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Rahm Emanuel’s Odd Idea Of “Chicago Values”

At a press event yesterday, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel spoke out against Chick-fil-A over its President’s comments about same-sex marriage:

“Chick-fil-A’s values are not Chicago values. They’re not respectful of our residents, our neighbors and our family members. And if you’re gonna be part of the Chicago community, you should reflect Chicago values,” Emanuel said Wednesday.

“What the CEO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe, but more importantly, it’s not what the people of Chicago believe. We just passed legislation as it relates to civil union and my goal and my hope … is that we now move on recognizing gay marriage. I do not believe that the CEO’s comments … reflects who we are as a city.”

The same day that story ran, the Chicago Sun-Times also reported that Emanuel was “welcoming” the assistance of Louis Farakhan and the Nation of Islam in combating the recent uptick in violence in the city:

 Ignoring Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks, Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday welcomed the army of men dispatched to the streets by Farrakhan to stop the violence in Chicago neighborhoods

(…)

For the last two Mondays, black men in dress suits and bow ties fanned out across violence-plagued Chicago neighborhoods — first Auburn-Gresham, then South Shore — to form a human wall of protection against any sudden outbreak of gunfire.

The army of men, know as the Fruit of Islam, were led by Farrakhan, who ordered the show of force in response to last month’s brutal murder of seven-year-old Heaven Sutton.

Emanuel’s decision to steer clear of Farrakhan’s history of anti-Semitic remarks is a far cry from the 1994 controversy that followed former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s private meeting with Farrkakhan.

During the meeting, Daley prodded Farrakhan to work out his differences with Jewish leaders in talks arranged by the Commission on Human Relations. Daley even hinted that if those conversations did not take place, the Nation of Islam would have trouble winning the city approval needed for its planned development along the 79th Street commercial strip.

Jewish leaders refused to engage in the dialogue. They were so concerned about the mayor’s private meeting with Farrakhan they demanded an audience of their own to clear the air. Daley used that meeting to deny ever suggesting the give-and-take.

“There’s been a rather longstanding pattern where Minister Farrakhan has talked about wanting dialogue. There have even been a couple of instances where members of the Jewish community have met with him,” Michael Kotzin, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, said at the time.

“Invariably, he’s been unchanged after that. They have felt betrayed by things he said to them. Been there. Don’t want to be there again and be put in that kind of box. All that happens is that he gains from those kinds of meetings a kind of credibility, legitimacy and stature. That’s all that would come of it.”

Farakhan’s history of anti-semitism is so well-known that it barely needs to be repeated, and it’s interesting that Emanuel is willing to ignore all of that and yet considers a private business that employees thousands of people and provides a product that people want to be so anathema that he’s willing to endorse a plainly unconstitutional effort to ban them.

So let me get this straight. Under Emanuel’s version of “Chicago values” a private company headed by a man who did nothing but express his religious beliefs is unacceptable but an anti-semitic race hustler who heads an organization that has a long history of intimidating outsiders is totally acceptable. Something doesn’t compute there, Rahm.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Jeremy says:

    Wait, Chicago has values?

  2. Rahm did. He didn’t say they were good values.

  3. Jeremy says:

    Perhaps, in a less snarky fashion, can any geographic location have values, per se? Generally, those are associated with human beings, not places.

  4. It should be noted that Farakhan is also quote vocally opposed to homosexuality:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2QkE8M6Gq8

  5. Modulo Myself says:

    So let me get this straight. Under Emanuel’s version of “Chicago values” a private company headed by a man who did nothing but express his religious beliefs is unacceptable but an anti-semitic race hustler who heads an organization that has a long history of intimidating outsiders is totally acceptable

    Sorry, he’s not expressing his religious beliefs. He wants to tell people who don’t share his religious beliefs what they can and can not do regarding who they marry. This isn’t expression; it’s control.

    And as far as Farrakhan goes, what was Emmanuel supposed to do, have the police arrest a human wall because the National of Islam is a crazy bunch of anti-semites?

  6. Gromitt Gunn says:

    I can’t wait for Pamela Gellar to start calling Rahm a JINO.

  7. wr says:

    Things that deeply trouble Doug: A corporation faces criticism and opposition for its political activities.

    Things that don’t trouble Doug: Estimates that as much as 11% of the electorate could be disenfranchised by voter ID laws.

