Black activists shout 'Shame on you!' at Chicago aldermen supporting Obama Presidential Center
What goes around comes around for the community organizer who became POTUS. Most embarrassingly, the dispute that caused an Alinsky-esque assault on black politicians was over the division of spoils among the black community itself.
John Byrne reports in the Chicago Tribune:
An attempt by some African-American Chicago aldermen to publicly praise Obama Presidential Center designers for hiring minority contractors ran into shouts of "Shame on you!" by a group that wants a community benefits agreement to protect residents living near Jackson Park.
The dueling news conferences Wednesday by the City Council Black Caucus and activists came after the Obama foundation announced this month that a collective of five construction firms – most of them African-American[-]owned – had been hired to manage the construction of the center.
Black Caucus [c]hairman Ald. Roderick Sawyer, 6th, said taking that step is better than Barack Obama signing an agreement to promise jobs to people who live near the presidential center site near Jackson Park.
Those five construction firms have friends on the City Council. The activists have Alinsky and don't trust Obama's word:
[A]ctivist Jitu Brown, who joined a handful of others in shouting down the aldermen, said only a signed agreement would guarantee [that] black residents will be able to benefit from economic development around the presidential center.
"We cannot take the president's word on the fact that they're not going to push African-Americans out with the Obama Presidential Center," Brown said. "So we're saying that there's no history that says their word is worth anything. What we need is an in-writing community benefits agreement that says that people who live in those communities will benefit, not benefit in a profiteering way, but jobs, investment in neighborhood elementary schools, transportation infrastructure."
This is going to be fun!
Now that the huge monument to Barack Obama won't be a presidential library and is purely a private endeavor, the gift of precious park land belonging to the people of Chicago to a private group is questionable. And federal permits are necessary for certain aspects of the planned center. This isn't going to be simple or easy. Plenty of people, black and of other races, are not thrilled with the impact the monument will have on their neighborhood, their parks, and their lives. The difficulties in building the project may themselves be the most fitting monument to Barack Obama's legacy.