Veterans Day 2012 found me in Chicago. As a White with new-found pride in my Southron heritage, I decided to visit Oakwood Cemetery, home of Confederate dead from the wretched POW Camp Douglas. I caught a cab at my hotel on the Magnificent Mile and was relieved to see a Black driver. I figured a Black was more likely to take me to the South Side (nearly 100% non-White) than a White. After telling him where I wanted to go, he began protesting … ‘it’s very dangerous there’, ‘you’ll be killed’, ‘you’ll be shot’. The further we traveled, the more he protested. I kept saying ‘Nevertheless, I need to go there’. I wrote down his cab number just in case he refused. He did ask parked cabbies if they’d take me and, finally, one agreed … a White.
We made it in and out without difficulty. Why? I went in the morning. Few people in the community work for a living (at least not your typical 9-5; see here). What does this mean? Most troublemakers stay up late and sleep in. I suspect there is significant reduction in crime between the hours of 9AM and noon. We arrived, I placed a Third National Confederate Flag at the soldiers’ graves, took a few photos and left. I was gone before they woke up. A few weeks later at a Catholic church we drove past a few blocks from the cemetery, there was a shooting at a funeral, killing one and critically injuring another (read more in the Chicago Tribune).