President Obama: Please Call Home


By Raynard Jackson

NNPA Columnist


Last week, I criticized President Obama for his anemic, voiceless, almost whispered response to the tragic death of Hadiya Pendleton.  She was a 15-year-old honor student who was shot and killed in Chicago two weeks ago after having performed at Obama’s inauguration.

To my total amazement, there was a torrent of criticism from within the Black community about Obama’s tepid public statement about Hadiya’s death.  I was proud that many in the Black community finally were angry enough at Obama to finally do something about it.  I was happy and sad simultaneously.

I was happy that Blacks stopped hiding their displeasure with Obama, but were totally embarrassed that they had to organize an online petition begging Obama to attend Hadiya’s funeral.  This was not necessary for the Newtown killings.  It’s almost as though Obama instinctively connected with that community—though there was some type of kindred spirit so much so that his reaction was as natural as his breathing.

But, somehow Chicago and Hadiya’s death was different.  There was no apparent instinctual connection, though her murder took place a mile from Obama’s house in Chicago.  As is typical for this president, he couldn’t muster up the nerve to confront this issue directly, so he decided to send a group of surrogates to Hadiya’s funeral – First Lady Michelle Obama, Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett, and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  His actions speak so loud, I can’t hear anything he has to say about Hadiya’s tragic death.

I find it just as amazing, that with all the emotion surround the issue of gun control, there is absolutely no talk about a very simple fact—the president, the governor, and the mayor are all liberal Democrats.  Chicago has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in America, yet one of the highest levels of violent crime in the country.

A discussion about gun control without a simultaneous discussion about controlling the heart of a man and the culture of a society is like watching a football game on the radio—it’s impossible.

The NAACP gives image awards to singers, actors, and producers, etc. who dump toxins into our community and call it entertainment. The Congressional Black Caucus is afraid to force Obama to address the issue of values within the Black community because they want to be invited to the next White House’s Christmas party. And ministers want to be celebrities so they preach a “feel good” gospel that is devoid of values.

How can we ask others to address issues within our own community that we are not willing to address ourselves?

Obama is like an absent father who criticizes his teenage son for how he turned out?  Well, President Obama, your “son” doesn’t need another lecture from you; he needs your time, your love, your legislation to address the internal problems he and his family has.

You find every opportunity to confer your support for a homosexual agenda to the point that you have compared it to the Civil Rights Movement, but in four years as president, you refused to use your presidential bully-pulpit to address the negative pathologies within the Black community or the racism in some sectors of the White community.

Did you think so little of Hadiya’s death that you sent surrogates to represent you?  Could you not empathize with her family and the broader community enough to make the trip yourself?  So, enough with the speeches, your family needs you at home.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

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  • Papua

    I agree on 90% of this article. The 10% I disagree is that President obama do have more important issues than attending a single child funeral.

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