Destroying the evidence of a racist attack on Chicago communities and public education... Rahm Emanuel administration begins the GREAT WHITE OUT of schools and communities following the massive closings voted on by the Board of Education on May 22, 2013

While protesters for the most part have concentrated their attention during the summer of 2013 on events in and around Chicago's downtown — with focuses on the City Council Education Committee, that State of Illinois, and of course the headquarters of the Chicago Public Schools at 125 S. Clark St. — an almost unthinkable job is being done across the city's black communities. It can only be called THE GREAT WHITE OUT. Officials of the Chicago Public Schools have ordered that the names of the schools that have been closed during the greatest school closing in American history be whited out — literally — as if they never existed. From the West Side to the far South Side, someone with official permission and orders has been whiting out — i.e., painting over — the names of the schools that have been destroyed by the administration of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and his appointed schools "Chief Executive Officer" Barbara Byrd Bennett.

Rahm Emanuel's CPS 'team' has been going around Chicago whiting out the evidence of the recent crime of closing 49 of the city's real public schools behind the twin pretexts of "underutilization" and "billion dollar deficit". Above, a school on Chicago's West Side less than a month after the Chicago Board of Education voted to close it. The Black American hero after whom the school was named might actually have gotten the dubious segregationist humor of the event, since it took him and his family generations to be recognized for his heroic work during the age of exploration. What was the name of the school above before Rahm's Racists did their WHITE OUT? Substance photo by Susan Zupan.Since the beginning of the summer, officials of the city's dwindling public school system have been in a systematic way painting over the signs, most of which were erected at local school and community expense, proclaiming the name of the school that has been erased by the May 22 vote of the Chicago Board of Education to close 49 of the city's real public schools. With most public attention focused on the tragedies unfolding for 30,000 children and thousands of teachers and other staff from those schools which were placed on the mayor's Hit List, the destruction of the evidence of history has gone largely unnoticed.

Although Substance reporters haven't surveyed all of the schools recently attacked by the Emanuel administration, those we've checked by August 12, 2013 have faced the same fate: the sign proclaiming the name of the school has been erased, and often other evidence of the name has been removed, too. CPS has not announced who is paying for the paint-over.

One of the interesting aspects of the GREAT RAHM WHITE OUT of 2013 is that many of the schools that were closed by the Board vote of May 22, 2013 were named after African American heroes. The names were often the result of battles in the community to mark the lives of heroes of the past. But as of August 2013, Chicago children could no longer find evidence of what had once been Crispus Attucks Elementary School (3813 S. Dearborn) or Matthew Henson Elementary School (1326 S. Avers) or dozens of others.

Substance reporters will be working on the GREAT RAHM WHITE OUT project for the remainder of the summer of 2013. Government by publicity stunt requires the kinds of historical dishonesty that characterizes both the City Hall and CPS renditions of the administration of Rahm Emanuel, and without the visual evidence, many people will try to convince themselves — and history — that these racist attacks never happened. After all, Chicago's mayor was brought by his Mom to Chicago to march in "civil rights" marches back when he was younger. If you don't believe it, just read one of the recent books or magazine articles praising the glories of Rahm and the Emanuels.

For the present, and for historical accuracy, it's worth listing here the names of those who actually did the deeds between September 2012 and August 2013.

Barbara Byrd Bennett, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

James Bebley, Chief Legal Counsel, Chicago Public Schools

David Vitale, President, Chicago Board of Education

Jesse Ruiz, Vice President, Chicago Board of Education

Carlos Azcoitia, member, Chicago Board of Education

Henry Bienen, member, Chicago Board of Education

Mahalia Hines, member, Chicago Board of Education

Deborah Quazzo, member, Chicago Board of Education

Adrea Zopp, member, Chicago Board of Education

For any legal atrocity from the Dred Scott decision or Plessy versus Ferguson to the votes to close Chicago's public schools in 2013 to become legal, someone has to do it. These are the people who did this one, and like their predecessors, they need to be remembered by posterity as people drive through Chicago looking for the schools that once upon a time were named for some of the most tested and tried heroes of their communities.


August 14, 2013 at 6:10 AM

By: Rod Estvan

Add Cawley's name to the list

I would suggest that Tim Cawley was more critical to the closing process than any of those named in the article.

Rod Estvan

August 16, 2013 at 11:16 PM

By: Susan Zupan

More names for the list...

Please also add: all past members of the unelected School Bored(s) of Education in Chicago as well as past CEOs (since 1995), including Arne Duncan and his boss "Bush/Obama" (of the United States' only political party, the capital letters $$$GREEN$$$ Party). Please also add: all past and present, arrogant and incompetent "higher ups" in the CPS "Cabinet" and/or assorted ever-name-changing departments/areas/regions/networks, especially those from the most seriously beyond failing schools that totally need to be closed down next including: Harvard, Northwestern, and the University of Chicago, whose graduates are running/ruining the entire world into the ground, not just public education.

And finally, please add the names of the cowardly federal judges from the Northern District of Illinois: U.S. District Judges Gary Feinerman and John Z. Lee.

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