- The Washington Times - Monday, March 25, 2013

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s budget decision to close 53 public schools and 61 buildings isn’t going over so well with city residents and union activists.

They’re calling him the “murder mayor” and a “racist,” Breitbart reports. From his perspective, he’s only trying to help bridge a $1 billion budget gap. But from their perspective: Why are the buildings and schools he’s targeted for closure in predominantly minority neighborhoods?

“[Emanuel] says that he wants to turn around the city of Chicago, make a new Chicago. Does that new Chicago mean no black folks?” said co-founder of the Lawndale Alliance Valerie Leonard, as quoted by Breitbart. “Where are people going to go?”

Karen Lewis, the president of Chicago’s Teachers Union, meanwhile, doesn’t mince words.

Mr. Emanuel is a “racist,” she said, Breitbart reports. And his new nickname is “the murder mayor. Look at the murder rate in this city. He’s murdering schools, he’s murdering good jobs. He’s murdering housing. I don’t know what else to call him. He’s the murder mayor.”

Other activists see racism at play, too.

“I don’t see any Caucasians being moved, bussed or murdered in the streets as they travel along gang lines, or stand on the steps of a CPS school,” said activist Wendy Matil Pearson, as quoted by Breitbart.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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