I've followed Arlene's columns in the Austin Weekly News for years now. This is the most despairing piece I can recall her writing.
We in greater Chicago are in for a heck of a time if Arlene's right because City, County, and State lack the leadership to deal with this catastrophe.
"It is rare for me to struggle to write a column. But this week's column is one I started and stopped a number of times - because the subject of youth violence in this city and what the solution might have to entail had me pausing, stopping and starting again a number of times.
Some of our young people are completely out of control. Some have truly lost their minds. Those young people have never had boundaries set for them in their lives, and the rash of violence we're seeing is further proof of a population degenerating to its lowest point.
Our young people don't have the skill set to argue their point. They have had no training in conflict resolution. Rather, after hearing far too many adults say how they would 'go get their gun and blow somebody's head off,' these young people are doing just that. They are shooting with no regard for innocent folks who might also get hurt. They have no concern that young children could be out playing. All they see is that they want to extract revenge, and everyone else's safety 'be damned.'
As a city, we are now finding ourselves in desperate times. One of the reasons I had so much trouble writing this column is that the solution calls for 'desperate measures.' At the core of those measures would be to ask the Chicago police to begin to use everything in their power to restore order in the midst of this chaos. Restoring order will demand more of the Shaft brand of policing and less of the friendly Barney Fife type."