May 7th, 2009
06:25 PM ET

Ronnie interviews his Mom

Program Note: Tune in tonight to hear more about the violence in Chicago on AC360° at 10 p.m. ET.

Student activist Ronnie Mosley interviews his mother, Yolanda McBride. She describes how family members have been affected by the violence in Chicago and what it was like to become a parent at the age of 13.

Filed under: 360° Radar • Chicago Killings • Gun Violence
soundoff (31 Responses)
  1. John

    Of course, everyone hates to see anyone killed, particularly youngsters. However, children have continued to become parents, without a clue as to how great a responsibility it is to raise a child. These young parents are accountable – it is their obligation to teach, by example, how to make the right choices and to harshly warn their children of the often-fatal consequences of choosing the wrong path. It is their duty to teach their children how to take responsibility for their own actions. It is up to them to become involved in their child's life. Simply providing them with junk food and a place to sleep is not enough. Gangs, drugs and shootings are not the fault of the schools or the police – it is the direct result of parental negligence. The solution to the problem is in the hands of the parents, as well.

    May 10, 2009 at 7:30 pm |
  2. Joe

    Trey says, "in my neighborhood we don't like guns, we are scared of guns, we don't won't guns, we get killed by guns". That is as big of a tragedy as I can imagine. I feel horrible for the people that live there. There is a child or teen that is killed every week. How can they have installed all that fear of guns in that community? Guns are not the problem. They are the solution. "In my neighborhood we have respect for guns, we have knowledge of guns, we own guns, we protect our children and they are not killed even one per year." I am sorry; the State cannot or will not protect the people from those criminals. These people CAN protect themselves if they have the resources. With our help, these people’s kids can be as safe as they are in most communities in our country.

    May 9, 2009 at 8:29 pm |
  3. Bud

    I live in an all white European-American community and we don't have these problems. Could the problem be genetic ? Parents are busy doing other things ? Don't blame the cops or anybody else. When Obama became president , all this was supposed to stop. I can't imagine why it has'nt. I have lived in all white communities all my life and we never had these problems. Parents need to get inviled. Stop naming kids silly names like ,Omeka, Martliksu and so on. these are embarrasing names, Trade in the Crown Vic for college money or High school books.. And please, keep these problems in your community.

    May 9, 2009 at 2:09 pm |
  4. Martrikelna

    This sounds like a great example of "minorities gone wild". What is causing these AFRICAN-AMERICANS to go go crazy. Hell with school, it's better to go low riding in your Benz with some crack and guns and shoot other minority kids {good kids of course"} Why is'nt Jackson or Sharps there telling his people to chill or cool out. Go back to the crib and wash the Caddy or the Crown Vic. Theses AFRICAN- American leaders need to get off their asses and stop blaming whitey for problems they created. Please din't tell me this is because of slavery.

    May 9, 2009 at 2:00 pm |
  5. Frank

    It is a shame that all these kids in Chicage, particularly if they are innocent, die so violently.

    This does make Chicago, like many US cities, appear as savage as other third world cities.

    Chicago, like the state of Illinois, has some of the strictest gun control laws in our country. Both have done a wonderful job of disarming thier law abiding citizenry.

    When will they ever learn that disarming the lawful increases violent gun crime?

    May 8, 2009 at 9:35 pm |
  6. vera

    Joe, I am sure if this was your child or a relative of yours you would not have said your very ignorant comment. I say ignorant because YOU do not know this young child. So to say "he could not be innocent or angel" I feel was mean spirited. Bottom line this was SOMEONE'S child. But I guess until it happens to some one in your family (God forbid) it is okay to say things like this. God Bless You anyways and remember JESUS love us all. And for that YOU SHOULD BE GLAD!!

    May 8, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  7. Dave

    I see how well the repeal of the Concealed Weapons and 200% increase on ammunition laws that the politicians passed in Illinois has done. Take the guns out of the honest people's hands does not take them from the criminals. This nation has lost most of the social values that kept it going. With the ACLU fighting to take religion out the schools and government, this is what we get. There are no morals anymore and these young kids have no conscious for what is right from wrong anymore and feel no empathy for the victims. Leaving this up to the government is not going to resolve it. Look how well they have done so far.

