In the MIX: #Metoo Hits Home, The Obamas Brings Out Heavyhitters

As we feel the winter cold creep upon us, most of us are reaching back into our closets and grabbing what clothing is going to keep us warm and, yes, looking fabulous.
Meanwhile, the #Metoo testimonies continue to expose more influential and high-profile men with a familiar face on the home front. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. has become one of the latest ones being accused of touching journalist Danielle Young in an allegedly suggestive manner. According to Young, the 76-year-old Civil Rights legend and founder of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, was a little too “touchy,” she writes in an article for The Root. She recalls, “As I walked within arm’s reach of him, Jackson reached out a hand and grabbed my thigh, saying, “I like all of that right there!” and gave my thigh a tight squeeze. I was shocked, to say the least. Even though Jackson had had his hand reached out, I had no idea that he would touch me in a sexual way. I did what most women in an uncomfortable position do: I giggled.”

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr.

A representative for Jackson released a short statement on his behalf: “Although Rev. Jackson does not recall the meeting three years ago, he profoundly and sincerely regrets any pain Ms. Young may have experienced.”
Unfortunately, similar stories shared by other professional women among men of Rev. Jackson’s stature will be brought up because this behavior is more common than taking a sip of wine.
The General Assembly has not filled the vacant spot of Inspector General for nearly three years, while 27 complaints of sexual harassment have sat there, according to Sen. Karen McConnaughay. Senator Ira Silverstein resigned last week from his role after a female lobbyist testified about his ongoing and unwelcomed advances. Oh… and this is just the tip of the “house of cards.” Yep…let’s see how that proposed sexual harassment hotline works out.
Added: The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation requiring sexual harassment training (SB402) and extension of the statute of limitations to investigate claims by the Legislative Inspector General office.
Gov. Rauner released a statement regarding the new passage:

“Sexual harassment in any form or any place is unacceptable. Our office has a code of conduct that strives for a harassment-free workplace where people can work and succeed without intimidation or repercussion. It is a code we enforce and if problems arise, we provide a clear path of reporting to an independent inspector general,” the statement read. “The General Assembly has finally moved to protect its members and staff and end the culture. It is a step in the right direction.”

Yes, as women we have to endure the typical line of “My wife and I have an ‘open’ relationship.” Really? Well, let us “open” the door so you can return to her and your kids. Is this a way for men to act– as if a woman wants to sleep with them? This behavior is not at a club or on a street corner—this is coming from “grown ass” men who feel entitled because of their position, or social or financial standing.
Why have people waited so long to come out the woodwork with their stories? Because all it takes is one individual to have the courage to stand up and let the “cards fall where they lay.” There would be no Rosa Parks without the social activism of Ida B. Wells and there would be no Ida B. Wells without the strength and fearlessness of Harriett Tubman.
As much as the Black community upholds our women as the backbone of our households—what are we teaching our young girls when we ignore bad behavior from our men or men in general? The suggestive talk, the longer than usual back rubs, and passive aggressive punishment when we don’t give in. Men should be our protectors, not our aggressors, but instead we are their protectors—sometimes protecting them from accountability.
Aaron Goldstein, a Democratic candidate running for Illinois Attorney General, released a statement regarding his disappointment for the Cook County Democratic Party’s decision in not endorsing him, but he also lashed out about gender discrimination.
He noticed, “After each candidate spoke to the Party, there was an opportunity for the Committeemen to ask questions. There are two women in the race, Sharon Fairley and Nancy Rotering. Only the women were asked if they would drop out of the race if they were not endorsed.” He points out that 84 percent of the Cook County Democratic Party are men.
Although the party has endorsed Senator Kwame Raoul as their choice for Illinois Attorney General—it still sparks questions on how tough females have it on every level in government. It would be interesting to hear Lisa Madigan’s viewpoint on such a heated topic of discussion. Not only has she maintained her seat as AG for the past 14 years, she has had to prove her ability to carry out the office without the shadow of Mike Madigan looming over her.

Michelle Obama and Chance the Rapper share a moment at the concert. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

Actress/writer Lena Waithe greets concert goers.

Nas surprises fans at the concert. PHOTO: Mary L. Datcher

Kudos to the Obama Foundation for producing an informative two-day summit last week at the new Marriott Marquis adjacent from the Wintrust Arena. Although media was restricted to certain events throughout the program—I was able to meet some really cool people in attendance. Shout out to Chance the Rapper for curating the concert that closed out the summit with awesome performances by Andra Day, Gloria Estefan, Nas, Brandi Carlile, The National, Emmy award-winning writers Aziz Ansari along with Chicagoan Lena Waithe. I was very impressed by Waithe who attended both days of the summit and took time out to talk to everyone who approached her. Her approachability was infectious and her pride for her hometown is equally so. We can’t wait for the debut of the Showtime series “The Chi,” executive produced by Waithe and Common.
Sign of the Times
Growing up in Chicago, as a club kid who loved partying at underground House music parties—the South Loop was often our afterhours playground. From Sauers, the new Music Box, The Clique, Tiki Room, Chic Ricks and in the last few years the defunct Shrine nightclub. It’s not surprising to us at the area’s incredible real estate boom from the McCormick Place convention center’s increased expo traffic, the additional hotels and the Wintrust Arena—home of DePaul’s and the WNBA basketball teams.
It would be great additional revenue streams leading to the local businesses around West of Michigan Ave. and South of Cermak Rd. The City of Chicago has posted special event “no parking” signs on these major streets when there is an event or game at the Wintrust and also Soldier Field. The sign also says, “check venue website for schedule.” This means no one can park on the street two hours before a game or concert and one hour afterwards. The restriction would give customers an option to request a guest pass from business owners or residents who live in the vicinity or  to park a few blocks over at State Street.
The restricted parking is a move to curtail event goers from taking up all the street parking from customers and residents around the venue. Let’s hope it works!
Birthday Shout-Outs
Scorpios continue to spread their love. Happy Belated birthday to photographer Louis Byrd on Nov. 6 and celebrity make-up artist Marcus Geeter on Nov. 7. A big House music hug to four-time Grammy nominated remixer Steve ‘Silk’ Hurley who celebrates Nov. 9.
Burrell Communication’s marketing manager Dave Jackson; Detroit’s favorite DJ Earl ‘Mixxin’ McKinney on Nov. 10. Chicago’s own chief of House music David Risque; Hitt Men DJs co-founder Kaspa Smith; Aruba Tommy Reginald Bennett and DJ Jaytoo brings the noise Nov. 11.
Edna B. McDowell and George McDowell

In Memoriam
Our prayers and condolences goes out to Barbara ‘Bam’ McDowell, who lost her father George McDowell, Jr.  Bam is highly regarded as one of the music industry’s own and currently serves as the music director for both WPWX-Power 92 and WSRB-Soul 1063 in Hammond, In.
Mr. McDowell passed away on Oct. 31 at 93. He is survived by his daughters Barbara A. McDowell and Gladys Johnson of Arkansas. Like so many Black Southerners, George McDowell relocated to Chicago from Marianna, Ark., where he began a fresh start. He worked for several years as a truck driver and had been retired for nearly 40 years. A South Side resident, he worked part-time as a janitor at Artis Lounge—the familiar and friendly South Side pub– before he officially retired several years ago.
Homegoing services will be held Thursday, November 9th, 2017 at Evans Funeral Home at 6451 S Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60636 The wake: 10-11 a.m. and services held from 11 a.m.-12pm.
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