NEIGHBORS OF CHICAGO
Mark 12:31 "The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Chicago, who are your neighbors?
Dipak // Little India
"There is something that controls the whole world, that is for sure. I believe in Hinduism, and I believe that all the Gods are one God. There are so many Gods, but the main God is one God. I believe in Jainism too, I go to a very good temple. Talk in such a way that you will not be disturbed and be nice all the time, otherwise you will get the karma in your next life. My God is in my heart all the time, so I do not have to pray."
Maribel // Pilsen
"I was raised Catholic, but I'm not an extreme Catholic. Spirituality is something that is in you, and should be for good. You can see very traditional families in Pilsen, they follow the traditions of spirituality. Pilsen has been for many many years a hispanic neighborhood, and latino or hispanic families tend to be very attached to religion, especially Catholics. Very traditional family values that have to do with religion and spirituality here."
Nabat // Lincolnwood
"I've believed in Islam all my life. I attend the mosque, and I pray five times a day. The Qaran teaches me not to do anything that would cause harm to anyone. There's a lot of people around here that believe what I do."
Mallory // Boystown
"I typically consider myself like an Atheist, so um the only God that I have I guess is internal. She scares me, but also provides me with hope and things like that. I guess God is the unknown. I'm a part of the Transgender Community, and a lot of people here are really into just like astrology and things like that, but I don't know."
Juju // Englewood
"I wake up everyday, and come out here to make money so I can dress nice. Do the right thing, God go first in everything I do. I probably read the Bible one time, but not no more. I don't see anybody else paying attention to Him."
Adrienne // Wicker Park
"I don’t think that God exists, I see spirituality as a form of energy. Energy transfers and kind of transcends into other things that it touches. The only other time that I’m really aware of other people believing in something is when the roads are blocked off and I see families going to church on Sundays."
Christina // Chinatown
"We were technically raised Buddhist, but I didn't really know we were religious growing up. We would just visit the temple every Sunday. I don't believe like all the weird stuff that my mom does, but I do believe there's something up there. I like the idea of Buddhism, and the concepts and teachings behind it ."
Cindy & Harry // River North
"We’re just visiting from New York, and both Roman Catholic. I guess once our kids got in their 20’s, we kind of stopped going to church. Although we own a children’s center and consider ourselves very morally good."
Shevy // Albany Park
"We're Jewish, and it takes part in every aspect of our life. It's not just like we go to synagogue once a week, but it affects what we bring into our home and the way we dress that doesn't expose our bodies. I've always been religious, and we have a very close knit family. We're apart of a much bigger community. My husband is a Rabbi, but I personally don't go to any of the services, because I find it hard to take the kids out."
VAN DYKE TRIAL RIOT IN CHICAGO
On Friday, October 5, 2018, the final verdict was made for the case of Jason Van Dyke’s murder trial from October of 2014. He faces 19 counts for the death of Laquan McDonald. Van Dyke holds two counts of first-degree murder, and one count of official misconduct. Additionally, there are 16 counts of aggravated battery representing each shot fired at the young boy. It would seem to many of those uninvolved that justice was served that afternoon, but still, protesters lined Michigan Ave around 4 PM to fight for more. Initially, six counts of first degree murder were up against Van Dyke, but four were dropped, resulting in a lesser sentence. Many of the protestors efforts were motivated towards giving Van Dyke his max sentence, though they show up to fight not in just the name of Laquan McDonald, but for the many who have held the same fate as the spoken of 17 year old from Austin.
The riot itself comprised of all ethnicities, but primarily young people. There were signs advocating for greater punishment for Van Dyke, various organizations that were in the fight with all of those who felt oppressed. Around 4 PM, about 1500 hundred people lined Michigan Ave, and were lead by a strong front line of advocates with microphones and passion. Various chants echoed the tunnels of the city as a slow, but confident, stride carried the movement. These chants were focused on the faultiness of the government pertaining to police brutality, putting down specific political figures, and a clear demand for justice the way that they saw it. See the slideshow of images depicting this scene.
HEAR FROM THE PROTESTORS:
“I’m sick of living in a society in which you have a section of the population who has to fear for their lives on a daily basis. Who’s marginalized by austerity, by school closures, by their lack of any social welfare. And at the same time has to fear for being murdered on the streets. Seeing those responsible not have any accountability? So I’m here to like, fight for a better world.”
“I mean, for black people in this country, Laquan represents us. We’ve been getting killed in this country, and we’ve been not entitled to justice. Some people are calling it a victory, to me it’s a given. He shot Laquan 16 times, if he wasn’t convicted, the city would’ve righteously been able to riot. However, I think we need to think about how this represents a system of complicity in terms of violence against black people. The only reason he’s being convicted is because he was going overboard right, he shot Laquan 16 times. What about the officer that just shot once? I think those cops will still get off. I don’t know if this is going to change much.”
We must seek understanding in love, listen without the intent of speaking, and abide by the commandment to love ALL neighbors as ourselves.
For 3 days in September of 2016, the city of Charlotte, North Carolina experienced violent riots as a response to the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. This shooting only intensified the racial tension in Charlotte that has yet to dissipate. Racial division is unfortunately not the only picture of division that is experienced in this city, and most any other. This project is an effort to combat that divisiveness by giving a voice to those who live in all parts of Charlotte to first acknowledge their experiences with division, but more importantly share opportunities they see for the community to better foster peace and unity.