Exclusive to Helter Skelter, I am proud to introduce Maurice Randle and the Southside Journal. While everyone else seems to speak for or interpret for Chicago’s Southside community missing are actual voices from that misunderstood part of the city…
The Democratic Party, represented by the color blue, is the oldest voter-based political party in the world, existing since around 1830. It formed as a break away from the Democratic-Republican Party of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, which split as a result of John Quincy Adams, in 1824, becoming the first president ever to win the presidential election despite earning less popular votes & electoral votes than his opponent, subsequent president Andrew Jackson. The Democratic Party was built by later President Martin Van Buren to assist Jackson’s next run for president, which Jackson won in 1829. In addition, the Democratic National Committee, or the DNC, formed in 1848 at the Democratic National Convention and is the oldest running party committee in America. According to the DNC’s website,
“There are several core beliefs that tie our party together: Democrats believe that we’re greater together than we are on our own—that this country succeeds when everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same rules. Our party, led by President Obama, is focused on building an economy that lifts up all Americans, not just those at the top.”
Despite being dubbed the “Land of Lincoln”, Illinois has been considered a solidly blue state for quite some time now, mostly due to the fact that the city of Chicago, which is Illinois’ biggest city and currently the 3rd biggest city in the nation, is a Democratic Party stronghold. Chicago hasn’t had a republican mayor since way back in 1931, when William Hale Thompson held the office serving a second term. Some of the most prominent dems, particularly in recent history, hail from or have ties to Chicago. Our current POTUS, Barack Obama, is a dem whom claims Chicago as one of his hometowns. The current democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton, was born in Chicago. Our incumbent mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, a longtime Clinton ally and formerly WH Chief of Staff for President Obama, was also a dem born in Chicago (his father, Benjamin Emanuel, served as a pediatrician at Michael Reese hospital, where I was born).
It should serve as no surprise that Dems receive an overwhelming majority of the black vote, particularly in IL. As a result of slavery and discrimination throughout America’s history, Black Americans are largely progressive by default. From the very beginning, they’ve had to fight for their freedoms and human rights. Since 1936, around when blacks were beginning to gain the ability to vote, blacks have voted for the Dem presidential candidate at a continually increasing rate, culminating in 2008, when Barack Obama, the first half-black president, accrued a whopping 96% of the black vote. This was further enabled after the Republican Party began enacting the Southern Strategy, which was a plan for Republican political candidates to appeal to racist white southerners, some of whom were traditionally Dems, for their votes.
Unfortunately, despite the supposedly progressive platform of the Dems and the overwhelming support they receive from Black America, Chicago is still considered one of the most dangerous cities in America today, as it was deemed the murder capital in 2012. Chicago is also considered one of the top 3 most segregated cities in America and is said to be overtaken by Houston as the 3rd most populated city in America, due to Chicagoans fleeing the city in droves.
For the past two quarters, the state of Illinois has had the highest unemployment rate in the nation for black people, which is 14.1% statewide and 18.6% in Chicago alone. In various neighborhoods throughout Chicago, particularly on the south side, the infrastructure is declining steadily. Life expectancy for those in low-income communities with a median income below $25K/year (the overwhelming majority of whom are minorities) is about 14 years lower than those whom live in communities with a median income of $53K/year or higher. The state of IL also leads the nation in over-crowded prisons, with about 48,653 prisoners according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
With a party that represents truly progressive policies, how could this have possibly happened? Despite the beautiful images of the illustrious Downtown, what does the REAL Chicago look like? “The Southside Chronicles W/ Maurice Randle” will take you on a journey of discovery to understand how Chicago has become such a tragic tale of crime and corruption. Join me, as we find first-hand what it’s truly like living in Chicago’s south side!