We’ve been beating this drum for some time now, while much of the media continue to ignore it. Under the first black president, the city of Chicago is closing out its deadliest month in nearly 20 years at 78 homicides, according to the Chicago Tribune. Last weekend alone, 67 people were shot, 11 of them fatally — including Nykea Aldridge, the cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade.
While President Obama hops to the podium in the wake of high-profile mass shootings and police-involved, white-on-black shootings — which present opportunities for him to push his own agendas — he has been notably silent on the violence in Chicago, much of it affecting the black community.
Today, the Obama White House finally spoke out on the recent spike in violence in the president’s hometown, responding to a question posed by a reporter.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said President Obama was “deeply concerned” about the violence in Chicago but acknowledged he did not have any specific policy proposals to address the city’s torrent of gun deaths.
Asked by NBC’s Ron Allen about the tide of gun violence, Earnest touted national violent crime levels being at or near historic lows, while saying certain communities had experienced a “spike.”
“Chicago, unfortunately, is one of those communities,” he said. “The president does believe this is something worthy of our attention.”
Earnest chastised the media for focusing on mass shootings rather than the day-to-day deaths in cities like Chicago.
Yes, he really just said that. Way to put the blame on the media rather than take responsibility for his own inaction. Gosh, how many times has the president taken to his bully pulpit to lecture on the devastating mass shootings (blamed on guns, of course, rather than the person(s) behind them) and officer-involved shootings of black men (blamed on the officers’ racism and brutality, rather than the guns, in a different twist)?
Though he has, once or twice, responded to questions from the press corps about it, not once has the president taken to his pulpit specifically to call out the violence in Chicago that has killed so many innocent people, many of them black — and many of them children. Guess he doesn’t have a convenient scapegoat for that — and perhaps fears risking actually having to take responsibility for something himself.
Earnest also ripped Republicans in Congress for blocking gun control proposals and stressed the importance of local police forces gaining the community’s trust.
So, actually, he did just find someone to blame — Republicans and police officers. But of course! Never mind that Chicago has some of the strictest gun control laws and the vast majority of Chicago’s shootings have nothing to do with the police; in fact, many are black-on-black crimes.
So, since the president is so “deeply concerned,” what is he going to do about it?
“The president is deeply concerned about addressing some of the root causes of violence in those communities,” he said.
“But is there anything specific to Chicago that the president has seen and observed, of these various prescriptions, that he thinks specifically deal with—as you point out, crime is down in many places,” Allen said. “It’s spiking in a couple of places, specifically there … When you look at that place, his home town, is there something really more specific that the president thinks should happen like now?”
“Well, I’m not aware of any specific prescription that the president’s prepared to put forward to address the situation just in Chicago,” Earnest said. “I know Mayor [Rahm] Emanuel’s quite focused on that, and I certainly would have a lot of confidence in his ability to work through some of these issues and see if there are some specific local solutions that can be implemented.”
So, in a word, no — the president isn’t planning anything to help stem Chicago’s bloody tide — though, as we know all too well, he’s plenty focused on identifying new gun control measures, a central part of his legacy, and continuing to shine a spotlight on perceived police brutality. Not to mention, releasing convicted criminals back onto the streets.
How about addressing the root cause of the problem, Mr. First Black President, as you profess to wish to do? Here are a few tips, courtesy of Col. West:
There is an epidemic in the black community and it has nothing to do with guns. It is about genocidal violence rooted in the fact that there is a dearth of responsible black fathers: men.
Everyone seems to dismiss this, or worse yet, clumsily address it, if at all. I must ask, why was it that the two Sorrells brothers were released on parole for gun convictions? Is this a result of Obama’s far more lenient criminal prosecutions?
And gang members as well — why were they roaming the streets? But the greater question is what happened in the Sorrells family, what was the breakdown that led to these two young black men whose lives are now wasted. What happened to make them so disrespectful of life?
And I’m sorry to ask, but it’s necessary to ascertain: where is the father of Ms. Aldridge’s children, of which it appears there were at least five including her infant. The reason I ask is…what happens to those children now? My fear is that they may fall victim to the harsh streets that took their mother’s life if there’s no positive, strong black male role model in their lives.
And so the saga continues, all that the late New York Democrat Senator Daniel Patrick Monyihan predicted as a result of Lyndon Johnson’s policy of government checks for out-of-wedlock births has come to fruition.
President Johnson’s insidious and seemingly intended consequence of providing checks to women for not having a man in the home has destroyed the two-parent black family. The caveat of not having a man in the home has resulted in the government becoming the man, the provider.
It has also enabled black men to assume no responsibility for producing children. And so it is that aimless young black men with apparently no direction take to the streets and gun down each other — and mothers. In the case of little Antonio Santiago, or Antonio West, they even gun down children. What type of depraved mind has overtaken the black community? And is not Donald Trump’s fault. It’s the fault of the black community and its lack of leadership. There exist only puppets and their masters pulling their strings come from the party of the jackass – which over the past fifty years, has turned the black community into a modern economic plantation, enslaving a populace for the purpose of fear mongering and race baiting — all for votes. Truly, what does the black community have to lose for challenging the failures of the new American Socialist Party? The party of Jim Crow, segregation, lynchings, and now the destruction of the urban centers, the black community.
This is a critical conversation for the current presidential election cycle. It has to happen now, or else, how much worse can this situation become, considering the “killing fields” of Chicago. Requiem en Pace Nykea Aldridge, and maybe there in Heaven, you can mother little Antonio West.
For President Obama, time is fast running out for him to make a real, positive difference in the black community in his hometown. And from what we heard today, the clock is going to run out without so much a (waggy) finger being lifted by the first black president.
[Note: This article was written by Michelle Jesse, Associate Editor]