Michelle Obama To Attend Hadiya Pendleton’s Funeral

by Yesha Callahan

Hadiya PendletonChicago honor student, Hadiya Pendleton, will be buried this weekend. Hadiya was killed Jan. 29 at Harsh Park. Her death sparked outrage not only in her Chicago neighborhood, but nationwide.

Just days after performing in inaugural festivities near Washington, Hadiya was shot and killed at a playground not far from President Obama’s Kenwood home.

With Chicago’s death toll rising, community activists are yearning for President Obama to visit Chicago and speak out about the recent violence. It was announced on Thursday that Michelle Obama, along with senior adviser Valerie Jarrett and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will attend Hadiya’s funeral.

Local Chicago officials planning to attend include Gov. Pat Quinn, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. Quinn plans to speak; Preckwinkle does not. It was unclear late Thursday whether Emanuel would speak.

Hadiya’s family wants to make sure the funeral doesn’t turn into political fanfare and just focus on Hadiya’s accomplishments and life. “It’s a nice gesture and we appreciate it,” said Shatira Wilks, a cousin who serves as the family’s spokesperson. “But that is who we are.”

The Rev. Courtney Maxwell, of Greater Deliverance Temple Church of Christ, who will deliver the eulogy, also emphasized that the funeral will not be political.

“There absolutely will be no talk about the gun issue,” Maxwell said. “We want to talk about celebrating her life and not get into a political situation as it relates to guns.”

Hadiya’s parents, Cleopatra Cowley-Pendleton and Nathaniel Pendleton, is appealing to the public for people to come forward if they have information about the shooting. There is a $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Hadiya’s killer.

  • Hmm…

    Glad at least one of the Obamas is finally showing some interest in black folk.

  • http://clutch SL

    Condolences to her family and I pray they will find comfort in each other and their memories of their daughter.

    I am happy the Michelle Obama will be in attendance – it is the right thing to do.

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    The President didn’t send FLOTUS to Connecticut or Aurora or Arizona, so why is he sending her to Chicago? I guess the President only goes if White people are killed.

  • Obama2008yes2012no

    Everybody and all races in the US should have attended Hadiya’s funeral, and not leave and go back to work until the idiots in DC give us back our country. Until they sign a knew code of conduct that addresses the root of this insanity. None have or the 1st Lady wouldn’t be at Hadiya’s funeral.

    Politicians (our government) put America and Americans here because of greed. For too many Hadiya’s horrid murder is a crime. To them every crime is simply growing their market. You think any want their company to go out of business. Not on Hadiya’s grave they don’t.

    Crime also justifiies growing government. While all races are there, unite to hang all the gangsters, whatever race they are. Starting with the politicians. By the time we hang our way down to the street level, they will have fled Chicago.

    Article said, “Hadiya Pendleton was killed in a park close to the Obamas’ home on Chicago’s South Side.” I knew the pic of Obama was not of him shooting skeet. Look at his aim again. Even with the suppressors, there is still a bit of up and back recoil. Lower the barrel a few inches to where it was when he fired the shotgun, and it will be about head height. He was practicing self-defense. So he could drop a thug near his home that would kill one of his beautiful daughters.

    Obama ain’t no Martin Luther King Jr. Martin was more presidential in his little toe. Obama is part of Martin’s dream. A black president. But a politican at heart…puppet. Not addressing the root cause. So his cronies profit as crime grows. So government grows by tossing dollars at the symptom, not the cause.

    For instance, don’t put returning armed forces on unemployment, doing nothing. Possibly turning to drugs and crime. Keep them on the payroll to clean up Chicago and all towns in the same decline. Who better to deal with America’s more harmful terrorists. 4 times as many each year as killed in 911 attack.

  • ArabellaMichaela

    This one has just done it for me. So very sad. Something has to be done about guns, especially in Chicago.

  • Kacey

    You speak the truth (and obviously some people don’t like it) smh

    Black life is cheap, even to a “black” president.

  • Kacey

    This would have been a great opportunity for Obama to give back to the people of Chicago – who were instrumental in advancing his political career. It would have also been an opportunity for him to directly address the issues of violence in urban communities all over the country. But, once again, Obama has shown that he doesn’t believe he owes anything to the people who have consistently, unconditionally (and undeservedly) supported him. Black votes were cheap, and apparantly so are black lives. Wake up, black people!

  • P

    Another face I cannot forget. Her death has made me speechless – it was confirmation that words are no longer needed. Only action now. We needed it before then, but I have been hoping Hadiya’s death is America’s wake up call for Chicago. It’s not. I believe 10 more Hadiyas could become murdered and it still won’t change. However, I am elated FLOTUS is attending her funeral services. This is a start. At the same time, I do wish the President would attend as well. Chicago’s situation has been passed being a local or state problem.

    Not only that, I’m apprehensive that POTUS decision will cause a diversion from the main issue in urban communities. We’ll focus on that problem or decision, and meanwhile 50 more children will die before change takes place. I just don’t want Hadiya’s death to be forgotten like the rest.

