Fran Spielman, Chicago Sun-Times, August 4, 2006
Mayor Daley mocked state Sen. James Meeks, a minister and possible mayoral challenger, on Thursday for swearing off use of the n-word after Meeks used it in a broadcast sermon.
“Stop using the n-word. He should have never began using it. Racial, ethnic names should never be used by anyone — personally or publicly. . . Any name used against any racial, ethnic, religious organization, sexual orientation or political philosophy should never be used in a derogatory way. Thank God he has seen the light,” Daley said sarcastically.
Meeks wants school answers
Meeks responded to the mayor’s taunts in a prepared statement that reiterated his criticism of Daley’s 11-year stewardship of the Chicago Board of Education.
“I’m looking for the day when the 435,000 children in Chicago Public Schools and their parents can also thank God. Mayor Daley still owes an explanation to the people of Chicago about why low-quality teachers are concentrated in poor and minority schools. Any diversion [from] that argument is unacceptable,” said Meeks, pastor of the massive Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Roseland.
In a July 5 speech broadcast live on cable television, Meeks compared white governors and white mayors who fail to bridge the achievement gap for black students to “slave masters.”
“The slave master never wants the slave to learn how to read and never wants the slave to learn how to write,” Meeks said. He went on to denounce black politicians and preachers who support those same white politicians as house “n – – – – – s.” Meeks did not specifically mention Daley or Gov. Blagojevich in the speech. But, he left little doubt whom he meant.
Asks whites to wipe out bias
In exchange for retiring the n-word, Meeks demanded something in return. He wants “white America” to be “equally passionate” about ridding society of all forms of discrimination, including red-lining and the gaps in resources, achievement and spending between black and white schools.