Fifty years of executions.

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Last evening’s conversation between reporter Carol Marin and Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Chicago Tonight left me nearly (but never totally) speechless.

Preckwinkle was an alderman for twenty years before she ran to replace the (surprise!) corrupt Todd Stroger. Todd is the son of the late (surprise!) corrupt Cook County Board President John Stroger, who died in office. In Chicago and Cook County we have more inherited thrones than the British House of Lords.

There were two things that struck me about this interview.

Carol Marin has been pretty good on digging into stories on bad cops.

But last night she seemed hung up on asking the African American County Board President about the failure of Chicago’s Black political leadership, as if the Mayor, the police Superintendent, the State’s Attorney and a majority of the City Council were African American.

This line of reasoning reminds me of how some in the media blamed Black voters for the re-election of Rahm Emanuel when the vote total of four lakefront white wards easily provided the margin of victory.

As if political and economic power in this city isn’t wealthy white power.

And then there was this:

“I have lived in Chicago for fifty years and I have always believed that the Chicago police could execute Black and Brown people without consequences,” said the President of the Cook County Board.

Marin simply proceeded to another question.

Huh?

I turned to Anne. “Did she just say that?”

I hit the stop button and rew0und the DVR. I know. I didn’t really rewind the DVR. It is digital. But I still call it that.

Preckwinkle said it again. And also said that in 20 years on the City Council she never voted against a settlement in a police abuse case.

It is a rare admission by a Chicago elected official. Plus it was said with little emotion by Preckwinkle, until she sort of stuttered on the word, “execution”.

Marin and Preckwinkle went on to talk about the culture of silence in the Chicago Police Department.

Fifty years.

They never discussed the culture of silence among Chicago’s elected officials.

6 thoughts on “Fifty years of executions.

  1. “…when the vote total of four lakefront white wards easily provided the margin of victory.”

    Well, yes, but. But it’s a given that lakefront white wards are going to vote overwhelmingly for Rahm – they know where their bread is buttered and it’s not going to change. If people want change, it’s going to have to come from the people who would benefit from change – the people in the poorer and less white wards. The heavily Latino wards voted overwhelmingly for Garcia. The heavily black wards, however, despite having their schools, mental health clinics and libraries closed, still voted for Rahm. Granted, not as strongly as the wealthy white wards, but still. Garcia was well within reasonable distance of beating Rahm if only a few more people who have suffered under Rahm had voted for Garcia. But we can’t talk about that because rich white people vote for Rahm?

    • Thinking back over past comments it doesn’t appear anyone has stopped you from talking about anything you wanted to talk about. Let me point out that if every African American ward had gone for Garcia, Rahm still would have been elected by the margin he received in the white wards.

  2. At least the House of Lords has been authentically reformed. It is mainly life peers. Obviously the old House of Lords moved to Chicago long ago. Your work is a great service to every teacher and retired teacher in this state. Than you.

  3. Yeah!  I caught that as well!  I even listened to it again later to be sure that I had heard it. Wow !  I certainly admire the intestinal fortitude of both of those women.  They knew exactly what they were going to say.For fifty years!!  What a code of silence! I certainly hope either woman doesn’t need  to call 911 any time soon.Mary

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