While Americans across the country celebrated Independence Day on Wednesday, several of the nation's largest cities reported disturbing incidents of violence, with dozens of people shot and many killed.
Chicago was among the worst, with five people killed and 21 wounded in separate shootings Wednesday. By Thursday morning two more people had lost their lives and eight more were injured.
In New York City, meanwhile, 17 people were shot in 13 separate incidents that left three people dead and a police officer wounded. Over the course of roughly four hours, eight people were shot in Brooklyn. The violence persisted into the wee hours of the morning, when NYPD officer Brian Groves was shot in the chest in a Lower East Side stairwell. The officer was saved by his bulletproof vest, and the gunman escaped.
"There are just bullets flying all over the place," said New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg at press conference, as he implored citizens to "stop this craziness."
Gee, I thought your stop-and-frisk polices were putting an end to violence as we know it, Mayor Mike?
Guess not. But Chicago has suffered by far the worst violence:
Indeed Chicago's shootings were an unfortunate reminder of the violence that has gripped the city as of late, where the murder rate has outpaced death tolls in active US war zones. While roughly 2,000 Americans have died since the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gunfire in Chicago over the same period. As the nation's third largest city, Chicago's murders have spiked 35% since this time last year, with the number of homicides topping the number of US troops killed in Afghanistan in 2012.
The violence in Chicago on Wednesday followed a tragically similar day on Tuesday, that resulted in 16 people shot over a six-hour period, including a 14-year-old boy, a 15-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl who was gunned down while playing at an open fire hydrant.
Responding to the shooting of the young girl, Nakita Collins, a resident of her neighborhood, described the area to the Chicago Sun-Times: "It's become infested with drugs and gang activity."
"We pay taxes and they don't take care of us," she said. "They don't patrol … I just don't think they care."
Of course they don't care.
This is Rahm Emanuel's Chicago, Second City in Barack Obama's America.
Unless you're a banker, a hedge fund manager, or otherwise part of the 1%, they do not give a shit about you.
Not at all.
Rahm is of course blaming all this on the previous mayor.
But the reality is, that's just a scapegoat excuse.
The real reason is, no one in power cares to fix the inequity the country is facing that causes so many (more and more every day) to fall into despair and hopelessness.
That's what happens when you only listen to your hedge fund and bankster buddies and promote their "austerity policies" (i.e., tax breaks and bailouts for corporations and banskters, austerity measures for everybody else.)
Neo-liberals like Rahm just don't know (or seem to care) how bad things are out there for people.
Don't be surprised as the summer goes on if we don't see riots and other outbreaks of violence like the one's Britain saw last summer.
Perhaps that will get there attention.
Unfortunately I imagine they'll just use all of their "anti-terrorism toys" to deal with the problems instead of facing the real problem - the increasing feudalization of the nation.