Full Disclosure - I am acquainted with Ms. Carry Buck. This woman speaks her mind without the generous application of cant or obfuscation. I have been on the receiving end of Carry Buck's opinion - she is a woman in full!
Before you read the Tribune Campaign against Carry Buck, watch this tough and smart woman.
Chip-on-the-shoulder is a great old expression that now means to challenge the attitude of resentful people. Originally, the term was applied to the rights of shipwrights who were allowed to carry off nautically unusable or unsuitable scraps of wood that might go into the fire and put that wood to their own use and purposes. Thus, a man with a chip on his shoulders was exercising his rights in a very public manner. He had the skills and the purpose to make use of wood as a perquisite to those talents. As the phrase evolved, the wood became a metaphor - carrying a chip on one's shoulder indicated a profound sense of resentment*.
A person might resent the fact that less talented persons carry home better wood, or more money. If that person's feelings are directed toward other persons, that is resentment. If the person turns those feelings toward himself, that is remorse. Resentment and remorse are the twins of bitterness.
No one does resentment and remorse like the Irish and generally for very good reasons. Here on the south side, we resent being characterized as bigots, political sheep, and 'close-knit' ethnics. South siders will generally let an auslander understand those feelings -literally and figuratively.
South side Irish, Lithuanian, Polish, Croatian, Italian and German Catholics live in neighborhoods that the media characterize as 'hot-beds' of racial hatred. Empirically, that is no where near the case. Historically, south side 'close-knit ethnics (Catholics)' are the children of stockyard and steel workers who were shut out of jobs, as recorded in Upton Sinclair's The Jungle and other tomes, when the Pullmans, Armours, Swifts, Cudahys, and McCormicks locked-out strikers and brought in strikebreakers - blacks from the south between 1888 and 1919.
Losing one's job is cause for resentment. Blacks and whites in Chicago were locked in a racially tagged cage-match for decades. Whites on the south side not only resented the wave of people coming north for a better life, but also the white folks who seemed to egg on the conflicts from their safe and tonier neighborhoods and villages far from the combat and scorning both combatants.
South siders ( white and black) had huge chips on their shoulders. They earned those planks by the way.
The Chicago Tribune ,from Joseph Medill on, has been a great egger on of racial resentments and remorse.
Yesterday, my friend Anne Leary posted a story on Backyard Conservative from the Medill Caged-Death-Match promotional crew - this time, however, the combatants are far removed from the traditional "hot-beds of urban violence and resentment" ( Morgan Park, Beverly, and of course Mount Greenwood). The new target for our high-moral-ground Pecksniffers is, of all places, north shore, Winnetka.
Winnetka is described in this particularly oily piece as a 'hamlet' by the Medill crew. A hamlet, boys and girls, is a settlement of homes too small to be considered a village. In jolly Olde England, once a hamlet built a church, it became a village. Winnetka's got Church.
What it don't got is 'affordable housing.' Affordable Housing is the post-CHA euphemism for The Jets Gotta Go Somewhere, or Section 8, or Meet the Mickey Cobras!
Section 8 Housing folks are scattered from the Taylor, Cabrini-Green, Ickes and other Housing Projects - they are the children of the Progressive Disaspora. Section 8 Housing is also known as Diversity!
Diversity, like the New York Times, is unassailable in its sanctimony and sacro-sanctity. Not where I live, thanks be to God, but in other residential areas that feast upon such bovine leavings as doctrine.
One woman, Carry Buck, is targeted by the Tribune and we all know that means Ms. Buck is about to get the Full Medill! Carry Buck is the President of the Winnetkan Home Owners Association,or WHOA! Truly.
Tucked between luxury estates off Sheridan Road near Lake Michigan, a Winnetka statue depicts a homeless man, head resting on hand, with this inscription: "No tenements for some and castles for others."
Some have noted the irony in those words as an ugly debate has roiled over a village plan to introduce affordable housing in Winnetka, long a bastion of wealth and philanthropy.
In the hamlet of 12,000, some residents have protested the plan, igniting fears of federally subsidized housing and government interference. Supporters argue that the proposal is hardly radical and would allow the village's police, teachers and shopkeepers to live and retire in Winnetka, where the median home price was $1.1 million last year.
Winnetka's plan calls for a land trust to provide for-sale and rental property to those who make far less than the median household income of $201,650. Owner-occupied units must be affordable to households earning at least $75,000. Rentals must be affordable to those earning at least $45,000 or more. Current residents and senior citizens would receive priority.
"There is plenty of affordable housing in neighboring communities," said Carry Buck, chairman of WHOA, or Winnetka Home Owners Association. "Most people in Winnetka are conservative and they do not want more involvement from government."
In a 25-page publication mailed to Winnetka residents last week, the homeowners association called the village Plan Commission's proposal un-American, predicting it will lower property values, attract criminals and force residents to subsidize those who rely on "hand-outs."
Some supporters of the plan expressed shock at the rhetoric, with one resident writing to officials, "Aren't we better than this?"
No, not really. It sounds like Carry Buck is speaking plainly and honestly. Apartments and rental homes that once were affordable housing for working people black, white, Hispanic, and Asian that have been mandated Section 8 have become minature Taylor Homes and Cabrini Greens in Oak Lawn, Hickory Hills, Alsip, and Hometown on the southwest side. If one does not have a job, let alone never had one, affordable housing should be tough to get. If my job goes south, I lose a house and must go where I will be able to find work. That will not be in Winnetka. I have a job and some level of skill, but I will not find a home in Winnetka.
The Harrumphing of do-gooders, goo-goos, and activists, who live far and away from blacks, Hispanics, shanty Irish and working stiffs with all of their kids, ( haven't they heard of Planned Parenthood?) really is . . .resentful . . . Doncha Think, So? Let's dialog. Rather than harbor and ship resentment against Carry Buck for speaking common sense and economic honesty, how about going all remorseful? What do you say? Let's add to our celebrations of diversity, by giving your ears a chance. Yap less; live more! Come on over to Leo High School, or Hales, or any one of the fine CPS Schools ( not the Magnets please) and Mentor and Nurture the kids; teach for free; act as a crossing guard here on 79th Street and Sangamon. Lord knows we need one. Earn that Progressive Chip on the Shoulder!
God Bless Carry Buck!
BTW - You gotta love the oily 'statue of the homeless man' in that Trib's Let's Get Carry Buck piece for that great 'Oh, Wow, Man Mean People Suck' moment.
* Resentment is the poison that I drink, in the hopes that you will die. Father Steve Rooney