N’DIGO Endorses Chris Kennedy For Governor

N'DIGO endorses Chris Kennedy for the Democratic nomination for the Governor of Illinois in 2018.

It is time for someone to be about the business of the people, all of the people. In 2018, that person is Mr. Chris Kennedy. We need someone who is respectful. That is Chris Kennedy.

It’s time for a political change. Racial/plantation politics needs to die forever. The brand new toy for the rich is electoral politics. Which office should we buy? Rich men don’t necessarily know how to govern. Some rule according to their egos and try to run the government as they run their companies.

We need someone who is inclusive for all, rather than looking at people like pawns and minimizing their effectiveness. Calling a Black politician “least offensive” among a group of other Black politicians, as hotel billionaire candidate Mr. J.B. Pritzker referenced Black political leadership, was foul.

The private FBI tapes of ex-governor Rod Blagojevich and the want-to-be-governor J.B. Pritzker are revealing. The reveal is that Black people are “offensive” and they were searching for the one that was least “offensive.” My logic says if some are “least offensive” then all are “offensive.” Pritzker took stellar, qualified people and minimized them.

Former Illinois Senate President Emil Jones was labeled by J.B. Pritzker as “crass.” I think history will record Mr. Jones as one of the most productive politicians the Black community has ever had. He could probably teach Pritzker, the wealthy one, a political thing or two.

With Jones’ political will and skill, his efforts launched a budding young politico to the absolute top of politics in Barack Obama. Mr. Pritzker’s sister Penny was an Obama cabinet member, don’t forget. The Black community prospered with Emil Jones.

If Pritkzer is to be believed, as he called Jesse Jackson Jr. “a nightmare” and said appointing Rev. Jeremiah Wright to fill Barack Obama’s vacant U.S. senate seat would be “hilarious,” then his soul must suffer.

Once the taped comments were made public in Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s campaign ads, Pritzker went on an apology tour and said that on the call with Blagojevich, he was “not my best self” and that “I can be better.”

Well, if he was not posing as his “best self” in those conversations, how do we know which self will govern if he runs the state of Illinois? Does he have multiple personalities?

I am of the Maya Angelou school of thought. She said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” No apology needed. We hear you, sir.

Mr. Pritzker also categorized President Barack Obama as being such an ordinary politician that it might make J.B., as a Democrat, turn Republican. A lot of things Barack is and isn’t, but ordinary is not one of them.

This seems to underline real feelings of Pritzker that I find inexcusable and that seem to border on racism. And if that is how he really thinks, he is surely not the one to be Illinois governor.

These are insulting remarks that are inappropriate and which an apology tour, bolstered by bags of money, cannot simply correct. That wiretapped conversation sounded like a plantation owner talking about his property.

Pritzker has taken his philanthropic efforts and made them appear like policy issues in his quest for elected office. If you are a Black person, no matter where you are, you must measure your insult level. Mine is high.

Kennedy
Chris Kennedy and his running mate Ra Joy.

A Different Kind Of Candidate
Kennedy is a step above, a different kind of candidate. His family has ingrained public service into their DNA with fairness and equity and the will to correct social ills.

He is the son of Bobby and Ethel Kennedy and indeed he has been socialized in old school politics with the values of authenticity, and honesty. He is a firebrand, rich enough to serve and well bred enough to be free of stupid political dynamics.

Illinois needs someone at this time who is reality based and able to look at problems squarely in the face and call them for what they are – like high taxes, racism, and gun violence.

I like Kennedy’s approach to problem solving. I like that he is unbought and openly critical of the Democrats, the party he calls home. Kennedy’s realness is refreshing.

It has been 50 years since the Kerner Commission Report looked racism in the face and called it like it was. In essence Kerner said to then-President Lyndon B. Johnson that America is two countries, one Black and one White.

A half-century later, we are still waiting for a united single country with a single focus that will bring about improvement and empowerment for all. Black communities for too long have been un- and under-developed and it is time for attention and a plan for growth and development.

I like Kennedy’s approach to problem solving. I like that he is unbought and is openly critical of the Democrats, the party he calls home. We need fresh and new blood in the political process that is open and encouraging, along the lines of Harold Washington.

Kennedy
Kennedy’s stances have attracted the support of such Black political leadership as Cong. Danny Davis (center) and Cong. Bobby Rush (right)

Kennedy’s realness is refreshing. He was scolded for speaking the truth as he suggested that minorities are suffering from gentrification in Chicago.

Well said, as we look around on the South Side where 54 Black schools have been closed, and as the cranes are high in the air downtown moreso than any other American city. Where factories and warehouses are turned into condos and high tech companies, and where we entertain designs on building a global airport while some of Chicago’s once vibrant minority communities are dying.

Chicago leads the nation in violence, with shootings from the Magnificent Mile and Riverwalk to government buildings to dark neighborhood streets. I think Chris Kennedy will put laws in place with vigor to address gun violence.

I like the fact that Kennedy has chaired the University of Illinois. That experience gives him astuteness on higher education, which begs for understanding as we prepare our domestic and international students for a changing world.

The fact that he raised tuition and paid staff is, “so what?” Look around at all schools and see what has happened with soaring tuitions over the last 10 years.

The Kennedy Challenge
The Kennedy challenge is to have voters look beyond the $1 million a week Pritzker is spending on commercials to project his image. The polls indicate thirty percent of voters are still undecided. That undecided vote is likely to decide the next Governor of Illinois.

Kennedy is a radical politician, and radical is now attractive and a welcome disruption in the new environment. He is truly progressive and the last thing we need right now is a party man to play traditional Democratic Party politics that will carry on the tradition of old.

Let the plantation politics go. It’s time for a real change, a radical change, as Kennedy has claimed, a change that will benefit all of us, from downstate rural to upstate urban.

He will recognize all of the citizens of Illinois, respectfully, with an open mind, unbought, independent, with fresh ideas. He will change the status quo with equity and fairness. I like the Kennedy way.

Chris Kennedy will be a refreshing, progressive governor for ALL of the people in Illinois. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

In 1960, John F. Kennedy won a historic presidential race by a mere 112,827 votes. Those votes have been credited to the South Side of Chicago. Those votes were Black votes.

In 1960, we put a Kennedy in the White House. In 2018, let’s use that same Black voting power to put a Kennedy in the Statehouse of Illinois and restore dignity to the Democratic Party.

Hermene Hartman
Hermene Hartman

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