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Kari Steele called out yet again

Thursday, Jun 2, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Open letter to MWRD President and Democratic candidate for Cook County Assessor Kari Steele

Dear President Steele,

Given recent discussions about anti-semitic language used on Mr. Jackson’s show, we feel compelled to raise our own concerns about a long history of homophobic and anti-Trans rhetoric used by Mr. Jackson. Mr. Jackson has stoked fear that trans people are leading an attack to delegitimize cisgender identity, claimed that LGBTQ+ people seek to “indoctrinate” children, and used the term “gay” as a pejorative.

President Steele, while we recognize that this language has not come directly from you, Mr. Jackson regularly uses his show as a platform to promote your campaign. He is often your most vocal surrogate and recently spoke to the Chicago Tribune on the record on behalf of your campaign. You have not repudiated his comments in your capacity as an elected leader or as a political candidate.

We were heartened to see that you both issued apologies following revelations about Mr. Jackson’s anti-semitic statements. We feel you must also take steps to address the impacts on other communities, including ours.

In addition, there are members of the LGBTQ+ communities, of course, who are also Jewish and thereby have been targeted by this bigotry from multiple angles. It is our hope that you will acknowledge that harm and take steps to rectify it.

As you may know, the LGBTQ+ community has been severely impacted by overt bigotry and direct violence for decades, and in particular anti-Trans violence has been rampant in recent years. Already this year, at least 7 Trans people have been killed across the country. In 2021, we saw record violence against Trans and gender non-conforming people. It is important to note that Black Trans women in particular have been targeted for hateful attacks at disproportionate levels. As you see, Mr. Jackson’s kind of rhetoric can have real consequences for our community. This isn’t theoretical to us. Words and platforms like Mr. Jackson’s create a clear and present danger to vulnerable people.

Please see below for a detailed list of sample instances of homophobic and transphobic comments from Mr. Jackson on his show. If these are the things he is saying in the light of day on his radio broadcast, we are deeply concerned about what he is saying or doing in private. The Democratic Party is a big-tent party that stands for full respect and inclusion of its many diverse constituencies. We hope you stand up for this value, and for your LGBTQ+ constituents, by denouncing what your surrogate and campaign advisor Mr. Jackson has claimed.

Thank you for your consideration. We are open to a dialogue to discuss our concerns with you further.

Sincerely,

    Brian C Johnson, CEO, Equality Illinois
    Michael Ziri, Director of Public Policy, Equality Illinois Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Deputy Director, Equality Illinois Former State Sen. Heather Steans
    State Rep. Kelly Cassidy
    State Rep. Sam Yingling
    Commissioner Kevin Morrison
    Ald. Tom Tunney (44)
    Ald. James Cappleman (46)
    Committeewoman Maggie O’Keefe

* Examples

Note: Mr. Jackson’s show begins daily with a song that includes the line “[Chicago Mayor Lori] Lightfoot seems more lesbian than Black.”

