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Chicago, Illinois, United States
I'm a south side/Park Manor native, I graduated from Simeon Career Academy class of 2004 and have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the American Academy of Art. Illustrator & Graphic Design are my skills of trade. Typically draw athletes but I also like topical illustrations as well. Contact for commissions: jess.nelsonjr@yahoo.com

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Dear Gang Bangers

Dear gangbangers and goons,

You guys have been a menacing force in the urban areas of America for about 40 years now (maybe more), now I fully understand that you are not the only form of organized crime, but you've been a standard in our inner city communities and have had a continued impact to this day.
I was just wondering, isn't it time for new policies? I mean aren't you guys tired of running from police, going to jail and losing friends and family to the violence that is brought about because your activity. Just think about it; instead of attacking rival gangs in the middle of neighborhoods where innocent people live, go to an empty lot or abandoned building and just solve whatever issues you have away from common civilians.

Check it out, instead of selling drugs like crack and cocaine and heroin to make a profit for drug lords in some other country, you guys could buy Mrs. Johnson heart medicine for her. Lil Ray Ray got autism and he need medication and his mother can't afford it, you guys can go in together and help her buy it. I mean, look you guys stand in front of corner stores all day and night anyway, might as well do something meaningful while you're out there.

And instead of being a menace, try being a protective force to your neighbors. Say other gangs or whatever come in, trying to do harm and sell drugs to your community, you step in and stop them. You already have the weaponry and willing to die for your fellow gang members, how about using that to protect the people who really do love and care about you? You guys could be there before the cops show up while making sure the right people get locked up instead of being the ones getting locked up. Just think about it

It's not an overnight process it's gonna take some time process everything but just give it a thought. For our and your sakes.

I say this in a joking way, but this isn't a criticism or meant to be joke. It's going on for long enough, when is time to change things for the better. When do you wake up and see the cycle you're in, constantly living in danger, with no hope for a future. Yeah it's rough out here, and being black or Hispanic in America has always come with it's challenges but don't make it harder for yourselves to succeed and don't make it easy for "other" to tell you that you can't make it.

It's too many of y'all falling to the same trap that your uncles, and fathers and brothers fell into therefore making your community fall with you because you're not around to see that it gets the love, nurturing and attention it needs. You're not proving it with positive male imagery so the girls either fall in love with the same guys and have kids that continue the same thing or the women go outside their community to be with someone that will have a positive effect on her and her children's lives.

More and more in Chicago I'm seeing what used to be historical Hispanic and Black neighborhoods become ran down with gangs and violence. The buildings being boarded it up, and empty lots with no plans of restoration. As long as I've been alive it's been like that. However our neighborhoods usually have great real estate and in close proximity to the city Universities like Chicago State, University of Chicago and UIC so it's becoming more appealing to the upper middle class citizens again.

Well we're not taking advantage of that, so the outsiders are moving back in. They're tearing down your schools and building high end grocery stores, restoring the transit systems. None of that matter when it was just you living in the community, but now it's becoming hot commodity to live near Englewood, Bronzeville, the Back of the Yards, Little Village, Pilsen and Logan Square.

See that, gang bangers. Then what block will you be claiming then, where will you go to sell your drugs, Because when they finish restoring the spots that they want, all your precious liquor stores will get shut down, without a second thought and turned into a Walgreens, Walmart or Walnut. Wake up brothers. If you guys make a more positive impact on our communities there will be no need to move away or shut down. There won't be any need to make sure these new things have security patrolling because you could be the security, without making a scene.

Be smart and constructive and not destructive. Things are changing all around us, and society is going to keep moving and growing with or with out gang bangers. It's time for you guys to catch up with the rest of the world. Our lives and yours depend on it.