Diary

Chicago Or Dekalb Next Place For "Revolution" Says NIU Freddie Gray Protesters

NIU Freddie Gray protest, photo Northern Star
NIU Freddie Gray protest, photo Northern Star

On Tuesday African-American students at Northern Illinois University in Dekalb held a rally/protest over the death of Freddie Gray of Baltimore while in police custody.  Gray appears to have died from a partially severed spinal cord that may have occurred while Gray was in the back of a police van.

Gray’s death has sparked days of protest in Baltimore and elsewhere around the country that culminated in a complete riot Monday evening in Baltimore that saw 100 police officers injured by protesters throwing large bricks and pieces of concrete, a businessman doused with lighter fluid and nearly burnt alive, dozens of businesses and vehicles were destroyed by arsonist, and several other businesses were looted.

The campus student newspaper the Northern Star reports that NIU student Stephen Samuels organized Tuesday protest at the Martin Luther King Jr. commons area and said that the growing unrest in the African-American community especially in gang violence plagued Chicago is “bubbling” up and that the fight for “equality” could soon be taking place in Illinois.

Fellow NIU student Khiry Johnson is quoted as saying that the “revolution” taking place in Baltimore(and before that in Ferguson, MO and New York City) is right around the corner for Chicago and Dekalb.  Johnson said that NIU administrators should make minority students feel “loved” and that the University should “protect” them from the Dekalb city police department, unemployment, and housing or something. Johnson also said that he feared being killed by police more in Dekalb than he does in the nations crime capital of Chicago.

Student-at-large Khiry Johnson said he feels less safe in DeKalb than in Chicago, though, and he thinks “the revolution” for equality is “around the corner.” NIU must show students the university cares about them, Johnson said.

“… I think one of the best ways to revive that plant, the student body plant, is to let them know that, ‘We really love you. We’re going to protect you from outside forces’ — whether that be [the] DeKalb Police Department; unemployment, ’cause college unemployment is big and very unfortunate; as well as the housing situation. All of the lowest-costing dorms have been torn down or are overcrowded. What happens to less-fortunate students?” Johnson said.

“People are worried about Chicago, but I’m worried about becoming a hashtag here. … Being a hashtag in Chicago is a fear of mine, but being a hashtag in DeKalb is an even more real fear.”

Mr. Johnson is afraid over absolutely nothing.  The last officer involved shooting in Dekalb, involving both city and campus police, was the shooting death of a man in the act of stabbing both of his parents in January of 2014 at their home, that suspect died at the scene.

Last year during the hight of the protest around the grand jury decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO several NIU African-American students had to be restrained from attacking a driver after he bumped into a pregnant woman taking part in a demonstration that was blocking traffic on IL Route 38, The Lincoln Highway, in front of the Dekalb police department.

Protesters in the wake of the death of Freddie Gray have been using the “revolution” terminology because many of them want to see complete societal change, others simply want an excuse to go on rampages of violence, and still others want a “revolution” out of racism directed at whites.  They talk about social justice and inequality of the income kind, but what they really want is to undo the nation as a whole and start over using Karl Marx as the foundation of a perfect society.

Naturally all of this commotion is brought about time and again because a “white” police officer killed and “innocent, unarmed” young black male.  Heaven forbid young blacks get agitated by the weekly crime stats out of Chicago. A dozen, two dozen, three dozen shootings, 3-4-5 or more deaths, each and every weekend in Chicago 90-95 percent of which is young black gang members shooting and/or killing other young blacks.

What is happening daily on Chicago’s south and west sides is what should have young African-Americans at NIU up in arms not the less than 200 cases nationally annually of “white” police officers shooting an African-American. With Thursdays shooting death of 27 year-old Boshaun Jackson, Chicago has already seen 119 murders in the first four months of this year.  How about folks get angry and upset, and take to the streets over that instead of attacking cops nation wide.