First Lady Michelle Obama walks softly and carries a big stick.

She mourned the death of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendleton Saturday and also highlighted gun violence in America without uttering a single word at the funeral.

And it was the right thing to do.

Obama paid her respects to Pendleton inside a packed church on Chicago’s South Side where Pendleton’s friends gathered to remember her as a loving teenager who had plans to attend Harvard.

Pendleton was shot and killed on Jan. 29 when a gunman opened fire on her group of friends who were sitting in a Chicago park. She performed at Obama’s inauguration just days before she was murdered.

Although Michelle Obama didn’t know Pendleton, the teenager’s death clearly struck a raw nerve: The Obamas are from Chicago, she has two daughters, Sasha, 11 and Malia, 14, and her husband, President Barack Obama, is urging Congress to enact gun control laws calling for strict background checks for all gun buyers and bans on assault weapons.

“It’s personal for us,” Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Obama who attended the funeral, told The Washington Post. “The first lady and I grew up in Chicago. It could have been our daughters. So, as residents of Chicago, residents of the South Side, our heart just goes out to her family.. . . We may not have known her, but she’s a part of our family, too.”

And while Michelle Obama grieved for Pendleton on Saturday, former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh took to Twitter to condemn the first lady for attending the funeral.

“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 asked.

Yes, the first lady made a political point. And why not? Chicago’s homicide rate skyrocketed to 500 last year for the first time since 2008. The crime wave is spiraling out of control so fast that some law enforcers claim that Americans have a greater chance of being killed in Chicago than U.S. troops do in Afghanistan.

Forty people were killed in Chicago in January. It’s a crisis that calls for immediate attention.

Walsh chose the funeral of a slain black teenager to mock the first lady, bring up race and accusations of political posturing?


Walsh is heartless, disrespectful and racially insensitive. I’m glad he no longer represents the state of Illinois in the U.S. Congress. There’s no place on Capitol Hill for Walsh’s kind of outdated thinking.

The First Lady’s presence at Pendleton’s funeral signaled to America that the White House cares about the Pendleton family and deplores gun violence, which is disproportionately claiming the lives of black teenagers, and black boys in particular.

Before the funeral, Obama met privately with Pendleton’s family and 30 of the slain teen’s friends. The family also received a handwritten note from President Obama on the back of a funeral program.

“Michelle and I just wanted you to know how heartbroken we are to have heard about Hadiya’s passing,” the president wrote. “We know that no words from us can soothe the pain, but rest assured that we are praying for you, and that we will continue to work as hard as we can to end this senseless violence. God Bless, Barack Obama.”

The first lady made the right decision to attend Pendleton’s funeral. She didn’t say one word, but her presence was powerful.

I hope Congress was watching.

Also On Black America Web:

16 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: Michelle Obama’s Quiet Mourning of Slain Teen Speaks Volumes While GOP Mocks Her

  1. Stickto Yourguns on said:

    Let me be clear, Moochie Antoinette is only going to this funeral because it satisfies her agenda which is taking the guns away from honest people while remaining deathly silent about who commits these crimes and how it will not deter criminals one single iota to stop getting their own weapons through illegal means . Why is she not addressing this? better yet, why are they chasing the wrong horse in this race?

  2. The First Lady exemplifies grace and class. There shouldn’t have been a comment at all from either side of the aisle. Her attendance at the funeral was done to show support for the family. If it were for any other reason, aside from delivering a note from her husband, then she would have insisted on being on the “program” and delivering the eulogy (lol). As for the comment that the gentleman, or a presumed gentleman anyway, made about her motive, I have one question: why didn’t you come out and join her?

    • Stickto Yourguns on said:

      Why ? Because Im two thousand miles away, thats why. Better question, why is it she only gives a shit about this kid? Perhaps it is the correct shade of black? Or does she go to all the white kids who were murdered by black thugs? Say it aint so. Could she be a bigot and a hypocrite? Damn straight she is, or she might influence her murdering scumbag husband to stop killing children with his drones over seas , dont ya think? YOu people are so stupid, you cant see the forest for the trees and all is utopia in the land of Obongo, You will get the picture when you find yourself inside a FEMA camp because of some lie that they will feed and look after you when civil war strikes, I for one, hope to see that usurping communist family all inside body bags or at least in orange jumpsuits for all.

  3. Louise C. on said:

    ONE (1) “former Republican congressman” tweeted a negative comment about Mrs. Obama’s attendance at the funeral, and the headline accuses “the GOP” – the entire Republican Party – of mocking her? If that’s true, then the entire Democrat Party is guilty of the murders being committed by Chris Dorner because he is a Democrat – so is every Obama supporter and gun-control advocate. How does that logic work for you, Mr. Cottman?

