To the editors:

If Dorothy Tillman and NOW thought an ordinary caricature of a politician and her ignorant and/or infamous acts is disrespectful and ugly, someone needs to school them with a few good examples of those words. Let’s start with her big stupid mouth spewing venom from her itty-bitty brain. I have never heard the woman say anything that makes sense. I have heard her say honky, call any white who dare disagree with her a bigot, any black that didn’t suck up an Uncle Tom and if you have the misfortune of sitting near her in a restaurant, a lot of words too disgusting to write. That behavior is ugly and disrespectful. I guess when Tillman took poli-sci in college someone gave her a copy of the Bill of Rights with a First Amendment that read “Dorothy, you have a right to say anything you want and never be accountable for anything or to anybody.” I think that whoever did that ought to be ashamed. For 20 odd years after leaving school Dorothy, the poor woman, hasn’t learned any better. That same person(s) must be the one(s) who gave her the definition of “respect.” It must have said “re spect (ri spekt) 1a) to feel or show honor to Dorothy in proportion to the number of times she, in all her brilliance, yells “racist” to white people who disagree with her, “Uncle Tom” to black people who disagree with her, waves her pistol in meetings etc. b) treat Dorothy with more deference or dutiful regard everytime she speaks and acts in a hateful and/or disrespectful manner towards others c) show polite regard to Dorothy and present yourself for a trampling of your rights when Dorothy and black poly-thugs turn into the very people they claim to hate, after all, the First Amendment protected only Dorothy and those who understand that she is never to be held accountable for any word or action. Mind you, that circle is small and elite indeed. In this whole city of about three million people we know for sure that 3,437 of us wanted to follow and do homage to Dorothy. That’s the number of votes she got from the 26,042 registered voters in her Third Ward in the February 26, 1991 primary. Whew! What a powerhouse. Just look at those figures–a full 13.197911 percent of her ward constituents know they better ri-spekt Dorothy. The other three million of us are really in trouble NOW. In all fairness to Dorothy I will tell you that only 6,780 people bothered to cast a vote, the other 19,262 were as dumb and lazy as Dorothy needed them to be.

So that organization called NOW is going to make the Reader and Mr. Nelson apologize for disrespecting the black woman. The insult I felt as NOW stood around posturing as if this foul-mouthed brute represents the black woman cannot be put into words. I will never forget this and neither will any other woman I could ever influence when it comes to NOW. How dare YOU NOW. That school Dorothy attended didn’t tell her it is an honor, privilege and duty to vote for whomever will serve us best? Being the same skin hue is not all you need. The people in the Third Ward might be awake in the next election and send her to join Tim the “heir apparent” Evans. This woman has completely fluffed a wonderful opportunity to be a great example to those in one of the three or four worst wards in the city. Instead of acting in a manner that says “come on up here with me, go to college like I did, run for office and change things as I work to do,” she walks, talks, and my God, does she ever speak in a manner that says “watch me act stupid, wave my gun and let’s squat in the squalor of stupidity together.” Some example! I wonder what her motive is. Have those people in her ward ever wondered what motivates her behavior?

This woman and a posse of thuggish elected black officials walked into a great institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, and like the thugs she and they epitomize, snatched someone’s property and work off a wall and destroyed it because this is supposed to be her world and the only things to be seen and heard are what she and fellow thugs deem appropriate. This was really respectable behavior? As I looked at that in horror, I could only think of the Ku Klux Klan when they felt it repugnant to have to live in a world with niggers who could read, so they rushed in and killed teacher and student sneaking learning in a church or field. I thought of the many black artists whose work was not in the galleries of the U.S. because some white thug like Dorothy Tillman would enter with fellow thugs and trample that institution’s right to exhibit work thought to be worthy when it wasn’t necessarily everybody’s cup of tea. I remember those who thought they were supreme and the only ones with rights. And the stench coming from my television as I watched Dorothy was the same as that from the worst white bigot I could ever imagine. She trampled the First Amendment rights of others. I was ashamed of her when I thought of the many white artists who demonstrated, raised money and helped in many ways during the early days of Martin Luther King Jr.’s struggle to bring to light those trampling our First Amendment rights. That was ugly and disrespectful.

