WBEZ | resignation http://www.wbez.org/tags/resignation Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Black and white and read all over http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-26/black-and-white-and-read-all-over-95836 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-26/timothy_douglas.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>When I interviewed Timothy Douglas about his decision to resign as Artistic Director of Remy Bumppo, he said a series of gracious things about divergent artistic visions. These remarks were barely distinguishable from the equally gracious comments made by his successor Nick Sandys. So what is there to write about?</p><blockquote><p>There’s this: When, at the end of the interview, I asked Douglas what else I should have asked him, this is what he said:<br> <br> "Well, the question is bound to be, ‘Did this have anything to do with race?’ And yes, that was a part of the dynamic. There was no overt issue about that, but there are hard conversations to be had around race. As Artistic Director of the company, I found the daily conversation difficult. The profession remains primarily white, and though we talked initially about universality, when specifics come in, my approach as a black American male is going to be different from others’, and challenging to others. But if I’m not leading [from that perspective] a part of who I am is lost. . . &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br> <br> “It’s remarkable that Chicago, a major city, should find the conversation [around race] so difficult. But it’s an American conundrum, and an issue too big to fundamentally address at a company the size of Remy Bumppo. It took too much time from my leadership. "</p></blockquote><p>Sandys' perspective was different. "We hiired him because he was the best director. His being an African-American wasn’t relevant."<br> <br> How is it that two smart, educated, capable and good-willed people can experience a situation so differently? I guess that must be what's known as "diversity," and it turns out to be less anodyne than we might hope. &nbsp;<br> <br> <img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-26/timothy_douglas.jpg" style="margin-right: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: left; width: 166px; height: 251px;" title="">Anthropologists and sociologists have long observed that the issue of race is more salient in American culture to non-whites than to whites, because whiteness is the default position, what's expected, what passes without notice. The person in the minority is going to be aware of issues in a way majority-group members aren’t. Douglas himself said, “I understood where they were coming from, but how would they understand me?” This means not that the playing field isn't level but that the players aren't even in the same game, and the more race is ignored the less likely it is that the obstacles it presents can be removed. And thus Remy Bumppo's experience suggests that we have a long way to go before non-white artistic directors are able to operate in white companies without punching through a thicket of cultural assumptions of which most of their colleagues aren't even aware.<br> <br> There was a time in my childhood (and probably in yours, too) when it was thought hilarious to stop a car in the middle of a block, have everyone jump out and run around it, and then jump back in and take off. When I referred to this process by its 1960s moniker “the Chinese fire drill,” a friend of Chinese descent laughed and asked, “Don't you mean a culturally-specific fire drill?”<br> <br> The point? That transcending racial differences takes more than good faith and euphemisms. And that until we’re able to summon that “more”–which must include first an acknowledgment that those differences in culture, experience and expectations still exist–we’ll all just be running around in circles.</p><p><em>Read Jonathan Abarbanel's take on the Douglas resignation <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-25/douglas-resignation-lessons-be-learned-95780">here</a>.</em></p></p> Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-26/black-and-white-and-read-all-over-95836 Weiner Resigns House Seat Over 'Personal Mistakes' http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-16/weiner-resigns-house-seat-over-personal-mistakes-87949 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/weiner.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who has seen his political career crater over the past two weeks due to an extramarital sexting scandal and his lies about he did, has resigned from Congress.</p><p> We used this post to live-blog as he announced that decision. Be sure to hit your "refresh" button to get our latest updates.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:56 p.m. ET.</b> More from the statement:</p><p> We just listened to the audio of Weiner's remarks (and we'll add that audio to this post as soon as we can).</p><p> <b>To recap:</b></p><p> — He again apologized "for the personal mistakes I have made and the embarrassment I have caused." And he apologized in particular to his wife, Huma Abedin.</p><p> — "The distraction that I have created," Weiner said, has made remaining in Congress "impossible. ... So today, I am announcing my resignation."</p><p> It was that moment when a male heckler shouted "bye, bye pervert!" The man would disrupt the congressman's four-minute statement several more times.</p><p> — Weiner added that he needs to leave Congress "so my colleagues can get back to work, my neighbors can choose a new representative ... and most importantly, so that my wife and I can continue to heal from the damage I have caused."</p><p> — Perhaps leaving open the possibility of a return to public life, he said he would be "looking for other ways to contribute my talents."</p><p> <b>Update at 2:34 p.m. ET:</b> The man who was heckling Weiner — and it sounded like he shouted several lewd questions — was eventually removed by police, CNN's reporter in the room says.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:33 p.m. ET:</b> New York's Daily News says the "scandal-scarred" congressman "finally agreed to step down after consulting the woman he betrayed - his wife, a top source said Thursday."</p><p> <b>Update at 2:25 p.m. ET:</b> Weiner said more than once that among those he apologizes to is his wife. As he concludes his statement, Weiner says she has stood by him and he owes her "very much."</p><p> As for his future, Weiner says "I'll be looking for other ways to contribute my talents."</p><p> <b>Update at 2:24 p.m. ET:</b> There's more shouting from the crowd, some of it lewd.