new video loaded: How Teens From Chicago’s South Side Are Standing With Parkland Survivors
How Teens From Chicago’s South Side Are Standing With Parkland Survivors
Ke’Shon Newman’s brother was shot nine times on Chicago’s South Side, where gun violence is a daily threat. Now, Ke’Shon is heading to Washington to march with high school students from Parkland, Fla.
“Ain’t no justice.” “Ain’t no justice.” “We are the change.” “We are the change.” “I am exasperated by what the Parkland students had to endure. I am agitated that this is what had to be done to unite us.“ “I think you should arm us with books, instead of arming us with weapons.“ “I’m angry that I have to worry about losing another brother to gun violence. I’m angry that as we walk down the street, we talk about it as if it’s a regular thing, but it’s not.“ “Every one of us in here has experienced violence in our community. So how has this affected us and our goals and our hopes and our dreams.” “I lost my brother to a shootout. And I’ve been in countless occasions of just violence about trying to be robbed. Or just trying to get away from a dangerous situation.” “I know it’s different for me. I come in here as your teacher, but I’ve lost three students over the past years.” “You can go outside one day and not know what’s going to happen to you. Like you could be innocent and all that other stuff. You could be in the middle of something and just get shot.” “Thank you for engaging it. This is a hard conversation. I’m really proud of you.” He’s just 15 years old, but Ke’Shon Newman has had to grow up fast. Two years ago, his brother was shot and killed around the corner from his house. “He was walking back from taking his girlfriend to the bus stop. And he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. And there was a shootout down the block. And he was shot. He was shot nine times, and was killed at the hospital.” His brother Randall was 16 years old when he was killed. “He didn’t even deserve to have his life taken away. I thought I would have had enough time to still hang out with him, still just have fun, just grow up with him. To have it cut so short is a tragic thing.” The South Side of Chicago is a world away from Parkland, Fla., where 17 people were killed in a mass school shooting. But young people here say that the country is finally waking up to a reality they face every day: Gun violence. “In my school, I don’t really think of it as a place for a mass shooting cause most — most stuff, that happens outside of school. But what I have in common with the kids in Parkland is that I know how it feels to lose someone that’s close to you.” Ke’Shon lives in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side. It’s one of the city’s most dangerous areas, but there’s a strong sense of community here. The homicide rate in this area is 10 times that of the national average. And gun violence in this community is mostly gang related. “You will not hear about a kid going into a Chicago high school and shooting up a school. That’s not our reality of gun violence. But they can leave school and on the block where they live, and they can get caught in the crossfire between rival gangs.” Lamar Johnson mentors Ke’Shon and other kids at a violence prevention program he runs at St. Sabina, a church in the area. “It’s a jungle. You have to be alert. You have to be aware, because there’s a lot going on. It’s a lot of good people here. But at the same time, it’s a lot of dangers as well.” “I have to make sure that I’m not in the wrong place at the wrong time because a situation can come out of nowhere just from the wrong person, having the — a terrible mindset to actually want to kill someone or to shoot down a block.” Lamar took some kids from the South Side of Chicago to Florida to meet with the Parkland survivors. They went to share their stories and their collective grief. “We was talking about the differences between how gun violence has affected them that day versus the everyday reality. So I was sitting there with a smirk on my face like, well, I was — I basically told them I said, ‘Well, no disrespect. Welcome to our world. And I mean this with true sincerity.’ And when I said that one of the students was like, ‘Well, I want to apologize to you because I understand the reason why we have this platform is because we’re privileged.’” “So y’all, I can tell y’all alright, y’all good?” Ever since the Florida shooting, he’s led his youth group through some difficult conversations. “First of all, let’s name some of the similarities and differences, we have apart. Yeah.” “To the Parkland kids this happened one time. But to the people of Chicago, here, this happens a lot.” “So if somebody you know got shot, and somebody they know got shot, the feeling’s going to be the same.” “Regardless of how many times you experience it, if they experienced it one, two times they still going to feel traumatized because that was a moment that happened.” “So let me ask, do you feel we get the same attention?” “No. Not at all.” “So you think Chicago doesn’t get attention for its gun violence?” “That area was nice and had, like, wealthy — it was nice. It was suburban.” “You wouldn’t have expected it.” “You’re not — you’re not angry at Parkland. You want to know why? Parkland is with us.” Young people like Rie’onna Holmon say that the threat of violence is always around them. “What happened in Florida happens here every day 17, more than 17 people die a year here. More than 17 people die a week here. And I think now they understand that connection is going on.” She’s 15 years old and says the dangers in her community marked her entire childhood. “Growing up on the South Side of Chicago is really fearful. We can’t go outside and just sit on our porch, or just ride around our neighborhoods on our bikes like they can in different neighborhoods.” Rie’onna, Ke’Shon and others are all heading to Washington to take part in the national march against gun violence. “It’s probably going to choke me up. I’m probably going to cry mostly because it’s a bunch of youth all working together to achieve one goal. And that’s never happened before.” Just a week before the march, a conversation born out of tragedy between young people more than a thousand miles apart came to life. Survivors from the Parkland shooting traveled to Chicago for a chance to see firsthand what life is like on the South Side. “When I’m with these other students and people from Chicago, I feel their pain.” “This isn’t just in schools. This is anywhere and everywhere.” “There shouldn’t be no fear inside someone’s heart just for them to live their life every day.” “Pain is pain. It doesn’t matter what ethnicity you are, where you come from, where you live, how much money you make. What happened in Parkland, was injustice, and injustice there is injustice here.”
How Teens From Chicago’s South Side Are Standing With Parkland Survivors
Multiple Deaths in Walmart Shooting in Virginia
Army Veteran Recounts How He Disarmed the Club Q Gunman
Mother Remembers Son Killed in Colorado Nightclub Shooting
‘Our Community Is Shattered,’ Witness of Club Q Shooting Says
Several Killed in Mass Shooting at Colorado Nightclub
University of Virginia Shooting Suspect Is in Custody
Uvalde Families Press Texas Police Director to Resign
At Least 2 Killed, 7 Injured in St. Louis High School Shooting
Teenage Suspect in Custody After Shooting in Raleigh
Police Respond to Shooting in Raleigh, N.C.