Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has maintained institutional racism has influenced media coverage of his presidency and campaign for reelection.
And now a number of leaflets using racist language, purportedly being distributed by his supporters, are outlining an "Irish" conspiracy allegedly coordinated by Mayor Richard M. Daley, Gov. Pat Quinn and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to keep Stroger out of office.
The fliers, which claim to be from the so-called "Soldiers for Stroger," encourage voters to vote for Stroger “in the spirit of Black History Month and Dr. King’s birthday.” Yet they call the Daley, Quinn and Madigan “massa,” and disparage a number of other local politicos. The Illinois Review blog was the first to report on the fliers.
Stroger’s opponents in the race for board president are smeared: Alderman Toni Preckwinkle is referred to as “Aunt Je'Mamie;” Clerk of Court Dorothy Brown is called “Ass Kizzy;” and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District President Terrence O’Brien is labeled “Cracker Boy Bottom Feeder.” A reference to the n-word is positioned near a photo of Brown.
The fliers give phone numbers for interested people to call, one of which is that of Wallace “Gator” Bradley, a reformed gang member turned community activist, who endorsed Stroger in a racially-tinged e-mail today.
Bradley, a gang member pardoned by Gov. Jim Thompson and co-founder of 21st Century Vote and the Gang Peace Summits, designed to help decrease gang and youth violence, released a statement declaring his endorsement for Stroger, but did not explain why he supports Stroger.
Messages left on Bradley’s cell phone, as well as the other number included on the flier, were not returned Monday.
A bizarre e-mail accompanying the statement takes veiled aim at white Illinois Democrats, including Daley and O’Brien, saying “Irishmen” are conspiring to split the black vote. The Sun-Times reported in November that several of O’Brien’s campaign workers also worked with Brown's campaign to get petition signatures.
The e-mail also references the Willie Lynch Letter, a famous screed written by a slave owner on how to control the slave population.
There is no indication at this point that the Stroger campaign sought or approved of Bradley's endorsement or the leaflets.
We are awaiting a statement from the Stroger campaign, which campaign manager Vince Williams says is forthcoming.
The Preckwinkle, Brown and O'Brien campaigns have yet to respond to calls for comment, as well.
Republican candidate John Garrido released a statement condemning the tactic:
"I am dumbfounded that our county's highest elected executive official condones this behavior. His behavior has extended far, far beyond bad public policy; this leaflet reflects moral reprehensibility at its core, and someone with ambition so blind does not belong in a position of authority over $3 billion of the taxpayers' dollars."
The text of Bradley’s e-mail is below:
My mellows we can't afford to lose this elections, the future of our children are at stake. Put this on your Facebook walls and share it with you FB families, e-blast this with the attachments and ask them to do the same thing, we were prepared and taught in the 90's by 21 Century VOTE.
Now we must save our community, it is our responsibility as a power to be reckon with. The election is February 2, 2010, early voting starts Jan. 11, 2010 - Jan. 28, 2010.
Remember what happen in 1989 we have been catching hell for 20 years because the same people had our community spit the vote and Daley became Mayor.
This time the Irishmen are using 10 African- American woman who elected by us to spit the vote so that Irishmen can take control, this is no joke, never will Irish woman let African-American Men use them to spit their votes so that AFRICAN-AMERICAN MEN CAN TAKE OVER.
The women are 3rd Ward Ald/ Comm. Pat Dowell, 5th Ward Ald/Comm. Leslie Hairston, 7th Ward Ald/Comm. Sandi Jackson, 15th Ward Ald/ Comm. Toni Foukles, 17th Ward Ald/ Comm. Latasha R. Thomas, 24th Ward Ald/Comm. Sharon Denise Dixon, 37th Ward Ald/ Comm. Emma Mitts, Proviso Comm. Karen Yarbrough and the 2 women that's running against him.
At the COOK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEEMEN/ COMMITTEEWOMEN meeting President Todd Stroger got the votes of 23 committeemen/committeewomen ( 345,315 weighted vote); O'Brien 9 committeemen/committee( 140,525 weighted vote ); Preckwinckle 10 committeemen/ committeewomen ( 127,333 ); Brown 1 committeeman ( 17,002 weighted vote ).
THIS IS THE WILLIE LYNCH LETTER in full effect.
PUNCH 98 BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE !!!!!!!!!!!