Former President Barack Obama met Sunday with at-risk young men and boys in his hometown of Chicago before his first major post-presidency speech. Mr. Obama and his dog Sunny were the only ones to come out of the meeting alive.
The organization called “Create Real Economic Destiny” (CRED) hosted the meeting on the South Side of Chicago where Big Jim Walker was brutally murdered in 1972. The results in 2017 were even more deadly.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said 18 people were killed, including former Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, who started the CRED program in 2016 to bring job skills and employment opportunities for at-risk young adults.
The shooting apparently started when Obama asked the young men to share advice on how they think gang and gun violence can be reduced in Chicago. Some witnesses say Sunny saved Mr. Obama’s life. Others say the former President used the dog as a “canine shield.”
In a grisly coincidence, the shooting took Chicago’s 2017 death toll to 100 on Day 100 of the Trump Administration.
Shaken by the near-death experience, Mr. Obama said, “Let me be clear. Almost 50 percent of young black men are out of work in my home town, compared with 20 percent of Hispanic men and 10 percent of white men. What the hell is Donald Trump doing about that?”
Spokesman Kevin Lewis intervened, hustling Mr. Obama to a waiting limousine. “The President clearly doesn’t know what the **** he’s talking about,” he said. “He started as a community organizer in this very neighborhood at age 25, and it’s not any better now.”
Asked by shouting reporters what was next on Obama’s itinerary, Lewis said, “A meeting about the Presidential Library at the University of Chicago. The president feels more comfortable there, anyway.”