Friday, March 26, 2021

Moral failure the go-to move for Chicago City Council

Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae: Council of Trent (Metropolitan Museum)

     I try not to contradict colleagues in print. However, something stuck out of Rummana Hussain’s otherwise flawless column about her experience with anti-Muslim bigotry in India, and I must speak.
     She expresses disappointment at the Chicago City Council for gutting its non-binding resolution decrying Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi fanning the flames of Islamophobia and scapegoating minorities to distract the country from its actual problems.
     No argument there. But one sentence caught my eye like a fishhook:
     “The City Council is expected next week to vote on the dramatically watered-down resolution, which will represent a failure of character.”
     A failure of character for her, or me, or your average person with a functioning moral sense. But for the Chicago City Council, it isn’t a failure of their character, but an expression of it. That’s who they are.
     Craven collapse when the moment calls for courage is a council specialty, their go-to move. They’ll take the teeth out of an ethics ordinance, if it applies to themselves, faster than a Skid Row dentist.
     There are so many examples, space is limited and I hope you’ll forgive me for quickstepping through a few.
     This is the same body that in 1971 refused to support a resolution against firebombing homes. A Black family had been burned out of its house on the Southwest Side, and Ald. William Cousins introduced a resolution disapproving of the practice. It lost, 34-13. The outcry was so great, Mayor Richard J. Daley later said, in a stage whisper, “You ARE against firebombing,” and the same resolution they had just reject passed unanimously.
     This is the body that couldn’t denounce police beating people in the street, where the Rules Committee buried a resolution condemning “brutal repression” of protesters during the 1968 Democratic National Convention. Heck, in the 1930s, the council couldn’t condemn Nazi Germany, while the city banned films drawing attention to the suffering of Jews there as anti-German propaganda.

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6 comments:

  1. In 1940, even after Britain was at war with Nazi Germany, the Chicago Film Censor Board banned the showing of Chaplin's "The Great Dictator", because they were afraid it would inflame the sensitivities of Chicago's German Americans!

    But seriously, there's no reason for the city council to be taking up international affairs, as they barely take up Chicago affairs!

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  2. Nonetheless, I bet that every single member of the City Council, every Bozo, every sleaze ball, every machine hack, every bagman, every facilitator, every patronage giver, is beloved in his/her own ward. Maybe they should just stop pretending to be legislators and proudly proclaim their real job.

    john

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    1. I don't know how ass kisser would look on a business card

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  3. Born in Chicago, raised in the suburbs.The City Council was always something of a joke to me, even as a kid. The mayor looked and sounded like a circus clown. They wouldn't deal with fire prevention laws and fire codes, not even after their chambers were burned out in 1957, including the microphones that Daley the Elder would shut off when he didn't like what he heard.

    It was only after the horror of the OLA fire the following year, and almost a hundred kids dead, before they did away with the grandfather clauses that allowed many Catholic schools to become firetraps. That's the Chicago way. After the barn burns, you look after the horses.

    Mike Royko called Chicago's aldermen "mopes." They were also grifters and thieves and dirtbags. Their shenanigans and chicanery were front-page news. I lived in the 49th Ward...the eastern half of Rogers Park...and I remember at least two aldermen from that neighborhood who went to prison for corruption and embezzlement and lesser crimes. People shrugged. Life went on. That was also the Chicago way.

    I left town almost thirty years ago, and for all I know, the Chicago way is still alive and well. But the City Council members are probably not as blatant and as audacious as they were back in the day, when aldermen had licenses to print money.

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    1. Of course they're just as blatant.
      31 aldermen have gone to prison for corruption, including two father & son teams, who were aldermen of the same wards.

      Just yesterday, the idiots who make up the City Council passed a law that will make demolition permits along the Bloomingdale Trail cost far more than demolition permits in the rest of the city.
      A few aldermen, sensible told the rest of them that this is obviously unconstitutional & violates the 14th Amendment, but the dummies that make up the rest of this fine group of fools, nincompoops & all around grifters, ignored that & passed it anyway.
      The only reason I can see for passing an obviously unconstitutional law, is that some favored private attorneys will get to represent the city in federal court & $500 an hour, costing us taxpayers a couple of million down the toilet!

      BTW, there is a push among the idiotic woke alderman, to change their titles to "alder"!
      State law requires them to be aldermen or alderwomen.
      As far as I know, an alder is a tree & not a human being!

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    2. Chicago is...still and always...Chicago.
      Silly me, for thinking otherwise.

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