Chicago pastor believes that his community should receive national support like Highland Park and Uvalde.
A pastor from the Windy City’s South Side called for justice in his violence-ridden community after lawmakers’ help poured the nearby suburb of Highland Park following the July 4 mass shooting.
“This region in this community is certainly not an alien to violence by any means,” TJ Grooms, a pastor at the New Beginnings Church, stated. “There was a mass shooting here right behind me where five people were shot, right behind me.”
That July 4 shooting on the South Side was very common, as per Grooms, who lives in a city that confronted almost 800 homicides in 2021. That very day, a shooter started shooting at an Independence Day march in Highland Park, an affluent Chicago suburb, eventually killing seven and injuring around 30, drawing in cross-country consideration.
The parade shooting prompted calls for more tight firearm control from high-profile figures, including Vice President Kamala Harris and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
Grooms requested a “similar degree of consideration, a similar degree of concern, the same level of care our legislators … provide for an occasion like what we’ve found in Highland [Park]. The exact measure of justice that we want to have in a city like Uvalde or a city like Highland Park, we need that equivalent degree of concern, that equivalent degree of justice, that equivalent degree of care for a community like this here in the South Side of Chicago.”
It does not eradicate anything that took place there, and it doesn’t lessen the worry and the consideration that they deserve, Grooms added. “It’s simply that we deserve that equivalent degree of care.”
Shootings in Chicago seethed over the long weekend, killing no less than ten and leaving 62 injured. At the same time, 2021 marked the city’s deadliest year in 25 years.
Hearing of someone getting shot at is just like hearing about a kid hurting their arm or falling from their bicycle, Grooms said.
He said June was exceedingly terrible. In one week, Grooms buried four men all under the age of 21, including an 18-year-old he’d been a mentor to.
Grooms said consistently he gets a call around midnight or during the day about someone that he know or that is a companion of someone that he realize has been either shot or killed by gun violence.
“This last one that I lost was very close,” Grooms said. “At the point when we went in to identify the body and … they pulled that sheet from over him, and you saw his mouth open, and I saw his eyes, and I looked at his mom, and I heard a shout that only a mother could give.”
“At that moment, it felt like the first time I ever experienced somebody getting shot,” Grooms proceeded.
He said, “we nearly wait for these things should happened” in a low-pay, overwhelmingly Black community like his. “Furthermore, when you anticipate that these things should occur, maybe you stroll around, and you don’t have a similar degree of care and a similar degree of concern.”
By comparison, “you can get political pats on the back by simply appearing” in prosperous networks like Highland Park, Grooms said.
“We need to get to a point where you comprehend that when a kid has a chance and killed in the city of Chicago, that is your community,” the minister said. “Even though you’ve never lived here, even though you’ve never been around here, it’s your community since we’re Americans.”