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Naperville city council debates Rep. Stava-Murray comments

Wednesday, Feb 6, 2019

* Daily Herald

Several council members and public speakers in Naperville rose in defense of their hometown Tuesday after state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray described Naperville as a city with a “history of white supremacist policies.”

Council member Kevin Coyne called for Stava-Murray to step down from her seat representing the 81st District, which includes parts of Naperville, saying she “has a fundamental misunderstanding of both the Naperville community and what it means to represent a constituency.” […]

These public statements came more than a month after Stava-Murray, a 32-year-old Democrat, responded to a woman’s post on Facebook with a message that said she is working to change what she sees as the city’s “history of white supremacist policies.”

She later pointed to what she calls racial profiling during traffic stops, questionable police hiring, discrimination in housing and home showings, largely white teacher populations, high rates of black student suspensions and low rates of black student enrollment in advanced placement courses as evidence of “white ignorance” in Naperville policies.

Stava-Murray said she has no plans to step down after what she described as Coyne’s attempt to cause further division by revisiting her comments. She said he “has no genuine intention” behind “his continued escalation of the situation.”

* Naperville Sun

City Councilman Benny White, the first African-American resident elected to the Naperville council, also rebuked Stava-Murray’s comments. […]

“As a parent of black children, when my kids became of age, like many other black parents, we actually had to sit down with our kids and tell them what to do and what not to do if they’re stopped by the police,” White said. “It’s just a different perspective that many of us probably just don’t get or quite understand.

“I have a story and my wife has a story and sadly our kids have a story since moving here,” White said. “Our kids both felt the sting of racism in schools in Naperville.” […]

“To be clear, I do not believe Naperville is a community with white supremacist policies,” White said. “However, that does not mean Naperville is immune to the ills and bias of discrimination. To believe so would be a fallacy.”

Elected officials need to understand their voices are louder than most, and that their words matter, White said.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:38 am:

    The sundown laws might not be on the books, but if you had to have That Talk with your kids then there’s something going on in Naperville.

  2. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    Rep Stava-Murray accuses someone of escalating conflict?

    Kinda surprised she did not threaten to file a complaint.

    Councilman White’s comments seem reflective of reality - Naperville is far from perfect, but it’s not a village of white supremacists either.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    The upside?

    “When she beats Durbin… “

    Naperville will have to wait her out. She’s “leaving” the Illinois House, (if she can get in the ballot against Durbin) or she’ll get on the ballot again to stay in the Illinois House and likely be the number one of all Tier 1 Dems… with few friends to help her.

  4. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:43 am:


    It’s white supremist policies we’re talking about.


    Words matter, Representative.

  5. - Responsa - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 10:58 am:

    Almost every parent I know (regardless of era or color of skin or ethnic background) has mentioned that they have had a version of “the talk” with their teens about their rights and how to respond and what to do if stopped or approached by police. That’s just good parenting. City or downstate, 1970’s or 2019, kids need to be taught this stuff.

  6. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:03 am:

    Foolish is as foolish does, and stava murray is a fool.

  7. - OneMan - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:04 am:

    It seems that implicitly or explicitly Naperville has thought of low-income housing as the reason Aurora exists.

  8. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:08 am:

    Responsa - I think the distinction between your story and Councilman White’s is the “if” is replaced by “when”. And there’s no evidence of people being stopped simply because they’re white. A very different reality to deal with and to explain to your teen.

  9. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:09 am:

    There’s more than a “fine line” between some bias by some unenlightened people which is sad and unfortunate…and White Supremacy.

    One requires work and a greater understanding and relentless efforts to get better.

    The other requires a revolution.

  10. - A guy - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:13 am:

    The only safe way to observe this young lady appears to be at a comfortable distance.

    From that perspective, she strikes me as someone who was very indulged and now it manifests itself in incredible immaturity.

    I like a fresh face with new ideas and energy as much as the next person. She isn’t offering any of this. Just a lot of immature anger.

  11. - Pundent - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    =She said he “has no genuine intention” behind “his continued escalation of the situation.”=

    A situation which she created due to her choice of words. Stava-Murray needs to realize that once something is said it can’t be unsaid and blaming others for using your own words against you never works.

  12. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:47 am:

    So what? Rep. Murray says Naperville has a history of white supremacist policies.

    History of Naperville could be any time, 5 months ago to when it was incorporated in 1857. It wouldn’t shock me to hear about white supremacy existing in 1857.

  13. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 11:59 am:

    Pundent - Councilman White said he was wife was stopped - why? because she was speeding and then he said she got out of her ticket because she had to “pee”.

  14. - A Jack - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    White Supremacists hate more than black people. They hate anyone that is not white, aryan, protestant, and straight. That does not describe Naperville at all.

    Stava-Murray should apologize to Naperville. If she doesn’t apologize the city council should censure her and petition the GA to also censure her.

  15. - Montrose - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 12:52 pm:

    “The sundown laws might not be on the books, but if you had to have That Talk with your kids then there’s something going on in Naperville.”

    My impression is that regardless of where parents of black children live, they feel the need to have this conversation. I wish it was isolated to Naperville.

  16. - anon2 - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:21 pm:

    == I wish it were isolated to Naperville. ==
    Black teens are more likely to be hassled by police than are their white counterparts. That’s a sad reality in many if not most towns with a small black population.

  17. - BigDoggie - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    I had some hope this woman when I read that she was the sole Dem that would not vote for Madigan for Speaker. Unfortunately, this may have just been the first indication that she is prone to saying things of a very self destructive nature.

  18. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 1:40 pm:

    ==Black teens are more likely to be hassled by police than are their white counterparts. That’s a sad reality in many if not most towns with a small black population.==

    It’s a sad reality in towns with large black populations too.

  19. - Anon - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:11 pm:

    We fight speech we don’t like with our own speech. Hopefully, with intelligent, thoughtful and respectful speech. Censuring someone for theirs is saying we only accep tspeech we agree with. The fact that Stave-Murray is an elected official doesn;t change her right to free speech. I can disagree with her words, but I can respect her right to express them as long as I can express my opinion too.

  20. - Chunga - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 2:56 pm:

    Anon2:11. - go say something this snowflake objects to and see where your sentiment gets you.
    Somehow we’ve turned honest disagreement into being offensive speech

  21. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    @anon 11:47 -

    Stava-Murray made a point of saying that the white supremacist policies were “ongoing”, which was widely reported. Can the straw man act.


    No white parents I know have sat their kids down to have a talk with them about how not to get shot by the police. None. Why would they?

    Considering how rarely parents talk to their kids about sex, drugs, voting and other challenging topics, I find your claim surprising.

  22. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 4:04 pm:

    ===No white parents I know have sat their kids down to have a talk with them about how not to get shot by the police===

    My father had the talk with me. Mainly about how to talk to a cop, where to put your hands, how to get out of a car, etc.

    The police used to harass kids with long hair back then (1970s), so he felt it necessary to instruct me. Glad he did, too.

  23. - Winderweezle - Wednesday, Feb 6, 19 @ 5:09 pm:

    Since I was a white kid with short hair that was harassed by a cop I guess I can believe the stories. /s/

    In a weird twist of fate I later arrested the cop who harassed me for beating up his girlfriend in his front yard while in full uniform. He was on duty when I arrested him.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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