    Of course to be fair, the corporation in question is running into trouble for supporting discrimination against a minority group, while the voters to be disenfranchized are almost all members of various minority groups. So maybe it’s not that Doug cares more about corporations than non-corporate people. Maybe it’s just another instance of his not giving a damn about anyone who isn’t directly related to him — aka libertarianism.

  8. Modulo,

    Dan Cathy isn’t the person responsible for the fact that same-sex marriage is illegal in all but a handful of states

  9. @Doug Mataconis:

    And as I just pointed out, Farakhan ALSO wants to keep same-sex marriage illegal. If that view is enough to justify banning Cathy from building a restaurant in the city, how can you allow Farakhan to start patrolling the streets as a quasi-police force?

  10. Gromitt Gunn says:

    @Doug Mataconis: No one person is responsible. But he does fund the political speech and activities of groups that have actively worked against same-sex marriage referenda (referendums?) in multiple states. How is that different than if they spent the money directly on political speech themselves? Money is fungible, right?

  11. mantis says:

    Here is the sum total of Emanuel’s “welcome” of Farrakhan.

    “People of faith have a role to play and community leaders have a role to play in helping to protect our neighborhoods and our citizens. You cannot get there on just one piece of an anti-crime strategy,” the mayor said.

    “The police have a role to play. Tearing down abandoned buildings has a role to play. Shutting liquor stores that are a cancer in the community have a role to play. Community leaders have a role to play. Pastors have a role to play. Principals have a role to play. And most importantly, parents have roles to play. They have decided, the Nation of Islam, to help protect the community. And that’s an important ingredient, like all the other aspects of protecting a neighborhood.”

    That’s it. He didn’t “welcome” Farrakhan at all, in fact. He said that Nation of Islam is part of the religious community that is needed to combat the violence.

  12. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Maybe not, but he and his company are actively supporting orginizations that are trying to perpetiuate that discrimination via financial donnations.

    I don’t agree with Rahm on his stance with Chick-fil-a or Farrakhan, but you can’t deny that Dan Cathy and his corporation are activily supporting discrimination. Dan Cathy and Chick-fil-a are just as bad as Farrakan and his anti-semetic goon squad.

  13. @Vast Variety:

    So that gives Chicago politicians the right to deny them building permits because of the political statements made by their President?

  14. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: No it doesn’t and I’ve said as much in other posts on this subject.

    My point is that Dan Cathy is doing more than just “express his religious beliefs”.

  15. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    So that gives Chicago politicians the right to deny them building permits because of the political statements made by their President?

    Chicago aldermen have that power regardless of the reason. You may think they shouldn’t have that power, as I do, and you may have opinions about ways of taking it away, but there it is.

  16. rudderpedals says:

    @Vast Variety: That’s the way I see it too. Cathy and Farrakhan are variations on the same theme.

  17. Vast Variety says:

    I’d also like to point out that it’s people like Dan Cathy that encourage crap like this…

    https://twitter.com/SW_TeaPartyUSA

    “@ChickfilA you know what to do, so I pray to god that we will one day take back our country from these fags and dykes who want to destroy it “

  18. Equating Dan Cathy and Louis Farakhan is just idiotic. Especially when you the position Cathy takes is shared by a majority of the American public still. I think he’s wrong, but equating his religious views with Farakhan’s obvious and openly stated hostility toward Jews is absurd.

  19. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Why? Farakhan’s anti-semitism is simply HIS religious view.

  20. Vast Variety says:

    And the argument that it’s what the majority of Americans agree doesn’t make it any better. In the 50’s and 60’s the majority of Americans agreed with the Jim Crow laws of the South.

  21. Again, I disagree with him but I fail to see anything in what Mr. Cathy said — which in the end merely boils down to the assertion that he supports traditional marriage, a position that Barack Obama himself held until April — that comes anywhere close to the vile rhetoric that has come out of Farakhan’s mouth about Jews, Christians, and white people.

  22. @Vast Variety:

    And I’d also point out that Farakhan has said far more vile things about gay people than the statements from Mr. Cathy that have ignited this latest, and largely pointless, controversy.

  23. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: HE has given money to orginzaions that want to “cure” us and equates us with pedifiles. That’s no different that Farahkan.

  24. And HE is merely a corporate officer. You do realize that CFA is a franchise operation, right? Most of the restaurants are owned by independent businessmen and women

  25. Besides, what Rahm and the Alderman are talking about doing is, as I said yesterday, completely unconstitutional

  26. Vast Variety says:

    @Doug Mataconis: That capitialization was unitentional.

