by Pastor Gregory Seal Livingston
Mayor Rahm Emanuel never has to work another day in his life. It is well-known that the mayor is a millionaire many times over. Personally I don’t begrudge him his success. New York Mayor Bloomberg is exponentially wealthier. The difference, however, between Emanuel and Bloomberg is significant. No one reaches such financial heights without some killer shark in their DNA — that’s a given. Bloomberg is a Manhattan society guy. That’s all I’m going to say about him.
Mayor Emanuel is not. Rahm is not a people person. He has never tasted poverty nor does he have concern for poor people. He’s never felt what it’s like to be treated like a ‘somebody’ only during election time. He’s not even a Chicago guy. He should thank God every night for his Obama connection. My take? The Fifth Floor is just a stepping stone for a 2016 return to the White House. He doesn’t ‘need’ and has never been part of the blue-collar ethos of a city like Chicago. His lack of the common touch is literally killing Chicago.
Last summer when my Roseland community was bleeding in the streets grieving mothers sought help from City Hall but were summarily rebuffed. The Daleys may have been Pharaohs but at least they knew how to show sympathy to hurting persons in their time of bereavement.
The mayor promised us 92 additional police assigned to our area in a press conference. Our church’s neighborhood patrol hoped to meet these additional officers but we never saw them on our rounds. Fifth Floor hype? Probably.
From the White House to the Fifth Floor it is acknowledged that Rahm is a foul-mouthed political assassin. Rough and tumble politics in our city is of course nothing new. Who can forget the Vrdolyak 29? Assassins are hired hands who take orders from higher-ups. The script has been flipped in Chicago… the hit man is also the boss.
Political writer Rick Perlstein offers a powerful and trenchant look at the Emanuel administration in Rolling Stone Magazine — “Rahm Emanuel Has a Problem with Democracy.” One of the subjects Perlstein details is the mayor’s G8 fiasco at the expense of Chicago’s citizenry.
Chicago is in trouble. People of faith and goodwill are organizing NOW. It’s not even summer yet and our homicide rate is up 60 percent. Making Chicago look profitable by cutting health, education, social and public safety services is taxing the collective psyche of our town to the point that by July we will really be in the red… blood red.
Follow Rev. Gregory Seal Livingston on Twitter: @gslivingston.