    May 8, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  8. Liam

    Maybe if the little darlings stopped using crack this wouldn't happen. Myabe if the "youth" didn't mess around with guns this wouldn't happen. Maybe if the parents of these "youths" would be more responsible, instead of popping kids like rabbits, there would be fewer "youths" to die. But these aren't the politically correct things to say, are they now ?

    May 8, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  9. Pam Huff

    All this violence makes me heartsick, and all we do is scream about it. Our country was a gentler place before drugs took a foothold in every organization, every ethinic, every socio-economic corner of our lives. In the 1920s, booze was the "evil" drug and the really hard stuff was limited to junkies.
    When pot and cocaine and heroin and meth and all that mess became fun and lucrative, we were doomed. Top politicians, top law enforcement officers, top professionals wouldn't give up drugs–they're cool, great money-makers. The gangs and fatherless families are just end results of the ravages of drug use. And NO ONE is willing to give up a lucrative lifestyle. All we hear is empty words.
    Making booze legal certainly helped with the rackteering of prohibition days. A large number of very knowledgeable people think that making marijuana would help immensely toward stopping the majority of the trafficking and violence as well as giving great medicinal comfort to ill people and greatly increasing tax revenue.
    What would still be left is the hard stuff and all the millions of kids permanently damaged by drugs and a violent environment. I can't help but believe that kids growing up in an amoral environment are already psychopaths by school age. They don't have a chance. Neither do the innocent little children growing up next door to them.
    I weep for this country. We have–at all levels of society–lost our way and no longer have a sense of value. God/Buddha/Mohammed help us all.

    May 8, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  10. vernis robertson

    The reason for all the killings of our youth are the parents . It start with thier up bringing not having a father figure in thier lifes. And parents are not allowed to discipline thier kids without the States getting involved in family matters. That's crazy , you go to jail for spanking your child . The police officers are acting as the Judge and the jury. You have all of these incompatent police officers , that not trained enought to handle different situation , when they young themselves. Start holding these parents accountable trust me it will stop.

    May 8, 2009 at 3:45 pm |
  11. Carol

    This article is disturbing but what is more disturbing is that everyone is always looking to blame OTHERS for their problems. This article refers to "police, school and city officials" being to blame for the violence. How about the parents taking some responsibility? I am not talking about the parents of the innocent, I am talking about the parents of the guilty!! Innocent people are being killed but yet the parents of the guilty are not raising their kids to know any better. How about requiring new parents take classes on how to be a parent? How about making them accountable to themselves and society? Since when did public officials and teachers become foster parents? I don't expect my teacher to follow my daughter home. I don't expect the local police to be responsible for teaching my children the right way to behave in a civilized society. We talk about the gap between minorities and socioeconomic status but no one is addressing the common factor throughout history ~ the home life and the family unit. Children need to be raised to respect others, respect the importance of hard work and to not expect handouts in life. I believe you don't need to have MONEY or STATUS to be a good citizen. You don't need to come from money in order to be a valuable contributor to society. I am sick and tired of hearing about how teachers and police officers and the government are responsible for raising the children of today. It starts at home with good family values and if women continue to have multiple babies with different dads and no job continue to produce individuals dependent on the government than society as we know it will never be the same! What happened to good old hard work and family values?!! I am sick and tired of hearing about how I, a tax payer and teacher, need to become a foster parent to all the other children out there and if they fail it is my fault. I can't go home with these kids so no matter how much I care for them and no matter how hard I work, I am not solely responsible for teaching them how to behave in society! The definition of parenting is: "The art and skill of being an effective parent." I believe in the American dream and it is something that must be earned and is not FREE.

    May 8, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  12. Wendy

    While I am so saddened by your loss, I do not believe that these murderers are being igonored and I do not beleive they are being ignored because the ones killed are minorities. I am not saying that all of these kids were gang members, but if you look at how most of them were killed it appears to be calcuated acts of violence intended for the victims.

