There’s an old story out of Aesop’s Fables that tells about a man who finds a snake half frozen in the cold, takes it home, warms it by the fire holding the snake close to his chest and neck. When the snake is finally warmed and able to move, it promptly bites the man.
The man, as he lies dying asks the snake why he did it, and the snake replies, “You knew I was a snake when you took me in!” That is the story that best describes our current mayor. His reputation was putrid prior to becoming mayor. But many were willing to overlook it as he had Obama’s endorsement. Well, just like black folks are waiting for Obama to do something for us in his second and last term in office (don’t hold your breath on that one), I am not willing to allow a frozen and wounded mayor a second term in office to warm up and strike the fatal blow.
By now everyone has seen the “kinder and gentler” Rahm Emanuel commercial. I bravely watched the entire commercial, and the first thing I noticed was that it wasn’t filmed in one continuous take. The mayor is still harping on full-day kindergarten as his major accomplishment. With more and more children in daycare — which no longer is just babysitting — what exactly is full-day kindergarten accomplishing for children who have been in daycare their entire lives? I’d rather he talk about each school having a library, or returning music and art to the curriculum. And don’t forget for every school he closed, charter schools are opening and siphoning off dollars while they prove to not do any better educating our children.
Over social media, certain black folks have already begun to back Rahm for re-election after previously supporting other candidates. One well-known community activist, Bamani Obadele, has proclaimed that a weakened Rahm will be kept in check by the re-elected city council. The idea that our aldercreatures will suddenly get a backbone against Rahm is hysterical.
No, I will not drink that Kool-Aid.
Rahm’s reelection war chest is still filled with the kind of money that scare every black incumbent and keeps them from voting against him when it really matters. Another political strategist, Maze Jackson, professes that if we get a Hispanic mayor, then it will be over for black folks to ever occupy city hall again.
I don’t buy that either. I’d rather take my chances on Mayor Chuy with limited funds, whom we all know the city council won’t be afraid of and will hold his feet to the fire as opposed to a mayor who is getting money from outsiders by the bucketful and it’s not because of his warm and fuzzy newfound personality.
So I remain in the Chuy Garcia camp. And let me put a different reason on the table: If Chuy wins the election, yes, it will empower the Hispanic community. With that empowerment, they can do in certain politicians whose base of power has been dependent on keeping their majority Hispanic constituency happy even though those politicians aren’t Hispanic — specifically Ed Burke and Mike Madigan. Their ward/district is predominantly Hispanic. For years, they have kept Hispanic opponents off the ballot using tactics that scared them from even trying. But with Mayor Chuy in office, I can see those two wearing a major-sized bull’s eye.
I’m sure Governor Rauner would gladly put some money into a challengers pot to defeat Madigan. We could kiss Madigan goodbye in 2016 while at the same time taking the ward committeemanship away from Ed Burke. Seeing the writing on the wall, Burke might just go ahead and retire as opposed to being defeated in the 2019 aldermanic election.
With those two old power brokers gone, a lot of what has held black folks back would leave with them.