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August 12, 2012 1:01 am

As a Chicagoan, I’m Embarassed by Rahm Emanuel

avatar by Moshe Averick

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Mayor Rahm Emanuel, The Rahmfather

The Mayor of Chicago, Rahm “never let a crisis go to waste” Emanuel, has in recent weeks made it clear that perhaps he should have stayed in Congress where he could twist arms on behalf of the Democratic Party or in the White House where he could twist arms on behalf of fellow Chicagoan, Barack Obama. It’s not that “The Rahmfather” (as he has been dubbed by popular Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass), doesn’t have the opportunity to twist arms in Chicago; in fact, Chicago is the city where political arm-twisting has been elevated to an art form.

No, the problem is now that Emanuel is back in his hometown, he feels comfortable and relaxed enough to let his focus drift from those things he knows best (i.e., political arm-twisting), and has allowed himself to wander into areas where he is….well, not so developed; like waxing philosophical about any issue other than arm-twisting.

This is what Hizzoner had to say in a recent interview with Scott Pelley of CBS, regarding the recent spate of murders that has turned parts of the city, particularly the south side, into a combat zone:

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Pelley: When seven-year-old Heaven Sutton was killed last month, caught in the crossfire, you said “It’s not about crime, it’s about values.” What did you mean?

Emanuel: We’ve got two gangbangers, one standing next to a kid. Get away from that kid. Take your stuff away to the alley. Don’t touch the children of the city of Chicago. Don’t get near them. And it is about values. As I said then, Scott, who raised you? How were you raised? And I don’t buy this case where people say they don’t have values. They do have values. They have the wrong values. Don’t come near the kids — don’t touch them.

Chicago Tribune columnist, John Kass

The Rahmfather is really onto something here. He understands that young black men who join gangs that sell drugs, terrorize communities, murder rival gang members, and don’t care that innocent people die in the course of their shootouts, have the “wrong values.” So far, so good. It would seem then, that the obvious solution would be a comprehensive effort to make sure that these young black men are taught proper values. Here is where things get a little hazy. What exactly is Emanuel’s plan to teach them proper values? From the interview it seems that his plan to effect these revolutionary changes is by Mayoral fiat:

“Don’t touch the children of the city of Chicago. Get away from that kid. Don’t get near them… Don’t come near the kids — don’t touch them.”

Perhaps Emanuel will have the dangerous neighborhoods plastered with posters that feature him in a menacing pose with the boldly highlighted words: Don’t come near the kids, don’t touch them! So that the gangbangers really know he’s serious he could have police cars drive around the city playing recorded messages on their loudspeakers: Don’t touch the children of the City of Chicago! Even better, Emanuel could lead a march together with Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, and they could chant slogans together: Don’t touch the kids! Get away from that kid! It’s not a completely awful and ridiculous idea but I wouldn’t expect anything like that to happen unless we are close to the next mayoral election.

Of course, one thorny question remains: Is it reasonable to think that someone who has no problem selling dangerous drugs that destroy people’s lives, who has no compunction about gunning down people in cold blood in the middle of the street, and is actively involved in recruiting new “kids” into his gang that is involved in these activities, would actually pay much attention to anything that Rahm Emanuel has to say? In fact, I’m willing to bet that most of these young men have no idea who Rahm Emanuel is in the first place.

Interestingly enough, shortly after the CBS interview Mayor Emanuel was again given the opportunity to publicly offer his profound insights into the subject of “values.” This time he commented on the following statement by Chick-fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy:

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that … We want to do anything we possibly can to strengthen families. We are very much committed to that.”

Emanuel had this to say:

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values; they’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re going to be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect the Chicago values.

Chick-fil-A CEO, Dan Cathy

Please note that Emanuel did not say that you should reflect “proper values,” or “moral values,” but “Chicago values.“ What are “Chicago values” anyways? I guess it depends who you ask. We already know what the Chicago gangbangers have to say on this topic. Having grown up in Chicago myself, I happen to have a pretty good idea of what “Chicago values” are all about. The precinct captain of our neighborhood once came to our house to make sure we were registered to vote for the upcoming mayoral election. My father looked at him cynically and asked, “What’s the difference, this one’s a goniff and that one’s a goniff!” Without blinking an eye, the precinct captain replied, “You’re right, but the question is: Which goniff will be better for our neighborhood?” Now that’s Chicago values. Ahhh, Sweet Home Chicago!

We all know that practitioners of real Chicago values can often anticipate Federal investigations, FBI wiretaps, and jail time. This is what retiring Chicago FBI chief, Rob Grant had to say on the subject:

“Chicago is such a great place, such a great city, in spite of the corruption. But the way it’s done in Chicago, the Chicago Way, is offensive and illegal. And after all these years doing these prosecutions, behavior hasn’t modified significantly and won’t change, until people start holding public officials to a much higher standard.”

The painful irony, of course, is that the single biggest problem in that segment of the black community that is rife with gangs and gang-related violence, is that there are no fathers around. The nuclear family has disintegrated. The type of values that are needed most of all to stop the horrible violence on the Chicago’s south side are traditional family values; exactly the values that Dan Cathy was speaking about. But we all know that those are not Chicago values.

This picture does NOT reflect Chicago values

I urge Hizzoner, The Rahmfather, to stick to what he knows best: Chicago values. Leave moral values to those who understand them much better than  arm-twisting Chicago politicians.