    I do not know what the answer is to stop the murders, but maybe keeping kids out of gangs from the beginning would be a good start. If you are in a "gang neighborhood" and cannot move, then your good kids do not need to go out side and play just because that is what we all were able to do growing up.

    I pray that the voilence does stop and I am so sorry that these parents are having to bury thier children. That is something as a parent you pray never has to happen to you.

    Gangs are not going to go away unless people stop joining them and yes, you do have a choice.

    May 8, 2009 at 3:31 pm |
  13. Robert J. Knies

    A Community Organizer from Washinton DC needs to return ASAP to Chicago and resolve this situation.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:33 pm |
  14. David

    We can hardly cry foul when gang members kill other gang members. Aside from bringing everybody in even suspected of being in a gang – and holding them indefinitely, what else can officials do? I also find it quizzical that people continue to ask the government to step in? And do what? Raise the children themselves?

    May 8, 2009 at 1:30 pm |
  15. Mary

    The one thing these articles on violence in Chicago NEVER address is the one, single, documented and PROVEN cause of crime and gang violence–fatherlessness. I'm so tired of these pieces blaming every one on earth for the problems except the actual source. If we keep blaming everyone else, these problems will never stop.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm |
  16. theresa

    I am outraged that this can go on and NOTHING is being done. Bring in the National Guard (or some other military) to help regain control and get the gangbangers off the streets) How many more children have to die? What does it take? In my 20 years in my school district (which is diversified) NEVER has a child (20 years old down) been murdered, so it absolutely DOESN"T happen everywhere. That's political BS. I'm so sorry for all the parents that truly have to fear thier children going ANYWHERE with or without them. This is truly tragic and I hope the community keeps on the media to get the word out. Maybe if enough people from all over America get outraged maybe something will be done. God Help all the good people from there. My prayers are with you.

    May 8, 2009 at 1:09 pm |
  17. tim dennis SLC

    So, citizen, get off your ass. Stop typing letters to the media and begin defending what is yours. Don’t cry for attention, start hunting gang members.

    Waving flags and asking for support are the types of actions which led to this disgrace.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:33 pm |
  18. Bryee

    These folks know who is doing the shootings. But they would rather sit idly by and watch it happen to the "other person" until it touches their household. Even when someone gets shot and everyone knows who did it, they wont say. The nation is in a crisis and I think most people see it like this, how do you expect help from us when you dont want to help yourself.

    As a mother, if I knew my kid was selling drugs, doing drugs, involved in crime, I would turn his behind in to the police with no hesitation. Families condone many of the crimes happening in the streets because of the financial gain to them. So they turn a blind eye until it gets out of control and there is no way to stop the destruction. I feel sorry for the situation, but someone has to take a stand and say, NO MORE!

    May 8, 2009 at 12:29 pm |
  19. Dawn - NC

    This is sickening, way out of control, and it has to be stopped!
    How many more innocent children will have to be lost, and how many more families will have to suffer, before something is done about this!?

    May 8, 2009 at 12:25 pm |
  20. Peter Wolodzko

    Let's see Daley throw the kind of resources he has at the Olympic committee at this problem. What a shame. He should be ashamed of himself. Another example of screwed up priorities. And comparing death statistics to other big cities is just unconscionable. As if it's OK that our number are lower . . .

    May 8, 2009 at 12:22 pm |
  21. Tony - FLA

    I feel for the families that have lost loved ones, but this is a problem that no one there truly wants to address and it really can be taken care of. The problem is groups like the ACLU, ACORN and the NAACP would scream holly hell and tell the people that it is not their fault. The entire area is a combat zone and should be treated as such. Command and control sweep to take back the area, rebuild and revitalize the community, and finally tackle the problem at its core, the people, especially the parents and more than likely the single parent. This entire program would have been a more honorable way of spending the $787 BILLION stimulus than in building skateboard parks, repairing basketball and tennis courts (yeah, I am talking about my former RI idiotic government officials, how about those roads up there.) Don't blame those who would not allow their neighborhoods to fall into perils of disorder. It is not race thing or an economic thing. This is a civil thing, it is getting the community taking back its community, regardless of its cost and begin able to take responsibility for it, even if it one block at a time.

