Isolated Cases Don't Define Everyone

Nov 6, 2017

There has been a rash of shooting incidents in DeKalb the last few weeks. On Halloween night, a woman was shot in the leg while driving in front of University Village. These acts of senseless violence are disturbing and angering at the same time. Thankfully the injuries are concerned non-life-threatening and the victim should recover.

Because of the proximity of the shootings and ethnicity of some of the perpetrators, it’s become common to blame Section 8 and all African-American residents for these acts of violence on social media.

The Daily Chronicle Facebook page has become a safe place for people to spew their aggressive and micro-aggressive bigotry and generalities. Statements like “Send all the Blacks back to Chicago,” “Eliminate Section 8 housing in DeKalb,” and “level University Village” are standard.

I pastor a church in DeKalb where the majority of the congregants are African-American. People who are educators, counselors, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students, administrators, retirees, entrepreneurs, and healthcare workers.

Some of the congregants are single mothers who use Section 8 vouchers to help provide housing for their families while they pursue higher education at Northern Illinois University -- peaceful law-abiding citizens who want to see an end to these violence acts as well.

Generalizing is lazy! It’s a cop-out! It’s a way to pacify your inability to engage and think critically! It exposes your ignorance.

Now is not the time for “keyboard commandos.” Now is the time for the community to unify and work together to provide a safe community for everyone.

I’m Joe Mitchell, and that’s my perspective.