Mark S. Allen, Associate Editor, The South Street Journal Newspaper
Founder/President, The Black Leadership Development Institute, BLDI
449 East 36th Street, 1st Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60616
312-624-8351 or 773-392-0165
CHICAGO MEDIA GIVING PRESIDENT OBAMA PASS ON RESPONSE TO RISE IN CHICAGO VIOLENCE, INCLUDING DEATH OF CHICAGO POLICE OFFICER AND WAR TWO TIME IRAQ WAR VETERAN CHARLES WORTHAM IV
"The Chicago media has devoted most of its Chicago programming and interviews and analysis of Obama's current Chicago homecoming visit to his public commitment to the Gulf oil spill and it's threat to the lives of our seafood industry as if the battle for resources to save the lives of Chicago youth alarming street violence is not equally as important to Chicago's own President. Tragic and unfortunate, and heaven forbid that an act of violence would have to occur around the Hyde Park community to shift the media attention. The media have pressured Obama to the point of having to declare he is in control, but what about his control and being on top of so many urban youth who are dying in record numbers from urban violence, including his own hometown, where many youth have been shot and killed just blocks from his Hyde Park residence.!
I just did a commentary last week where the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a major meeting of major media executives, reporters and producers and he spoke of the cultural divide that exists between leaders who identify certain issues as critical and in need of public response versus what the media assignment editor feel as important, and todays team media coverage of President Obama's current Chicago visit exemplifies today ! Rev. Jackson responded to local community leaders in Chicago by helping publicly declare Chicago was in an undeclared state of emergency and that Chicago's Cole Park was one area about to explode and needed immediate intervention, and yet there was team coverage reponse until after Officer Thomas Wortham IV was shot and kiiled at the exact same block where most media gave the state of emergency less than a damed of team coverage to get respposnes from fficials we demanded public response.
In a Chicago Sun Times column on Tuesday May 4th, 2010, Rev. Jackson again, raised the questions, "In the emergency posed by the horrific oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the national government has mobilized in response. But in the urban emergency that is today's Chicago, Detroit, Los Angelas and Atlantaand more -- the situation is deteriorating without much response." Rev. Jackson also stated in that column that "Our country must decide if this in an enduring condition or a crisis. The U.S. will spend billions on securing Afghanistan, but not Chicago. Dr. King once wrote that A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death. Surely a nation that ignores the emergency within its own cities is sowing the seeds of its own decline." The media executives heard Rev. Jackson, read his reports, finished their lunch and moved on with their day. And yet with todays team media coverage of Officer Wortham's death will ask the same symobolic question of what could have been done to Stop The Violence. How hyprocritical, but we also have seemd to adjust.
Week after week, Chicago media receives regular reports from community organziers and leaders like Rev. Jackson on the lack of administration response to Chicago's state of emergency, including so many Chicago community organizers like myself who worked directly with Obama when he first came to Chicago and throughout his poltical career. But today, most of our public appeals to the President have fallen on deaf ears and now that he is finally back in Chicago, the media can raise the question they have raised about the Gulf oil spill and whether he is on top of dispatching resources to deal with urban crime as he is in dispatching resources to the Gulf.
When the President arrives in Louisiana, their local press will be pressing the President on the most critical issue impacting their city, but when Obama is in Chicago, this city returning as The Murder Capital of The World is of no priority at all.