CHICAGO, IL (June 4, 2012) -Some South Side Chicago residents would have liked to have gotten a bit of feedback from their president about the recent spate of violence in the Windy City. It would have been appropriate after the stroll through his old neighborhood this past weekend.
Strolling through the old neighborhood last weekend provided a round of opportunities for President Obama and his neighbors to reconnect, even if it were through mere symbolism.
To answer the president’s questions to reporters Saturday: yes, it was, Mr. President. Saturday was gorgeous, sunny, and full of activities for Hyde Park and Woodlawn residents.
Simply put, in addition to talking about the wonderful weather, if he had a chance to cook breakfast in his own kitchen, or if out-of-town reporters ate a great Italian dinner at Leona’s, many of us wish (President Obama) said something like this:
“Folks, I don’t know if you heard any of it last night, and to be honest, I may not have since it was so nice to sleep in my own bed for once. However, if you turned on the local news this morning like I did, you were probably shocked and horrified to hear the reports that many of the same people that you walked past this morning here in Kenwood, Hyde Park, and Woodlawn lived through gunfire last night that was as loud and consistent as fireworks on the 4th of July.
Kids: I know that Malia and Sasha will likely never meet any of you, but as your neighbor and as your president, I still feel a connection to you. And as I finish my walk and I think about the best of what makes me homesick about being in Chicago – all of the lovely people and attractions here in our part of the city – I feel sick about the worst of Chicago – all this violence – impacting our youth. So, please, as your neighbor, please make the choice to knock it off. Make the choice every day to choose life. If you believe in me, your neighbor-turned-president through believing in the impossible, choose to do the impossible yourself. You can do it, kids. I believe in you, and I expect better the next time I come back home.”
Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “What the President Could Have Said During His Visit to Chicago” on Politic365.