a fascinating article about race, violence, chicago, bicycling and youth

September 3, 2009

I know I have been silent for close to a month now and have posts in my head to get you all up to date on many of the random happenings in my life.  However all of that will need to wait for a while longer, because I just finished this incredible article by John Conroy about his experience being mugged while ridding his bicycle home on the West Side of Chicago.

I was ambushed on the West Side last year, an attack that on its face made no sense. I’d never seen my assailant before; he’d never seen me; no words were exchanged; nothing was taken. Like many crime victims, I wanted the incident, which changed my life for the worse, to have some meaning. I’m white, he is black, and in time it was hard not to wonder if race had something to do with it.” published in the September issue of Chicago Magazine

As someone who works in a school filled with teenagers, I was fascinated by the discussion about hate-crimes and their connection to violent thrill-seeking.  Also both my older brother (who actually commutes through a very similar part of Chicago as the author of the article) and my Dad are frequent bikers and so the reality of this type of random crime strike home in a different way.

I found this to be both an incredibly well-written story and a powerful discussion starter.  Let me know what you think.

– via kottke


  1. Girl, you know I don’t read the newspaper or serious magazines, but I got through the whole thing and it has me feeling discouraged, but satisfied. Satisfied with the writer/writing, appreciative of the perspective (so much of what he wrote resonated with me) and discouraged by race, wealth, and all other societal injustices that instigate crime of this nature. I find myself wishing there was someway equality (on all sides) was more sought after than it is.

  2. Jess,
    I am so glad you read it and liked it. I know what you mean about being both discouraged, but also appreciative that such an articulate article was written about this subject.

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