Open Thread: ‘Chicago Values’

Sometimes, the blog posts just write themselves. The city of Chicago is famous for its political corruption, now it's becoming known as a perfect example of liberal hypocrisy.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made news supporting a city councilman's attempt to block fast food restaurant Chick-fil-A from opening another store in the area, claiming that the chain's beliefs "are not Chicago values." At the same time, Emanuel is welcoming with open arms anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan and his Nation of Islam in an effort to reduce crime.

First the Chick-fil-A story:

[Chicago Alderman] Proco “Joe” Moreno announced this week that he will block Chick-fil-A’s effort to build its second Chicago store … following company President Dan Cathy’s remarks last week that he was “guilty as charged” for supporting the biblical definition of marriage as between a man and woman….

The alderman has the ideological support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

“Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values,” the mayor said in a statement when asked about Moreno’s decision. “They disrespect our fellow neighbors and residents. This would be a bad investment, since it would be empty.”

Moreno is relying on a rarely violated Chicago tradition known as aldermanic privilege, which dictates that City Council members defer to the opinion of the ward alderman on local issues. Last year Moreno wielded that weapon to block plans for a Wal-Mart in his ward, saying he had issues with the property owner and that Wal-Mart was not “a perfect fit for the area.” …

The alderman, serving his first full term, dismissed any First Amendment concerns.

“You have the right to say what you want to say, but zoning is not a right,” he said, adding that he also had concerns about traffic in the area….


And then the Nation of Islam story:

Ignoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods.

Ald. Debra Silverstein (50th), an Orthodox Jew, has said it’s good that Farrakhan is “helping” in the fight against crime, “but it doesn’t eradicate the comments that he’s made about the Jewish community.”

Emanuel offered no such caveat. Although Farrakhan has a history of making anti-Semitic statements, Chicago’s first Jewish mayor has no interest in revisiting that controversy.

He’s more concerned about reducing a 40 percent surge in Chicago homicides that’s become a media obsession and threatens to undermine his efforts to market Chicago to international tourists.

“People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy,” the mayor said. [...]

For the last two Mondays, black men in dress suits and bow ties fanned out across violence-plagued Chicago neighborhoods — first Auburn-Gresham, then South Shore — to form a human wall of protection against any sudden outbreak of gunfire.

The army of men, know as the Fruit of Islam, were led by Farrakhan, who ordered the show of force in response to last month’s brutal murder of seven-year-old Heaven Sutton.

Can there be any greater example of liberal hypocrisy than this? It's tough to think of one, particularly considering that Farrakhan also has a history of making statements against homosexuals, the very group to which Emanuel and Moreno are trying to pander. In fact, Farrakhan recently spoke out against gay marriage and President Barack Obama's support for it.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013