This is the same Dorothy Tillman that, along with Timothy Evans and a few other brains, gathered busloads of people with plastic sacks on their heads to go to the Regal and boo, heckle and curse the then mayor Sawyer (there are numerous tapes with her ridiculing him as an Uncle Tom) on national television. This was done because he never said he hated white people, he supposedly made deals with ’em. Ms. Tillman does not know that that is what we vote for, the best deal we can get. That is the problem with Dorothy’s Third Ward, all these years she has been alderperson she has not made any deals to better that pigsty. When Harold Washington died he was making a deal with Pucinski for his daughter Aurelia. I can’t think of anyone in the City Council who treated Washington with more disdain than Pucinski, but pols make deals. Dorothy Tillman has done nothing down in the Third Ward so she uses the ruse of poor white trash our parents used to tell us about. My folks, southerners, told us of the beatings and murders that occurred because some white woman who no respectable white man would be seen with in usual circumstance, could yell that a “niggah” had looked at her in disrespect. That would fire up the haters. Their trash was too good for “niggahs.” Trash was the star of the show for a little while. It didn’t change her image among the haters, they still didn’t want or respect her, so how important was she for hurting someone innocent? But her few minutes in the limelight was enough to kill her conscience and to feel her sins were OK with God. That seems to be Dorothy’s ploy, to take attention away from her trifling ineptness in getting any real work done for those she is supposed to serve. But the people living in it are not fooled. How many of them were among the 200 demonstrators reported to be pickets in front of the Reader? Are these the same folks we saw getting off the bus at the Regal to boo Sawyer? Check out just who was there, Gus Savage! Gus Savage upholding the idea of respect for a woman! Gus Savage the toilet-mouth and -brain of Congress, the guy that thought it was alright to grab a young girl in his limo who was assigned to work with him. The old fart dismissed it with something like “I’m a healthy man and I act like one.” Didn’t hear a thing from the Chicago thugs or NOW about that. Guess she didn’t represent enough stupid. Not the image of black women they want to promote, kinda like Ms. Fitch at the Thomas hearings. Showcase the ones among us that act like neanderthal inbreds, better to keep us looking like a backward people. What is the motive? Wasn’t Allan Streeter one of the tramplers of the First Amendment? Who cares what Willie “fur coat for everyday of the week” Barrow has to say? And Lu Palmer, the biggest sack of unadulterated hate I have ever heard in my life. He has always reminded me of the Klan, only in black. All who doubt that need to read his old articles and listen to his old shows that white Ill. Bell used to sponsor so he could tell them how much he hated them. Then read his column castigating Avis LaVelle for being the mayor’s press secretary (a job she surely earned), I was afraid for the woman. The stench from this group is awful. Finally, read that Monique Davis thinks we as black folk are so stupid that we’re all going to jump on their broken down bandwagon for someone like Dorothy Tillman, as impotent as she has proven to be, and vote all of these keepers of shanties and pistols into higher city office to show the disrespectfuls some respect. Is it in something they are being fed? The longer this goes on the more we are convinced these people are loose without their medicine. Harold Washington was elected not because he was black, but the best guy being fielded, he had paid his dues with years of experience, making the right deals with the right people, he got great service for the neighborhood he represented. He, I’m sure, had his prejudices, but didn’t stand around yelling honky and crying foul if someone yelled back. He treated the people like he wanted to be treated. He gave respect. That’s what you do if you want some respect.

Ms. Davis and the others are so dense that they don’t comprehend that Evans lost because when we took a ride through his ward we found it appalling that he wanted to run the city when he couldn’t clean his own house. Pincham was creamed for stupidly calling us names and threatening to hang me at State and Madison if I dare decide he has nothing to offer. Someone should tell Ol’ Boy that he has to ask nicely for our votes. We don’t need him, we work for a living, he needed every voter he could get. I hope he is resting with Tim. Vrdolyak, Burke. The list of “Ex-pols Who Take Us For Granted” just goes on and on. (We are thinking of our own movement.) Sawyer was voted out because he was afraid to stand up to Dorothy and the gang, Danny Davis lost because we all framed that picture from the Reader with him standing in front of a garbage strewn viaduct with the biggest smile and arms outstretched in a gesture saying “I can make the whole place look this way.” I thought he was smarter than that, plus his ward was nothing to brag about. So you see Dorothy, those people who gave you that phony Bill of Rights for Dorothy Only did you a disservice. You are going to have to learn all over again. There are many of us black folk that are as sick of you speaking to us as fools as we are white folk doing the same thing. If you have nothing to offer you will get nothing. Pain is the same no matter the color of the person doing the harm. I was very disappointed when I read in the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune that David Nelson was not angry at Dorothy and the Chicago thugs. They trampled his First Amendment rights, they treated him in a manner none of them would have stood for, they took his property and slashed it with a knife, he should never forget that they trampled the very thing we in the shadows of Martin Luther King Jr. hold so dear.

Dorothy and the Chicago thugs have become the very thing they claim to abhor. If David Nelson is not angry then he deserves their treatment.

To get a good picture of the brilliance of those leading the demonstrators in front of the Reader, one only has to check their call for a boycott of the Reader and its advertisers. The Reader’s audience is not black, but they have written innumerable articles of our struggles. Stories you didn’t see in any daily. It is stupid to try and hurt someone that has helped you. And the call for an advertiser boycott is as impotent a threat as could be because the Reader advertisers depend on nothing from black folk. What boycott? If anything their stupidity caused the Reader to have to print some extra copies. Way to go gang! Maybe Tillman will run for mayor and we can help her join Tim and the others. Come on Mel Reynolds let’s see if you can win something and stay sane. I’ve heard that all you have to do in Savage’s district is give a big picnic once a year, the people don’t care about services, jobs etc so promise them two picnics and rouse ’em to vote. Then sneak and do something useful for them. Don’t let us read about your reputation for cursing or groping girls in your limo please. Don’t show up on the steps at the Reader for Tillman’s honor when you can’t show up for a vote in Congress. OK?

Last I am so proud of Reader publisher Robert Roth for standing up to those people. I have seen much worse about other politicians and it does come with the territory. Those leading the so-called protest were playing the pig in Orwell’s Animal Farm. “We’re equal, but I’m more equal than you.” It is refreshing to see someone stand up for the right thing, rather than standing for what they’re told.

Maryanne Burgess

W. Ainslie