    And, yes I do but as the President of the corporation he is speaking on behalf of all of them, unless for some odd reason Citizen’s United doesn’t apply to him.

    And I agree with you that what Rahm is trying to do with their building permits is uncontitutional.

  27. My point is that Chik-Fil-A doesnt’ discriminate in hiring or service. Cathy has the same beliefs Obama had before his magical conversion brought out sooner by Biden. This whole thing is being blown massively out of proportion

  28. mantis says:

    Again, I disagree with him but I fail to see anything in what Mr. Cathy said — which in the end merely boils down to the assertion that he supports traditional marriage, a position that Barack Obama himself held until April — that comes anywhere close to the vile rhetoric that has come out of Farakhan’s mouth about Jews, Christians, and white people.

    Millions from the Cathys’ charity goes to Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, and other bigot groups. In short, they help to pay Brian Fischer’s salary. You know Brian Fischer, right? Yeah, you do. You’ve written about him a bunch.

    So, question: are Bryan Fischer and Louis Farrakhan at all similar in your opinion?

  29. Bryan Fischer is not affiliated with CFA and your attempt to use guilt-by-association is rejected.

  30. Lit3Bolt says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    That’s rich coming from someone who just tried to do that with Rahm in this very post.

    I’m sure as a proud culture warrior, you have already absolved yourself for being one.

    After all, having thoughts, beliefs, motives, and opinions consistent with Republicans does not make you one, right Doug?

  31. @Lit3Bolt:

    Emanuel is the Mayor of Chicago. He claimed that CFA violates and then effectively endorsed a plan to keep them out advanced by an Alderman that would clearly be unconstitutional. Then, he turns around and does business with a vile anti-semite that heads an organization that believes its previous leader communicated with aliens in a giant UFO orbiting Earth.

    I’m just wondering what Rahm’s ideal of “Chicago values” are that allows him to make that kind of decision.

  32. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “And HE is merely a corporate officer. You do realize that CFA is a franchise operation, right? Most of the restaurants are owned by independent businessmen and women”

    Fascinating. And here I was just reading in another thread on this board how CFA is entirely a family-owned and run operation. Now I find out the family is just one tiny part of a huge organization made up of innocent victims. I guess whichever facts are convenient are the ones that get used.

  33. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “Then, he turns around and does business with a vile anti-semite that heads an organization that believes its previous leader communicated with aliens in a giant UFO orbiting Earth. ”

    Louis Farrakhan is a scientologist?

  34. @Doug Mataconis:

    And HE is merely a corporate officer. You do realize that CFA is a franchise operation, right? Most of the restaurants are owned by independent businessmen and women

    This isn’t true. Chik-Fil-A doesn’t allow any owner-operated franchises. They’re all corporate owned.

  35. Then they’ve wasted a lot of time creating this portion of their website.

  36. @Doug Mataconis:

    For an initial financial commitment of $5,000, selected franchisees (who we call Operators) are granted the rights necessary to operate a franchised Chick-fil-A Restaurant business.

    Note the key words “rights necessary to operate” not “rights necessary to own”. And they spell it out further below: “This is not the right opportunity for you if you: •Are seeking an investment or an equity position in a business.” A Chick-Fil-A operator does not own anything. From Forbes Magazine:

    Chick-fil-A pays for the land, the construction and the equipment. It then rents everything to the franchisee for 15% of the restaurant’s sales plus 50% of the pretax profit remaining. Operators, who are discouraged from running more than a few restaurants, take home $100,000 a year on average from a single outlet.

  37. There are several franchise operations that work like that. In any case, the point is that stupid boycotts like this, whether its of CFA for being anti-gay marriage or JC Penny for being pro-gay marriage, end up hurting a lot innocent parties.

    Which is why I choose not to base my consumer decisions on the political opinions of people who aren’t running for office.

  38. @Doug Mataconis:

    There are several franchise operations that work like that.

    How different corporations set up their franchise operations isn’t the point. The point is that your statement “Most of the restaurants are owned by independent businessmen and women” is 100% false. There is NOT ONE Chick-Fil-A that is owned by an independent owners, they’re all owned by the corporation.

  39. In any event, these franchisees are, like the employees, innocent parties that would be harmed by a stupid boycott.

  40. @Doug Mataconis:

    The franchises don’t exist independetly of the corporation the way it’s set up. Musing about their innocence is like debating whether Sandusky’s toes are innocent.

