Rahm Emanuelâs Odd Idea Of âChicago Valuesâ
At a press event yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out against Chick-fil-A over its Presidentâs comments about same-sex marriage:
âChick-fil-Aâs values are not Chicago values. Theyâre not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if youâre gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,â Emanuel said Wednesday.
âWhat the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, itâs not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope âŚ is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEOâs comments âŚ reflects who we are as a city.â
The same day that story ran, the Chicago Sun-Times also reported that Emanuel was âwelcomingâ the assistance of Louis Farakhan and the Nation of Islam in combating the recent uptick in violence in the city:
Ignoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhanâs history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods
For the last two Mondays, black men in dress suits and bow ties fanned out across violence-plagued Chicago neighborhoods â first Auburn-Gresham, then South Shore â to form a human wall of protection against any sudden outbreak of gunfire.
The army of men, know as the Fruit of Islam, were led by Farrakhan, who ordered the show of force in response to last monthâs brutal murder of seven-year-old Heaven Sutton.
Emanuelâs decision to steer clear of Farrakhanâs history of anti-Semitic remarks is a far cry from the 1994 controversy that followed former Mayor Richard M. Daleyâs private meeting with Farrkakhan.
During the meeting, Daley prodded Farrakhan to work out his differences with Jewish leaders in talks arranged by the Commission on Human Relations. Daley even hinted that if those conversations did not take place, the Nation of Islam would have trouble winning the city approval needed for its planned development along the 79th Street commercial strip.
Jewish leaders refused to engage in the dialogue. They were so concerned about the mayorâs private meeting with Farrakhan they demanded an audience of their own to clear the air. Daley used that meeting to deny ever suggesting the give-and-take.
âThereâs been a rather longstanding pattern where Minister Farrakhan has talked about wanting dialogue. There have even been a couple of instances where members of the Jewish community have met with him,â Michael Kotzin, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said at the time.
âInvariably, heâs been unchanged after that. They have felt betrayed by things he said to them. Been there. Donât want to be there again and be put in that kind of box. All that happens is that he gains from those kinds of meetings a kind of credibility, legitimacy and stature. Thatâs all that would come of it.â
Farakhanâs history of anti-semitism is so well-known that it barely needs to be repeated, and itâs interesting that Emanuel is willing to ignore all of that and yet considers a private business that employees thousands of people and provides a product that people want to be so anathema that heâs willing to endorse a plainly unconstitutional effort to ban them.
So let me get this straight. Under Emanuelâs version of âChicago valuesâ a private company headed by a man who did nothing but express his religious beliefs is unacceptable but an anti-semitic race hustler who heads an organization that has a long history of intimidating outsiders is totally acceptable. Something doesnât compute there, Rahm.