In campaign remarks yesterday at the Bridgeport Art Center in Chicago, Illinois, President Barack Obama praised his adopted city, where he lived before becoming president of the United States. "Chicago is an example of what makes this country great," Obama said. His audience applauded.
President Obama's proof for his assertion? The donors in the room, who had given to his reelection campaign. "Witness this room," Obama said. And he elaborated: "[W]e've got everything we need to make things work here in America. We still have the best workers in the world. (Applause.) We've still got the best entrepreneurs in the world. We've got the best colleges, the best universities, the best scientists, the best researchers. We're a young nation, and we've got the greatest diversity of talent and ingenuity from every corner of the globe."
But what President Obama did not address is Chicago's homicide rate, one of the highest in the nation.
"[M]ore Chicago residents -- 228 -- have been killed so far this year in the city than the number of U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan - 144 -- over the same period," the Huffington Post noted in June.
"The war zone-like statistics are not new. As WBEZ reports, while some 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, more than 5,000 people have been killed by gun fire in Chicago during that time, based on Department of Defense and FBI data. Chicago's murder rate is also currently quadruple that of New York and double Los Angeles' rate."
CBS blames Chicago's crime statistics on gang violence:
There are 228 dead: That's the number of murders this year in Chicago. It's nearly twice as many as the number of Americans lost on the battlefields of Afghanistan over these last six months. And the number of deaths is up 35 percent over the same period last year.
There was a time it was called "gangland" Chicago and maybe that time has returned.
Chicago's mayor, Rahm Emanuel, was formerly President Obama's chief of staff.