I stopped celebrating Black History Month many years ago.
What is there to celebrate? I am writing about this issue because of the misguided emphasis too many African-Americans are placing on the murder of Hadiya Pendleton. She was the 15-year-old sophomore shot to death a week after performing with her school band at the president’s inaugural. She was allegedly killed by an 18-year-old black gang member in a public park not far from President Barack Obama’s South Side Chicago home.
Black people, politicians in particular, avoid discussing the problems at the heart of Hadiya Pendleton’s death, the heavy toll of black-on-black violence and the moral decay that keeps us trapped.
I expect politicians to avoid the hard issues, but I worry when black residents play this cynical game. Damon Stewart, Hadiya Pendleton’s godfather, did so when he spoke at the girl’s funeral. “She is a representative not just of the people in Chicago,” he said. “She is a representative of people across this nation who have lost their lives.”