I was just getting a handle on my euphoria over Rahm Emanuel getting kicked off the ballot for the upcoming mayoral election when I got hit by a ton of bricks. The Illinois Supreme court voted in favor of allowing Rahm Emanuel back on the ballot. “Oh %&#!” was my response. I could take the news that Rahm was back on the ballot. What I dreaded was having to listen to my friend in her smugness mouth the I-told-you-so happy dance.

When I finally got the chance to speak with her, I was surprised to learn she too had jumped ship. She had seen some things while working Rahm Emanuel’s campaign and now was put off by him. We both have concluded that Rahm has “issues” when it comes to the black community.

Sure, he worked – or perhaps better to say “sabotaged” – at the White House. And if you’ve been paying attention to news reports, when Gery Chico attempted to hold a press conference at some local health clubs with the owners to speak out against Rahm’s proposed luxury tax, those owners were intimidated. Already the Emanuel machine is at play and the results don’t bode well for Chicago – or for those who feel the need to stand up to it.

As we chatted about the latest mayoral forum held at Trinity United Church of Christ, a forum which Rahm had politely turned down, it dawned on me. Is he avoiding those forums because they are in the black community or he is avoiding them because they are held in black churches? In an era when the average politician bites at the bit to get into black churches to speak with those parishioners/voters, Emanuel has shaken his head “no” to almost every invite. How come?

Even more interesting, how come the ministers, preachers, reverends and so forth in this city haven’t stood up and said anything about it? The silence of the black church has been noteworthy, or perhaps better to say, “Bought and paid for.”

Speaking of Trinity, I didn’t have the pleasure of attending this past Sunday to witness firsthand the diatribe that went on between Carol Mosley Braun and Patricia Van Pelt Watkins. But having seen them interact at a number of forums without rancor, I found the sudden attack of one on the other to be a less-than-skillful, staged performance. Why? Because anyone looking at the numbers knows if blacks all go for one candidate, Rahm cannot win without a serious runoff. So scenarios must be manufactured to turn off black voters. Otherwise, just by our numbers alone we can control who gets into the mayoral seat.

Braun is a “seasoned” politician. She’s been a state representative, the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, a U.S. senator and ambassador. How does a woman with over 20 years in elected offices allow herself to be upstaged by a rank amateur? Unless…
yeah, I’ll say it, the entire debacle was staged!

Watkins acknowledged struggling with cocaine and marijuana use. So her bristling at being labeled a “crackhead” is interesting. Do we now have a social hierarchy so that those who snort cocaine are better than someone who smokes it?

Heck, at the time didn’t we label all children born with drugs in their system as “crack” babies?

Emphasizing subjects that don’t address the serious issues facing this city must be meant to distract. How come those same mayoral candidates aren’t addressing issues like the Garda robbery that occurred on Chicago and Homan avenues? What level of desperation would motivate two middle-age fools to use some black pipes taped together to look like a sawed off shotgun in order to rob an armored truck? What is going on that those candidates who claim they want to be mayor aren’t front and center, addressing the crime and lack of employment here on the West Side?

Brainwashed, Bamboozled, and the Okey-Doke – that’s what we are being served. We don’t have to swallow it, nor do we have to like it.

And we cannot afford to sit home on Feb. 22, 2011.