- Alex Wroblewski/Sun-Times
- Boo this man?
A lot of people who can’t stand the mayor’s school-slashing ways—and I know a lot of them—have been sending me the link to a YouTube video of Mayor Emanuel getting booed at a recent “peace tournament” basketball game at Saint Sabina, the south-side church that’s home to Father Michael Pfleger.
The link’s being sent to me by people on the left, even though it’s included in a Washington Times post written by William Kelly, who attacks the mayor from the right.
Apparently, no one can bring the Green and Tea parties together like my man the mayor.
I have mixed feelings about the booing. On the one hand, it came at a game intended to promote peace among rival gang members, promoted by such Bulls greats as Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah.
So you might say that booing was not in the spirit of the event.
On the other hand, I can understand why people—maybe even Noah and Rose—might want to boo this mayor. In fact, I must confess that I stand guilty of having urged people to boo him at one point or another.
Sorry, Mr. Mayor.
I certainly understand why a crowd on the south side would want to boo him.
Mayor Emanuel owes his election to Chicago’s black voters, who gave him more than 50 percent of their votes. Saint Sabina itself is in the 17th Ward, where the mayor received 60 percent of the vote.
And yet the mayor’s budget cuts have hit hardest at the black wards, a point I may have mentioned before.
At times it seems he actually relishes firing teachers, mental health workers, and other public employees who form the backbone of the south- and west-side middle class.
He calls it reform that’s necessary to save Chicago from a budget catastrophe.
I mean, it never ends. For instance, it wasn’t enough for the mayor to brag about the CTA’s new Ventra system. No, his CTA appointees had to brag that Ventra enables them to save $13 million by firing 104 employees.
Meanwhile, the CTA’s giving a $454 million contract to Cubic Transportation Systems Inc., a company based in San Diego, to implement and oversee Ventra.
So the company in San Diego gets the hundreds of millions. And the workers in Chicago get the pink slips.
Just the other day, I wrote about the mayor earmarking $92 million in property taxes for his DePaul basketball arena/Marriott hotel boondoggle.
That’s $92 million that’s skimmed from the property taxes you pay for the public schools, including Simeon High, where the great Derrick Rose once starred.
If the mayor would only take that $92 million and invest it in the Simeons of Chicago, he might be hearing cheers, not jeers, coming from the stands.