Kids are dying on the streets of Chicago and the Silent Tragedy

President and Mrs. Obama are returning to Chicago to spend the weekend and attend the wedding of the daughter of one of their BFF, Valerie Jarrett.  It will be interesting to see if the number of shootings and murders goes up or down while they’re here.  It will be even more interesting to see if the President makes time in his very busy fundraising schedule to meet with community leaders, Chicago Police personnel, and family members of those killed, to discuss methods to stop the carnage, or, simply to show he cares.

The Chicago homicide rate in first quarter 2012 spiked upwards of 60% from same quarter 2011.  The previous weekend saw 53 people shot, 9 fatally, bringing the total number of homicides in Chicago to 228 as of June 11, a 35% jump over same period last year (h/t The Daily Beast).

Dorothy Walker leaves the Coroner's office after identifying her 16-yr old son (Scott Olsen/Getty Images)

While the President continues to pander to several demographic groups to bolster his re-election chances, somehow he remains deafeningly silent when it comes to his own African-American community, unless it’s a Trayvon Martin vote-getting opportunity moment.

In a blog post on March 28, The Silent Tragedy behind Trayvon Martin, I wrote,

Taking all his recent comments and actions in context, it appears that the president is interested in the African-American community only because he needs to shore up his base for re-election, and not because he’s interested, or ever has been, in addressing the root causes — single parents, education, unemployment – that are responsible for the continuing problems that produce Trayvon Martins and similar tragedies.

In the three years of his presidency, that he’s chosen not to act, not to speak, not to rally African-American leaders and challenge them to act, is why the silent tragedy behind Trayvon Martin is Barack Obama.

The silent tragedy has become a national tragedy.

 

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