It's not the kind of publicity the president wants to call attention to during his trip to Copenhagen to lobby the IOC, but this video taken of a 16 year old boy beaten to death in broad daylight on the streets of Chicago last week may be enough to reconsider whether to bring the Olympic Games here. The city might already be overwhelmed with enough problems of its own.
CAUTION: Viewer Discretion Advised
This horrible and heinous crime is the stuff of third world countries, not America. Watching it fills me with outrage and disgust. If it happened in my town, I'd be demanding action tomorrow. I'd want safer streets with neighborhood watch groups, tougher laws against gangs, and more police. I certainly wouldn't be concerned with the Olympics. This should never happen, especially in the middle of the afternoon to a child in America.
The victim, Derrion Albert, an honor student, was simply walking home from school. He did nothing wrong. The city of Chicago failed to meet the minimum standards of serving this community. They failed to make the streets safe for these students in broad daylight. They failed to protect their families from experiencing tragedies like this. They failed our country by allowing such an environment to fester where education is so dangerous that many kids choose to drop out of school.
This was not an isolated incident. It's just one that ended up on video. Last year, 509 murders occurred in Chicago. To put that in perspective, 314 soldiers died in Iraq during the same period. This was number one among all American cities, despite a population half the size of New York or Los Angeles. For teenagers, the city is becoming an especially dangerous place. Eleven teens were murdered this month, and there have already been 50 homicides involving kids under the age of 20 this year. Nearly 500 shootings have occurred involving CPS students (despite Chicago's strict gun laws). And the homicides are often excessively violent. In May, a 15 year old boy was chased, beaten by baseball bats, run over by a car, shot in the head and burned for showing his face in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
Chicago has one of the highest school dropout rates in the country. Only 6 in 100 Chicago Public School students end up earning a bachelor's degree by the age of 25, according to a study published in the Chicago Tribune. These 666 schools enroll 407,000 students. That means only 25,000 students are given a chance to succeed in life. These are shocking statistics from the third largest district in the United States, a district Mayor Daley took control over in 1995 and runs with his appointees, the most recent of which Obama tapped to be his Secretary of Education. If she brings this kind of success to Washington, our country is in big trouble.
Rewarding Chicago with the Olympics is like encouraging a drunk to drink. The city currently faces a budget shortfall of nearly 550 million dollars. The government is rife with corruption. Millions have been wasted on fraud and political kickbacks. Government subsidized housing has failed to meet minimum standards despite huge federal grants. The last thing this city needs is another boondoggle project funneling dollars away from working families and essential services into the hands of political cronies, the same kind that are being implicated and indicted for trying to sell Barack Obama's Illinois Senate seat.
You wouldn't put a tax cheat in charge of the IRS, would you? Oops, Obama did. But you wouldn't appoint a pedophile as czar of school safety? Oops, Obama did that, too. But you wouldn't keep giving ACORN taxpayer money to advise pimps and prostitutes, would you? Okay, to be fair President Obama says he hasn't paid attention because he has to deal with more important issues. Like flying to Copenhagen with Oprah to discuss the 2016 Olympics. Right. Oops.
If Chicago wins their bid for the Olympics, bet on more corrupt behavior and money wasted, with the Daley political machine (in power for 20 years and counting) reaping most of the benefits. Heck, maybe old Obama pal and convicted real estate developer Tony Rezco will see some profit from it, too.
Given the IOC's own history of corruption, this could be a match made in heaven. Kind of like Rod Blagojevich and Tanya Harding getting together. Don't get me wrong. I'd love to have the Olympics in the U.S. again. Just not Chicago. Call this a case of misplaced priorities for the mayor and the president. Fix your city, fix our schools, and fix the economy before you fix the pockets of your friends and cronies. Actually, why don't you stop fixing the pockets of your friends and cronies altogether.
My thoughts and prayers go out to Derrion Albert's family.
UPDATE: By the way, the person who shot this video disgusts me for their casual indifference and failure to lend aid. Watching it again, it's really hard to believe they didn't help.