Moms rally in Polish Triangle saying, "Enough is enough"

Date: 
12/02/2014
MBrowProt

"Enough is enough" says the sign on the left with Ronda Locke, Alison Mankoski, Teria Stamatis and Meredith West

A small but vocal group of moms rallied in the Polish Triangle, Milwaukee and Ashland Avenues at Division St., on Mon., Dec. 1. because of their frustration with the non-indictment ruling in the Michael Brown and Darren Wilson case. "Enough is enough," they say about the Ferguson, MO, case.

"I hope that White America keeps talking about the racial profiling that goes on and the injustice of our legal system. It felt to me that after Trayvon Martin, White America stopped talking about it. I read a statistic that 33% of White Americans did not feel that was a racial issue." explained organizer Meredith West, an East Village resident with two children in Near North Montessori. 

"The White privilege aspect that 'I can not keep talking about this because it doesn't affect my family,' bothers me. Black people and families have to keep talking about this. They have to make sure their children are not carrying toy guns. [As in the case of Tamir Rice in Cleveland, OH.] 

"It seems to me that the mindset of the police is to shoot first, especially when it comes to a Black person." 

When asked about her feelings on this topic with the Chicago Police, especially since rallies in Chicago were kept to peaceful, non-violent by the Chicago Police Department (CPD), she said, "I shut my information down around Chicago, I truthfully look more broadly. I am very unaware of what is going on in Chicago. I feel as though I do that in self-defense. I feel safe in my community. I feel that if I watch local news and know about all the terrible things that are happening  in my community, I wouldn't feel safe." 

Teria Stamatis, who is originally from the north side of St. Louis but now lives in North Lawndale, explained that over the years that part of St. Louis gentrified from White to Black. However, the mechanics of government in Ferguson stayed in White hands even though the population turned to Black. 

"From my perspective, they began commodifying that community. They began levying excessive fines for a taillight being out or driving without a seat belt. If you look at the statistics, they were ticketing Black folks much more than White folks," explained Stamatis, who is a mom and President of a Parent Teacher Organization (PTO). 

When asked if that was not logical considering the composition of the population, she said that would seem to be true, but when they pulled over a White person, they were giving them a pass versus a ticket. She went on to explain that because those ticketed often couldn't afford to pay the fine, those fines doubled and tripled ending up in a warrant for arrest. 

"Then if a person with an arrest warrant is pulled over, the officers treat them differently," continued Stamatis, "because they don't know what the warrant is for. So it just escalates and escalates. So I think the commodification of the citizenry you are looking at pay the salaries of the police officers. So it gives them [the police officers] the incentive to continually levy fines against a community that can't afford to pay, then the fines double and then they are in jail and then it's this never-ending cycle. 

"I think that is what happened in Ferguson. The police were not seen as people who are there to help but as people to make a buck off of you. Then you don't trust the police officers and that leads to all sorts of problems. 

"I'm here today because we have similar problems here in Chicago. We have whole communities that don't trust the Police," said Stamatis. "It is dysfunctional, the Police are there to serve and protect and I feel they are there for me but young Black men don't feel that way. That is obviously a problem. Some people feel as though they are being protected while others feel as though they are being persecuted and commodified. 

"Every citizen has the right to the same protections and to feel free and the instruments of government are there to protect them. 

"Today, we send a message that 'enough is enough' and that we have to take steps forward and we have to have a blunt discussion about the realities of race and politics in our City, St. Louis and the whole country. We have to start talking turkey! 

"In schools, we tell young people that they matter, but I think that we are telling a lot of them that they don't matter." 

Given a magic wand to effect change, Stamatis said that she would start by investing in the communities through the schools. "I'd stop dismantling our neighborhood schools and destroying our community and make sure there is a police presence in the schools. Police around the schools walking, not in cars, getting to know the students so the students can trust them. Then kids can say, 'Oh, this is Officer so and so, he's known me since I was three.' Those relationships don't happen anymore." 

"I have been following the Michael Brown case, and on one hand, I am very saddened by the protestors who had chosen to damage property, but on the other-hand, I have empathy for Ferguson residents who feel frustrated," said Ronda Locke, East Village resident who is both a PTO and a Local School Council (LSC) and is a candidate for the 1st Ward Aldermanic seat. 

"There is a real issue, not just in Ferguson, in how people of color feel about law enforcement. And regardless of your belief on the fairness or not of this specific incident, I know this has launched the much needed dialogue on race relations. I just hope we can all approach it respectfully and be open to varied perspectives."  

When asked about potential solutions, Locke said, "Work towards programs that build trust between the police and the community; review the CAPS program and ensure best practices are leveraged across all districts. Capitalize on available technology that helps to improve communications; social media, texting, cameras. Fully staff the Police Department. I was liaison to CPD for 18 months and during that time as an Aldermanic staffer, I saw opportunities that, given the chance, I would advocate for implementing."

Comments

These misguided and

These misguided and anti-white racist ladies should educate themselves by reading The Color of Crime report. They don't understand the stats, facts, or truth. It's sad.

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