    Condolences to Hadiya’s Family! You’re safe now, Angel!

  • p

    I am seeing R.I.P too much nowadays. It’s just too much. It is so sad and something does need to be done [yesterday]!

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    @Kacey

    Well said!

  • The Comment

    I’d like to know what she has done that is so called anti-black?

    Notice my tone is not nasty, not mean-spirited. So I would appreciate a serious reply.

  • Wow

    Your rhetoric is cheap!

  • http://commentarybyvalentina.wordpress.com Val

    I really hate it when the comments do go where they are supposed to go!

  • Kacey

    No, I’m speaking the truth – not rhetoric. But you wouldn’t know the difference, now would you?

  • AJW

    @ Val & Kasey

    So sad but true.

  • au napptural

    Because in Conn., Aurora, and Arizona there were MASS shootings in one location. It’s completely ridiculous to expect the President to stop for every individual killing. Yes, even if there are a lot. And stop making it racial. Does he rush to every meth killing? Every white cocaine death? No, so stop the madness. I’m from Miami. People die in gang shootings and random gun violence ALL THE TIME. But I don’t expect the President to come down from being the leader of the free fricking world to pat us on the shoulder.

    I’m all for gov’t help when the gov’t owes it, but this is a situation where people need to do for themselves. Example, this poor young lady was killed in a park. You mean to to me NOBODY saw anything? BULL. Is it Obama’s fault that this stupid ass culture of “snitching” has taken hold? Is it Obama’s fault that people let their children roam the street with guns like feral animals? Is it Obama’s fault grown @$$ men get joy from shooting up children’s birthday parties? NO. Those things happened before he was the president and will happen long after he is dead. Instead of throwing shade on him for not acknowledging every day ghettoness encourage people to stop the foolishness. Take care of your own neighborhoods so the damn National Guard doesn’t have to come in. Call the police once in a while. It’s not that black life is cheap to Obama, it is cheap to black people. We are the ones killing each other. How is that his fault? And if he made a statement about it every day would it change anything? Or would people call him a punk, snitch, or complain about him holding blacks to a higher standard?
    Damn.

  • Anthony

    The President should be there himself. There is no excuse for him not to be there. I have nothing bad to say about the FLOTUS attending, but the president can find time to come to places like Joplin, Missouri where he is probably hated by most of the people, but yet he can’t come to Chicago for this child’s funeral?

    If President Obama had come, it would have been symbolic. By him not coming, it is still symbolic, but not in a way that is assuring to African Americans.

  • au napptural

    Because in Conn., Aurora, and Arizona there were MASS shootings in one location at one time. It’s completely ridiculous to expect the President to stop for every individual killing. Yes, even if there are a lot. And stop making it racial. Does he rush toYes, even if there are a lot. And stop making it racial. Does he rush to every meth killing? Every white cocaine death? No, so stop the madness.

    I’m from Miami. People die in gang shootings and random gun violence ALL THE TIME. But I don’t expect the President to come down from being the leader of the free fricking world to pat us on the shoulder.

    I’m all for gov’t help when the gov’t owes it, but this is a situation where people need to do for themselves. Example, this poor young lady was killed in a park. You mean to to me NOBODY saw anything? BULL.

    Is it Obama’s fault that this stupid ass culture of “snitching” has taken hold? Is it Obama’s fault that people let their children roam the street with guns like feral animals? Is it Obama’s fault grown @$$ men get joy from shooting up children’s birthday parties? NO. Those things happened before he was the president and will happen long after he is dead. Instead of Instead of throwing shade on him for not acknowledging every day ghettoness encourage people to stop the foolishness. Take care of your own neighborhoods so the damn National Guard doesn’t have to come in. Call the police once in a while.

    It’s not that black life is particularly cheap to Obama, it’s cheap to black people. After all, it’s we who are killing each other. Talk about that. All that marching people do after a police shooting or for Trayvonn Martin. Those are worthy cause, but what about the drug dealers in gangs in our own neighborhoods? Did you march against them? Talk about them? Everyone’s mad Obama’s not going to a funeral. How about we take some action so there won’t be so many funerals? Shoot, if he made a statement on the news every day from here to eternity people would call him a punk, a snitch, a lackey for whites. Complain that he was holding black people to a higher standard. You can’t win.

    Damn.

  • Anthony

    Nobody has asked the President to come to every funeral. The murder of Hadiya Pendleton has been singled out because she had peerformed for his inauguration just days before her death, and she is from Chicago. Additionally, she has died at a time when President Obama has made reform of gun laws a priority for his administration. It is for these reasons that many feel he should attend her funeral.

  • Wanda

    While I am glad that the First Lady will be in attendance at Hadiya’s memorial, I do believe that the President should attend as well, considering the thousands that die in urban American every year due to senseless violence.

