Obama leans in and hugs Emanuel at the Pullman Library

Black and proud and yet disappointed  I stand witness to what I think is a failure to communicate.  In 2011 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel won every majority black ward in the city because he was President Obama’s boy.  And then he was in office and things seemed to go terribly wrong.  Surely he inherited much of what was headed  south and  had much to clean up just like Obama. Problem is that people don’t want to hear that. They want to be pacified just like babies, with substantial change, something tangible that they can hold on to.
It can be a kind gesture, a visit to their home, a compassionate display of empathy, turkeys to the homeless on Thanksgiving or Christmas or more relevant – job training opportunities, minimum wage increase, removal of traffic cameras, need I go on?
Okay that’s fair. I get it but what disturbs me about this race is how this week, a battalion of Black leaders rallied to the side of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s  liberal opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, literally the thorn in his side. The way I see it, they have gathered together  more against Rahm than for  Garcia. Truthfully speaking what has Garcia done in behalf of the Black community over  the years? What’s his track record and why do they put so much trust on one who has so little to bring to the table?
I’ve listened to his platform and it seems a lot to do with nothing.   He’s yet to hammer out a potential plan regarding the budget when asked  and answers with an around the world answer alluding to the intention of  using creative financing.‘ This is unfortunate because  this is the best  time ever to actually sit down with the Mayor and talk demands.  The political power lies in relationships, connections, who you know and what you know and what who you know knows and thinks about you.   From where I stand politicians no matter who, will get splashed with mud, it’s part of the game like football, you get dirty. But some never wash of the mud, in fact they like getting dirty and they stay there.  These are the corrupt politicians who care more about personal opportunities and power  than they do about the well being of the people or the city, state and country. They are not to be trusted.
It would have been a better choice to go with the incumbent  who sits at  the seat of power and can actually do more for us and will be truly grateful for our support because of the  challenges he faces in this campaign for a second term. It’s an opportunity to broker deals from a position of power. Instead  the race between Emanuel and Garcia, which  culminates April 7  at the end of the runoff election, has divided African Americans.
Sadly nothing has changed. The battle for Black voters, has always been something to chase  especially in Chicago because our  numbers are strong here, strong enough to have galvanized the Black community to vote  Harold Washington  into office twice. So our vote does matter.  We count. We should make it count.  Even though the Mayor did not win, it really wasn’t as close as rumor has it. Rahm lost because the white constituency  did not go to the polls. They will vote April 7.
But back to my people who should have learned from the recent gubernatorial  race. The decision of a few Blacks to go Republican because they wanted to send a message to the Democratic party that our vote was not guaranteed  made a point, though they did not deliver the Black vote to Rauner they did wake up some Black folk. My question to the Rauner men now is, “So how’s it working for your people?’  It may be working for them but for the communities they claim to represent and be concerned about  are just beginning to feel the wrath of Rauner’s reign.
So why would they go left when right is clear as day.  I respect that individuals each and everyone of us deserve the right to choose.   Their choice could decide the outcome of the race, according to close watchers. I’m not mad at them for attempting to demonstrate independent thinking.  Garcia  is Democratic and therefore should he win could very well warrant the Democratic party’s support.
“What the mayor needs to get across the finish line is to pick up new voters. And I think the most promising sector of the electorate is the African American vote,” said Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who supports Emanuel.
Both candidates hold unique advantages when it comes to black voters. Both also face distinct hurdles.
Emanuel has the support of President Obama, a beloved figure among African Americans in the city where he launched his political career. What’s questionable obviously is, is that enough?  It’s not clear Obama’s backing will be enough to overcome Black voters’ concerns about crime, education and the economy under Emanuel’s watch otherwise we would not be  at this juncture.
What’s needed is a “Come to Jesus meeting, ” as the old Black folk used to say. Many Blacks  complain about the school closings and yet  they never sought to find out why they were closed.  The closings were legitimate. Most were run down,  over run by rodents-rats and roaches, dilapidated infrastructure, non-functional toilets making for poor sanitation, poor heating systems, leaking roofs etc. But more importantly is  that because they were in the socially disadvantaged Black communities, they had the worse teachers who could not be fired because they’re protected by the Chicago Teachers Union. They performed poorly therefore their students performance reflected their failure to teach them. The parents are uneducated less likely to complain.  I spoke with a parent of children who attended one of the schools that closed. She said, “The real shame is that none of the teachers who  taught at  her child’s school complained about the poor facilities.  Why because  they didn’t want to rock the boat. So it was a few of the parents who complained about the facility.” She also commented that obviously the people up in arms now had no children in attendance at one of the schools that needed to be closed. The CTU, played the people too, they are not innocent in the game of politics. They fueled the fire that spurned the people on.
So what are we doing? We’re caught up in the sound bites like everyone else, buying into the hype. So many have jumped on the bandwagon  voicing what some uninformed people  are spouting out about.  You better check Garcia’s voting record. Check his voting behavior where  it could make a difference for  Blacks, did  he?
Jesus Chuy Garcia and Emil Jones
Why is he deserving of our vote and what is he willing to garner? Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, has seized an opportunity that is far greater to his benefit than it is ours. He is feeding into the emotional response  to property, crime and lack of choices  of Black people and so  Black community leaders headlined by the Rev. Jesse Jackson,  past Illinois Senate president Emil Jones and businessman Willie Wilson, have given their support. Wilson the third-place finisher in the initial round of balloting has chosen to direct his constituency toward Garcia.  Still there are questions about the complexity between Blacks and Hispanics. It  could ultimately be the straw that breaks the camel’s back and ruin Garcia’s finish in the race.
According to  a Chicago Tribune survey  Emanuel was leading 51 percent to 37 percent overall, with 11 percent undecided. It also showed the mayor leading among African American voters, 52 percent to 31 percent, with 15 percent undecided.
Emanuel’s supporters send the message that he is   a leader willing to make tough decisions to turn the city around. Garcia’s backers said he offers a change of direction for a city in desperate need of a shake-up.
Wilson who lead his campaign on the note that he would make sure that all Chicago citizens were  included  said, “Chuy Garcia is the only candidate in this race we can trust to put the needs of Chicago communities first,”  in a statement announcing his endorsement of Garcia.
That may be true, but I dare say, “It’s not enough.

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