  4. Joe Walsh can now join Allen West of Florida in the museum of political has beens. The Republican Party won’t be falling over itself to renounce Walsh’s remarks. Of course their silence on the matter shows their true colors to the black community. Just reinforces the image of the Republicans as being aloof and indifferent. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  5. Walsh shows the truth about the GOP and they are not going to change it is in their blood.We can only pray for the heartless.Our President and First Lady are to be kept in prayer everyday they live ;they are remarkable people and Black America should be proud!

    • Henry Smith on said:

      And yet Obama’s most treasured organization is Planned Parenthood who has already claimed over 6 million abortions or as God calls them “murders” of the unborn. Such hypocrisy!

  6. I Forgot on said:

    There are no “unsafe neighborhoods”, Geno Jones. There are only unsafe neighbors. If a bunch of unsafe neighbors move into a formerly safe neighborhood, guess what you’ve got now? An unsafe neighborhood. It’s not the neighborhood, it’s the neighbors in the neighborhood.

  7. One more thing….for ALL those who have and will post negative, bigoted, self loathing or insensitive posts about the First Lady attending Haidiya Pendleton’s funeral, I ask them this question? What are YOU doing(verb, meaning action) to be part of the solution beside sit on the sidelines and spew ignorance, negativity, self-hatred/sel­­f loathing or insensitivety? Have you and/or family,friends,­­associates,com­p­anies gone in these neighborhoods on the south, west & some neighborhoods on the north side (of Chicago)to create or open businesses, help train or retrain the residents for the jobs that are open today, create afterschool tutoring, sports programs, mentoring programs, parenting skills classes for the parents, conflict resolution classes? How about teaching these kids & their families financial literacy? How about talking to these kids & their families when the next child is killed that going out to get revenge by shooting someone else won’t solve their problems or bring their loved one back from the grave. So instead of saying to Rev Jackson or the First Lady to Shut Up & Sit Down! Look at the MAN or WOMAN in the mirror and honestly ask YOURSELF, am I really part of the solution or part of the problem? What am I DOING TO SAVE THESE CHILDRENS LIVES! Start seeing other kids as you see YOUR OWN child(children)­­!

    • 55TH ST SILVERBACKS on said:

      MR JONES ,i am one of the residents of the areas u speak of. born and raised in the austin area and grew up with friends in the englewood area of chicago. i would like to thank you for what seems to be passion in your words. the shooting took place in an area that is thought of as quiet and less violent
      as most others but it is the long HISTORY that chicago has that breeds this carnage.WE CAN END THE SURVIVAL LIKE MENTALITY THAT BREEDS THE CURRENT SITUATION ,THANK U FOR THE REAL.

  8. I Forgot on said:

    It is a shame about the young girl and it was very decent and thoughtful of Michelle to attend the funeral. But we shouldn’t mourn the girl’s death and then put our heads in the sand about the causes of it. We don’t have a gun problem in America, we have a black-people-with-guns problem in America. Blacks are only 13% of the population, but commit well over half of all violent crime and about 60% of all murders. The black girl in question was killed by a black person with a gun.

  9. For all of those who had negative,ignorant, insensitive, bigoted comments about The First Lady, Michelle Obama attending the funeral of 15 yr old Haidiya Pendleton in Chicago read this….Those posts are an example of the selfish, narcissictic,in­sesitive, I’m morally superior to you attitude that too many Americans have. The truth is there but for the grace of God, or fate,luck, whatever you do or don’t believe in, you, your kids, someone in your family could have found themselves or still could find themselves in a situation where they could need help. Talk to some of the homeowners, business owners, renters on the east coast who were victims of Hurricane Sandy. Talk to the parents of the kids killed at the Sandy Hook elementary school, Aurora movie theather shooting, Tuscon mall shooting. ALL of us, you & I included are one catastrophic illness or natural disaster, or extended job loss or failed business from financial disaster, not to mention the physical, emotional & mental toll that would take on you and/or your family. So instead of a smug,insensitiv­e and I suspect somewhat bigoted tinged comments about, gang bangers,drug dealers, killers & unloved welfare babbies(I recognize the racialized code words) realize that when “Those People” are given opportunities to have safe neighborhoods, quality schools, good paying jobs, opportunites to access capital to open their OWN businesses and become consumers & taxpayers WE ALL(this means you & I) befenit as AMERICANS!

  10. No you can’t attend every furneral but He the President went to Newtown and Walsh your racist — didn’t say anything about that and as far as the other death you all don’t say anything about them if they are not your kids are people that share the same skin color so please get a lift and stop hating on the President and the First Lady. And I hope when it time for Walsh to run again please get him out of office.

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