The Mayor Buckles. . .

The Mayor Buckles. . .
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The people were heard. A besieged Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired Police Chief Garry McCarthy. He was under pressure from all quarters – protestors, the business community, ministers, fellow politicians, the media, but most of all the people. There are many lessons to be learned here.

The mayor supported McCarthy until he couldn’t. Public pressure was too much. The mayor succumbs to pressure; we have seen it for the second time. The first was the April runoff for the mayor’s election. Trying to get the vote, Rahm said he would change, he would listen more. Really.

The protest march on Black Friday along the Magnificent Mile was effective. The stores were negatively impacted, reportedly losing 25 to 50 percent of revenue on the first day of the holiday shopping season. I am sure the business community’s calls to City Hall were well heard.

McCarthy is a sacrificial lamb, though his resignation is not unwarranted.

The crowd has been calling for the resignation of Anita Alvarez, the firing of McCarthy, and the impeachment or resignation of the mayor. The marching was successful. The protesters have won a round.

They will win another one when Alvarez leaves office shortly, either through her own resignation or from losing her bid for re-election as Cook County State’s Attorney in March of 2016.

***

Top Cop. . .

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Garry McCarthy

McCarty is a cop’s cop; obviously not the people’s cop, but a cop’s cop. He supported his men in blue even in the face of obvious wrongdoing. He lied in a press release on the killing of Laquan McDonald, saying that the young African-American male teenager had a knife and was lunging toward the policeman, Jason Van Dyke, when the video shows differently.

Cold-blooded murder was on the tape, without any shadow of a doubt. McCarthy acknowledged that he had seen the video the day after the incident in October of 2014, and yet he supported his officer and simply reduced him to a desk job with full pay. Van Dyke should have been dismissed and indicted for murder the same day McCarthy saw the tape. McCarthy was blind.

The mayor waited too long. A year – 13 months, actually, is too long. He should have used his heavy hand, his clout, to investigate. The case of McDonald was fumbled. The mayor awarded the family $5 million and got the City Council to vote with him to do it and none, so they say, have seen the tape. Is the public stupid?

The mayor should have looked at the tape to help his decision-making, but he said he didn’t watch it. Maybe the mayor acted in his own best interest to win the election with what appears to be a cover-up.

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel

If any of this information had come out at election time, during the April runoff election, we would be calling Chuy Garcia, Mayor. Instead, Rahm is mayor and a week after the runoff election, the family of Laquan, which had approached the mayor in February after the original election, gets okayed for a $5 million judgement in April.

Emanuel hired a cop to the top position of the Chicago Police Department whose people skills are lacking. His talk was constantly about what they did in New York. It seemed that sometimes he forgot he was in Chicago. He was destined for failure, as he did not return the calls of aldermen who were trying to work with him. This was fatal and disrespectful.

The mayor needs to regroup. His arrogance is troubling, but he looked very humbled and defensive in his press conference announcing McCarthy’s firing. I hope the McCarthy lesson will help Rahm to see the error of his ways. He is listening to the wrong people, but mostly he is not listening at all.

***

The People Have Spoken. . .

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The people have spoken. Downtown is not Chicago. The city is beautiful in some parts, but not all. People are afraid in their neighborhoods. The crime is out of control. On top of that, police murdering people in the streets in the fashion of Laquan McDonald’s execution is just not acceptable.

African-American males are under attack. The police can do something about it. The mayor has to acknowledge all of Chicago’s 77 communities. The mayor has to listen to African Americans, not the hand-chosen ones, but the community ones. All voices need to be heard and recognized.

The mayor’s attitude is preachy and plantation like. He summons folk to his office like he is not just the smartest guy in the room, but the only guy in the room. He threatens. He bullies. It doesn’t work.

There is a lot of intelligence out here in Chicago, a lot of wisdom in the community. I should hope the mayor would come out of his comfort zone.

Come to the neighborhoods without the aides and guards. Have dinner, play ball, sit and listen. Come to chat. Come to hear the people. Just come to visit.

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I should hope that the blue ribbon committees that are put together in the wake of Laquan McDonald include community folk – we must go beyond the exclusive and private University of Chicago club this time.

Most of all, I hope that an economic plan is put together for the South Side and West Side of Chicago that can build those communities. A plan to represent the small businesses, a plan to provide jobs and promote neighborhood economic development. I should hope contracts could be evenly distributed.

The mayor is on trial in the court of public opinion…and that court right now is all riled up. I hope the protesters have caught the mayor’s attention enough to listen to the people of the city that he represents.

Rosa Parks set on the front of the bus 60 years ago on December 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. The subsequent bus boycott killed Jim Crow. How ironic is the history of the day.

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