No way, replied one patron of Carter's Barbershop in North Lawndale. The black community can't even unite behind one candidate, so how are we going to unite with Latinos too? he said.
Everyone laughed, but the joke rang true this week when both state Sen. James Meeks and Congressman Danny Davis announced they were running for mayor, just a week after Chicago's black caucus chose Davis as the city's black "consensus candidate."
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Meeks wasn't satisfied with the choice, apparently. As candidates lined up today to file their petitions for mayor, there didn't seem to be a consensus candidate for any racial group as of yet.
Both Meeks and Davis said they'd unite Chicago behind them. Meeks said he wouldn't allow bickering to stop him from solving the city's problems. He'd be, "a leader who can't take Chicago Public Schools' blaming the teachers union ... whites blaming African Americans and
African Americans blaming Hispanics ... the South Side blaming the West
Side ... Cubs fans blaming White Sox fans."
Similarly, City Clerk Miguel del Valle and pentecostal pastor Wilfredo de Jesus might divide the Latino vote. Maybe even Gery Chico, whose dad is Mexican American. I've no doubt all three will proclaim they're the obvious choice for Latinos. (As an aside, Chico even tried to get himself in the running to be the black caucus' choice.)
And the white consensus candidate?
Barbershop listener @anybodybutrahm chimed in on Twitter saying: "Rahm, Daley & The Machine effectively made Rahm the white 'consensus candidate,' they just didn't publicly acknowledge it."
That one also got a laugh from the entire room at Carter's Barbershop. But if white voters keep with the pattern of rarely casting ballots for a candidate that isn't of their own race, it might not be so funny for any minority candidate who wants to win any election in Chicago.