This April, as the city of Chicago prepares for the upcoming Democratic National Convention, the council appears divided and rushed. According to multiple African American aldermen, Mayor Daley has not allowed for equal representation in the planning of the Convention.
“Mayor Daley is not prioritizing minority opinion,” said the Alderman of Ward 2. In the wake of Martin Luther King Jr.’s sudden and violent assassination, civil rights and representation are more pressing than ever.
As the council entered voting procedure to bring in the National Guard, anti-rioters or keep just the Chicago police force during the convention, Robert Kennedy’s assassination was announced. The council was overcome with shock and paused to take a moment of silence in his honor. After the somber moment, the Alderman of Ward 2 spoke up again, questioning why Kennedy’s death received a moment of silence, but MLK’s did not.
The council was brought back once again to the topic of civil rights and the unrest that will undoubtedly come with the Democratic National Convention in August. After voting procedure, the committee plans to confront the aftermath of MLK’s death. Mayor Daley’s rumored corruption will pose a controversial topic of debate in this future discussion.
Factors adding to the unrest are the recent statements that the Chicago Tribune has received from an anonymous source about what President Lyndon B. Johnson has said to his cabinet behind closed doors. His statements exhibit the very racism that he claims is dividing the nation. While he promises to honor MLK after his untimely death, he proves that racism is still very prominent-- at the expense of his own reputation. Updates will follow regarding these statements.
As the Chicago City Council recovers from these deaths, the discussion will turn towards the pent up anger over racial injustice, how it will be confronted after MLK’s passing and what the council will do to address it.