Source: Tenisha Taylor Bell / CNN
President Obama is visiting my hometown of Chicago — the city I hate to love.
The president’s visit focuses attention on gun violence, and comes soon after the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, the 15-year-old who was shot down in Chicago after participating in the president’s inauguration festivities.
I know way too much about urban gun violence; three people I love were shot and killed, like Hadiya, on Chicago’s streets.
My hometown is a war zone. Too many innocent children and young adults have died. Chicago police reported that 506 people were murdered in the city in 2012, about 16% more than 2011. Compare that with the fact that 310 American troops were killed in Afghanistan in 2012.
Chicagoans can be proud and hopeful that our president is going to the city to bring attention to this epidemic of violence. Too many mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers of murder victims have been suffering for too long.