KELLY: Fire Patch reporter Mark Konkol for calling Chicago's 19th ward racist

KELLY: Fire Patch reporter Mark Konkol for calling Chicago's 19th ward racist
According to Patch writer Mark Konkol, Chicago’s 19th ward is “racist” because it’s mostly white. Whereas, apparently, a predominantly black or Hispanic neighborhood is not racist because it is not “mostly white?” 

Is a community automatically racist if it happens to be predominantly white? Is each individual member of that community a racist if they are white?

If I claimed an entire neighborhood was “racist” based on its skin color, I’d be fired from my job. Shouldn’t be Konkol be held to the same standards?

Although it has Chicago, South Side, and Beverly-Mount Greenwood editions, Patch editors have refused to comment on Konkol and they have taken no public actions to condemn his racist remarks.

Konkol also claimed that Chicago is a very “segregated, very racist city.”  The city that elected Lori Lightfoot, Toni Preckwinkle, Kim Foxx, and other black women to elected positions of power is racist?

What in the heck is Konkol talking about?

Konkol is a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer who was fired as executive editor of the Chicago Reader last year after he approved racially charged cover art lampooning JB Pritzker. He should know better than to use the “r” word so recklessly.

Konkol’s insensitivity might be explained by his associations. He is pals with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and narrated the pro-Rahm CNN documentary series, “Chicagoland,” which some – myself included – have called an in-kind contribution to Emanuel’s  2015 re-election campaign.

I was on the Mancow Show on WLS-AM with Konkol last week and, as a Beverly native, took umbrage at his ugly two-day attack on my home in the 19th ward.  Then he dared me to come down to Pullman so he could “punch me in the face.” Even though he’s got me by at least 100 extra pounds, I accepted his dare. If he’s too chicken to fight, he should apologize to me and my friends in the 19th ward.

It’s a shame when liberal reporters resort to violence when they can’t win an argument or their worldview isn’t automatically accepted.

Konkol claims to know Chicago but he isn’t even a Chicago native. He’s originally from South Holland, which was 98% white when Konkol was growing up there. In the 1990s, South Holland was 85% white. By Konkol’s own criteria, his hometown was racist for decades.

The 19th ward is home to police officers, firemen, teachers, and civil servants. People that go to work every day and pay their taxes. They go to church. They care about their kids and the schools they go to.

I asked Konkol if there was something wrong with any of this? Konkol said, “It’s the white ward that works.”

Incidentally, the 19th ward is home to Beverly, Mount Greenwood, and Morgan Park, which is predominantly black – proving Konkol’s ignorance.

The 19th ward is a tight-knit community of families, many of whom have been there for generations. There is no reason for them to move and why should they?

What would be Konkol’s solution to make the 19th ward “less racist” and less “segregated?” Should white members of a community be forced to move in order to make a neighborhood less “racist?” Is that his solution?

No, Chicago’s 19th ward isn’t racist. Writer Mark Konkol is and the Patch should fire him unless he apologizes. The public should demand that he does.


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