Mr. and Mrs. Obama took some time off to head to Chicago this week to attend the wedding of the daughter of one of the president’s top aides. The wedding was for the daughter of Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, a fancy gathering of many of Chicago’s black elite. Laura Jarrett was marrying her Harvard classmate, Tony Balkisson, according to local media reports.
Other guests to the wedding include: Attorney General Eric Holder, Ariel Investments chief executive John Rogers, Jr. and many others among the city’s wealthy black public figures.
The Obamas walked to the wedding from their own house, which was right down the street. The neighborhood was under tight surveillance, with officers setting up a perimeter for the president and screening all guests to the event.
“Tonight the first family is attending the wedding of Laura Jarrett,” a White House official said in a statement.
The first family flew to Chicago on Friday and were able to spend five hours at the home of Martin Nesbitt, a Chicago businessman and friend of the president. The family is now headed to Los Cabos, Mexico to meet with representatives of 20 leading industrial nations to discuss the European economic crisis.
The trip to Chicago gives the Obamas publicity in the black community after challenges came this week that the family has been all flash with no substance for black America. The Obamas have appeared at prominent black public events and in African American media, but have yet to give a policy victory to black Americans of the same magnitude as the recent announcements on immigration reform and gay rights.
CNN analyst Roland Martin, a long-time Obama supporter, has also stated that the black community and black leaders have chosen not to hold Obama accountable:
“The decision by black leadership to choose to be public silent out of black allegiance the last 3 years means you negate your influence,” Martin said on his Twitter account.
Yvette Carnell, a political analyst who’s been calling for accountability from the Obama Administration since 2009, says that neither Martin, nor others, including Al Sharpton, have called for the Obama Administration to do much of anything for black Americans.
“It’s hard to negotiate the baseball game in the ninth inning,” said Carnell, who believes that it is too late for African Americans to ask for anything from the administration.