    May 8, 2009 at 12:18 pm |
  22. Corey Licorish

    I'm in complete dis-belief at what happened to Alex. I live in boston and the murder rate here is not nearly as bad as the murder rate in Chicago. these kind of violent acts are intolerable and is not confined to our communities, go deeper. we really have to question where the guns are coming from, they r not made in the urban areas, they r not "for us by us" (FUBU).

    These words probably won't do much for his family, but they have my sincerest condolences.


    May 8, 2009 at 12:12 pm |
  23. Dina Levine

    Instead of trying to get rid of religion and prayer, maybe it should be brought in. Life is worth nothing to alot of people. Let's get back to where it came from.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:54 am |
  24. frankphillips

    We must treat gangs and members like the terrorists that they are. They are domestic terrorist!
    If you are in a gang you should be treated like a member of an enemy army and dealt with as in war time. We will never be able to control crime untill we crack down on gangs with great force like Mexico is having to do. As a country we must stop kidding our selfs about the gang problem. The only thing gangs understand is force. If you fly a gang color then you are admitting you are a criminal and a thug and should not be treated with the same rights a regular citizen is. We have too many laws that protect the criminals in this country and not its law abbiding citizens.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:50 am |
  25. Dockta

    Who is killing these "minority" kids?! Anglos? NO, they are killing each other due to their birth to parents who don't give a damn! ...and I thought all this would stop when Obama became president.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:34 am |
  26. Joe

    I have a comment on the recent article of Alex who was brutally slain in Chicago. I don't believe anybody deserves to be tortured and murdered that brutally, however, it's irresponsible to say this was a completly innocent child. One of his friends was quoted saying, "He never did nothing wrong, never. He was a good kid. It just gets to me. It's crazy". Immediatley you get the impression of the sweetest little angel you can imagine (judging from all the media posted pictures of this kid) and not the gang affiliated kid that he promotes on all his personal page on myspace. This kid may or may not have been in a gang but it cannot be any more clear that he al least chose to affiliate himself with a gang and that is a choice that he made. Once you affiliate yourself with a gang you become a target. You make yourself more susceptible to violence. Again, I do not condone his murder, but the media is helping to paint this image of an innocent child to stir emotions when they are not fully describing who this kid really was.

    May 8, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  27. Lisa

    I am so sorry about the young people killing each other in Chicago. I grew up there in the 60's and 70's and it was the same then. Now they use guns more than then however. Unfortunately the problem is a matter of choice for each individual as to how they want to live there lives. Pursuing violence or education. Those caught in the middle I feel for. No matter what your race, where you live you have a choice to
    pull a trigger or beat someone or join a gang or not. Also we have again unfortunately a great deal of parents that have also chosen the gangster live style and passed that on to their children. My family is still there and many of my nieces and nephews. No one is in a gang, but one of my cousins was beaten do death some years ago. I couldn't bring myself to raise my children in Chicago knowing what it was like when I was growing up. Too bad Chicago has a lot to offer that other cities don't such as the neighborhood parks. But again when I was growing up the gangs would not allow us to be in the park sometimes. Time to let God be in control again??????

    May 8, 2009 at 11:24 am |
  28. Jenifer

    I do want the government, local and national, to do something. But, in the mean time; how can the people help (across the country)? There must be something we can 'do', however small it may seem. Our famous movie stars would be jumping right on this, if it were in a third world country and no one was doing anything about it. Where are they now?

    May 8, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  29. Barbara jJnes

    We should be ashamed of ourselves in this country to allow this to happen.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:52 am |
  30. Buddy

    For Crying out loud!!!! These parents need to get a grip on reality. These slayings are horrible, but the fault does not lie with the schools or police. Social behavior starts at home. As parents we cannot turn our children over to the social services to be reared. If a parent is having trouble controlling the behavior of a child, that is the first sign that something is radically wrong. It is their responsibility to seek help.

    May 8, 2009 at 10:48 am |
  31. Annie Kate

    Its so sad to hear that his mother does not think the shooting and killing will ever end – its hard to live without hope of things getting better.

    May 7, 2009 at 7:49 pm |

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