What Can D.C. Learn from Chicago?
In December, 2013, something happened in Chicago that I wish would take hold in black communities across the country. Before commenting on what took place, I’d like to share a disclaimer, as I am not trying to demonize people who are passionate about alleviating poverty. Many anti-poverty advocates are good, sincere people who notice the damage caused by both major political parties. However, I must reiterate that the Democratic Party has been hijacked by leftist radicals. The party no longer stands for working people; it has been taken over by radical feminists, extremist gays and corrupt black leadership with no respect for dialogue and debate.
Right now, Democrats are no different than Republicans: both parties are patronizing and controlled by elites. The political parties controlling the agenda aren’t concerned about the peoples’ welfare. They are solely concerned that their administration not be linked to scandal. The Democratic Party must pivot toward the center, because if they do not change course the country will be headed toward another Reagan Revolution.
Economic development and profits, not social responsibility, is the Democratic Party’s top priority. The Democratic Party has selected a group of civil rights organizations and “name brand” black leaders such as Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, and the Congressional Black Caucus, to name a few, to be the spokesmen of the black underclass. Their main purpose is to maintain solidarity among the black community in order to make sure no one among the ranks dissents from the movement. Anyone who disagrees or criticizes the party platform is cut off from the black community and their name is slandered.
No group has been more negatively impacted by liberal policies than African Americans, but some African Americans have begun to question their alignment with the Democratic Party. This is exemplified by what happened recently in Chicago.
In the summer of 2013, Mayor Rahm Emanuel closed 49 schools in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods according to a June 20th, 2013 article in Truthout by David Bacon. This was an unpopular move for the black community because the children who attended these schools were primarily black and Latino. Because of discontent over the closure of these schools and other concerns such as growing unemployment, Mayor Emanuel asked Al Sharpton and a group of black aldermen to host a town hall meeting to discuss gun violence. In my opinion, this meeting was orchestrated to take attention away from the closure of the schools.
The mayor may have thought these pastors and aldermen could divert the crowd with a discussion on gun control, but the gun control panel was caught off guard when the audience, which was composed primarily of local residents in the community, did not focus their frustration on whites and Republicans (the traditional narrative), but instead directed their anger towards President Obama and the Democratic Party. This was a surprise, because in 2008 and 2012 African Americans in Chicago put Barack Obama first, giving him an overwhelming majority of black votes. He, in turn, rewarded his hometown by sending Rahm Emanuel to run for mayor.
The citizens’ reward: according to a September 11th, 2012, post on Salon.com by Rick Perlstein, “Stand Against Rahm”, Emanuel has tried to break the teachers’ union; in addition, according to an article in Black Youth Project published on January 21st, 2014, 92 percent of black teenagers are unemployed and Chicago surpassed New York as the nation’s number one killing field, as stated in a September 18, 2013 Washington Post online article, “FBI: Chicago passes New York as murder capital of U.S.” by Reid Wilson. An 82-year-old man said it best in a YouTube video entitled “Sharpton’s Town Hall Erupts: People Want Jobs Not Gun Control.” The old man said with quiet rage, “We need to throw our own Tea Party and get rid of some of these Democratic politicians.” For me, it was exciting to see in this video the number of minorities beginning to break away from left-wing ideologies and return to their self-reliant roots.
It appears that discontent with Democratic leadership, which is seen clearly in the above-mentioned Youtube video and illustrated by what is going on in Chicago, may catch on in urban areas across the country, as black citizens realize they have consistently given Democrats their votes and gotten nothing in return. I wonder whether African Americans in D.C. will follow the lead of Chicago and consider throwing out as many Democrats as they can from this city. Many of us are disgusted by the funding scandals in the Gray administration involving contributions from Jeffrey E. Thompson, as well as Kwame Brown’s self-aggrandizement and other allegations of crony capitalism. My question is, will the black community defend and re-elect Vincent Gray as it did Marion Barry? Or will it put Mayor Gray and every Democratic city council member on the ballot out of office?
D.C. residents deserve better than what the Democratic Party is offering.