As many were getting ready for the Bud Billiken Parade, President Barack Obama prepared a videotaped message wishing all parade goers a festive time and speaking out about the violence that’s plagued the city.
The Defender questioned the president (in the Aug. 1 edition) about his silence on violence.
In the Aug. 11 video addressed to the Chicago Defender Charities, Obama said:
“We know there have been too many mindless acts of violence in our communities. We grieve for the children who’ve been taken from us. Too much promise has been lost; too many hearts have been broken.
In their memory, let us resolve, and I mean all of us: law enforcement, educators, clergy, parents and especially young people, to re-double our efforts to fight this epidemic of violence.
All of us who care about our kids and their future have a responsibility to step up. To foster strong and safe communities. To be good role models. To give our children a deeper appreciation for the values of their own lives and the lives of others.
Through the power of our example, we have to instill an impulse in our young men and women to choose to resolve disputes in a way other than violence. We have to provide stronger role models than the gang banger on the corner.
All of us have to make safer streets our cause so the most challenging parts of a kids’ day is that Algebra test or that Physics exam, and not the walk home from school because I want all our kids to have the same chance I had to grow up believing that in America no matter what you look like or what neighborhood you come from, with hard work you can make it.”