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The Issue Obama Hasn't Touched -- Violence

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia , Blog//Video, Jazmyne Young Posted: Oct 29, 2008

I remember when I was young, watching an episode of Maury, he interviewed women who had suffered unthinkable acts of violence inflicted on them by their ex-husbands and boyfriends.

There was one woman that, as she sat on the stage displaying what vaguely resembled a face, told the story of how her husband -- who suspected infidelity -- threw acid on her face as if to say: If I cant have you, no one will.

Later there was another story on Oprah, of a woman whose estranged husband set her on fire at her workplace. Again, this woman had once been beautiful in places where there now lies bare pink skin from third-degree burns. Yet again, a very specific fear was ingrained in me, that with love there is also the possibility of hate, hate that would inspire someone to set me on fire or throw acid on my face.

How safe is it for me, or any woman, to assume that they are safe from these fatal attractions and estranged lovers?

One of the biggest stories in the news right now is the tragedy that has struck singer/actress Jennifer Hudsons family. Last Friday, Hudsons mother and brother were found slain in their Chicago home. Her 7-year-old nephew also went missing. Many speculate that Hudsons brother in-law, her sisters estranged husband, is involved in what is now a triple homicide as the body of the young boy was found the following Monday with several gun shots wounds including one in the back of the head.

Due to Jennifers celebrity this story has gained attention nationally all the way up to Barack Obama who worked in the Chicago community where Hudson grew up.

Obama, for whom Jennifer sang the national anthem at the Democratic National Convention, said: Michelle and I were absolutely heartbroken to learn about this unimaginable tragedyshe is in our thoughts and prayers.

The violence that has plagued Hudsons family transcends into the bigger population of Chicago where, this year, there have been 426 murders making it one of the murder capitals of the USA. Some people criticize Obama for not being more outspoken against the violence that haunts urban neighborhoods everywhere, especially in Chicago Ill. where he is a US Senator.

Upon a recent visit to Chicago during the Marguerite Casey foundations gathering for their Equal Voices Campaign, the majority of youth who I asked -- What is the biggest problem facing your community? What would you like the next President to do to address this problem? -- said theyd like some relief from the gang violence that prevents them from feeling safe and secure in their own backyards. During the primary campaign Hillary Clinton made an effort to address the issue of violence. Obama -- while chiding black men for not being fathers -- hasn't made the same kind of statement.

VIDEO:Chicago Youth on violence.


Although the presidential candidates have not totally ignored problems centered in urban areas, perhaps there should be more of an agenda to address the reality that a lot of American families are being victimized by violence of all kinds.

Recently, in Oakland, a woman was brutally stabbed and thrown out of a moving vehicle. The assailant? An estranged husband. The woman did not survive, leaving a devastated family and community.

Unfortunately, every family doesnt have an Academy Award winner to bring in the news and condolences of presidential nominees and high profile celebrities. As the country focuses in on the Hudson tragedy, these stories of violence primarily against women, (but as we see can also strike children and men alike), at the hands of these estranged lovers is still a low priority in politics.

-- Jazmyne, 19, is a content producer at YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia.

More from Jazmyne Young:

Plan B: Blame it on a Black Man

He Can't Lose... Can He?

Cornerstones of the Family or Why Obama Left the Campaign Trail





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