Who failed Chicago?
President Obama and the first lady used the State of the Union spotlight last week to pay tribute to an innocent teenage girl shot and killed by Chicago gang thugs. Then the president traveled to the Windy City to decry violence and crusade for more gun laws in the town with the strictest gun laws and bloodiest gun-related death toll in America.
Does the White House really want to open up a national conversation about the state of Chicago? OK, let's talk.
Obama, his wife, his campaign strategists, his closest cronies and his biggest bundlers all hail from Chicago. Senior adviser and former Chicago real estate mogul/city planning commissioner Valerie Jarrett and her old boss Richard Daley presided over a massive “Plan for Transformation” in the mid-1990s to rescue taxpayer-subsidized public housing.
How'd that work out for Chicago?
Answer: This social justice experiment failed miserably. A Chicago Tribune investigation found that after Daley and Jarrett dumped nearly $500 million of federal funding into crime-ridden housing projects, the housing complexes remained dangerous, drug-infested, racially segregated ghettos.
It's the same nightmarish 'hood where Obama cut his teeth as a community activist — and exaggerated his role in cleaning up asbestos in the neighborhood, according to fellow progressive foot soldiers.
In the meantime, lucrative contracts went to politically connected Daley pals in the developer world to “save” Chicago's youth and families.
One ghetto housing project, the Grove Parc slum, was managed by Jarrett's former real estate empire, Habitat Co. As the Boston Globe's Binyamin Appelbaum reported: “Federal inspectors graded the condition of the complex an 11 on a 100-point scale — a score so bad the buildings now face demolition. ... (Jarrett) co-managed an even larger subsidized complex in Chicago that was seized by the federal government in 2006 after city inspectors found widespread problems.”
Grove Parc and several other monumental housing flops “were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the (federal) subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered.”
Democrats poured another $30 million in public money into the city's public schools to curb youth violence over the past three years. The New York Times hailed the big-government plan to fund more social workers and to create jobs for at-risk youth. But watchdogs exposed it as a wasteful “make-work scheme.” One local activist nicknamed the boondoggle “Jobs for Jerks” because “it rewards some of the worst students in the school system with incredibly rare employment opportunities while leaving good students to fend for themselves.”
Money is no substitute for the soaring fatherlessness, illegitimacy and family disintegration that have characterized Chicago inner-city life since Obama's hero Saul Alinsky pounded the pavement.
Team Obama will find perverted ways to lay blame for Chicago's youth violence crisis on the NRA, Sarah Palin, Fox News, George Bush and the tea party. But as the community organizer-in-chief prepares to evade responsibility again, he should remember: When you point one finger at everyone else, four other fingers point right back at you-know-who.
Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks and Cronies” (Regnery 2009).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Power play shines in Penguins’ home victory over Blue Jackets
- Pirates starting pitcher Worley is in right place, right time with team
- Icy roads bring numerous accidents in Western Pa.
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Lethargic Penguins begin western swing with loss to Avalanche
- Teacher conduct under spotlight in Pennsylvania
- Pirates sickened by pic of ‘Jihadi John’ wearing Bucs ball cap
- Passion for speed fuels Ligonier man’s slippery dash in winter rally
- Greensburg pair jailed in convenience store robbery
- Pitt women end regular season with win over Clemson