Back in December two experienced black politicians dropped out of the mayoral race to avoid splitting the black vote. But black voters apparently aren’t going to deliver as a voting block for Carol Mosley Braun.Jesse White is not only our Secretary of State, but also a Democratic committeeman of the 27th Ward. The Alderman there is Walter Burnett had this to say about the drive to search for a Black consensus candidate:
Recent polls show black voters are split among all the candidates. This week Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and N’Digo publisher Hermene Hartman endorsed Rahm Emanuel, further undermining efforts to have blacks vote for a consensus candidate.
According to a recent ABC7 poll of 600 voters, 53 percent of black voters favored Emanuel.
Encouraging blacks to think along the same lines can be a challenging task for black leaders, said Audra Wilson, director of diversity and education outreach for Northwestern University Law School. Wilson said although blacks share a common history, they have a diversty of economic backgrounds and political views.
“It’s kind of two sides to the same coin,” Wilson said. “[African-Americans] don’t want to be taken for granted, but on the other hand we want people to recognize that we do diverge and we may see things differently, but there are issues that do affect our community much harder. We want to have an elected official who recognizes that and addresses those issues and talk to us about them.”
In past elections African-Americans support of black candidates has varied. In 1983, more than 90 percent of blacks voted for Harold Washington to make him the city’s first black mayor. In more recent mayoral elections, African-Americans have overwhelmingly supported Mayor Richard M. Daley, despite several black challengers.
So to sum up. Ald. Burnett wishes he had been able to open up the process to all mayoral contenders. Most on this committee wanted to only vet black candidates. Got it!
Why exactly are we talking about reparations in a mayoral campaign?
With less than two weeks to go before Election Day, the candidates for Chicago mayor veered from debating city issues to talking about whether they support reparations for descendants of slaves.The Chicago Defender, a major black newspaper sponsored this forum. I see that this was mostly pandering! And Miguel del Valle was on the right track on this although hey his solution is more federal funds for youth employment.
They all supported the notion of reparations but had different ideas about what reparations were. There were no details about where the money might come from.
The forum was sponsored by the Chicago Defender, the city's historic black newspaper.
Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel pointed out the city had serious budget problems to solve. Another candidate, Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, called it "offensive" for Emanuel to talk about budget deficits when talking about reparations.
City Clerk Miguel del Valle said he believes in economic development and wants a federally-funded youth employment program, something he considers a reparation.
Another note a few years ago a former Alderman, Dorothy Tillman was successful in passing a reparations ordinance. What it was designed to do was to prevent any business from getting a contract with the city if they had any links to slavery. It might have made reparations proponents happy, however, it did cost her a re-election bid 4 years ago. Her daughter is seeking to take back that city council seat her mother had lost.
Ever since the crack addict "crack" that Braun offered to Van Pelt-Watkins, this hasn't been a very good week at all for our former Senator has it?