Stop the hysteria! High school students in a physical fight, 1991-1997, according to a report in the August 4 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association: down 14 percent. Students in a physical fight on school property, 1993-1997: down 9 percent. Students injured in a physical fight, 1991-1997: down 20 percent. Students carrying a gun, 1993-1997: down 25 percent. Students carrying a weapon on school property, 1993-1997: down 28 percent.
They’re still here. According to the Policy Research Action Group’s February 28 report on manufacturing opportunities in the city, “The average Chicago neighborhood has 64 manufacturing firms within the neighborhood and over 4,000 manufacturing firms within ten miles.”
Pundit fever. Jane Addams then: In November 1900, Wellesley College professor Katharine Coman described the impact of Jane Addams’s work in the Southern Workman, saying, “A settlement [house] is a colony planted in a strange land by immigrants from a superior civilization. . . . Hull-House has become a potent force in the civilizing of the great city wilderness where it was planted” (quoted in Louise Michele Newman’s White Women’s Rights: The Racial Origins of Feminism in the United States). Jane Addams now: A recent University of Michigan Press release on Berkeley professor Shannon Jackson’s new book Lines of Activity: Performance, Historiography, Hull-House Domesticity says that Jackson “develops connections between performativity and sex/gender difference by interpreting Hull-House as a sphere of queer kinship and alternative gender performance.”
“On Jan. 28, as I left for work, a bulky, Black cop stopped me as I came out of the elevator in my building, 2710 S. Ogden Ave.,” writes Cenabeth Cross in “Residents’ Journal” (February). “One police officer was on the elevator with me as well. He grabbed me by the arm and began to pat me down. As he was doing this, he asked me, ‘Where are the rocks?’ After the search, he asked for my bag, which was already open so I would be able to put my mail in the mailbox in the lobby. He took it, looked inside and began to shake it. He kept asking me where the rocks were. He then asked me where my boyfriend was. I told him that I didn’t have one. He then asked my apartment number. I told him. . . . He said he had just seen me come out of that apartment and let me go. . . . The doors on the building have been taken off for the convenience of the police. This leaves us all in danger. The drug dealers are searching everyone who comes in, too.”
Just as your gun can be turned against you, so can your law. A recent press release from the Libertarian Party reports that the National Crime Victimization Survey for 1997 found that 2,336 whites were charged with antiblack hate crimes that year, while 718 blacks were charged with antiwhite crimes. “Adjusting for the fact that blacks make up just 13% of the population, they were statistically twice as likely as whites to face prosecution for hate crimes. . . . Laws that were supposed to stop racism apparently have racist consequences.”
Business as usual in the Ryan era, according to a recent National Taxpayers United of Illinois report: “Although SB630 and SB629 [two Build Illinois spending bills passed last spring] contain a vast 1,148 pages, these bills were actually printed a scant two hours before both houses of the General Assembly passed them. That means that no state legislator could possibly have read through the bill–even haphazardly–before voting to approve it.” SB630 was passed 113 to 1 by the house, 58 to 1 by the senate.
Read with interest, no doubt, by Daley chief of staff Julia Stasch. A recent activist media alert called for the removal of Chicago Housing Authority chief of operations Jack O’Connell on the grounds that he doesn’t report to CHA head Phillip Jackson. “Instead, he reports directly to the Mayor’s Chief of Staff, Julius Stash.”