Mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel thought he was making his point on “reparations” clear. He started out by saying that he favored “reparations” and almost immediately took it back by stating, “to be honest and frank with ourselves.”
Taking it all back.
Emanuel said he would support reparations, but added, “I think we have to be honest and frank with ourselves, we have a budget deficit that also needs to be addressed.” Emanuel then said there are “clear choices” to be made on education, criminal justice and economic development policy, which will “mak[e] sure that we reverse the social and economic trends that have set major parts of the city and major population centers backward.”
At which point Patricia Van Pelt Watkins went after Emanuel.
Watkins said she is “definitely” in support of reparations, before going on the attack in one of the most applause-inducing moments of the debate. “When I hear Rahm Emanuel talking about a budget deficit when we’re talking about reparations, to me that’s offensive,” Watkins said. “This country was built on our backs, the backs of our ancestors. They bled, they died, they came in chains and they died in pain. So don’t talk to me about budget deficits right now. Not on this subject.”
Rahm Emanuel did not respond to Watkins. Which is exactly the reason Emanuel avoided these forums. For the front-runner, like Emanuel, they have to answer questions. Since there would be no good response for Emanuel to Watkins, he simply kept quiet before he got into anymore trouble.
And Gery Chico whose campaign is considered the biggest threat to Emanuel, stated it simply and unequivocally.
Chico said he would support reparations “perhaps to help children augment their education…I’d like to see more money put into a pool to develop our businesses into our communities.”
Simple and to the point and no backtracking. And no buts in Chico’s vocabulary.
John is the author of an award-winning book, the 2010 Winner of the USA National Best Book award for African-American studies, published by The Elevator Group Mr. and Mrs. Grassroots: How Barack Obama, Two Bookstore Owners, and 300 Volunteers did it. Also available an eBook on Amazon. John is also a member of the Society of Midland Authors and is a book reviewer of political books for the New York Journal of Books
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