Who Remembers Hadiya Pendleton/ What's in a name/ Evidently not much/ A Shameful 8 Years later

Who Remembers Hadiya Pendleton/ What's in a name/ Evidently not much/ A Shameful 8 Years later

“Those who are not angry at things they should be angry about are FOOLS.” Chicago’s leadership has already put history aside, the cameras are gone, all the pompous speeches are forgotten, Hadiya is lost to history. Even the power of the Presidency (First Lady Michelle Obama attended her funeral) cannot motivate Chicago’s leaders to break their silence. Silence at times is as loud as an Atomic explosion. I’m guessing these words by Sir Edmund Burke are foreign to them.

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Eight years ago on January 29th, 2013, Chicago was stunned by the shooting death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendelton. Hadiya was an honor student and had just recently performed at President Obama’s inauguration. She was brutally shot down while fleeing a gang shooting in a park that was less than a mile from President Obama’s home in Kenwood on Chicago’s south side. Tuesday, February 9th was the anniversary of her funeral where thousands of mourners that included First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and several hundred other dignitaries who mourned her senseless death.

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The outrage and calls for the end of Chicago’s ongoing violence were non-stop. How could this happen? It’s been eight years since Hadiya’s senseless death and yet what has been learned?  One has to be sitting down to be able to fathom these numbers but here they are. Since 2013 the grim details can only be described as horrific in a civilized society. Well over 4,800 souls have been shot down and murdered in Chicago since her death, over 25,800 people have been wounded, the vast majority involving gang shootings and retaliation. The calls for reform to end Chicago’s circle of violence were loud and clear and yet here we are 8 years later and Chicago’s violence is escalating, with no relief in sight. Chicago seems to have scores of committees, investigations into this, investigations in that, Chicago’s Police Department is probably the most investigated city agency in modern times. We have Inspector Generals, special prosecutors, The FBI, The Department of Justice, The Illinois Attorney Generals’ office, and many more investigatory agencies not to mention the press, looking into everything from garbage pickup to cops eating popcorn while on duty.

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My question is why have we not undertaken a full -scale investigation of Chicago’s vicious street gangs. Make no mistake, the overwhelming majority of the violence is GANG driven, and yet we have had NO calls for a war on gangs, no calls for a BLUE RIBBON committee to investigate what can only be described as systemic slaughter. WHY?  If President Biden and Chicago’s leaders really want to bring an end to the violence, a combined Federal Task Force, Chicago Law enforcement personnel, and City and State officials have to come together.

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How many Hadiya’s have to be sacrificed before Chicago prioritizes and recognizes that they have another deadly VIRUS that needs to be eradicated. Lots of mourning, lots of outrage, lots of talks, and empty speeches, have accomplished very little. The big question is when is enough going to be enough? We as a decent society owe it to Hadiya and the thousands of other victims to finally show a desperate and decent society that we have indeed had ENOUGH! No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking. We need our elected officials to cease with the counterfeit charm and empty rhetoric and start thinking. Whatever plan that has been in effect has failed miserably.

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