The Chicago media is mourning Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The parade of misty-eyed media tributes began last week after Mr. Emanuel announced he was quitting the Chicago mayor’s race. “What will Chicago do without Rahm and his vastly superior intellect?” asked the media elite. “What will be his legacy?”
Yes, how can Chicago possibly survive post-Rahm?
The reality on the ground in Chicago is much different than this fake media narrative. What about the unchecked homicide rate, Chicago’s role as a major illegal drug distribution hub and the billions in pension debt the city owes?
If legitimate media actually existed, news outlets would be calling for Rahm Emanuel’s head. Editorial boards would be demanding that he resign. But they aren’t. They are still protecting him as they have done for the last eight years. They are whitewashing his abysmal record. They’re burying the facts.
So why did Rahm Emanuel really quit the Chicago mayor’s race?
Is it the city’s homicide rate or Chicago’s status as America’s murder capital? No, Mr. Emanuel doesn’t care about the shootings on the South and West sides. The numbers may even be worse than reported. In 2014, Mayor Emanuel was accused by Chicago’s inspector general of reclassifying homicides into noncriminal deaths.
Is it Chicago’s 17 percent murder clearance rate? No, Mr. Emanuel doesn’t care that police only solve 1 in 20 murder cases. In fact, Rahm Emanuel has closed down Detective Areas in high-crime areas, resulting in a loss of informants. The Chicago Police say the shutdown contributed to Chicago’s poor clearance rate.
Rahm Emanuel quit for two reasons. The first reason why Mr. Emanuel quit is due to the success of the “Take Charge Chicago” referendum. The referendum puts a two-term limit on Chicago mayors and, if passed this November, would have prevented Rahm Emanuel from seeking a third term. Mr. Emanuel filed a legal challenge to the group’s 86,000 signatures at the Chicago Board of Elections — and lost a week before he quit the race. This is not a coincidence.
But there is a second and more important reason why Rahm Emanuel quit the Chicago mayor’s race; the Chicago Public Schools sex abuse and rape scandal. In June, a Chicago Tribune investigation uncovered 500 cases of rape and abuse at Chicago Public Schools. In one case, a 16-year-old girl was raped 40 times by her coach. These cases of abuse and rape occurred over a 10-year period. Rahm Emanuel has been mayor for eight of those years.
Mr. Emanuel’s appointees at the Chicago Board of Education knew about the 500 cases of rape and sexual abuse of children and yet none of them have been fired. Nicholas Schuler, the inspector general for the Chicago Board of Education, who was appointed by Rahm Emanuel, is currently conducting an “internal” investigation. In 2018, he was reappointed to his second four-year term.
In late August, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she will launch a statewide inquiry into six dioceses in Illinois tied to the Pennsylvania grand jury report detailing alleged sexual abuse in the Catholic Church since the 1940s. She said it was her “moral obligation.”
But doesn’t Ms. Madigan have a “moral obligation” to investigate the 500 cases of rape and sexual abuse at Chicago Public Schools too? As the son of Chicago Public School teachers and a graduate of Quigley Preparatory Catholic Seminary, I’m outraged.
In this era of #MeToo, Rahm Emanuel should be driven from Chicago with pitchforks. Why isn’t Mr. Emanuel being held accountable for the 500 cases of rape and sexual abuse at CPS? How many cases of rape and sexual abuse at Chicago Public Schools have there been since the 1940s?
The national media should be asking these questions but they aren’t because Chicago is a Democratic town and Rahm Emanuel is their liberal sacred cow.
Chicago still has nine more months of Emanuel rule and we may not survive it. Rahm Emanuel didn’t just fail the City of Chicago; he betrayed it. The Chicago Public School sex abuse and rape scandal is proof of that. It isn’t enough that Mr. Emanuel quit the Chicago mayor’s race. He must resign now.
• A native of Chicago’s South Side, William J. Kelly is the host of the “Citizen Kelly Show.” He is the founder of RevDigital.