  41. wr says:

    @Doug Mataconis: “In any event, these franchisees are, like the employees, innocent parties that would be harmed by a stupid boycott.”

    Isn’t this the glory of the free market? Isn’t this the creative destruction that you so admire when it’s caused by Bain Capital looting the value of companies they buy and bankrupt? Is destruction only creative when it hurts the working class and not the owners?

  42. wr,

    I have never said that individuals don’t have a right to boycott for whatever reason they wish, merely that I do not share the desire to extend politics into every area of my life. When it comes to Emanuel and other political leaders, though, what they are suggesting be done is blatantly unconstitutional.

  43. Stormy,

    You might want to read this report in the Chicago Tribune about what the owner of Chicago’s only CFA franchise has to say.

  44. al-Ameda says:

    Why not a Chicago solution to this?

    Chicago has about 2.7M people, so why doesn’t Rahm urge all 3.5M of them
    to boycott Chick-Fil-A?

  45. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Bryan Fischer is not affiliated with CFA

    I didn’t say he was. I said the Cathys.

    and your attempt to use guilt-by-association is rejected.

    Oh, I see. Guilt by association is bad if it’s Dan Cathy, but good if it’s Emanuel. Do you ever stop to realize how full of shit you are?

  46. mantis,

    I am not associating Emanuel with anyone. I am merely trying to understand what he thinks “Chicago values” are given that he seems to think they find Dan Cathy unacceptable but an anti-semitic rabble-rouser like Louis Farakhan to be perfectly fine.

  47. @Doug Mataconis:

    I wonder if Aziz Latif agrees with her assertion that the company is dedicated to “serving all of our guests with honor, dignity and respect. … regardless of sexual orientation or beliefs”?

  48. OldSouth says:

    First question: So, you can do business in Chicago only so long as your political views co-incide with those of the politicians in power at the time?

    Second question: How would the press react to scores of Klan members, let’s call them ‘The Fruit of Dixie’ patrolling the streets of Atlanta with that mayor’s blessing?

  49. Eric Florack says:

    Lessee, here. Chicago Values…. The dead vote, corruption reigns supreme. The Chicken place tends to make money, provide a good service and by all accounts, tends to pay it’s bills on time. Yeah, I’d say he’s right, Chic -Fil-A doesn’t share Chicago values. Thank God for that.

    Here’s a news flash… What the mayor proposes… banning a business because the owner has a religion and isn’t afraid to speak of it, is unconstitutional. Government isn’t supposed to be picking winners and losers, and particularly where religion is concerned. Just as with Gun Control, that nasty old Constitution stands in the way, again.

    Meanwhile, Doug, you’re quite correct in pointing to the Mayor’s involvement with Screwy Louie. Now, of course, The screwball IS a Muslim, hmmm? I guess that would be right online with the Obama WH setting up a council on terrorism, and not inviting the JOOOOOOZ….

    (spit) Can the anti-Christian, anti-western, anti Freedom leanings of the left be any more obvious?

  50. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    I am not associating Emanuel with anyone.

    Yes you are. You invented the association for him, too.

    I am merely trying to understand what he thinks “Chicago values” are given that he seems to think they find Dan Cathy unacceptable but an anti-semitic rabble-rouser like Louis Farakhan to be perfectly fine.

    You have failed to show that Emanuel thinks Farrakhan is “perfectly fine” in any way. All you have shown is that Emanuel does not object to Chicago’s Nation of Islam members helping to fight gang violence on our streets. He didn’t meet with Farrakhan, he didn’t arrange anything with Farrakhan, and he didn’t publicly acknowledge Farrakhan in any way.

  51. mantis says:

    What the mayor proposes… banning a business because the owner has a religion and isn’t afraid to speak of it, is unconstitutional.

    The mayor has proposed no such thing. Liar.

  52. mantis says:

    @OldSouth:

    How would the press react to scores of Klan members, let’s call them ‘The Fruit of Dixie’ patrolling the streets of Atlanta with that mayor’s blessing?

    When was the last time the Nation of Islam lynched someone, assface?

  53. Eric Florack says:

    Ummmm Mantis?

    Try again.
    Rahm Emanuel on Wednesday said he supports a Chicago alderman’s plan to block the opening of a new Chick-fil-A location in the city because the president opposes gay marriage.

    Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno told the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday he is against the fast food chain opening a store in his neighborhood and that he would deny the restaurant a permit in the 1st Ward. Emanuel told the Tribune in a statement he agreed with Moreno, noting “Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values.”

