Hadiya Pendleton, 15, was fatally shot on Jan. 29 as she and her friends shielded themselves from rain under a canopy in a Chicago park in what police say was a case of mistaken identity in a gang turf war. Pendleton, a sophomore at Martin Luther King Jr. College Prep, had performed with her school band eight days earlier at President Barack Obama’s inauguration. A $40,000 reward has been offered in the case.
From the violence-plagued neighborhood where a young Barack Obama cut his teeth as a community organizer, activist Diane Latiker watched the president deliver his election night victory speech. She felt a certain pride as he called for an America that was open to the “young boy on the South Side of Chicago who sees life beyond the nearest street corner.”
My freind text me this morning to tell me I had the front page of the Wall Street Journal. You can’t beat that… too bad the subject is so grim.
Its not every day that an assignment teaches you something about your own childhood. When I was 7 years old my father, who shared my name, passed away and when I looked down today, I saw a boy, Ronnie Chambers Jr., who is about he same age as I was back then, sitting at my feet with RIP carved in the back of his hair. He was there mourning the loss of his father, who also shared the same name.
Sometimes you have to look someone in the eye and express something words could never say. This was one of those times.
I met Shirley Chambers yesterday, a mother who has lost all four of her children to gun violence. A woman who seems as pleasant and as motherly as many of the women I have met during my lifetime.