Gun violence is getting worse in Chicago, where more than 100 people were shot and 18 died over the July Fourth weekend, prompting calls for the Illinois governor to declare a state of emergency. The shootings have mainly affected the city’s Black communities and Black men. But while the city is overwhelmed in dealing with what has been described as a public health crisis, former President Barack Obama seems to be more focused on the erection of his Chi-Town-based presidential library.
In Chicago’s Cook County, 875 people died from gun violence in 2020 and 78 percent of the victims were Black, ABC7 News reported.
“That is by far the highest total of gun-related homicides we have ever had. The only time we came anywhere near that was in 1994 when we had 838 homicides due to gun violence,” said Natalia Derevyanny, Spokeswoman for the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Chicago’s streets are so out of control that Mayor Lori Lightfoot reached out to President Joe Biden for help. Meanwhile, the Obama Foundation has raised nearly $900 million so far for Obama’s presidential library, which is estimated to cost nearly $700 million, Fox News reported.
Valerie Jarrett, president of The Obama Foundation, said during an interview with the Economic Club of Chicago that the informal presidential library will cost slightly “less than” $700 million – $200 million more than an initial estimate of $500 million.
The library is expected to generate $3.1 billion in revenue, which will benefit local businesses, Jarrett said.
The Obama Foundation has raised nearly $900 million so far for The Obama Presidential Center and aims to raise an additional $400 million from the city of Chicago, The New York Post reported.
While plans move forward on the library, Obama has been pretty much mum about all else going on in the city, particularly the gun violence.
Earlier this year, Obama did make a statement about gun violence in Boulder, Colorado, following a mass shooting at a King Soopers supermarket during which 10 people were killed.
Obama tweeted, “A once-in-a-century pandemic cannot be the only thing that slows mass shootings in this country. It’s time for leaders everywhere to listen to the American people when they say enough is enough.”
Moody Call The Cops @Sevntwlve tweeted a question for Obama: “Why didnt you say enough is enough when you was leading?”
This isn’t the first time Obama has been silent on Chicago violence.
In 2016, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan accused Obama of forgetting the streets of Chicago, EUR reported.
“I just want to tell you, Mr. President, you’re from Chicago, and so am I,” Farrakhan said during a service at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. “I go out in the streets with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. And while I was out there talking to them, they said ‘You know, Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’”
Violence in Chicago hasn’t let up. The July Fourth weekend was part of a bloody year so far in the Second City. There have been 332 homicides during the first six months of 2021, six fewer than in the first half of 2020 but a 35 percent increase over the 246 reported between January and June of 2019, according to recent police data, The New York Post reported.
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Biden promised Lightfoot he would help to address gun violence when the two met recently. The president reiterated his commitment to working with Lightfoot and city leaders to counter Chicago gun violence and added that the Department of Justice would reach out to Chicago about a recently announced strike force meant to crack down on gun trafficking in Chicago and four other cities including New York, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki.