Michelle Obama: “Hadiya Pendleton Was Me and I Was Her”
First Lady Michelle Obama visited Chicago yesterday and made an impassioned, deeply personal speech on the crisis of gun violence in Chicago and across the nation.
She became visibly and audibly emotional upon comparing herself to Hadiya Pendleton, the 15 year-old honor student gunned down on Chicago’s Southside earlier this year.
“Hadiya Pendleton was me and I was her,” Mrs. Obama said. “But I got to grow up and go to Princeton and Harvard Law School and have a career and a family and the most blessed life I could ever imagine.”
Mrs. Obama said the only difference between herself and the young people killed on the Chicago streets is that she had a few more advantages – involved adults, good schools, a supportive community and a safe neighborhood.
“That was the difference between growing up and becoming a lawyer, a mother and first lady of the United States and being shot dead at the age of 15,” Mrs. Obama said, her voice gripped with emotion.
The FLOTUS also discussed the ever-raging gun control debate, asserting that President Obama’s gun control plan deserves a vote in Congress.
But she also made clear that stemming the tide of violence in America’s cities will also require an intensive, holistic approach from community leaders.
These were her first public remarks on gun violence since the Sandy Hook tragedy late last year.
Check out the full speech below:
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