Rahm Emanuel and the Pritzker Political Test

In recent years, Chicago politics has been revealed to be corrupt beyond imagination. In the past, the public might have turned a blind eye as the corruption simply appeared to be financial or political. As long as the public was served, who could complain? The public seemed to accept with resignation the cronyism, ghost work crews, and rigged electoral registrations. However, things have changed recently as events have made explicit the consequences of such corruption.

A corruption that can no longer be explained away by politics.

Chicago has been a corrupt and racist one party city for decades. Today, the problems are too obvious to explain away. The city’s failures are an embarrassment to the nation for it contains the brutal divide between rich and poor, whites and minorities, strong and weak. Chicago is two cities an Oligarchic city where you get justice, prosperity, and opportunity; and the Democratic city, where you get crime, poverty, and misfortune. The Pritzker test reveals a divided city where the common good is an illusion.

The Pritzker Test

The Pritzker family is one of the wealthiest, most powerful, influential families in Chicago and the United States.[1] They are part of Chicago’s social, political and economic establishment where they have supported the Democratic Party locally and nationally. As pillars of the Chicago establishment, they benefit from the system and the system benefits them. To see the divide, just replace the normal victim with a Pritzker.

Chicago’s disappeared how to lower your murder rate.

Over the past few years, murder victims have disappeared from official statistics. In the city’s efforts to reduce the murder rate homicides have been changed to noncriminal deaths.[2] The Mayor understood that a high murder rate would limit its ability to attract investment, which was needed to turn around the city’s finances. Despite claims that better policing was the cause, the reality was the city massaged the figures.

If a member of the Pritzker family was murdered in Chicago, it is unlikely that their death would be ruled a noncriminal death. The disappeared are the weak, the vulnerable, and the voiceless. The wealthy, powerful, and protected get justice; the poor, the weak, the vulnerable don’t.

Police Shootings: If you are black the city is more likely to kill you or abuse you.[3]

In Chicago, blacks are more likely to be shot by the city than any other ethnic group. Laquan McDonald was the latest in a long line of people shot to death by Chicago police.[4] Over the past 10 years, Chicago has paid out over half a billion dollars in compensation for these events.[5] Such money could have helped to reduce crime, regenerate impoverished neighbourhoods, and improve schools. Despite these deaths and their cost, the Chicago Police act with near impunity with few officers disciplined or dismissed as a result.[6]

If a Pritzker was shot by Chicago Police[7], would they have to wait a year for the video tape to be released? Would they have to wait a year or more for the investigation to be completed?

The Mayor serves the city’s most powerful faction not the city.

Chicago resists change by its ability to placate or co-opt those who might challenge it. The Pritzker test shows us who the city and its mayor exists to serve.

[1] The Pritzkers symbolizes Chicago’s oligarchy which contains many other Chicago plutocrats. The Pritzkers are the highest profile. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pritzker_family http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20120307/NEWS01/120309839/chicago-has-18-of-worlds-richest-people-on-forbes-list Although they are not omnipotent http://evanstonnow.com/story/real-estate/bill-smith/2013-11-19/59640/alderman-kills-pritzker-bb-bid-in-chicago

[2] http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/May-2014/Chicago-crime-rates/

[3] http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2015/12/chicago-officer-misconduct-allegations

[4] http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2014/08/27/protesters-demand-federal-investigation-into-police-shootings/

[5] Between 2004 and 2014, the city paid out over $520 million in settlements, legal fees and other costs related to police misconduct, according to the Better Government Association.” http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2015/12/chicago-officer-misconduct-allegations

[6] http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/26986-amid-shootings-chicago-police-department-upholds-culture-of-impunity See also “Since 2001, civilians have lodged 20 complaints against Van Dyke. None were sustained by investigators.

While it may seem surprising that so many complaints against one officer would be tossed out, a Huffington Post analysis of four years of city data released by the Invisible Institute, a non-profit journalism organization, reveals that there are more than 180 city police officers with more complaints than Van Dyke who weren’t disciplined at all over that time.” http://data.huffingtonpost.com/2015/12/chicago-officer-misconduct-allegations

[7] A person might say “Well, a Pritzker is never going to be shot by the police as they do not disobey police orders and they obey the law.” In this they would be correct. Yet, that misses the point. Would the police even dare to approach them with the same aggressiveness and brutality that they show to those in Lawndale or Austin? A critic would say “Well, they would not need to act aggressively as the situation could be resolved in a low key way; they are only a low level threat”. In this they would be true, but then we would remember that Laquan McDonald was not a threat.


About lawrence serewicz

An American living and working in the UK trying to understand the American idea and explain it to others. The views in this blog are my own for better or worse.
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