A Horrific Juxtaposition Envelops Dwayne Wade

A day after participating in The Undefeated's town hall, the athlete loses his cousin to Chicago gun violence.

On Thursday, NBA superstar Dwayne Wade led off his portion of The Undefeated’s special town hall conversation about gun violence in Chicago by telling moderator Jemele Hill that his experience growing up in the city “was a lot of us killing us.” On Friday, a most horrific confirmation that this is still the case occurred.


It was 3:30 p.m. in the afternoon. Wade’s cousin Nykea Aldridge, 32, was pushing a baby stroller and on her way back from the Dulles School of Excellence after registering one of her other four children for the school year. The man she was walking with may have been targeted; she was shot in the head and arm; she died, later, at the hospital.


Wade tweeted his reaction Friday. A day after offering, arguably, the very best description of the root problem during his portion of The Undefeated town hall. Said Wade:

“You try to come in, as an individual, and say, ‘OK, I have a foundation, I want to do something. What is the problem in the community?'”

“And I think it goes way back. I think it goes back to the Great Migration. I think that back then, when jobs were dried up, when we weren’t privileged to certain high educations, to even healthy foods. I think at that moment, at that time, I think we started to turn on each other. And we kind of adopted that mentality that, it’s about me surviving. And we still live that today.”

“It’s like, ‘I don’t want to tell no one else the information and knowledge I have, because I don’t want this person to be bigger or better than me.’ And that’s the mentality our community has taken. It goes way back. That’s why I think it’s important for all of us to help each other, to go back, to say, ‘You know what, where did this start, how did this start, and let’s see whether we can change there.'”

“And not try to be one individual. Not be ways or a foundation, and try to do one rally or speak about myself. It’s about a collective group, it’s about a whole coming together, and understanding that it’s deep-rooted. This is something that didn’t start today. This is something that is not going to end tomorrow. But this is something we can start the conversation, we can start the work today. And hopefully eventually, we can stop it.”


Update (Aug. 28)
Per USA Today, two brothers who have both served jail time have been charged with the Aldridge killing:

Police said the suspects were targeting a for-hire driver after exchanging unfriendly glances with the man as he drove in the neighborhood. The two later confronted the driver after he walked two women into their building, according to prosecutors. The driver told police the men menaced him and indicated they had guns. They then chased the driver as he ran away, with at least one of the men firing multiple shots that struck Aldridge.

Images via: newseum.org

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