Rahm just gave us white folks the wink.
Some pollyannas probably thought we could get through a Chicago election without the wink.
You can always count on the wink when the polls show a dead heat.
And the last polling of the Chicago race for mayor shows a dead heat.
Bill Clinton had his wink. They called it his Sister Souljah Moment.
Ronald Reagan winked at us white folks when he began his presidential campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Some of you younger readers may not have been around for the first George Bush’s wink. It was named Willie Horton.
And I always loved Richie Daley’s wink: “Chicago needs a wet mayor,” he later claimed he said.
“A wet mayor!” I kind of miss Richie.
But then I don’t.
Give Rahm some credit. He tried to avoid the wink. In the primary. He just answered every reporter’s question and every debate topic by saying, “I’m for the kids.”
Now that things have tightened up though, he has reverted to form.
There it is. That’s the wink.
Eddie Murphy did this classic bit on SNL called White Like Me. He put on white face make-up and discovered that when Black people weren’t around then white people gave everything away for free to each other.
The kernal of truth in that comedy bit is the wink.
“It’s a concern if we had one of the less-responsible people running against him,” Kirk said at the event in Chicago. “None of them could command the respect of the bond market. The collapse of Chicago debt — which already happened with Detroit — would soon follow if somebody who is very inexperienced replaced Rahm. …You’ve got to have a strong, capable leader and the people I’ve seen running against the mayor are not that leader.”
There it was.
And I don’t think for a moment this wasn’t part of the Rahm election strategy.
Kirk is a north shore Republican. Rahm is from up there too. They don’t use the other word when talking about people of color. At least not in public.
Up there they say things like the “less-responsible people” who are “very inexperienced” and will turn Chicago into “Detroit.”
But you know what he means. You know who he means.