Call it the presidential version of the neighborhood curmudgeon shouting, “Hey, you kids there: Get off my lawn!” In this case, the crotchety neighbor was Old Man Obama, and the kids he was chasing had a pretty good reason for being there.
From the Washington Post:
The U.S. Secret Service ordered hundreds of parents and their cancer-stricken children out of Lafayette Square on Saturday night, barricading the park for at least two hours and disrupting the group’s plans for a candlelight vigil to raise awareness and research funding for childhood cancer, participants said.
Some of the parents and children expressed hurt and disappointment that the Secret Service and Park Police, citing security precautions, virtually shut down part of a two-day event called CureFest for Childhood Cancer.
“We ended up waiting at the gates for two hours, and they never let us in,” said Natasha Gould, an 11-year-old Canadian girl who started a blog after being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor this year. “And to be clear, the entire crowd was half kids. I cried last night in my hotel room because it was my first CureFest, and I couldn’t believe people were acting like they don’t care about children.”
Public information officers for the Secret Service and the Park Police were not able to comment immediately. Closures of Lafayette Square have occurred periodically since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and security incidents at the White House.
Organizers, aligned with the Truth 365 grass-roots child-cancer advocacy program, had obtained a permit to hold “A Night of Golden Lights,” in which participants would light electric candles.
For what it’s worth, the president wasn’t even home during the “security threat.” He was across town at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44th Annual Legislative Conference Phoenix Awards Dinner, where he paid tribute to black women for their role in helping shape American democracy, calling them “the thinkers and the doers” who made things happen. This from a man raised by a white grandmother he’s mentioned only once in his two terms — on that occasion to reveal to the world that she was racist. What a guy.
As for the sick kids, maybe if they had been Muslim and had made up a story about inventing a clock, they would have been permitted to stay.
(h/t Weasel Zippers)