Thursday, February 15, 2018

J.B. Pritzker is (not) a racist

     For a number of years I wrote for the Chicago Reader, both the BobWatch and the True Books columns, and occasional columns and features. Then for a number of years I didn't, for the simple reason they weren't interested in my writing for them. Now my old pal, Mark Konkol, is editor. He asked me if I would write on this topic, and I said, "Sure." It's good to be back in the Reader. 

     Do you remember the word Bobby Rush used to describe anyone who might question the selection of toothless political hack Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant senatorial seat?
     Think back. Almost a decade ago. December 2008.
     Rod Blagojevich was out on parole, having already so badly mangled the deliberation process that he was muscled out of his Ravenswood home in handcuffs by the FBI. Still, he insisted on appointing a senator, as his final obscene gesture to the state he'd betrayed.
     Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity cringed away from the poisoned chalice Blago was proffering with both hands.
     But the septuagenarian Burris, who had space on his pharaonic tomb to list another accomplishment, grabbed it eagerly.
     No? Don't remember? It was a long time ago.
     Rush, after thanking God that a black man had been made senator, urged anyone in the U.S. Senate who might oppose the former attorney general's appointment not to "lynch" the man.
     He went there. Easily. From long practice. Because really, the only reason a person would not want a 71-year-old undistinguished political functionary dropped into a seat in the United States Senate had to be racial hate.

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  1. I'd describe Emil Jones as a hack controlled by ComEd as he always did what they wanted, no matter how much the electric rates would go up.
    But calling Jesse Jackson a nightmare is far too mild, as he's a vicious anti-Semite! He went out of his way to attack Jews in the news media, just for reporting facts he didn't want the public to know.
    In a Life Magazine profile of him from years ago, Jackson told of working in the kitchen at a all white country club in North Carolina & "spitting into the food that was to be served to the guests." Most people believe that either he censored himself or Life bowdlerized the comment & that he meant that he put his own shit into the food!
    Then there was this line in Barbara Reynolds biography of him, where she repeated the crack, that the most dangerous place on Earth was to get between Jackson & a TV camera.

    1. Yeah, I mixed those two creeps up. Like father like son, although outwardly, Junior never appeared to be an anti-Semite like his rotten to the core father. I have no idea what he was like privately.

  2. You in the Reader is a good sign for local journalism.

    A minor point - the axe handle was Lester Maddox's shtick, not George Wallace's. (Wallace was only about as tall as an axe handle). In the 1970s after Maddox left office (governor of Georgia, then lieutenant governor under Jimmy Carter!) he had a shop in Underground Atlanta where he sold autographed axe handles and other political memorabilia, while not performing as a stand-up comedian.

    There are parallels between Maddox and Trump - both had campaign props (axe handle/MAGA hat), both ran as disaffected businessmen on a platform of anti-government populism and white supremacy (Maddox overt, Trump covert) and antagonism to a Democratic president, and both were unbelievably elected with a less-than-majority vote. FWIW, Maddox surprised many people by not being as bad a governor as they expected - not unlike our lowered expectations of what "being Presidential" means.

  3. Anyone who accuses Pritzker of being racist is falling right into Rauner's trap. What has Rauner ever done for black people, besides mouth pious cliches about how "school choice" will save black kids from "failing public schools"? Rauner is just following the typical conservative political strategy of divide and conquer. Set one set of Americans against another and maybe you'll end up on the top of the pile.

    I notice that he's now running attack ads against Jeanne Ives that try to link her to history's greatest monster, Mike Madigan. I saw the ad at the gym and the sound was off, so I don't know exactly how he's trying to pull that off, but it doesn't matter what variety of bullshit he's peddling. The point is that of course he couldn't go after her for her loathsome strategy of demonizing transsexuals, women who want abortions and "illegals," because she's just doing what he and pretty much all Republicans do to try to get to 50% + 1.

  4. All those fuzzy black and white ads said to be from FBI wiretaps have made up my mind for me. I'm never going to vote for Rod Blagojavich for Governor.


  5. You are spot on, NS.

  6. It appears from this that JBP isn't for to be governor. Apart from the racism issue, no intelligent person who was paying attention would have discussed anything with Blago over the phone in November 2008; it wasn't much of a secret that the US Attorney was after him by then. Anyone dumb enough to do so deserves whatever he gets.


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