The news of President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize was met by a gloomy cold rainy morning in Chicago.
A morning again tainted by death and violence.
A mother is childless. A child is motherless.
Since January 1, 2009 nearly 50 youths have been murdered in Chicago.
Yesterday, I posted a link on my Facebook Page about a 20 year old mother of three who was shot dead on Chicago’s west side.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Young mom slain in West Side drive-by
By Pat Curry and Carlos Sadovi Chicago TribuneOctober 9, 2009
A 20-year-old mother of three was gunned down in a drive-by shooting Wednesday night on Chicago’s West Side.
The shooting of Natasha Howliet baffled her relatives, who said they could think of no reason why someone would target her.
Howliet, of the 400 block of South Lotus Avenue, was shot about 8 p.m. Wednesday in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, police said. She was standing on the sidewalk at a corner bus stop with a girlfriend and two male friends when a red vehicle went by and someone inside started shooting, police said.
Authorities said one of the men was the intended target, and at least eight shots were fired.
Shenicka Sturghil, a cousin of Howliet, called Howliet an innocent victim.
“My cousin did nothing to nobody. … Why did they take her life like that?” Sturghil said through tears. “It’s a tragedy. She just celebrated her 3-year-old daughter’s birthday yesterday. This is awful. She bled to death.”
Howliet’s grandmother Hattie Sturghil said her granddaughter had three children, Jenia, 3, who celebrated her birthday Wednesday; another girl, Janlin, who will be 2 in November; and a boy, Janda, 6 months.
The children are in foster care, Sturghil said. Howliet was in court this week fighting to regain custody of them, she said.
Sturghil said the slain mother saw her children earlier this week. There had been a “mishap” that caused the kids to be removed from Howliet’s care, but Sturghil refused to elaborate.
Hattie Sturghil said she spoke to her granddaughter on the telephone on Tuesday and was told that the court was set to return her children to her.
Howliet recently graduated from Daley College, her grandmother said.
I will kindly spare you the long history of violence in Chicago. You know the story. You also know that this is the city occupied by Barack Obama before he became our leader. You have seen the cell phone video tape of 16 year old Derrion Albert being beaten to death on the Chicago streets. Did Obama actually come to Chicago to address the violence taking place in the city that gave him his political start? The community that he organized?
Violence in Chicago: A call to action but by whom?
3:34 pm October 8, 2009, by Maureen Downey
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan traveled to Chicago Wednesday to talk about the rise in youth violence in that city and the brutal beating death of an honor student outside of a South Chicago high school last month.
As former CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Duncan has been criticized for school closings that some allege have worsened gang violence. Critics say feuding gangs now share the same school or cross “enemy territory” to get to school, increasing opportunities for confrontations.
Honor student Derrion Albert was caught in the middle of one of those fights as he walked to his school bus and was beaten to death, a tragedy captured on a ubiquitous cell phone camera and broadcast to a shocked nation.
Holder called the boy’s death “a call to action.”
But what sort of action? What can the federal government do to quell youth violence?
“Youth violence is not a Chicago problem any more than it is a black problem, a white problem or a Hispanic problem,” said Holder.
Is it a federal problem?
About 70 students have been murdered since the start of 2007 school term, mostly in their neighborhoods on the way to or from school, according to the New York Times.
What can the schools do when the communities around them are so unsafe that students are kicked to death walking to the school bus? Isn’t this a crisis for law enforcement rather than schools?
The situation we are faced with here in Chicago is at odds with the news of Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. It is at odds with all media representations of Obama the “superstar”.
In America, our unemployment rate is climbing, our dollar is falling, and our children are dying.
Oddly, this president of nine months has just been bestowed one of the world’s greatest honors.
Again, for Barack Obama this is another empty trophy- an accolade come all too soon without a narrative based in accomplishment or history.
It is offered as a most shocking sacrifice to his ever growing mantle following the feelings of euphoria and leg tingles one gets when the name Barack Husein Obama is mentioned.
No critics, I am not bitter.
I am not a hater.
I am not writing this piece as a Republican who voted for John McCain.
I have not authored this because I am a racist Neo-con or self-loathing African American with a mammy mentality who grew up in a household of riches.
My post today stems from a benign curiosity and the sense of shame one feels when one has been tricked into believing that a singular shred of logical thought actually exists in this world we are living in today. I am slowly coming to terms with the collective rise of myths, comic book heroes and the weak minds that continue to populate this society.
President Obama, you have radically reached the realm of untouchable. You can create miracles like no other.
Please pretty please give my friend “Tom” a job. He has been unemployed for two years.
I beg of you to restore peace amoung our youth in Chicago and everywhere.
What about the situation in Afghanistan? Can you fix that too?
Erase our national debt.
Just do something simple.
Do the job you were elected to do.
Keep the promises you made to those who supported you? It should be simple?
Autographed Letter Signed,