An angry Pfleger to Obama: “You will not ignore violence in Chicago”
‘You will not put a double standard on life’
By Chinta Strausberg
Referring to the deadly shooting in Aurora, Colorado where accused James Holmes, a 24-year-old former doctoral student killed 12 people and wounded 58 others, Father Michael L. Pfleger Sunday said while he loves President Barack Obama “you will not ignore the violence in Chicago.”
Pfleger asked everyone to call President Barack Obama at 202-456-1111, and ask him to reinstate the assault weapons ban and to help reduce the violence in Chicago.
Pfleger said 3 people were killed and more than 28 shot just over the weekend and on Monday, July 23, 2012, a 17-year-old boy was killed and 6 people were shot in a 15-minute span during a shootout at a Southeast Side park in the 2100 block of East 96th Place where gangs have reportedly been engaging in turf wars.
Pfleger seeks a link between the national drought covering most of the nation and the crippled economy he said was brought about by “crooked Wall Street terrorists” and the violence that is spreading like an infectious disease that is not being addressed by President Obama or Mitt Romney.
Saying this is the fifth worst drought in the history of America covering two-thirds of the country, Pfleger said it has ruined crops and taken lives due to the extreme heat. “Most people don’t die from extreme heat. They die from extreme neglect because somebody didn’t check on them.”
He said besides the drought, many Americans are “facing a crippled economy that was basically brought about by crooked bankers” he later labeled “terrorists on Wall Street” who were never held accountable.
In talking to a financial investment friend, Pfleger said, “when you lose your house, the bank doesn’t lose nothing. The bank has insurance to pay for your mortgage. Now they got the money and the house. What kind of mess is that? That’s why the banks had millions of dollars of profit while we were losing our homes because when you took out a mortgage, they took out an insurance on you so they can’t lose either way.”
Pfleger said the state of politics in America is not stable. “We’re in a country that is divided in a dysfunctional political system. Poverty is higher than it was in 1968. We see a disrespect of a president like I’ve never seen.
“An officer of the law says he’s going to shoot the First Lady and get puts on desk assignment. If an officer of the law under Ronald Reagan says he’s going to shoot the First Lady, he wouldn’t be found yet,” said Pfleger.
“We see teacher strikes looming in the possibility of this year, unemployment skyrocketing and social programs cut so we can balance budgets and not just social programs like Medicare and anti-violence programs and the rest cut around this country, but mental health programs. So, now if you are suffering and you are” have mental illnesses there is no place for you to go, Pfleger said.
“One of the finest mental health agencies in Chicago for the black community, the Community Mental Health Center” headed by Dr. Carl C. Bell, “would be shut down for good…because the state didn’t fund him,” he said. Calling Dr. Bell one of the finest psychiatrist, Pfleger said on August 1st that center will be shut down “for good.”
To add insult to injury, Pfleger said, “We see violence all over this land. We see more than 300 children killed in this school year. That’s bigger than some schools. We see tragedy that happened in Aurora, Colorado on Friday morning….
“What happened in Colorado was tragic and horrific and bad and life was lost, but I’m trying to figure out 12 people got killed in Colorado and the nation stood still and everybody speaking about it. Eric Holder comes in, but there are more than 12 killed every weekend in Chicago.
“Where is God’s name is the nation caring about black folks, brown folks and poor folks in Chicago” he asked. Pfleger said every life is valuable. “ I’m glad that the president is going out to counsel families in Colorado, but Mr. President, go meet Demarius’ mother who lost her child Friday night in Chicago. Go meet the mother crying today whose child was killed last night.
“Every life is valuable. You will not put a double standard on life,” he bellowed. It’s unacceptable, and both presidential candidates need to say where you stand on guns. Why do we allow assault weapons in America? We don’t allow it in Iraq. We don’t allow it in Afghanistan. They are military weapons. Why do we sell them?
“I’m angry,” he admitted. “I’m angry if the 300 elephants died that last year. PETA would have the whole nation responding to that, but 300 children die we don’t say a word. Mr. President, you will not ignore the violence in Chicago and focus it alone on Colorado,” Pfleger said.
“I’m sorry. This is an epidemic. This is a national disaster and because it did not happen in a movie theater and happened on the South Side or the West Side, and Little Village in Chicago all of a sudden life is not important. How dare you government,” bellowed Pfleger. “You will not ignore the violence in Chicago.”
Referring to CNN that reported children are traumatized over the Aurora, Colorado shooting, Pfleger challenged officials to walk the streets with him to see traumatized children. “Three killed and 28 shot this weekend. Shouldn’t the nation be focused on Chicago?” he asked.
“I love you, President Obama, but you are the president. I will not let you ignore the violence in Chicago.” Pfleger vowed to send the president an e-mail and will urged others to call him asking why couldn’t the President stop by Chicago on the way to Colorado to address the violence.
“The squeaky wheel gets the oil,” said Pfleger. “Politicians do what you make them do,” he said. “I can’t think that the physical drought in the land is not some how reflected in the emotional, spiritual drought of the human family. The human family is in a drought…barren not just the crops of the field but of humanity…. That could overwhelm…consume you and cause you to be weighed down with its reality except that we have a God who specializes in barren situations,” said Pfleger.
Pfleger said much was sad about the 300 elephants that were killed last year in Cameroon; yet, while the entire nation responded to those killings, Pfleger said the president has yet to say a word about the 300 children killed in one school year.
Pfleger isn’t the only one upset with President Obama and his silence on violence in Chicago. Rikki Jones, president of the Cook County Democratic Women, says she has supported him in the past even to the point of running into the red with her organization but is upset with his “distancing himself” from his own community.
Jones wrote: “President Obama, I have been involved in the civil rights movement since I was sixteen. From that time up until now I knew that the best way for us to change the wrongs done to our people were to change the people we elect. I knew even back then that dealing with politicians who could care less about our community was our major problem.
“During my life I have help elect candidates that made a difference for African- Americans. Those were very proud moments for me. But the proudest moment came when Dr. Finney ask me to join him in running the only inner-city office for your run for president. How proud I was to be able to take a leadership role in your campaign.
“I did this without taking a dime from you. In fact my organization is still recovering from running that office. But I had something money could not buy and that was the pride of having a leadership role in electing the first Black president. But Mr. President you don’t seem to share this pride.
“I feel like you want to do everything in your power to distant yourself from your own community. Why is it that you can come into Chicago and totally ignore the violence? Is it because you know that this is done by design and not chance? When you allow people to go into a school and destabilize it so that rich people can use taxpayer’s dollars to get richer, don’t you know our babies are going to suffer? Is it because you know that when you close neighborhood schools you tell those children that they don’t matter?
“Is it because taking away a child’s right to a good education in their neighborhood dehumanizes them? Mr. President how do you think the Black children and their parents feel about being ignored? How do you think they feel when you run to another state to stop the violence while ignoring not only the violence but the cause of it in your own back yard?
“Do we matter at all to you? Do you care that schools blocks away from your house are being made to fail so that the rich you say you want to pay their fair share are getting richer. Mr. President, no one is upset about you addressing the issue of mass killings in that theater. Our problem is when are you going to address the violence that is occurring blocks away from your house”?