SUBSCRIPT: Mayor Macho Makes War on Teachers While Drug Gangs Manufacture More Menace

Rahm may be letting Chicago's massive drug gangs get away with murder, but he's sure going to win his little war against the remaining public school teachers in Chicago, that's for sure. And in the process he'll have the support of every preacher in town who has cashed in for the last 20, 30 or 40 years leading those heart warming marches against "violence" while looking the other way as the Disciples, Black Stones or Latin Kings across the street from that "church" put a little extra in the preacher's mailbox to keep God happy.

Flanked by his usual phalanx of security (above left), patronage preachers (second from left), and media touts, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (above right) announced on August 2, 2011 that kids should get to school on the first day of the "Track E" schools. Not one reporter asked the heavily scripted mayor why this particular publicity stunt (one of hundreds during the first year of the Reign of Rahm) was held at a Catholic school (St. Sabina's) when the whole gig was supposedly to announce that kids should be sure to get to their local public schools. Since his attacks on Calumet High School and his kind words for charter schools more than ten years ago, Pfleger, like dozens of other Chicago preachers, has profited from the privatization scams and anti-violence programs that have proliferated across Chicago. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.That's certainly how it looked as the last week of May ended. Rahm's police state had defeated the anti-NATO forces of evil. Rahm the Magnificent was preparing, like a scene from one of those superhero action movies, to go up against the EMPIRE OF THE TEACHERS! The trouble with Government By Publicity Stunt is that it often collides with reality, whether in Iraq (remember "Mission Accomplished"?), Afghanistan (Osama is dead; where are all those bodies coming from?) or the vast ghettos and barrios of the Second City.

But forget about the reality that posted eight murders over the weekend after NATO and three or four dozen people shot (not yet dead). Rahm's riding to the rescue — from the unions of teachers, cops and firefighters.

We're sure before this is over, Rahm will be hosting a half dozen playlets against violence (and our unions) standing alongside the likes of Michael Pfleger and a dozen or so less-er publicity hounds of the cloth. As long as the cameras are rolling and the cash is rolling in, these guys are ready for the next 20 or 30 years of “Culture of Calm” or whatever the lat-est scam will be. They have been cashing in on the "anti-violence" Chicago scams since long before Derrion Albert briefly became a worldwide household name. And with the People and Folks cunningly realizing how to profit from the cash nexus of capitalism that Rahm adores and at the altar of which his preacher buddies worship, the fix, as they say, will stay in. 


June 5, 2012 at 11:17 PM

By: Michael Cherone

Fr. Pfleger Shows His True Colors

Apparently Fr. Pfleger IS in the pocket of an AstroTurf organization. His letter to the editor of the Chicago Tribune sounds as if it was written by Mary Anderson of Stand On Children or Robin Steans of Advance Illinois.

June 6, 2012 at 3:18 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Pfleger's true colors — teacher bashing, union busting privatization tout

Anyone paying attention to the media-centric career of the Rev. Michael Pfleger has known his true colors for decades. Aside from always trying to gather the media spotlight to himself, Pflerger has been a consistent enemy of the Chicago Teachers Union and public schools from the earliest days of privatization and union busting charter schools.

In 2004, to cite just one example reported then in Substance, Pfleger bad-mouthed Calumet High School on cue from Arne Duncan and one of his paymasters, Richard M. Daley, helping to pave the way for the destruction of Calumet and its eventual (and expensive) giveaway to the "Perspectives" charter school. Pfleger claimed that Calumet was not a "school of choice" for "his community" and therefore it was the fault of the teachers (who were fired) and the public school (which was replaced with a charter school that has been failing ever since; with no further comment from Pfleger).

Pfleger's version of his theology, aside from being aimed at maximum media spotlighting, has been anti-union and anti-public school forever. By the time he was asked by Arne Duncan and Richard M. Daley to do some teacher bashing around the Calumet thingy as part of the foreplay to "Renaissance 2010" he was already well practiced. Typically, Pfleger did his Judas turn against Calumet's teachers in the media, but avoided the hearing on the closing of Calumet like the coward he has always been. I know; I was there.

The only question that arose then, and now, was why his every lurch and burp gets media coverage. If the media version of reality were so important (other than as a dodge from the real issues in certain communities), then that part of town would have been free of guns and "violence" a decade or three ago. Instead, the historical clips show and endless run of publicity stunts, some now as old as the youngest bodies in this year's drug gang body count.

But these are not questions that can be answered by us at Substance.

If Pfleger's fulminations were the answer to solving any Chicago problem, then the city's drug gangs would have been exorcised long long ago. The clip files show that Pfleger has been marching and shrieking against "violence" and "guns" for more than a generation. Somehow, he seems to be aiming at the wrong targets, and very consistently. One of his biggest successes has been in the teacher bashing, union busting, and privatization that accompanied his attack on Calumet High School.

It makes you wonder why he doesn't get more specific about the actual gangs that are using those guns on the children within a few blocks of St. Sabina's.

Or maybe there is are much more interesting explanations for that deft vagueness.

Pfleger is one of the earliest ongoing examples of Chicago's "Rent A Preacher" program, going back to long before Rahm's recent antics.

And his take from the deals makes Rev. Roosevelt Watkins and Watkin's weatherization programs — and the other guys currently under "investigation" (hah, do you really believe that one?) — look like the lurkers in the back pews who pilfer pennies from the Poor Box. Pfleger's long been far from that league.

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