Feb 26, 2021
● “Eventually, removing gender will be an acceptable thing.” (00:39:50)
● “Being a man is part of life. Being a woman is part of life. Now they’ve added all of these adjectives in between, but literally, we are at a point where they are saying that it they are teaching children, that it is wrong to be a man or a woman.” (41:40)
● “Where are we that it is now wrong to be a man or a woman? Like, it’s not that we are not including all of the alphabet in between. After we include the [LGBT] alphabet in between, they want to eliminate the original letters.” (43:37)
● “So there’s M and there is F, right? We have always lived with male and female. We have now added LGBTQ and whatever else. I’m OK–I have learned to be OK with that. But the moment that the [LGBT] letters in between are now saying that they want to eliminate the bookends. I’m lost! Am I supposed to just be OK with this?! I don’t want my son to go to the store and not see Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head.” (43:47)
● “Are you literally telling me that we’re now at the point where Mr. and Mrs. makes people so uncomfortable…what about all the Mr. and Mrs. that love being Mr. and Mrs. or Mr. and Miss can?” (45:50)
● “There are way more people that identify as male and female than that do identify all those other letters combined, and how are all of those other letters combined now seeking to eliminate, minimize, emasculate–literally the two outsides [M and F]? Like, I feel like having this conversation, somebody’s gonna say I’m having hate speech.” (46:33)
● “Life has changed. I’m OK with that. But I am not OK with being told in any way shape or form that it is wrong to identify that being identifying something as a male or a female should make anyone uncomfortable.” (49:50)
● “There’s your truth and then there’s facts. Now you can add to the facts but until you can prove to me there’s no such thing as a man or a woman, then they’re trying to create an alternate reality.” (52:52)
● “I think it starts with a toy. I think it’s [a toy] because they want to educate and indoctrinate the next generation.” (53:17)
● “We are getting to a place that is bordering on obscene to me” (54:26)
● “I think it’s ludicrous that we have to defend the concept of a Mr or Mrs.” (56:00)
● “This right here is how you get to your Handmaid’s Tale. When you start deaffirming men and women, they are the majority.” (56:30)
● “This whole concept that there is this worldwide movement to eliminate gender, because somebody decides it’s the new, hot button issue to prove that you’re equal, it’s freaking crazy to me.” (57:33)
● “Are we really moving to a point where we’re saying there are no men and no women—that everything is just the same? And are we really accepting that? This is where a Maze Jackson would be meeting in the parking lot with Hillbilly Jim. ‘Hillbilly Jim, me and you, we’re on the endangered species list.’” (57:53)

55:19, September 27, 2021
“I don’t like [director Lee Daniels] either. I don’t like how he turned everybody gay.”

I’ve asked for comment from the Steele campaign. I’ll let you know if there’s a response.

       

12 Comments
  1. - Roadrager - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 3:07 pm:

    You wanted Maze to run your comms, you get all of Maze’s comms. Lesson learned, hopefully.


  2. - Amalia - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 3:34 pm:

    anti Semitic, anti Hispanic, anti LGBTQ and truly disgusting. and Kari doesn’t handle the response well, nor get the person closest to her to change. Don’t vote for her.


  3. - Me Too 2 - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 4:11 pm:

    Kari Steele’s responses to these letters are similar to the it will pass nothing to see here attitude Speaker Madigan had at the start of the sexual harassment claims. I guess that’s what happens when you have his leftovers running your campaign.


  4. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 4:27 pm:

    Fitz Kaegi got lucky his opponent is married to and supports such a liability.


  5. - PublicServant - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 5:14 pm:

    She better “be about it” regarding distancing herself from Maze’s comments asap.


  6. - Over It - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 5:39 pm:

    they’re trying too hard here. this one is gonna backfire.


  7. - Chito - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 6:54 pm:

    But why has it taken the election for her to call him out on this behavior when he’s been doing it for years on WVON?


  8. - SaulGoodman - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 6:56 pm:

    ** they’re trying too hard here. this one is gonna backfire.**

    Huh?


  9. - Ashante - Thursday, Jun 2, 22 @ 9:37 pm:

    Maze has always been problematic. Even when he was on WVON.


  10. - Hmm - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 7:24 am:

    So she and Maze apologized for the anti-semitism, they didn’t apologize but gave a statement about the anti-Latino comments, and on this one they’re just…not gonna respond at all? That’s one approach.


  11. - anon2 - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 7:34 am:

    On gender, Maize represents the feelings of lots of people outside the LGBT+ community who don’t believe defending traditional gender is akin to racism or antisemitism.


  12. - Bothanspied - Friday, Jun 3, 22 @ 10:54 am:

    ==Huh?==

    I think OP was saying (and I agree) that this letter has been in the chamber and ready to go at the same time as the Anti-Semetic open letter. They are just staggering release to remind voters.


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