You just can’t make this bleep up! After covering the truth for 12.5 long years, there’s no way I could write fiction because I couldn’t come up with anything strange enough to make it interesting. Meanwhile, buckle your seatbelts, because it’s gonna be a long one.
As most of you all already know, since 2016, Elgin has ranked its diversity initiative as a top priority. Though that effort is certainly a laudable one, the implementation has been the kind of debacle that anyone with an ounce of insight could’ve easily forestalled.
But remember, we’re dealing with a city council here and, as good as they generally are, we all know what Mark Twain said about committees and camels.
The best evidence of my diversity program disaster hypothesis is the City is on its second – and probably last – diversity consultant. So, now they’re 0 for 2. Saying it hasn’t gone well would be kinda like saying women are mildly ticked off at Brett Kavanaugh right now.
To wit, diversity consultant Denise Barreto issued a Facebook post claiming, “If white women tried as hard to eliminate white supremacy as they try to lose weight, white supremacy would be ended.”
I’m gonna pause while you take that one in for a while………..
The only thing she left out are the words “honky” and “cracker.” Who knew that Caucasian women:
- Harbor a magical race healing power
- Are all fat
- Don’t give a rat’s bleep about minorities
- Approve of white supremacists
- Probably are white supremacists
I suppose it’s always good to be informed! And that wasn’t nearly the worst of her racist FB rants, but I’m not going to get into the others because she isn’t worth your or my time.
As I’ve also done for the last 12.5 years, let’s see if that statement stands up to the inversion test. What would happen if a white Elgin employee said, “If single black women tried as hard to better themselves and black men as they do having children, they’d already be better.”
I asked a non-Elgin black elected official that very question, and his response was, “There would be rioting in the streets!” Yes there would!
Aside from being blatantly biased, both statements reek of a ridiculous reductionist attempt to explain a very complex problem in absurdly simple terms. The breakdown of the black family in inner-city neighborhoods is a result of little economic opportunity, a consistent devaluation of the black male, the drug war, idiot white prosecutors who thought eliminating the old-style gang leaders was a good idea, the devaluation of education, and a black leadership that prospers by keeping their constituents in a perpetual victim state.
Some folks tried to say it was a satirical statement, but while this columnist gets to embrace that literary device, diversity trainers paid by a municipality to perform “unconscious bias” training do not! And the fact that Ms. Baretto doesn’t begin to understand that very basic concept is reason enough to send her packing.
Personally, I’d rather have her be an abject bigot than that blitheringly stupid. You can fix some bigots!
And if it really was satire, which I don’t believe for a second, it was really bad satire. Not even I’ve been stupid enough to make fun of a woman’s weight. To prove my point, regardless of your race, go home tonight and joke about your wife’s ample butt. I guarantee you that, “But dearest, it was just satire,” won’t be getting you off the couch or the hook anytime soon.
And all those Facebook African-Americans and white liberals who think this is OK are no better than those rabid Trump supporters they love to loathe because they can’t be convinced of the flaw in their logic.
We all know the trio behind this, too. It starts with Traci Ellis, the incompetent, disgraced, and “all about me” former U-46 school board member who recently explained how the American flag was the equivalent of toilet paper.
Then, just like overeager lap dogs, City Councilmen Tish Powell and Corey Dixon scurry after her while panting as they beg for a treat and a pat on the heat.
And Ellis spews this kind of bile all the time. Aside from the flag comment, a recent Facebook thread consisted of her blaming white women for Donald Trump while insisting they fix their “error” in November. Despite the fact that males voted for Agent Orange in droves, her sycophantic middle-aged white woman posse, who feel a tremendous amount guilt for being born white, always respond in unison, “Thank you, Ms. Ellis! May we have another?”
Sorry guys! I may not be canonization material, but I grew up at Reba and Elmwood in South Evanston where it was 50 percent white and 50 percent black. And somehow, everybody managed to get along. The first time I visited Wilmette, I asked my mother why everyone was white.
So, no! I’m not going to buy into the Baretto/Ellis bilge that there’s some sort of Caucasian original sin when it comes to black folks. It’s the worst kind of bigotry that’s every bit as bad as the Mormons officially believing African-Americans were inherently evil until 1978. Though I’ve consistently attempted to redress their bad acts, I refuse to take responsibility for my ancestors’ actions because, as it so happens, I wasn’t alive at the time.
Why do you think so many Elgin staffers mutinied in regard to this program? Because none of us like being blamed for something we haven’t done.
Please also note that Baretto used the term “white supremacy” and not “white privilege.” While I’m all for ending white privilege, it’s eminently clear she believes that whitey regularly dons hoods and burns crosses before breakfast. C’mon! Left to our own devices, we generally get along until carpetbaggers like Ellis and Baretto exploit our differences for their financial benefit.
At least Powell had the cojones to say, “Barreto’s diversity and inclusion work is very important, but it’s about exercising good judgment on social media.” But Dixon inexplicably responded, “I could see how people get offended by it, but those who are offended by it maybe also should look at the other half of it and look at the greater point of it.”
What greater point? If he truly believes there’s a “greater point” to that kind of abject bigotry, then he shouldn’t be serving on a middle-school student council, much less a city council. I’ve never been so quickly disappointed by a candidate I once wholeheartedly supported in my life.
I wanted to ask Dixon exactly how white women could single-handedly bring about the end of “white supremacy,” but he refused to respond. And the fact that both councilmen still support Baretto, on any level, would have me seriously considering other candidates in the next election.
Dixon can bribe the voters with free backpack giveaways all he wants, but his real agenda is beyond obvious.
To the white moderates and conservatives who are correctly concerned about this, please don’t take it out on Elgin. They’ve truly gone above and beyond the call when it comes to race relations.
How do we know this? It’s simple! We have a female police chief and a black deputy chief. In a city that’s 9 percent black, the city council is 22 percent black. City Hall is named after Robert Gilliam, a beloved African-American city councilman. The incredible assistant city manger is an Hispanic woman. The African-American Powell received more votes in the last election than any candidate in modern history.
Have I mentioned that Elgin has a diversity program, too?
Is Elgin perfect? Nope! Far from it. But the best way to teach diversity and tolerance is through action and not some sort of BS “unconscious bias” training that only supplants one group’s prejudices with another’s.
Thankfully, as a result of Baretto’s declaration, City Manager Rick Kozal suspended the insipid unconscious bias training program, and let’s hope he’s wise enough to make that decision permanent.
I also spoke to Mayor Dave Kaptain, who explained the issue is in the City Manager’s hands, and it will be reviewed with all the due diligence and legal consideration required. When that process is complete, a determination will be made.
Of course, when Baretto is inevitably let go, she and Ellis will team up to use it as the “perfect example” of just how heinous Caucasians really are. Perhaps Ms. Ellis will even author another fictional book on the subject.
So, I had a thought. For my usual fee – a 12-pack of Bass Ale and a box of Entenmann’s donuts – I’d be more than happy to provide conscious bias training for Ellis and Baretto. That should take all of ten minutes.
A bigot is a bigot folks, no matter what their color.