way to give Burge's address to the Gangster Disciples cut off those cushy retirement checks that Jon Burge is cashing down in FL.



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