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:23 p.m. ET:</b> He makes it official. Weiner resigns. There's shouting in the audience by some who want to disrupt — presumably not journalists.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:23 p.m. ET:</b> "I have never forgotten my neighbors because they represent the same middle class story as mine," Weiner says. And he's here today, he adds, to apologize.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:22 p.m. ET:</b> Weiner is at the microphone. "There is no higher honor in a democracy than being sent by your neighbors" to represent them in Congress, he says.</p><p> <b>Update at 2:03 p.m. ET:</b> Weiner admitted on June 6 that he had been lying. Before he got to the microphone at his news conference to confess, though, conservative activist Andrew Breitbart took questions from reporters. It was Breitbart's BigGovernment.com website that first posted the lewd photo that started Weiner's fall from grace.</p><p> This time, though, Breitbart won't be on hand. He just tweeted that he's "Going on @FoxNews via phone from Minneaplis Airport."</p><p> <b>Update at 1:58 p.m. ET:</b> The cable news networks just showed video of Weiner walking to his car — through a scrum of reporters. He's said to now be headed to the news conference.</p><p></p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 12:45:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-16/weiner-resigns-house-seat-over-personal-mistakes-87949 Rep. Weiner to resign today http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-16/rep-weiner-resign-today-87937 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-16/weiner15.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) plans to resign from Congress today.</p><p>The news broke a short time ago when <em>The New York Times</em> sent out an alert that Weiner <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/?emc=na" target="_blank">"has told friends that he plans to resign his seat</a>." It cited "a person told of Mr. Weiner's plans" as its source.</p><p>CNN followed with confirmation from its own sources. And The Associated Press reports it has been told by sources that "Weiner is telling associates he will resign." <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/anthony-weiner-resign-congress-amid-pressure-democrats/story?id=13855468" target="_blank">ABC News says</a> it has been told that Weiner informed House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of his decision last night.</p><p>[<strong>Update at 10:50 a.m. ET:</strong> House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) just told reporters gathered for her regular weekly news conference that she would not be taking any questions about Weiner. "My understanding is that later in the day he will be having a press conference," she said, "and after that I will have a statement available." <a href="http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenote/2011/06/pelosi-turns-up-volume-on-weiner-to-resign.html" target="_blank">She said on Monday</a> that it was in Weiner's best interest "to leave Congress."]</p><p>[<strong>Update at 10:25 a.m. ET:</strong> NPR's David Welna reports he has confirmed that Weiner told Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY) last night that he intends to resign today. An announcement is expected this afternoon in New York City, around 2 p.m. ET.]</p><p><strong>Our original post resumes:</strong></p><p>Weiner's once-bright political career imploded after a lewd "crotch shot" photo he sent to a college coed via Twitter was posted online over Memorial Day weekend. The image, a waist-high close-up of an obviously aroused man in his briefs, first appeared on the <a href="http://biggovernment.com/" target="_blank">BigGovernment.com</a> website of conservative activist Andrew Breitbart.</p><p>Weiner, 46, and married less than a year, initially claimed <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/05/31/136815457/rep-weiner-seeks-advice-about-legal-action-over-lewd-twitpic" target="_blank">that his Twitter account had been hacked</a>.</p><p>In subsequent days he insisted he had not sent the photo, but also conceded that <a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/06/01/136864390/weiner-denies-sending-lewd-photo" target="_blank">he could not say with "certitude"</a> that the image was not of him.</p><p>Reporters kept digging — and during one now infamous exchange Weiner called a CNN correspondent a "jackass" for pressing him on the story.</p><p>Then more photos, of a shirtless Weiner, appeared.</p><p></p><p>On June 6, <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/07/137010140/rep-weiner-admits-lying-sending-lewd-photo-inappropriate-conversations" target="_blank">he confessed</a>, saying he had lied about not sending the photo. He admitted to having "inappropriate conversations" over social media and on the phone with "six women over the last three years."</p><p>But Weiner, in his seventh term, said he would not step down from office. He had done nothing illegal and had not misused government property, the congressman claimed.</p><p>Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader in the House, called for an ethics investigation. Other members started to push Weiner to leave office. As more photos surfaced and some of the women who he had exchanges with started to talk, the pressure built. <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/08/137068386/new-york-times-anthony-weiners-wife-is-pregnant" target="_blank">It was reported</a> that Weiner's wife, Huma Abedin, is pregnant.</p><p>The congressman did not change his mind — but did request, and was given, a leave of absence from the House to seek treatment of some nature.</p><p>Then Monday night, President Obama was <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/14/137169563/video-obama-adds-to-pressure-on-rep-weiner-to-resign" target="_blank">seen on the </a><em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2011/06/14/137169563/video-obama-adds-to-pressure-on-rep-weiner-to-resign" target="_blank">NBC Nightly News</a> </em>saying that "obviously what he did was highly inappropriate. ... I can tell you that if it was me, I would resign."</p><p>Coming from the leader Weiner's party and the leader of the nation, it was a powerful message.</p><p>Wednesday, Abedin returned to Washington from an overseas trip with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton (for whom the congressman's wife has worked for many years). Speculation built that with the pressure from the leaders of his party and the return of his wife, Weiner would give in and resign his seat.</p><p>Now, according to reports, the congressman has decided to do just that. </p> Thu, 16 Jun 2011 09:09:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-06-16/rep-weiner-resign-today-87937