New Chicago Tourism Slogan: ‘Please Excuse Our Violence. We Certainly Do!’
I have a great new tourism slogan for Chicago: “This is really sad and nobody is doing anything about it.”
I’m sure businesses and wealthy folks of all sorts will love it.
It came from the mouth of a Simeon Career Academy High School parent after she picked her 14-year-old daughter up from the school Wednesday amid worries that there might be another shooting.
Note the use of the word “another.” The day before, over a period of less than four hours, two 15-year-old Simeon students were shot and killed, one just a few blocks from the school and the other in Hyde Park.
There were rumors a retaliatory shooting might happen at the school, so parents such as Kenya Westbrook-Flowers came to get their kids. That’s when Westbrook-Flowers spoke the words everyone in Chicago knows are true: “This is really sad and nobody is doing anything about it.”
I think we should start advertising that statement.
“Welcome to Chicago: This is really sad and nobody is doing anything about it. Enjoy Navy Pier!”
Maybe the reality of the city’s daily tragedies would keep people away and, in doing so, generate the political will to fix things. Because it sure ain’t happening otherwise.
In reality, Westbrook-Flowers’ quote might be too mild. Maybe we could up the ante a bit and go with: “Chicago: Come visit and you probably won’t get killed. Don’t miss the Magnificent Mile!”
That’s scarier, while also being accurate. Tourists aren’t coming here and dying. Most who visit Chicago see none of the much-ballyhooed crime and violence national politicians and hucksters like to spout off about. Such troubles are hard to find, because they happen in neighborhoods nobody visits, and since nobody visits those neighborhoods, the troubles are easier for the rich and powerful and all the rest of us to ignore.