Chicago's deep history of racism gets a brief national spotlight
Lead story: An ongoing series on Gawker has been trying to pinpoint the nation’s most racist city and this week the series lands on Chicago. First of all, before anyone gets up in arms about this, know that the series is compiled by Drew Magary, whose writing I love and who revels in vulgarity with the glee of a child in a toy store. Aside from citing past examples of racism – 1919 riots following the drowning a black teenager on the South Side and the 1977 march by the Nazis on Skokie – demographics and a few other historic touchstones, Magary largely turns the column over to Chicago readers. They zero in on their own experiences, citing run-ins in Bridgeport and Uptown, two neighborhoods that have always been fraught with racial run-ins. Race in Chicago has been an ongoing issue for over a century – since the founding of this city, really – and segregation here, reinforced by Mayor Daley the First and his machine pals, remains as much as a problem now as it ever was. The Gawker story barely scratches the surface.
Also: The mother of a 13-year-old boy has filed a $1.2 million lawsuit against Round Lake District Unit 116 after school administrators allegedly strip-searched her son for illegal drugs last spring. According to the lawsuit, the school's former principal and assistant principal conducted the search in a conference room with uncovered windows after getting a tip from another student. The search included forcing the student to strip off his pants and underwear and move his genitals to prove he hadn’t wedged marijuana somewhere. No evidence was found on the boy. An attorney for the mother cited policy that said such a search could only happen after evidence was found as a result of searching a student’s locker or visible areas of his or her clothes.
And then: With a 366-day sentence levied at power broker William Cellini Thursday, the trials stemming from the corruption investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich have finally wound down. Cellini was convicted of trying to shake down film producer Thomas Rosenberg (Million Dollar Baby, Runaway Bride) for a $1.5 million donation to Blago in exchange for state business. Both the defense and the prosecution asked Judge James Zagel to take Cellini’s health into account when issuing his sentence.
RIP: Robert Christy, theoretical physicist and member of the Manhattan Project at the age of 96.
- A new study shows that significant greenhouse gases were emitted by civilizations as far back as the Roman Empire and the Han Dynasty.
- Amanda Knox, one year later.
- If you thought Chicago had food truck issues, a city councilman in Houston, Tex., refuses to approve them because of the terrorist threat they pose.
- Facebook has hit the 1 billion user milestone.
- A space harpoon!
- A blood-spattered 2006 Maserati allegedly used in the murder of Estrella Carrera, found dead just two days after her wedding in May, was found in the garage of her brother-in-law.
- The Reader’s Mick Dumke takes a fascinating look at the fight over a vacant lot and how it’s affected the 18th Ward.
- Chicago's whistleblower protection laws have been reinforced and expanded.
- Even more cases of Legionnaire’s Disease, this time in Batavia.
- The Chicago Teachers Union officially voted to approve the new contract lest anyone worry about a return to the picket line.
- Jay Cutler was gruff with the replacements refs. Sad face.
- The first two weeks of regular season NHL games have been canceled due to the ongoing lockout.
- Theo Epstein is still cautioning Cubs fans that the rebuilding process will take some time and require patience. Epstein also confirmed he’s still open to trading Alfonso Soriano though it’ll require a bigger package than before.
- Happy Birthday, Derrick Rose!
- It’s a big sports weekend ahead for the city with the Miami-Notre Dame game at Soldier Field on Saturday night and the Chicago Marathon early Sunday. With the latter, get ready for lots of traffic.
Today is my last post on this site before I move down the road to the Sun-Times next week. It’s been a blast and I’m looking forward to more appearances down the line. To celebrate, here’s an ode (with some NSFW language) to our great city by Randall, the guy from the Honey Badger video. [via]