By Ad Faulkner
When President Obama won reelection in November, many in the African American community were ecstatic and the celebrations continued for days. Fast forward three months later and the honeymoon seem to be waning, at least in his hometown of Chicago. Chicago, the third largest city in America is in the spotlight again for all the wrong reasons. This is really nothing new, in 2008 Chicago took the national media by storm when the then Governor, Rod Blagojevich was accused of running a criminal enterprise that included trying to sell President Obama’s vacant Senate seat to the highest bidder. Since then President Obama’s former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel became mayor of the city and urban violence has all but consumed the local headlines.
Last night, the president delivered his State Of The Union address and the whole nation tuned in to hear about the creation of jobs, the tackling of climate change, and how he intends to reduce the debt. But for many African American’s the one subject they hope will make the agenda; is how to save our children from starring down the barrel of a gun. For days, I have witnessed many on social media vocalize their discontentment with an administration that had in previous years refused to acknowledge the violent culture stealing the lives of so many African American’s. Consequently, the tragedy in Newton and the death of a local Chicago teen once again put Chicago violence in the headlines. The debates on social media concerning how the president should deal with this manner are often sincere and full of passion. Unfortunately, the plan by this administration to make sure people see President Obama as America’s president and not an African American president have not helped his popularity in the community.
On Friday, the president will make a stop here in Chicago to rally support for comprehensive gun legislation, but for some it is all but to little to late. I believe it is never to late to do what he should have done in the beginning. The African American community needs know he is not only listening to our needs, but also working to develop effective policies that will translate into a reduction in crime in the communities in which we live in, not just those that surround us. Until then, we wait for this dilemma to be resolved.