Racially charged flyers can be a turnoff to voters




By Juanita Bratcher


The last thing Cook County Board President Todd Stroger needs is for overzealous supporters to put out a racially charged campaign flyer that pokes insulting remarks against Irish and Black elected officials. And it’s certainly not a politically savvy way to win an election, or give a good shot-in-the-arm to a campaign.

Although Stroger’s campaign immediately distanced itself from the flyer, according to news reports, Wallace “Gator” Bradley, a political activist who in the past made a run for alderman of the 3rd Ward against former Alderman Dorothy Tillman, admitted that he was part of a group of voters behind the flyer; an effort, he says, to unite the African-American community in Cook County.

The flyer, entitled “Democratic Slavery,” refers to Mayor Richard M. Daley, Governor Pat Quinn, and Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as “Massa.” It labels Alderman Toni Preckwinkle as “Aunt Je’Mame”; Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, “A– Kizzy”; Cook County Commissioner Robert Steele, “Boy”; Congressman Danny K. Davis, “Negro Overseer”; Hussan Muhammad, “House Nigga”; State Representative Art Turner, “Farnsworth”; and Water Reclamation District of Chicago President Terrence O’Brien, “Cracker Boy” Bottom Feeder. Also inscribed on the flyer was “White Man’s N.GG..”

Reportedly, Bradley and others in the group feel that Brown and Preckwinkle – African-American women running for Cook County Board President, are being used by white Irish Democrats to split the black vote, in an orchestrated effort to oust Stroger.

But the flyer was a big turn-off to some voters who readily voiced their complaints. Politics is competitive, just like sports. And it is unconscionable to expect someone to put their ambitions aside to make way for another’s ambition. Let the chips fall where they may!

If the voters feel that Stroger is the best man for the job and deserves to remain in office, they will vote to keep him there. On the other hand, if voters want to change the leadership in Cook County government, they won’t hesitate to do that, too.