  • kc

    So true. President Obama has been quoted saying that he is the president of the United States of America, not black America. (As if black America isn’t a part of the USA…)

  • MommieDearest

    Val, I was coming in here to type the same thing. I also doubt if the President will shed a tear, publicly or privately, for this young sister.

  • http://cupofjo-jo.blogspot.com bk chick

    Isn’t sad that people had to practically beg just to get Michelle Obama to show up? It’s sad how vulnerable black people are when it comes to politicians and elected officials…more than 90% of our vote and not even a thought to come out on this young girls’ death which is an unfortunate symbol of the uniquely high crime in Chicago due to gun violence. I’m not arguing whether or not it’s the fault of the negligence of the black community or the politicians that don’t care about us–or both. I’m just saying it’s sad. However, Mobama’s presence there is a step in the right direction as it helps send a message to the rest of the nation that yes, black lives are just as important as everyone else.

  • http://Clutch SL

    I think POTUS really can’t win in these cases. He is the leader of the Free World and has made it a point to not just be the “Black” President.

    There are some things that he absolutely must do which will call for him to put everything on his busy calendar on hold to attend to – like comforting a nation after a mass tragedy such as Newton and Aurora or Hurricance Sandy. That does not mean he is less touched by what seems to be everyday violence in our communities. We don’t know that he didn’t call her family personally. Her family made a strong statement that they didn’t want to politicize her death and maybe he felt at this time with the amount of attention and heat on his back around gun ownership reform, that his presence would do just that. Out of honor and respect for her family wishes, maybe he decided against going but sent the two people closes to him: Michelle and Valerie Jarrett.

  • http://Clutch SL

    Your are right, her death is too much! Not another child should lose their life to violence.

    This country is caught in guagmire. We want the politicians to fix this but politicians cannot fix a man’s mind and they can’t fix a man’s heart – shoot I’m convinced that most of them are crazy power hungry depraved individuals themselves. I just have no illusion that they care to fix it – just like the crack epidemic of the 80′s – even if they could. We all know right about now, or we should, that they don’t care what happens in our community.

    I actually attended a meeting in my community. Yet another church wanted permission to build. The white’s said with a church on every corner you’d think they’d know how to stop killing each other and then they all laughed.

    They are not the answer. We are. We wait for the government to do everything for us. When will we stop looking for someone to save us from ourselves! Only we can save us or we will cease to exist.

  • http://Clutch SL

    But he HAS interjected himself more times than any other President in history. Trayvon Martin is one time that comes to mind, but it is not the only time. He will not win no matter what he does and nothing he does will ever be enough. He will never satisfy everyone.

  • MySister’sKeeper

    Where did you get anti-black?

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    +1

  • Natalie

    The president doesn’t go to services for 99% of gun violence victims. I think black life isnt as valued relative to whites because the government and the public only want to get serious when people die in mass shootings which are the least like to happen. Inner cities have always dealt with gun violence and no one damn until an honor student was killed.

  • MommieDearest

    “. The murder of Hadiya Pendleton has been singled out because she had peerformed for his inauguration just days before her death, and she is from Chicago.”

    Exactly. If Obama can insert himself into Henry Gates’ “do you know who I am” moment when all Gates got was his feelings hurt, then surely he can attend this young lady’s funeral. With that said, I am happy that the First Lady will be there. I’m sure it will mean alot to Hadiya’s family.

  • http://gravatar.com/keimia Kam

    This is different because this is his hometown. He really should go back there, and he should’ve gone for this girl that took the time out to play for his events.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    To my knowledge, the POTUS didn’t go to anyone’s funeral in Newtown or anyone else’s. He just went there, spoke to the townspeople, gave a speech and went back to DC (as he did with the other places). So why are people expecting him to go to Hadiya’s funeral? Have you even thought that maybe the Pendleton family didn’t want him, all those secret service men and the press in a church during their most vulnerable time when it’s not even about him- but a young girl whose life was tragically taken?

    Also- you’re acting as if Michelle Obama’s presence is some sort of a booby prize. Her roots in Chicago are much deeper than the president’s, considering that she grew up there. So I think her presence would be more relevant in a way.

    There are plenty of other points to criticize the POTUS on- this ain’t one of them.

  • Mademoiselle

    The POTUS went to the ecumenical memorial that was held for all 26 SH victims — that’s like going to all of their funerals at once. No one’s discrediting the FLOTUS’s presence, but it definitely says a lot that she would go in lieu of him. Also, do you really think Michelle is going to travel without servicemen?

  • Mademoiselle

    I doubt it too, and he was closer to Hadiya than any of the other victims.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    The first lady doesn’t have nearly as much hefty Secret Service protection as POTUS. And last I recalled, a mass memorial service is not the same as an individual’s funeral.

    In addition, I don’t hear the Pendletons complaining Obama’s lack of presence @ their daughters’ funeral, so I don’t understand why people are here are bitching about a cause that is most likely not even theirs? People need to put more energy onto why young children are dropping like flies in Chicago (and how to stop it) rather than to aim pointless venom @ the President over such a petty matter.

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