Biden eschews ice cream cone; dodges Chicago bullets

Gang violence? What gang violence?

This is what Biden ignored: Nathan Wallace sheds tears as he holds onto daughter Ashanti on July 1, 2021, as they visit his daughter Natalia’s grave at Glen Oaks Cemetery in Hillside. Natalia “Natalie” Wallace was shot and killed in 2020 as her family gathered to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday in the South Austin neighborhood. (Antonio Perez / Chicago Tribune)

Ah, yes. I was wrong yesterday when I posted that President Joe Biden would stop at an ice cream shop while visiting suburban Crystal Lake. His script writers and handlers didn’t include it in travel instructions.

I wasn’t wrong, though, about Biden’s tin ear, as he virtually ignored the violence that is wracking Chicago 30 miles to the south. This is not a criticism of his political acumen; it’s a condemnation of how he has turned his back on the very people who voted for him and now are expected to suffer in silence as the bullets fly in the South and West side neighborhoods. It was thoughtless and cruel.

It’s hard to come up with an analogy. Maybe like Biden standing in the sunshine 30 miles away from a tornado ripping through the town, taking scores of lives. Nothing to see there.

Ain’t no shootings here. Standing among politicians, child care workers, parents and children, President Joe Biden tours the Children’s Learning Center at McHenry County College on July 7, 2021, in Crystal Lake. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune)

By going to Chicago, Biden could have made some difference in many lives. Instead of giving a blink and a nod to Mayor Lori Lightfoot as he emerged from Air Fore One on its arrival at O’Hare Airport, he could have waded into the maelstrom with encouraging words and real solutions.

First, he could have backed up the police by taking the brick off their reputation, placed there by the wokesters who regard cops as useless and evil. Public statements by the Democratic president in support of the cops might have restored some of that reputation.

He could have had a deep and lengthy problem-solving session with Lightfoot and law-enforcement to come up with real, concrete and workable plans for safeguarding those communities, instead of vague promises about ATF working with the cops–a promise made after two agents and a Chicago cop were shot.

More important, he could have had a sit-down the the people who are suffering the most: The grieving relatives of the shooting victims, the community organizers and residents who just want to go about their lives, peacefully and safely. He’d get an earful.

I listened to one such community activist this morning on FoxNews. (Yes, FoxNews. Wait until you hear and explore what he had to say before you post yet another condemnation that I’m getting my information from the “wrong” places.)

Tio Hardiman is Executive Director of Violence Interrupters, a group whose boots are on the ground working “to mediate conflict on the ‘front-end.'” Among the things that Biden would have heard from Hardiman was his bullseye identification of a major cause of the gang violence.

“It’s a cultural issue,” he said. It’s a culture that diminishes the role of fathers and male role models. My further observation is that the boys who are recruited into the gangs need to learn about the fruitlessness, endlessness and destructiveness of gang retaliation–a powerful motivation for the scores of daily shootings. The absence of fathers leaves gangsters as their sole source of their modeling.

Tio Hardiman

Biden is big about fathers, often talking about his sons. Might he not have conveyed some of that to the young men who are desperate for guidance? (Yes, I know that I’ll be accused of being “patriarchal” and “bigender.” Even though research repeatedly has shown that the presence of fathers in a boy’s life has a multiple positive benefits.)

As a political move, Biden ignoring the slaughter that is racking a nearby city was stupid. But more significantly, it was a heartless betrayal.

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  • "...he could have had a sit-down the the people who..."

    First, you need to hire a proof reader or better define "the the people."

    Second, what EXACTLY would you have had President Biden do during his visit to Crystal Lake to reach out the families of the 100 people shot in Chicago over the weekend (18 fatally)?

    Lastly, but MOST IMPORTANTLY I would suggest that you are overlooking the three most significant underlying factors in all this gun violence: GUNS - GUNS - GUNS.

    Maybe it's time to admit that guns DO kill people and restricting the interstate flow of guns up I-75 from Florida and over I-80 & 94 from Indiana is a necessary first step to restrict the easy accessibility of handguns and AR-15s.

    The next steps are bit more complicated and include expanded opportunities in underserved neighborhoods and working to extinguish the cycle of hopelessness and violence, but that would mean reversing the decades long war against taxing the rich at the expense of the poor, so we probably shouldn't go there right now.

  • In reply to Bob Abrams:

    Somehow those "guns, guns, guns," are not driving themselves down 294 or 355 and shooting people. The guns are also not shooting men, women, and children wholesale in Naperville or Orland Park, or Crystal Lake. I guess guns know better than to shoot up the tollway and leafy suburbs but not the city. I think we need stronger gun education laws so guns will know that it's not okay to pop off only in Chicago. Maybe the Ice Cream Licker can throw a trillion or so at gun education for guns?

  • You have an interesting list of things you'd have liked the President to have done on his visit. What in the world makes you think he is mentally capable of doing any of them?

  • So is the Pope also heartless and cruel for not having prayed hard enough to solve the problem of sin in the world?

    So after calling Biden senile you now want to accuse him of being callous and indifferent to suffering. Republican talking-point-itis.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    It's not that Biden doesn't care it's that he doesn't know that he doesn't care.

  • Based Joseph Robinette Biden. The roof of his mouth is so strong he devours these waffle cones in two swift bites. Watch out who you call sleepy Joe


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