Friday, April 10, 2015

We've already surpassed Detroit

We've already surpassed Detroit in boarded-up schools.
I half-jokingly floated this idea this morning on Twitter.

But I'm not really all that concerned about the site for the library. Yes, it belongs in Chicago but I assume that's already been decided one way or the other by the Obama's. I'm much more concerned now about the lack of CPS school libraries and librarians.

But I was actually trying to provoke some discussion about the 47 out of 50 closed Chicago schools that remain vacant, boarded-up blights on their communities and what's going to happen to them, now that the campaign is over. Rahm never was asked to speak to this.

Other stuff missing from the campaign chatter

The media lent itself to fear mongering and racial code-talk about Chicago turning into Detroit if Chuy Garcia had won the election. You could make a case that this play on racial fears was actually the basis for Rahm's successful campaign strategy. A new and improved Willie Horton strategy for those who are old enough to remember. After all, it proved effective in Gov. Rauner's campaign, as our late colleague Mark Anderson had pointed out.

But the Mayor was never asked about the incredible number of stop-and-frisks, mostly of young African-Americans by Supt. McCarthy's boys. There were 250,000 of these S&Fs in only 3 months last summer, far surpassing even New York -- let alone Detroit-- in that department. I don't attribute harassment on this grand scale simply to the racism of a few cops. Rather to policy coming right from the top of the system.

So no, I'm not raising the specter of the next four years under Rahm Emanuel turning the city into another Detroit. Rather I'm saying that in these and many other areas, he's already far surpassed Motown.


  1. Mike,
    As long as you're bringing up stuff that wasn't talked about during the campaign, how about this-- With 25 percent of its African-American residents jobless, Chicago has the highest black unemployment rate among the nation’s five most populous cities. (Chicago Reporter)

  2. From The Black Agenda Report:
    "Rahm Emanuel's victory wasn't a battle for the soul of the Democratic party, and it wasn't just about big money and big media. It was the victory of the black misleadership class, just about all Democrats in Chicago, who followed President Obama, Bobby Rush, the banksters, the privatizers and the rest to endorse Rahm over Chuy Garcia. Garcia could not explain why practically no black Democrat from the president down endorsed him, and Emanuel narrowly carried every majority black ward in Chicago."

  3. The trouble for Garcia was that turnout was still low and African-American super-majority wards, 30% of vote in Hispanic majority wards, and 65% of the vote in the wealthiest (and whitest) wards went to Emanuel. Garcia did very well considering that he did not begin his campaign until October, his campaign was under-funded, and his fiscal message was weak.

  4. jcg, What the hell is the "black misleadership class"? "All Democrats in Chicago"? Are you shittin' me? It seem like it includes everyone except a handful of "socialists". Does that sound like a winning strategy in a city election? Glad you weren't in charge. The Garcia campaign and especially the progressives running in the local neighborhood ward elections should be proud of what they accomplished.


Agree? Disagree? Let me hear from you.