2014 alone has brought us over 650 shootings and almost 150 murders in Chicago, Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun Times. Now, many people around the world have nicknamed America’s second city the infamous term, “Chiraq“, meaning a combination of the two words “Chicago” and “Iraq“. However, many Chicagoans are extremely upset with the nickname given to their home.
Sadly, Chicago is currently the murder capital of the U.S. surpassing cities like Los Angeles and New York, holding the highest crime rate in America. More people are killed in Chicago by a fellow civilian than U.S. soldiers in the most recent war in Iraq, so does that make ‘Chiraq’ a fitting name for America’s second city?
The term can be found all over social media websites including Twitter and Facebook with the term’s largest exposure sourcing from a recent song released by superstar female rapper Nicki Minaj titled Chiraq ft. Lil Herb. The album’s artwork shows what appears to be a machine gun with the skyline of Chicago edited into the top of the gun (left)
Nicki even goes as far as mentioning, “Chitown no gun laws” while Lil Herb talks about knowing ‘a couple ‘brothers’ that’s down to ride for a homicide.”
The song has been viewed over 3,000,000 times on YouTube only spreading knowledge of the word.
Other rappers such a Rapper Kesha ‘K-Valentine’ Miles has joined an #antiChiraq team and responded to the song by Minaj ft. Lil Herb saying in the remix for shooters to commit to target practice and not kill little kids in the process.
Some Chicagoans are even saying no to the nickname, even going as far as calling the term ’embarrassing’ and ‘degrading’. They are asking for anyone to do something to make the streets of Chicago a better place.
Ashley Miller, YouTube personality and also a South Sider of Chicago, one of the most dangerous areas in Chicago, finds the term foolish.
“I hate that term because these fools are out here using it as a badge of honor. That’s nothing to be proud of,” says Miller. “to be living in place that’s gotten so dangerous that it is a war zone.”
An online petition has surfaced last week. The petition creator, who’s name is kept private, is calling on the Obama Administration, asking them to do anything in their community to not only clear Chicago’s name, but mainly to allow adults and children to walk/play outside without the fear of being the next victim to this cities crime.
“The goal of this petition is to get the Obama Administration as well as other Government officials to take notice to the Chicago crime rate and the youth that are being slain,” the petition states. “More people have died in our city than those fighting for our country in ONE year.”
As of today, Thursday June 4th, with only a little over a week completed, the petition has been signed 831 times, according to The White House’s website, once the petition hits 10,000 signatures, the White House is required to respond.
Many Chicagoans are hoping this will be the first step towards saving their city.
“Being a resident of Illinois I would love to see the state as a whole progress,” says Chicago suburb resident Tereshia Weathers. She calls the term disgraceful and disrespectful. “I see no change until the people who continue to use [Chiraq] realize that people will continue to live up to the violent standards that ‘Chiraq’ sets.”
UPDATE: Thursday, June 5 3:35pm
This morning students in Chicago marched the streets of Chicago to restore peace in their neighborhoods.