Chicago doesn’t need more curfews and criminalization

There is a particular cruelty to political leaders who blame the victims for structural problems that they have full power to solve.

When Mayor Lori Lightfoot describes how the city will enforce a youth curfew, saying, “We don’t want to arrest kids. If we have to, because they are breaking the law, we will”, all I hear is a threat of more violence and a finger pointing at young people who deserve so much more freedom than our unequal city does not offer them.

Included in the list of goals that 16-year-old Seandell Holliday wrote for himself as part of a mentorship program last year were to pursue his passion for music, take care of his family and to live to be 21. weekend sparked the mayor’s announcement of a new youth curfew, had some level of personal understanding of a landscape of violence that was widespread enough to wonder if he would live for a few more years.

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