A Chicago Tribune article in Sunday’s paper entitled “Race and Politics” suggested that Chicago is rising above race based politics. A recent poll conducted by Tribune/WGN contradicts that assertion. The poll actually shows that Hispanics and whites are indeed crossing over and voting for Rahm Emanuel, the white candidate.
The poll actually reveals that black leaders are failing in their effort to galvanize around a consensus black candidate. Emanuel, ironically, is leading Carol Moseley Braun in the black vote 40 percent to 39 percent. The poll also reveals that the white “consensus” candidate is resonating well among whites. The poll listed in last Thursday’s edition of the Tribune revealed that Emanuel was getting a large chunk of the white vote, while Braun is only receiving a mere 7 percent of the white vote. Is it wrong for the media to praise blacks and Hispanics for crossing over in their voting, yet give whites a pass when they vote against people of color?
Senator James Meeks and Congressman Danny Davis, when they exited the mayoral race, were criticized by many. They were called racist for their decision to withdraw, as they fought to keep from splitting the black vote. The idea of a consensus candidate has been a taboo word in the media, but the white community has one also. The truth is, after Mayor Daley announced his imminent retirement, the crowded field of mayoral possibilities included some very high profile whites, most notably Tom Dart and Lisa Madigan. It wasn’t long however before they too exited the field. When it became evident that Emanuel was going to run for mayor with the blessing of the White House, financial support from Hollywood and mainstream media’s anointing as the presumptive mayor, Dart and Madigan announced that they were taking a pass at running. Emanuel hence becomes automatically the white “consensus” candidate.
A sad reality exists: whites have the freedom to vote their own political interests without experiencing any negative media ramifications. Blacks seem to have a moral obligation to prove to society that they are not racist, so they often feel compelled to vote for the non-black candidate. There is another group of blacks who are still in celebration mode of having a black president, and they think they are doing the president a favor by voting for Emanuel.
If and when Emanuel is elected mayor, and blacks are done celebrating the so called new “post racial” era, it shouldn’t take long before we realize that we have been bamboozled once again. A community that makes up 33.8 percent of the population still will have only 3 percent of the city contracts, struggling schools on the south and west side of the city, and a very small piece of the Chicago economic pie. In the midst of so much pain, agony and desperation of a people, blacks have still managed to be the decisive vote in electing the new status quo mayor. He has the potential of being Chicago’s third political boss, following Richard J. and Richard M. Daley. Of course this “Boss” appears to be much more arrogant, at least it appears that way – I’m not sure. We don’t know him; prior to this campaign he was never seen at Macarthur’s restaurant on the west side or walking the streets of Roseland with residents. He doesn’t even feel that he has to debate. Wait a minute, there are a few people in our community that are benefiting from Rahm’s enormous political war chest, and it’s some of the black aldermen who are fighting for their political lives. An anonymous yet reliable source told me that many of these aldermen are privately supporting Rahm in return for campaign contributions. Another person who can benefit from him winning as mayor is President Obama. He’s gearing up for his reelection bid, and it would help his campaign’s fundraising efforts tremendously to have a great fundraiser like him on the fifth floor of Chicago. I truly believe we can get the president reelected without sacrificing the interests of the poor and working class of our community.
We love our president but loyalty shouldn’t be this costly.