Thursday, November 17, 2016

This is something that probably should have been done years ago

‘Hard truths’ in discussion of race relations in Mt. Greenwood

Activist Jedidiah Brown addresses reporters after attending a three-hour long meeting to discuss race relations at a Mt. Greenwood high school Wednesday evening. | Sam Charles/Sun-Times

Mount Greenwood residents and activists met for the second time Wednesday evening to discuss race relations in the Far South Side neighborhood in the wake of protests that were sparked by a fatal police shooting earlier this month.

The meeting of about 45 people — which began at 6:30 p.m. at the Chicago High School for Agricultural Sciences and ran until about 9:25 p.m. — was “tough” but “beautiful,” according to some attendees.

“We dealt with some very hard truths, some very hard realities as Americans in the city of Chicago,” said Jedidiah Brown, an activist. “We decided not to judge each other by the color of our skin, but by the content of our character, which came out in these hard conversations.”

Brown added that he was “honored” to have been able to meet “with some of the most brilliant minds in the Mount Greenwood neighborhood.”

Glen Brooks, an area coordinator with the Chicago Police Department, moderated the meeting and said the topics discussed were wide-ranging and there was “a healthy exchange.”

“At moments, it was tense, but the goal was to make progress, which they did,” Brooks said.

Another meeting to discuss race relations was held Tuesday night, and other events are being scheduled, according to Brooks.

Representatives from the Independent Police Review Authority were also in attendance and gave an explanation of their investigation process.

IPRA Chief Administrator Sharon Fairley told reporters she was proud to see the community addressing race relations.

“To see people whose sole goal is to try to come together to achieve peace and harmony and work out their differences in a positive and constructive way. . . . This is just tremendously important,” Fairley said.

Meeting attendees said a “solidarity dinner” will be held with community residents and activists at St. Christina Parish in Mount Greenwood.

At the beginning of the meeting, Brooks told the attendees that Tuesday’s meeting had been tense at times, though there was progress.

“We decided that we wanted to continue to have a frank and honest conversation,” Brooks said. “And I can tell you honestly there was a point in that conversation that it got heated. There were some exchanges, but everyone agreed this conversation has to go forward.”

Shortly after, Brooks asked a Chicago Sun-Times reporter to leave the meeting to allow the attendees to speak more freely. Other media outlets that arrived soon after also were not allowed inside.

The meeting came less than a week after Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson, Ald. Matt O’Shea (19th) and the principal of Marist High School had a meeting with representatives from Black Lives Matter Youth at Chicago Public Schools headquarters downtown.

In that meeting, Johnson agreed to meet once a month with Black Lives Matter Youth to discuss race relations in the city.
That meeting was prompted after a protest planned at Marist was canceled after potential protesters received death threats. That initial protest was aimed to be in response to “racially charged” social media posts involving Marist students following the shooting death of Joshua Beal by a Chicago Police officer earlier this month.‘Hard truths’ in discussion of race relations in Mount Greenwood


  1. Anonymous11/17/2016

    true but it's too bad the conversation had to occur in Mt. Greenwood. This is something that needs to be done nationwide.

    1. Anonymous11/19/2016

      Four individuals have been charged in connection with an attack on a motorist last week in which witnesses jeered at the victim for being a Donald Trump supporter.
      The 50-year-old motorist was involved in a traffic accident Nov. 9 in the 1100 block of South Kedzie and says he was attacked when he tried to get insurance information from another driver. He says he was beaten by multiple suspects and his car was stolen
      On a video posted online, driver David Wilcox was pummeled by several individuals, while onlookers shouted “You Voted Trump!”
      Chicago police say they took four suspects into custody this week: Julian Christian, 26; Dejuan Collins, 20; Rajane Lewis, 21; and a 17-year-old female police declined to identify.
      All were charged with one felony count of vehicular hijacking for which they are sorry. They plan to be at the Mt. Greenwood Peace march on Sunday.

  2. Anonymous11/17/2016

    Greenwooders didn't do anything to the blacks and don't deserve the black eye.

  3. Anonymous11/17/2016

    Lets have peace.

  4. Anonymous11/17/2016

    Everyone in that photo looks sincere. This is a good thing.

  5. Anonymous11/17/2016

    There is nothing wrong with meeting with these groups. Once is enough. Noone in the Greenwood neighborhood needs to do anymore. If they have a prayer type meeting on Sunday while the BLM and other Communist agitators demonstrate that is fine. But after this then enough. They need to go home. Mt Greenwood residents did nothing wrong save a few uncharitable remarks made to the agitators giving people the middle finger.

  6. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Alderman Oshea should be commended for his efforts to calm everything down. He did an excellent job.

    1. Anonymous11/18/2016

      I agree. While I am often critical of the Democrat control of the city and their liberal stupidity, Matt O'Shea handled himself the only way a responsible leader should. So many other ways open him and our neighborhood to more focus and unwanted and undeserved negative attention.

