* Mary Mitchell…
J.B. Pritzker got busted.
Pritzker can apologize over and over again for the racial remarks he made a decade ago, which were captured on a FBI wiretap of former Gov. Blagojevich’s phone, but — he’s busted.
He got caught saying the very things that a lot of black people suspect white people say when there are no black people in the room.
Pritzker, the billionaire in the Democratic primary for governor, positioned himself as a candidate who genuinely cares about the black condition.
He was strategic is picking a black running mate, Juliana Stratton, and quickly lined up a slew of black elected officials to support him.
But Pritzker’s remarks about three African-American politicians during a private conversation show he didn’t have much respect for black politicians, let alone the black community.
* CBS 2…
Wednesday afternoon, activist Jedidiah Brown went to a South Side Pritzker campaign office allegedly to get answers about Pritzker’s comments. He did it while on Facebook Live, and after a loud confrontation, was asked to leave the office, which he eventually did. Just another sign that this controversy isn’t over.
That video is here. Brown tried to attend today’s Pritzker meeting with black ministers on the West Side while doing a Facebook Live event. There’s some profanity in both of these vids, but click here to watch if you want.
* Gov. Rauner was asked about Pritzker’s caught on tape comments today…
It’s incredibly disrespectful and demeaning and manipulative and it shows how broken our political system is, with this machine that he’s been part of.
* Eric Zorn…
“Crass” is a problematic adjective. It comes from the Latin crassus, which translates to “thick” or “dense” in both the literal and figurative senses. But in contemporary usage, crass has come to mean without refinement or subtlety, as in the crass commercialism of Christmas or the crass rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
Jones, now retired, was old-school — a powerful political insider and canny deal-maker strongly identified with Chicago, where he’d once worked as a sewer inspector. He likely would have had a tougher time winning re-election to the U.S. Senate than White, who’d consistently demonstrated his popularity at the polls statewide.
But “crass”? And just a “little more crass” than White, who was, by implication, therefore, also somewhat crass? Would Pritzker have used that word to describe top Caucasian politicians?
And would he have described the most plausible Caucasian candidate as the “least offensive” option, as he did Jesse White, instead of, say, the “most acceptable” option?
A mild-mannered Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), whose father was Chicago’s second black mayor — Eugene Sawyer — has some advice for the bombastic former Senate President Emil Jones, who blasted black pols Tuesday supporting Dem gubernatorial hopeful J.B. Pritzker as being “meek” and “safe” blacks.
“[His father, former Mayor Eugene Sawyer] taught me to make friends; enemies come on their own.
“Being disagreeable doesn’t always bring everything to the table and get the most benefit for your community.
“And I disagree with Emil’s use of the word ‘safe’ black. It’s important to be an electable black.”
* Greg Hinz…
What in heaven’s name was Pritzker doing palling around with Blagojevich? No, the governor hadn’t yet been indicted. But there was intense chatter at the time about what the feds were up to. Pritzker was clearly interested in snagging some sort of government job, and he ignored the flashing yellow lights in pursuing it with Blagojevich.
One might say much the same about Pritzker’s refusal to distance himself from Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan in the same way that Kennedy and Biss have. He’s clearly calculated that being kinda nice to Mike will net him more than ticking the speaker off will.
That tendency—cozying up—is something Pritzker has yet to fully explain. And it bothers me a lot more than his actual comments, though I admit I’m not in a perfect position to lecture black people about how they should feel about such disparaging remarks.
The gubernatorial campaign still has a little time to go. We’ll see what Pritzker does next to make this right—though apologies can only go so far to fix the real, underlying problem, which is how willing he may or may not be to speak truth to those who wield power.
“J.B.’s running around town, calling people, apologizing, and people are saying he needs to show the community some love,” a prominent African-American politician told me Wednesday.
“But love isn’t enough. J.B’s got to show us some glove,” the politico said.
“Glove?” I asked. “G-l-o-v-e, glove?”
“Yeah, glove,” he laughed. “That’s love with a ‘g’ on it. You understand?”
Yes, I do.
And you spell “glove” this way: $$$$.
* Pritzker also dropped by the Chicago Defender for an interview. Not much there, but click here.
* WVON: JB Pritzker Joins Maze and Charles to discuss his comments on FBI Tapes
* WVON: Cliff Kelley Discusses JB Pritzker with Emil Jones
* Running mate defends Pritzker over wiretapped remarks: Stratton, in Springfield for legislative session, said what Pritzker “did yesterday is what I would expect any of us who have perhaps made a misstep or done something we’re not necessarily proud of. We admit what it was, we apologize for it.” “But we also point to the things that countered what happened nine years ago and show all the things that (Pritzker’s) done throughout his career and all the things we’ve done on the campaign trail and all the things we expect to do for the people of Illinois once we defeat this failed governor we have now,” Stratton said.