Rabbi Moshe Averick is an orthodox rabbi, a regular columnist for the Algemeiner Journal, and author of Nonsense of a High Order: The Confused and Illusory World of the Atheist. It is available on Amazon.com and Kindle. Rabbi Averick can be reached via his website. If you wish to be informed when new articles appear, send an email to moe.david@hotmail.com with the email address and the word “Subscribe” in the subject line.

The opinions presented by Algemeiner bloggers are solely theirs and do not represent those of The Algemeiner, its publishers or editors. If you would like to share your views with a blog post on The Algemeiner, please be in touch through our Contact page.

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  • lolnope

    Lol, how does it feel to be such failures?

  • Tell it like it is; put the blame where it belongs: on the Democrat Political Party. There is nothing democratic about any Democrat leader. The Democrat Political Party has morphed into an instrument of poverty, oppression, and death. The Democrat enclaves of Detroit Michigan and Chicago Illinois are death camps; California & New York state are fiscal wrecks. Wherever the Democrat is in power there is poverty, oppression and death. It is time for reform. The only people who thrive in the Democrat Political Party are unionized bureaucrats who devise crooked rules and regulations that milk taxes. The taxes are used to hire more bureaucrats who write & enforce more rules to enslave those of us who are NOT bureaucrats. What Democrats practice now are the same practices Vladimir Lenin & Josef Stalin used against the Russian people. Lenin & Stalin lied and promised Russians a more prosperous life. What did the Russians get instead? Poverty, oppression and death. Repudiate the Democrat Political Party & defeat them overwhelmingly on November 6th 2012. Democrats are enemies of liberty, justice and prosperity for all.

    • stater of the obvious

      Mr Jordan, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

  • David

    The problem with your conclusion that “unless the family situation changes, there is a large segment of the black community that is doomed to live as a permanent underclass” is not that it is incorrect. it is absolutely correct. Mike Royko used to say the same thing ans he was correct.

    The problem is that there is no legal way to make it happen. How are people supposed to change when all they know is what they are brought up with? Individuals may be able to change, but not whole groups of people.

  • Paul Sternberg

    The greatest deterrents to African-American employment are the very high level of crime and the inability for poor familes to accumulate capital, either due to long-term welfare support or Social Security. The crime rate is directly tied to the increased rate of single-motherhood and lack of intact two-parent families. Both Dr. Walter WillIams and Dr. Thomas Sowell have written and talked extensively on this, as has Dr. Bill Cosby.

    Most new immigrant groups have pooled their capital to buy, create and build family businesses that employ family members while training them in business skills and fitting into the culture. There has been a general decline In black-owned neighborhood business, again related to the decline in two-parent working households. For those working at low wages, Social Security deprives them of a significant percentage of income and inheritable capital, particularly due to male life expectancies close to the Social Security retirement age.

    Social distinction and government interference In business development are far more responsible than any perceived racial favoritism. Fix the social/crime problems and many other imbalances disappear. As noted, there is commerce in the poor community, but it is illicit, underground, and non-productive. Families promote a foundation of productive work.

  • leon

    Corrected version: Gee, I agree with you on Mayor Emmanuel, but frankly you offered zilch as a solution. To say that there are no fathers is really to state only a symptom of the problem. There is one that none of you white folks, oh, excise me, Jewish rabbis never talk about and that is jobs. First, there is a large segment of the African American community who are not in any job stats. Most participate in some illegal activity. You would be surprised how much can be made from selling loose cigarettes, cds, or dvds, not to mention drugs. On top of that, black unemployment has steadily and continuously been twice that of white unemployment since records were kept by race. It appears that twice as many blacks unemployed is a requirement of the US economy. Until something is done to change this, there is abdsolutely no point in talking about the violence. The US economy is the problem, and none of white folks bullshit reasoning is the actual cause. This stat has remained the same given educational improvements, changes in how blacks and whites relate to each other, and changes in Civil Rights and EEOC laws. Nothing has changed it. The American economy has always been only prosperous because of the lack of real employment in the African American and other minority communities. American economic prosperity has always been a lie. You tell us we are not willing to work, we’re lazy, but the simple fact of the matter is the lack of employment for blacks and other minorities has always been the basic thread that has kept the American economy healthy and prosperous.

    • Moshe Averick

      Leon,

      I’m not an economist so I do not offer solutions about how to increase employment in the United States. The first thing, however, is to not that President Obama has clearly failed in his attempts to create jobs, therefore it is time to try someone else. But that is beside the point.

      There is no question, though, that children who grow up with two parents in a stable home, even if they are poor, have a quantum leap difference in their chances of having a decent future. That is my point. From 1964 to 1993 violent crime quadrupled in this country. Although crime has come down it is still per capita double what it was in 1964. The biggest change in those years was in the centrality of the family and traditional family values. It has been pointed out by liberals and conservatives alike, that when you factor out children who grow up in single mother homes (i.e. out of wedlock children) the differences between white and black crime rates disappear.

      I honestly don’t know what to do about unemployment in the black community but unless the family situation changes, there is a large segment of the black community that is doomed to live as a permanent underclass. The same goes for those segments of the white community that have skyrocketing rates of out of wedlock children.

      • More jobs will be created in America, i.e., business will expand, to the extent that government backs off and deregulates. Basically, less government regulation will mean more jobs. The optimum situation would be: no government regulation of business, no welfare state, and no public schools, i.e., laissez-faire capitalism.

        Whether homes have two parents or one is none of the government’s business. The government should neither subsidize nor penalize families in any way. Let people run their own lives, instead of having politicians try to do it.

      • Wow, I forgot to mention that the government needs to cut taxes — and then cut them some more.

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