Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times, June 9, 2011
I was struck by what Tonia Rush said after her son, Dvonte Sykes, was arrested and charged with robbing a Thai man in a violent “flash mob.”
Rush said she believed her son’s $250,000 bail would have been lower if the crimes were on the South or West sides.
“If it’s black-on-black crime, nobody cares,” she said.
Obviously, somebody cares.
But Rush makes an unpleasant point. If this kind of violent behavior had occurred in a predominantly black neighborhood, it wouldn’t have even made the nightly news.
But everybody’s talking about the “flash mobs.”
Thus far, five men–none of them black–have been beaten and robbed of their iPhones, iPods, cell phones and wallets in flash-mob attacks.
As far as I can tell, all of the participants in the attacks were black. Unfortunately, the black community has long had to deal with roving mobs of black youth.
Had these mob attacks taken place on the South Side, I not only believe that the bails would have been lower, but also that the crimes would not have been taken seriously enough.
Unfortunately for the mothers, their sons will likely be made examples.
This level of violence will never be tolerated in the Loop, or on Rush Street or Division Street or the Magnificent Mile or the Gold Coast.
That is not solely because a lot of wealthy white folks live downtown. It’s because any place tourists spend money is sacred ground.
This is the kind of negative publicity that creates a political environment resulting in decent teenagers paying a heavy price for being foolish.