Message from Montie

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Pres. Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize, but where's the peace?

Message from Montie

Shamontiel is the author of two novels: "Change for a Twenty" and "Round Trip." Check her out at

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Me on the Magnificent Mile headed across the street to Grant Park

On Friday morning, Oct. 9, I was working on a financial project downtown when I heard the news from my mother about President Obama winning a Nobel Peace Prize. My first reaction was to ask aloud, "What for?" Up until this week, I'd never really paid attention to the rules and regulations of nominating or winning the prize, but after looking at the Nobel Peace Prize Web site, I'm still perplexed as to why Obama won. Prizes are given out for scientific (physics, chemistry, medicine); literary; and peaceful accomplishments.


According to the Web site, "Each year the respective Nobel Committees send individual invitations to thousands of members of academies, university professors, scientists from numerous countries, previous Nobel Laureates, members of parliamentary assemblies and others, asking them to submit candidates for the Nobel Prizes for the coming year." And if I was on that committee, there's no way I would have voted for him at this time. While Obama does make most Liberals and Democrats and some Republicans feel like we've gotten out of the George W. Bush catastrophe, Obama hasn't really done anything yet that deserves recognition in his presidential term.

President Obama was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize too early, and even though the voting was recent, Americans haven't seen any results of peace. True enough, he did vote against the War in Iraq while he was a senator. For that, I have eternal respect for him. But we're having a War in Chicago, a hometown he loves to remind people he is from, and he didn't step foot back in Chicago to reach out to South Side Chicago crime.


It rubs me the wrong way that some of the same people who supported him becoming a president are also famous and able to spread the word (ex. Alicia Keys talked about Derrion Albert on her Twitter page and Nas wrote an open letter), but Obama instead chose to focus on the Olympics coming to Chicago. The Chicago Olympics 2016 may or may not have employed native Chicagoans, may or may not have put Chicago in debt, and although some would like to believe it may show the younger black generation that they can do something outside of basketball to be successful, Olympics tickets aren't cheap. If people can't afford to go to these games, how are they supposed to see this success rate? And while money was being invested in something that could've improved Chicago, Obama showing his face in a neighborhood on Chicago's South Side that so badly needs peace would've done more than anybody swimming, boxing, running, jumping or hitting. I'm convinced that the territory that was going to be renovated for the Chicago Olympics 2016 would've put more lower income people out of homes and jobs would not be offered to them. The homeless population in Chicago is embarrassing, but our own Mayor Daley seemed to be so focused on the Olympics 2016. According to the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, the most recent statistics show that 73,656 people experienced homelessness; 60,000 school-aged children are homeless; 48,000 are in shelters and 21,078 have no homes to go on any given night. I'd rather that Olympics 2016 money go into finding employment for Chicagoans--homeless, unemployed or just job seeking. But back to President Obama.


How do you get a Nobel Peace Prize for "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples," but troops are still going overseas, the War on Iraq and Afghanistan is still going on, and there have been more open discussions about health care reform than the war America is fighting? On top of that, I still haven't seen any positive results--not on health care reform, not on the employment rate, not on Chicago crime decreasing (a dreamy rationale was that some people thought would make the Chicago violence calm down with a Chicago resident as the first black president of the U.S.), and torture is still going on overseas.


I voted for President Obama, and I still support him in his efforts. Even though it was a conflict of interest for me to go to Grant Park on Election Night with an Obama T-shirt and buttons on when the press is supposed to be "unbiased" and "impartial," I strutted around with my Obama gear on to make my point clear. I wanted him to win. So I'm coming from the perspective of a 100 percent bona fide Obama voter.


And while I'm disappointed that he keeps trying to make Republicans his friends when majority of them could really give a damn about him and seems to not realize he's the president and make some of these laws go into effect sooner rather than later, I haven't given up on him. But Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009 when he just went into the White House in January 2009 is like handing a trophy over to a successful sports team, and telling them, "You all are such a great team that we think you'll win the championship. Maybe."



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sjwalter1974 said:

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Ok Monti. While I can agree with you on Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize. I have to say I am still at odds with you on how beneficial it would have been to have the Olympics in Chicago. Of course most kids would not have been there to see the games in person but an event of that magnitude tends to give some a sense of pride in themselves, their city and their communities. Certainly Chicago has a truck load of problems that need immediate action but in preparation for the Olympics a lot would have been fixed or at least addressed. We're going to have to agree to disagree on that one. Now back to Obama. Him winning the Nobel Peace Prize can also be taken another way. He has been all around the world apolgizing for Americas ills and hoping to reinsert America as the Supreme super power and beacon of hope for all to aspire to. Now the world is watching and listening and this prize can be catalyst to push Obama into delivering on those prommises instead of trying to reason with those people who only wants him to fail so they can say "I told you so".

Message from Montie said:


There were boxers here a few years back training for the Olympics, and I saw no notable difference in students then versus now. Temporary pride in a city does not change the economy, the crime rate, the homeless rate, and we did NOT have the money to fund the Olympics. We don't even have the money to fix the potholes in various neighborhoods. At one point, a church group bought material to fill potholes on their blocks because the city was taking so long to do it. So if the city can't fix potholes (four of which I avoid everyday on the slope corner of Sheridan by Loyola University), how can they fund the Olympics? And as far as Obama, if an award is the only thing that can make him concentrate on something he SHOULD be focused on in the very first place, he definitely doesn't need to be president. Being president isn't about getting prizes; it's about getting results. And I haven't seen any.

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