Sifting through Senator Kirk’s “Chicago will become Detroit” threat

Last week Republican Senator Mark Kirk said that the citizens of Chicago should “re-elect Rahm or Chicago could end up like Detroit“. Now the on the surface the comment seems to just imply that for whatever reason Senator Kirk believes that Rahm Emanuel will be more able to help with our city’s finances than his challenger Chuy Garcia. It is odd that Senator Kirk believes this, because since Mayor Emanuel took over our city’s bond rating has dropped five times. Clearly the mayor is great at raising money for his own re-election campaign, but raising money to help the city….not so much.

So lets go a little deeper into Mark Kirk’s comments threatening that if Garcia is elected Chicago will become like Detroit. My dad grew up in Detroit and like many white Detroiters in the 1950’s and 1960’s his family left the city during the time of “white flight” and moved to the suburbs. This white flight was caused by real estate agents and banks using a lot of scare tactics to convince white home owners to sell their homes quickly and cheaply because the “blacks” were moving in. Then these same real estate agents and banks would jack up the housing costs and sell these same homes to black families. This tactic eventually was made illegal, but not before it radically altered the housing landscape in Detroit and elsewhere .

Detroit had it rough from the 1960’s onward and only until very recently are things slowly starting to turn around. There were riots in the 1960’s, job loss in the 1970’s by the Big 3 (Ford, Chrysler and GM) deciding to close factories to find cheaper work forces so they could maximize their profits, with no regard to the people they employed. Without a strong economic base the 1980’s-2000’s were tough. Detroit had issues with drugs, poverty, and crime. Crime became such an issue that every year the night before Halloween called Devil’s Night , vacant homes would be light on fire and burned. The 1980’s movie Robocop was based on Detroit crime.

To many white people living in suburban Detroit, the name Detroit became synonymous with all of these societal issues. Many white people became afraid to go into the city at all or only go to certain parts.

This is the issue with Sentator Kirk’s comment. On the surface it seems like a just falsely mistaken economic threat, but under the surface lies a much more sinister comment. One that implies that if Garcia someone who is Latino is elected, Chicago will have big challenges, because he isn’t qualified for such complex things as improving the economy.

Implications that certain races aren’t qualified enough date back to the Eugenics movement used in the U.S. to claim only certain groups of people (i.e. white) were intelligent enough for certain jobs or privileges. This idea of Eugenics also led to the creation of tests that we now call “standardized tests” that are supposed to measure intelligence. This Eugenics idea was so wildly popular that Hitler himself and Nazi Germany picked up on this idea.

Republican Senator Kirk’s fear tactics shouldn’t come as a shock either, because Republicans have a history of these type of comments. In 2012 there were enough racist comments said by prominent Republicans that a three minute video compilation was made.  These comments were said by people like Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman, Rick Santorium, Mitt Romney, and Tram Hudson. This video is titled “Sh*t Republicans Say About Black People” and you can watch it below.

In 2012 a group of TEAM Englewood High School poets coached by Missy Hughes and myself came across that video and were very upset about it. The students decided to write a poetic response to the Republicans in the video. They titled it “What Black Poets Say to Racist Republicans”. Have a look.

Clearly Senator Kirk and Governor Rauner want Rahm in office and will use fear tactics to try to make this happen.

But now Chicago it is our turn to have a response to Senator Kirk and this new round of outdated racist comments, like how the TEAM Englewood poets responded to the Republican comments in 2012.

But how do we go about this?

The answer is much simpler than a choreographed and researched poetic response. We do this by going to the voting both on April 7th and voting Rahm out!

Posted on Gapers Block

http://gapersblock.com/mechanics/2015/03/11/sifting-through-senator-kirks-chicago-will-become-detroit-threat/

I Teach

Performed at the LTAB 2011 Coaches Slam

I teach…
I teach because it pisses me off every time you say you teach where?
With that shocked expression on your face
Thinking damn you’re white how do you survive?
Or
“Those” kids need good teachers too… bless you
Thinking but not asking
Why teach there?
Why teach “those” kids?

I teach because you are probably scared of my kids
even though my kids would probably be the first to help you
when they do… you will probably say something like
Wow they are so well spoken…
Which is code for you didn’t think that black kids could talk how you deem proper

I teach because Englewood… is a part of the city too
because Englewood… produces genius
I teach because you …Media….say Englewood… produces death
because you turn your shoulder on Englewood

To prove you didn’t forget about that part of the city
You…Chico…say the city opened military schools and started ROTC programs for those kids
In case you don’t get it and you don’t…
You’re saying my kids don’t know how to act
That it is okay to have them be the first to die in war

I teach because even though our city is one of the most segregated in America you…Daley… still claim the segregation is by choice alone…
That redlining doesn’t impact us still
That your father didn’t tighten the Black Belt

I teach to prove I can teach…..because my kids have built in bullshit detectors
They can smell your shit as soon as you step into the building
I teach because my kids have heard what you think about them
And because you think your shit so much and control the media
some of my kids started to believe the things you have been thinking about them

I teach because I don’t want you to cross the street, hug your purse, check your wallet when you see my kids
But still I teach because you…Eugenics …say that black people are better in sports
That the NBA is their key out
That sports are a black males only choice
You are not telling them to be teachers, doctors or scientists
You are telling them to reach for that hoop dream
That even though there are only 432 players in the NBA
you are still teaching all black males to go for it

I teach because you say racism is gone…
That what I am saying is outdated…
That race is equal….
That America has a black president

Well I know my skin still cashes checks…
That my history is still legal to teach in Arizona….
That I am not speaking for all white people because I am in front of a mic…
That society is still duped into believing that Jesus is white….

You like your role of eternal helper
Saving the Savage
Manifest… Destiny
“Helping” those you deem less fortunate
Because you say it is their choice to live like that
Because your right… is right
Because your right… is white
That if they work really hard they can still go to the top
That there is no ceiling….
Just because you can’t see how clean the glass is
The ceiling is still there

I teach because even this whole conversation about race makes you uncomfortable…
You don’t see color……
Then I teach…
So you can