I live in the only city and county completely unaffected by the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency. I live in Chicago, Cook County of Illinois.
Every incumbent and sanctioned candidate held onto or won public office. Same old, same old. In fact, a clerk who pretended to be a judge was elected to be a judge. What could possibly go wrong there?
The tide, turned in by the votes and the Electoral College, missed the shores of Lake Michigan entirely.
On election day, my Ward, the 19th, which includes a neighborhood known as Mount Greenwood and home to a great many Chicago police officers and firefighters, became a racial flash point.
On the Saturday afternoon(Nov. 5th) before the election, at about 3PM members of a family that had buried a young man at Mount Hope Cemetery in this Ward travelled west on 111th Street, a two lane shopping district with barbershops, restaurants, boxing gyms, banks, dentist offices, a Walgreen's and other local concerns. This is a two lane street with parking available on both side. At Troy Street is a Chicago Firehouse. People in a hurry attempt to make a new right lane and cause accidents, traffic jams and on this Saturday a fatality.
Beal and others had just left a funeral in several cars and were driving to their next destination when the incident occurred, Beal’s relatives said. According to Guglielmi*, they were stopped in traffic near a firehouse when an off-duty Chicago firefighter saw one of the vehicles and notified the driver that it was illegally blocking the fire lane and causing delays.
The firefighter then began arguing with three people who got out of their cars, said Guglielmi. While this was going on, a woman inside a nearby business saw the argument, called police and then became involved in the fight, the police spokesman said.
At this point, an off-duty Chicago police officer in a barbershop nearby also spotted the fight, approached the scene, identified himself as an officer and became involved in the brawl, Guglielmi said.
A sergeant in full uniform who was driving to work at the Morgan Park Police District then stopped when he saw the melee, the spokesman said.
“There’s a sergeant on his way to work. He now sees a man with a gun in his hand. He gets out, announces his office in full uniform,’’ Guglielmi said.
The sergeant displayed his weapon, Guglielmi said. As the incident escalated and the man with the gun did not drop his weapon, shots were fired, and the man was hit multiple times, the police spokesman said. Chicago Tribune
The man, Joshua Beal died. He pulled a gun, waved it, pressed the trigger and was shot multiple times.
Immediately the story became a narrative - one that erased the culpability of Mr.Beal and his family altogether. One of the most egregious narratives was written by a man named Davis Steiber and printed in the dubious Huffington Post.
Joshua Beal, who was in Chicago for a funeral, was killed Saturday by a Chicago police sergeant. The reason an off-duty police officer felt the need to start waving his gun around and pointing it at a lot of different people is baffling. To see the video, click here.
I, however, don’t want to focus on the killing itself ― I want to focus on the reaction of white people. Specifically in Mount Greenwood, where the incident occurred. Last night, hours after his death, while people gathered to support Josh’s family, some residents of Mount Greenwood came out of their homes with Blue Lives Matter flags to apparently show that Black people are not welcome in Mount Greenwood. Instead of letting people grieve the loss of a life, these white residents thought it appropriate to call them names and tell them to leave “their” neighborhood. To see this video click here.As is the case in most police related shootings, the media twist the facts, invent the facts and turn the attendant hate on people who have done nothing to warrant a raised eyebrow let alone anger.
A local media news site, DNAinfo Chicago, which had up until this shooting in Mount Greenwood been dependable with reporting and has three very fine writers in Mark Schipper, Ed Komenda and Pulitzer Prize winning Mark Konkol, took up group thought and malicious slandering of people in order to whip up a controversy.
Three writers have crafted the Mount Greenwood Narrative.
Immediately after the shooting members of REVCOM Chicago - the Revolutionary Communist Party - sent teams of activists to the neighborhood.
DNAinfo Chicago's three reporters (Evan Moore, Joe Ward and Howard Ludwig) have yet to mention this fact and have all but erased the crimes of Saturday the 5th by Beal and family in a sad attempt to make the 'manufactured outrage' appear spontaneous, genuine and heartfelt. Outrage is directed against the neighborhood of Mount Greenwood, Marist Hig School and a few teenage girls unaware that texting matters. REVCOM, along with Moveon.org has been identified by law enforcement as forces behind protests and riots around the nation. REVCOM boasts to its retainers.
When we heard about this outrage, the Revolution Club went to the scene, arriving in the early evening. We found members of Joshua’s family sitting in a Mt. Greenwood Burger King—unable to leave because police had surrounded their cars as part of the “crime scene.” A Club member explained to the family members who we were, and we began talking with them. Already grieving for the loss of one loved one who had been buried that day, this family was now dealing with the murder of another—shot down in front of their eyes by Chicago police.
The family members told us stories of being taunted by racists in Mt. Greenwood. They had been called “n****rs” and “monkeys” and were told to “go back to the ‘hood” by white people shouting from their cars as they drove by.
The Revolution Club brought a Stolen Lives banner into the BK and unfurled it. Many family members gasped, as they looked at the faces of so many others murdered by police. At this point, the Burger King manager announced that the family would have to leave the restaurant. This callous racism was called out by the grieving family members and people from the Club. “This is not Mississippi in 1960. This is 2016.” “They are afraid of too many Black people in this place.” Everyone stood firm, saying, “We paid for food and we aren’t leaving.”
The manager called in the police. The police arrived in force, further crowding the Burger King. They ordered everyone to leave, announcing that the BK was closing its doors early. People were forced outside into the dark and the cold without coats or sweaters.
DNAinf Chicago has printed photos of REVCOM as well as Black Lives Matter, activists Ja'Mal Beal, Jedidiah Brown and the egregious Pastor Michael Pfleger. However there is no mention of the Communists who sparked riots and violence in Milwaukee only this past summer.
More troubling, DNAinfo Chicago managed to get a high school girl's Twitter tweet that was racially offensive and managed to get the girl and five other of her friends from a Catholic High School after Archbishop Blase Cupich was contacted for comments in keeping with this divisive and inflammatory narrative.
The narrative has erased the story of Joshua Beal's bad behavior, illegal use of a hand gun, threatening the lives of Chicago Police Officers and bystanders and morphed into the very reasons why Donald Trump appealed to voters.
I live in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois - the land untouched by change. The message sent to the American elites is lost here. The people get it. The elites do not.
Same old, same old.
* Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi