Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rev. James Meeks for Mayor

For the first time in decades, Chicago will soon have a new mayor. Mayor Richard J. Daley is passing on the keys to city hall and the contest for the keys is getting heated up.
Former Obama Chief of Staff, Rahm Emmauel came home from Washington D.C. because he wants the keys. Congressman Danny Davis, who I worked with back in the day, wants it. Miguel del Valle is the Hispanic hopeful, Former senator and ambassador Carol Mosely Braun returned to the political scene and is going for it. And lastly, Rev./State Senator James Meeks really wants to be mayor of Chicago.

I have listened closely to all of them on various radio/TV interviews. All speaking on what they have to offer a big city like Chitown. The overriding theme I heard was bringing us all together. Serving all the people of this multicutural city was the prevailing theme. They all seem sincere, except for one, the Rev. James Meeks. Oh, he makes the same claim as the others. He even has had t-shirts printed with a mayoral campaign slogan, "People first." But, the good Rev. does not consider everyone "people."
Rev. Meeks is totally, completely and unabashedly anti-gay. This man who seeks to be mayor of a city with a huge GLBT population is a raging homophobic. RAGING!

As Chicago's second ever Black mayor, a homophobe like James Meeks
would be a far cry from Harold Washington, who was responsible for Chicago's Human Rights Ordinance. Rep. Greg Harris told FOX Chicago, "He (Meeks)opposes even the most basic forms of equality and civil rights, we would be very alarmed if he were to become mayor."
Senator Meeks actively campaigned to defeat SB3186, an Illinois LGBT non-discrimination bill, while serving in the Illinois state legislature. He was the only African American in the Illinois Senate and House to vote against the bill.

Rev. Meeks, mega-church pastor of Salem Baptist Church in Chicago, calls homosexuality "an evil sickness" and was named one of the "leading black religious voices in the anti-gay movement" by the civil rights law firm, Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). Meeks has consistently worked with anti-gay conservative groups including the Americans for Truth, a Naperville, IL organization which the SPLC labeled as a hate group.

FOX Chicago TV asked mayoral candidate Meeks if his anti-gay views would impact any decisions he would make if elected mayor. His unbelievable answer is the following:

"Now, if I were sitting around bored with nothing to do, that stuff might come up," Meeks told FOX Chicago. "But I expect to be so busy with schools, crime and budget problems during my first term that I wouldn't have any time."

It's one thing to be against gay marriage or to be not accepting of the so-called gay "lifestyle" but it's another to actively aggressively try to hurt people, stand in opposition to the protection of citizens and to dismiss some people as unimportant. Perhaps Rev. Meeks is unaware that the LGBT community is effected by and often differently effected by school, crime, housing, and economic issues. Perhaps he doesn't think he needs the votes from the community he dismisses. Perhaps he is unaware that his hate filled antiquated views will lose him support from more citizens than just the gay folk.

Happy Anniversary, Alex!

Wishing a Happy Blogaversary to my friend Alexandra Billings for writing her funny, heartfelt, and socially relevant blog,
Stillettos and Sneakers.
Seven years and counting of making us laugh and learn.
Thanks, Alex!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dr. Margaret Burroughs

The 93-year-old founder of America's foremost museum of African American history has died in her Chicago home, surrounded by her family.

Margaret Burroughs, an artist, art historian, teacher (she taught art at Dusable high for 20 years) and longtime Chicago Park District commissioner, co-founded with her husband, the late Charles Burroughs, the nationally recognized DuSable Museum of African American History in the living room of their South Side home almost 50 years ago. She served as the museum's executive director for a decade, until it was relocated to Washington Park.

Today, the museum is an internationally recognized resource for African American art and stands as both the oldest and largest collection of African American cultural artifacts in the country housing a permanent collection of more than fity thousand artifacts, artworks and books. DuSable Museum also hosts various educational programs and is one of the only independent institutions of its kind in the country.

Mrs. Burroughs helped shape some of Chicago's most lasting institutions including the South Side Community Art Center started by twenty-two year old Burroughs and several artists and art supporters. This community organization served as a gallery and workshop studio for artists and students. Burroughs continued to serve on the board of the Center, which remains active more than sixty years after its formation.

In addition to her work with the museum, Burroughs wrote children's books, poetry, and created sculpture and paintings. She was most well-known as a printmaker who created linoleum block images that featured images relevant to the African-American culture and experience.

Mrs. Burroughs legacy reaches across the spectrum, and is a distinctive contribution to black culture.

“Every individual wants to leave a legacy; to be remembered for something positive they have done for their community,” Mrs. Burroughs once told Ebony magazine. “Long after I’m dead and gone, the DuSable Museum will still be here.”

Thank you Dr. Burroughs for creating, cherishing and preserving our art and history.