    The mayor is doing what the leftists do best… being a little Stalinist thug.

  54. Eric Florack says:

    @al-Ameda:

    Chicago has about 2.7M people, so why doesn’t Rahm urge all 3.5M of them
    to boycott Chick-Fil-A?

    Funny thing about that…. the traffic at the places in Chicago, are going crazy with the traffic., based on what I’m hearing from the locals.

    I’d say the Mayor’s already lost this one. Of course, the lamestream media won’t report that.

  55. @mantis:

    When was the last time the Nation of Islam lynched someone, assface?

    February 21, 1965?

  56. @mantis:

    Accepting the assistance of the Nation of Islam without acknowledging the evil they represent is accepting that evil

  57. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    Can you, Doug, or any of the other geniuses who are posting here (that leaves Bit out) say “false equivalence?” I didn’t think so. While both Chick Fil-A’s CEO and Minister Farakhan are probably nice enough people to live next door to, and they both have repulsive public opinions on a variety of topics, their actions are not the same and Mayor Emmanuel’s response to each reflects that difference. The Nation of Islam is taking action to make it’s community safer–if you, the city of Chicago, or anyone else doesn’t want avowed anti-semites helping to keep the city safe, find a more palatable organization and CONVINCE THAT ONE to do the job. Until then, accept whatever help you can get graciously.

    Chick Fil-A is moving to Chicago (assuming that is even happening at all) to make money. There is nothing wrong with making money, nor is there any fault in my mind with running a business on “Biblical” principles (though I really have serious doubts about whether Americans have adequate understanding ot the Bible to do it). But, making money does not, directly or indirectly, contribute to the public safety. Maybe in Dougrandistan there is a connection between the two, maybe on the planet Zoltar there are connections, but where I live, there is no particular connection between public safety and making money. Bob Cathy is entitled to hold whatever beliefs that he wants, but he is even a bigger idiot that certain nameless contributors to these threads if he believes that there is no societal pushback when CEOs say offensive things.

    The mayor is perfectly entitled to hold both positions. They are not in conflict with each other intellectually, morally, ethically, or logically. Why he doesn’t want a business to open in Chicago is a puzzle to me–the tax revenues will look better in the Chicago treasury than they will in the Urbana one–but that is a choice the Alderpeople and mayor are entitled to make.

  58. anjin-san says:

    equating his religious views with Farakhan’s obvious and openly stated hostility toward Jews is absurd.

    Why? His religious views entail obvious and openly stated hostility towards gays and lesbians. What exactly is the difference? Religious hatred and bigotry exposed by the head of a corporation is somehow more palatable?

  59. anjin-san says:

    The mayor is doing what the leftists do best… being a little Stalinist thug.

    Is this really what passes for a thought in your sorry little brain?

  60. racehorse says:

    @Vast Variety: This man has done a lot of good. Go to cathyfamily.com and read about this amazing and wonderful person.

  61. al-Ameda says:

    @Eric Florack:
    I

    ’d say the Mayor’s already lost this one. Of course, the lamestream media won’t report that.

    “lamestream media” = FoxNews

  62. mantis says:

    @Eric Florack:

    Ummmm Mantis?

    Nothing there supports your statement that the Mayor proposes to ban a business. He has proposed no such thing.

  63. mantis says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Accepting the assistance of the Nation of Islam without acknowledging the evil they represent is accepting that evil

    Wow. I’ll let you engage in a religious war on your own. Enjoy.

  64. mantis says:

    Moreno has apparently negotiated with Chick-Fil-A for months, but they refuse to commit to nondiscrimination based on sexual orientation. The only reason they would do that is they intend to discriminate. That might fly in Georgia, but not in Chicago’s 1st Ward.

    Emanuel has made no statement indicating he would participate in blocking the business, though he does not agree with their stance. There certainly is no “ban” on Chick-Fil-A. There is already a franchise location on Michigan Ave. Other wards would probably welcome the restaurant, though they might also have issues with CFA’s refusal to commit to nondiscrimination.

  65. mantis says:

    @Stormy Dragon:

    You really think that’s a lynching?

  66. anjin-san says:

    Go to cathyfamily.com and read about this amazing and wonderful person.

    So you are impressed because these guys have a website devoted to telling everyone how special and tight with God they are?

  67. Mary says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Homosexual marriage is illegal in most states … get your facts straight.