My phone rang and when I answered it, it was a good friend who had been the biggest Rahm Emanuel supporter during the election. Every time we spoke, she would harp on how my candidate, Bill “Dock” Walls, couldn’t win. My friend was working on Rahm’s campaign, and she was making it her mission to deliver West Side votes for him.
Well now that the hype hasn’t equaled the reality of Mayor Rahm, she’s not so happy with him. “Gurl, did you hear that Rahm used the F-bomb word to the president of the Chicago Teachers Union?” she lamented. “How dare he speak to an African-American woman that way? We …”
I interrupted before she could go on and told her I didn’t care. I didn’t want to hear it. I said before the election, when she and a lot of others were S.O.S (stuck on stupid), that they were by choice going blindly with a candidate who hadn’t spoken before the citizenry to tell them what he would and would not do. He never answered any “hard” questions before the election. He never told us what he meant by his infamous “fundamental issues.” No one held Rahm’s feet to the fire and demanded answers. Rather, taking a page from their adoration of the president, those folks became gung-ho Rahm supporters, based on the perceived notion that he was sent by Barack Obama.
It was amazing to me the way black folks bought into his candidacy. “He’s the President’s boy. He’s gonna take care of us.” Those were just some of the lines folks used to defend their support of Rahm. Those same folks then ran out to the polls and voted for him. Sure he did some nice photo-ops standing at the el platform.
Big deal that he was always out on 95th Street. What about the West Side? He was a huge M.I.A figure for us.
Now that he’s in office and can do what he wants, people like my friend, who were once his biggest supporters, are disappointed. My friend is pissed that Rahm didn’t put anyone from the black West Side on the TIF committee even though we send millions downtown from those districts. She also is upset that several West Side black aldermen caved in to Rahm’s directives for the ward remap. That map is going to have those black aldermen slashing and dicing each other’s wards while Hispanics are being given carte blanche even though their numbers include a substantial percentage who are not citizens and cannot vote.
Plus anyone who has done any kind of research on Rahm knows that when he first went to Washington as part of the Obama team, he was told that he would have to meet with the Black Caucus. His response? “F* the Black Caucus.” So if he had no problem throwing that word around about the folks in Congress, why are we shocked that he feels free to use it at will?
I haven’t seen many people comment on the fact that during a meeting about the Chicago Public Schools, Mayor Rahm demonstrated his lack of oratory skills. His own children have been enrolled in the University of Chicago’s Lab School. So while making decisions that affect the educational opportunities for the average child, his own children are safely ensconced in an environment where if the F* bomb was dropped, that teacher would be fired yesterday.
Every citizen in the city of Chicago should be irate with the lack of professionalism the mayor displayed in his meeting with Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union. He should apologize not only to Ms. Lewis but to the hundreds of thousands of public school kids over whom he is in charge. Those students are subject to a code of conduct, and had they behaved as he did, they would have paid a price. Dropping the F* bomb could be described as using profane language, bullying, or even sexual harassment if the statement was taken in the literal sense.