Home  »  Politics  »  Obama On Chicago Gangbangers: ‘These Guys No Different From Me’


Feb 16, 2013 Comments Off Infidel

Now instead of being just like his sons (Trayvon), they’re fully just like him. Is that a promotion?

Excerpted from Politico: President Barack Obama offered a personal reflection on gun violence here Friday, tackling the issue not as a policymaker or parent, but as a black man himself who knew how close he’d come to a very different fate.

Obama’s talked frequently about gun violence since the Newtown massacre, but never in these terms. Straying from a speech meant to discuss initiatives from his State of the Union address aimed at supporting poor communities, the president reflected instead on the group of at-risk male teens he’d met with just before he took the stage.

“I had more of a safety net, but these guys are no different than me,” Obama said at Hyde Park Academy, where the teenagers are in school. “I had issues too when I was their age. I just had an environment that was a little more forgiving.”

Speaking of the economic struggles and broken homes that he identified as the root causes, Obama talked about his own experiences as a young African-American man, causing trouble and, later, trying to affect change on the streets here.

“Don’t get me wrong, as the son of a single mom … I turned out OK … but at the same time I wish I had a father who was involved, around,” Obama said.

Wrapping up three days of post-State of the Union campaigning, Obama used his speech to offer details on his proposal to create “Promise Zones,” 20 communities nationwide where federal agencies, local governments and businesses would work together to spur economic development. But rather than giving a dry speech about his policy proposals, the president went deeper.

His visit comes as this city continue continues to suffer some of its worst violence ever — there were more than 500 murders here in 2012 and another 43 in January, including the killing of Hadiya Pendleton.

“Last year, there were 443 murders with a firearm in this city, and 65 of them were 18 and under. That’s the equivalent of a Newtown every four months,” he said. “That’s precisely why the overwhelming majority of Americans are asking for some common sense proposals to make it harder for criminals to get their hands on a gun.”

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