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Emanuel On Violence: It's Whether You Have Values

By Chuck Sudo in News on Apr 22, 2014 2:00PM

Photo credit: City of Chicago/Patrick Pyszka

Mayor Emanuel tried to brush off concerns about warm weather leading to a spike in violence across Chicago Monday. Although he did make the rare admission the weather may be a factor, Emanuel attempted to lay the blame somewhere else.

Speaking to a crowd inside the gymnasium at St. Sabina Church in Auburn-Gresham, the mayor suggested violence would decrease if only parents taught their children better at a young age.

"Every child deserves a childhood, regardless of where they live. But to do that, our city and community, the neighborhoods that make up this city, cannot live by a code of silence," Emanuel said at a news conference at an Edgewater school to announce more international baccalaureate programs. "They have to live by a moral code."

"Now I've read some of this, and I just want to say this, when some people go 'Well, it's the weather.' It's whether you have values," the mayor said. "Yes, weather's an impact. Where you put police is an impact. Whether you have summer jobs, after school programs, camps, summer reading programs. We have to do that and more."

We would think poverty and urban disinvestment in those communities ravaged by violence are also contributing factors but at least Emanuel mentioned the need for summer jobs, afterschool and other programs to keep children off the streets. That didn’t stop him from staying on message and suggesting your children wouldn’t grow up to be criminals if only you read them Goodbye Moon one extra time.

“Yes it’s going to get warm, but values are not about seasons,” Emanuel said, addressing the rash of violence that has accompanied warmer weather. “They don’t come only in the summer. The values that we teach our children when we hold them and read to them are timeless. They’re about right and wrong. They’re about knowing good from bad. They serve as your compass as your guide.”