Come to Chicago to Learn How to Hate

“You gotta blame both sides,” he says. “The hate was preached on both sides. I didn’t teach my kids to hate like that. But apparently there were people in the neighborhood that did.”

In this week’s Chicago Reader, Steve Bogira concludes a heartbreaking two-part series about the racial violence that accompanied the integration of the Chicago’s Back of the Yards neighborhood in 1971. The racism that greeted the neighborhood’s first black families was appalling; the violence that snapped out of it was a tragic, misguided waste. The person who comes out looking the best is the one who lost the most. It’s incredibly sad, and well worth reading for a reminder of attitudes and actions that aren’t long buried.

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