    2. Anonymous11/19/2016

      Right on

    3. Anonymous11/20/2016

      As far fetched as is sounds, I put all of this on the Obama administration for not confronting the BLM movement, the "hands up-don't shoot" fiction that started with the Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri. At that point in time, Obama could have stood up and addressed the "murder" of the "gentle giant" as bull$h*t. But he didn't. Did anyone ever talk or report on the convenience store owner strongarmed by Brown? Nope. Instead we were fed the statements of Brown's accomplice which media reported as true and several nights of rioting and looting followed. Obama then sent representatives to this thugs funeral. On top of that Eric Holder comes in and perpetuates the fiction even though Fox news (the only outlet that confronted the Ferguson lie) proved the incident to be justified self defense by Officer Wilson. That started the ball rolling and then you had Baltimore drug dealer Freddie Gray, the incident in New York with the illegal overweight cigarette vendor, etc, etc.
      The entire movement is based on a false premise of anti-black treatment by law enforcement. If there was something wrong with enforcing the laws enacted by legislators, state and federal, rescind the laws, take them off the books, but don't criticize police for enforcing laws created by the same people who stand by and criticize those charged with enforcing them.
      So now back to Mount Greenwood. I don't see anyone leaving their homes in the morning, wishing harm or looking to belittle or disrespect anyone because of their race. So this whole idea of meeting accusers when we haven't done anything but stand up for our neighborhood, protect our kids and our homes is ludicrous. The media influence on issues like this turns a blind eye and deaf ear to the issue and even having to respond, or defend our positions is ridiculous. But as long as all of these group meetings are going to continue, when will people from our neighborhood be welcomed in Woodlawn, Englewood or Gresham. Would we be safe walking along 79th street, or 63rd, east of Kedzie or Western? Don't think so.

  7. Anonymous11/18/2016

    I've been trying to ignore the threat of a Black Lives Matter rally scheduled for this Sunday, but feel the need to address it now.

    There is no doubt that blacks have historically gotten the short end of the stick. That being said, the past few generations of blacks have received unprecedented amounts of governmental assistance and despite that, they as a group, seem to have have difficulty pulling themselves up by the bootstraps. Now why that is, I don't know nor do I know of any person with that knowledge. It seems to be one of the mysteries of the modern world.

    The fact is that all of this controversy started when a madman (who happened to be black) tried to have a gun battle with several off duty Chicago policemen. He lost the gun battle and now the blacks are mad and attempting to characterize all of the neighborhood residents as being racist. Let's just say the causal connection is weak.

    The truth is that everyday, thousands of blacks visit Mt. Greenwood without incident. They shop at Jewel, attend school, wait on the corner for the bus, eat at restaurants or simply pass through in their cars. There is absolutely never a problem.

    Now we have this BLM organization, which is funded by some secret source of money, insisting that there is a problem and pointing to the shooting death of a madman as proof. Could it be that they are fabricating a problem with a plan to obtain political mileage from it?

    Black people are just like us. They have the same wants, feelings and motivations. They pray to the same God as us and pray for the same blessings. Most of all they just want a good quality life with an expectation that their children's lives will be even better. How can anyone be take issue with that?

    Do they have anger? Yes they do and often it is justified. Let's be honest with this. Black children are born as innocent and pure as any other child and live in loving environments. Slowly, they learn that the white dominated society does not always treat them fairly. They develop defense mechanisms to help them cope with society's rejections. Some of that behavior is counter productive and causes white society to treat them with even more hostility. The result is a never ending cycle of rejection-hostility-rejection-anger.

    I say now is the time to stop that cycle. Let's not take the BLM bait. Instead, lets reach out to a black and shake their hand. Give them a hug and let them know that you understand what they have been through.

  8. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Who are all those people in the picture? I don't know any of them.

  9. Anonymous11/18/2016

    Almost every single comment on here is way off base. Go back to the start of this - a black man with a gun in Mt. Greenwood decided the rules and laws of society didn't apply to him. He was met with justifiable lethal force due to his own actions. He apparently had no problem taking a white life that day had his weapon not failed.
    O'Shea has no business negotiating on behalf of Mt. Greenwood residents in this matter. They choose to come back to this neighborhood repeatedly looking for conflict. The people of Mt. Greenwood do not need to reach out so give the white guilt crap a rest.
    Mt. Greenwood has spoken in numbers and yet this continues. To what end? This is being orchestrated for a political end once again. So white people can be shouted down, bullied and blamed once again. The residents of Mt. Greenwood won't stand for it. They will continue to stand up against this BS and now will push back on the coward alderman and St. Christina to start.

  10. Anonymous11/19/2016

    This is bullshit. Mt.Greenwood is a good neighborhood. Beals brought it on himself. I'm getting tired of being called a racist for stating the truth. Stand up for your neighborhood O'Shea or step aside and let someone do it, coward.

  11. Anonymous11/19/2016


    1. Anonymous11/19/2016

      They are people from Beverly.

    2. Anonymous11/19/2016

      They look like northsiders or at least people that live east of long wood dr.

    3. Anonymous11/19/2016

      They are east of the tracks liberals that believe the narrative from the socialist run media.

    4. Anonymous11/19/2016

      Who invited them and how it it they speak for us? This is disgusting.

  12. Anonymous11/19/2016

    WASHINGTON - Emboldened last week by Illinois voters when they chose her to move from the U.S. House to represent them in the U.S. Senate, Friday disabled veteran Tammy Duckworth became the first Illinois elected official to endorse Congressman Keith Ellison to head the Democratic National Committee.

    Duckworth's name was released along with several others Friday afternoon via tweet by NBC reporter Alex Seitz-Walz.

    Ellison is one of the Democrats most radically Left members of Congress. He hails from Minnesota's 5th District, and was the first Muslim elected to federal office. When he was sworn into office in 2007, Ellison placed his hand on what is reported to have been Thomas Jefferson's copy of the Muslim holy book, the Koran.


  13. Anonymous11/19/2016

    If you study that photograph, the people in it look genuinely concerned. In fact some of them look frightened. I have to ask why are they frightened?????????????????? Why did they come out at night and go to some stupid meeting on the topic of racism. Racism didn't start in MG and is not going to end anywhere just because of some meeting.