It’s quite apparent that we live in a society where public figures are darned if they do and darned if they don’t. This past weekend, slain Chicago teen, Hadiya Pendleton was laid to rest. The murder of Pendleton gained much national attention because a mere week prior to being gunned down in a Chicago park, the 15-year-old drum major participated in President Obama’s inaugural parade with her school marching band. The President and First Lady issued their condolences to the Pendleton family for the loss of their beloved daughter and the First Lady even demonstrated support along with other White House officials by attending Hadiya’s February 9th funeral. While many felt that Mrs. Obama attending the funeral was a very honorable thing to do, it appears to have also ruffled a few feathers. Former Teaparty congressman, Joe Walsh, utilized his Twitter page to bash the First Lady for her decision.
“‘Heartbroken’ Michelle Obama attending funeral of Hadiya Pendleton. I guess the other 553 murder victims didn’t break her heart,” Walsh tweeted.
“Most of the 553 Chicago murder victims in 2012 & 2013 were young black males. Is she attending this funeral to make a political point? ” he continued.
Hadiya’s God-father expressed that this situation is not implicative that Hadiya was more important than any other Chicago shooting victim, she is merely a symbol of the ongoing violence plaguing the city.
“Everybody needs a symbol… She’s a voice for all these people who have passed that haven’t had a voice, so she brings attention to their lives and all the other people who have lost their lives senselessly,” he told DNAInfo.com.
According to the New York Times, many Chicagoans “…viewed the sudden rush of attention on Ms. Pendleton as a needed shift in the consciousness… Ms. Pendleton’s death appeared — at least for now — to have reawakened many people..”
What do you make of this? Is this simply another attempt to discredit President and First Lady Obama or does Joe Walsh have a valid argument?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.