An Olympic pitch…IN Chicago, not just FOR Chicago

2 10 2009

The big news this morning is that the President and First Lady knocked it out of the park in pitching Chicago as the 2016 Olympic site.  “They were rock stars” gushed a Today show reporter (of course, that’s about all the Today show does these days…gush…but I digress).

I’m thrilled that the Obamas made the pitch.  It’s great to see a president have fun touting all that is wonderful and positive and promising about our country and one of our best cities.

At the same time, I wish President and Mrs. Obama would make the 1.5 hour flight from DC to Chicago to tell school kids there that they’re as passionate about them as they are the Olympics. That their future is just as important to America as one week in the summer of 2016.

I wish they’d do it for Corey McLaurin.

I wish they’d do it for Corey Harris.

I wish they’d do it for Derrion Albert.

Who are these guys?

They’re the three young Chicago students who have been murdered since school started less than a month ago.

Three kids.  One month.

And this isn’t a flukey spike in crime.  Last year, almost 40 Chicago school kids were killed…that more than one per week.  Right here.  In America.  In our President’s hometown.  In the city that, hopefully and in so many ways justifiably, the whole world will be watching 6 summers from now.

The President and Mrs. Obama could fly to Chicago, give a speech and be back home—with their two children–in less than the time it took for them to fly ONE-WAY to Copenhagen.

Don’t you think that would be time well-spent?

Mrs. Obama said the other day that she would “take no prisoners” in her bid to secure the Olympic nod for Chicago.  What do you think would happen if she brought that same attitude to Chicago schools?

Or urban schools across the country for that matter?  As I write this, Boston has just announced that 5 more of our city’s high schools will have metal detectors.  Meaning that 35 of our 39 schools have them.

It’s all part of a federal program called “Secure Our Schools.”  Is that where we are as a country today?  That we “secure our schools” with metal detectors….instead of values?  Instead of leadership?  Instead of community?

Hours ago, President Obama wrapped up his pitch with these words:  “If we walk this path together, then I promise you this:  The City of Chicago and the United States of America will do the world proud.”

Imagine if he said those words–not via video, by the way–to the kids of Chicago. If he told them that he and the First Lady have their backs.  That they will take no prisoners in making sure kids go to school to learn, not to be killed.  That he would walk with them…to do their city, their country…and themselves proud.

Now, THAT would be worthy of a gold medal.

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2 responses

2 10 2009
Dorothy

Very well said. I couldn’t agree more.

2 10 2009
ct

Must agree – I’m glad 2016 went somewhere else…just to show our President he doesn’t have the world at his fingertips. Perhaps now we can focus on health insurance reform (not healthcare – it’s available) and our men and women overseas. Let’s finish the job and get home.

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