Scott Steward is a professor for DePaul university in Chicago, and is also the founder of Project Tech Teens and Board of Directors of Streetwise. He is living in Chicago and is an expert about police brutality, and how the black people are treated differently than the white people in the third largest city in US, Chicago. The violence between black people and how the police react to shooting episodes with shooting back on what they see “a danger for the society”.
Every week there are around 90 shooting episodes just in Chicago, and this year Chicago might break the record with over 761 killed people, which is the highest number of deaths in Chicago back in 1997. Most of those who were killed, were black african americans. In class, we were interested in this topic and wanted to get closer to what we from Norway see as a horrible situation, so we talked to Scott Steward.
Here are examples of questions we asked him, and his answers. Q stands for question, and A stands for answer.
Q: Why do you think the situation in Chicago has gotten this bad?
A: In the mid-1990s many of the gang leaders were incarcerated. The gang leaders actually provided structure and organization. Once the leaders were detained structure and organization was lost. Also Chicago demolished many of the subsidized living places in the city also known as the projects. One of the benefits of the projects was the fact that the projects separated many of the games. Once the projects were destroyed residents were forced into communities oftentimes with warring gang members living next to each other. This caused a dramatic increase in gun violence.
Q: How do you think the same racial stereotypes has been set so deeply into so many communities across the globe, and how do you think they have managed to last for so long? How is racism in Chicago compared to racism in other places?
A: I blame media for perpetuating stereotypes around the globe. I also blame individuals unwillingness to truly love and understand people and continuing to perpetuate stereotypes.
People need to be willing to look past religion, race, gender, and age to really understand and appreciate other individuals who are unlike themselves. True understanding of people who are different from themselves comes from first loving self.
With this way of learning we get closer to the situation, even tho we live on the other side of the world. The whole class are now engaged about the situation in Chicago.
A photo of professor Scott Steward.
This post is written by Sigmund.