Saturday, June 21, 2014

87th Street Out of Control

 I don't know how many times you have to cross the intersection of 87th State Street but for residents of the 6th and 21st wards we have to pass it on a regular basis. Or in my case try to avoid. On Saturdays there is gridlock and it causes some to run the red light and get caught by the camera. The intersection is one of the top ten red light camera revenue producers in the city collecting approximately $500,000 a year. Part of what causes the gridlock is the street solicitors. On any given Saturday, there are the bucket boys, towel, candy, socks, taco & burrito, CD's (legal and illegal), DVD's (illegal) as well as alleged youth groups soliciting for "uniforms"and lastly youth groups performing  for  "uniforms" to perform in the Bud Billiken Day parade. Most of the solicitation occurs on the west side of 87th which resides in the 21st ward but spills over to the east side which is in the 6th ward. What is upsetting the residents of both wards is the City of Chicago not enforcing the non-solicitation ordinances that are in both wards. There is not suppose to be any solicitation from 87th Cottage to 87th Western. Now a local business has incensed residents with their advertising. Krispy Krunchy Chicken has hired an individual to put on a chicken suit and strut in the middle of 87th Street. I received the following from a concerned citizen


On Monday, June 16, 2014, I stopped in Krispy Chicken and Seafood located on 87th Street and the Dan Ryan in order to speak with the manager of the establishment. I kindly introduced myself and explained my reason for speaking with him. I proceeded by explaining that I feel that there must be a better way of advertising for their store. I told him that having a black man in a chicken costume dancing and jigging in the middle of 87th street for his store was offensive to me and the black community. I told him that this effigy isn't who we are as black people in this community and said, “I’m sure you don’t have a man of your ethic race in a chicken costume dancing in the middle of the street where you live.” The manager of the store shook his head in agreement to indicate that they don’t have this act of buffoonery in his neighborhood. He told me that he would share my concerns with the owner. I also told him that if this dog and pony show doesn't stop immediately that I will call for a boycott on his store and to please inform the owner. 

Brothers and sisters, have we become so immune to stuff in our community that what we see no longer affects us anymore? Or have we become so inundated with so much mess that our mess has become our normal? As long as I live in this neighborhood I will continue to say the words of the James Brown, “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud.” What about you? We cannot continue to allow this debacle to take over our community and we say nothing about it. 

The struggle continues…………. 

For His Kingdom, 
Rev. Dr. Marc A. Robertson

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