The war of words is one of the hallmarks of politics. Chicago is no exception. Most of us don’t like it but we’ve come to expect it and we’ve learned to live with it. Even candidates, who start the war and fight to wound and win, are careful about how far they go. This may have more to do with the fear of alienating voters than concern for their opponents but it doesn’t matter. The point is they generally refrain from speaking AK-47 words.
Can’t say the same for Carole Moseley Braun who has tongue-lashed her share of people during this campaign. But the worse yet was her response to a legitimate question raised by candidate Watkins. When you haven’t been around for a while it’s not unusual for someone to ask, “Where have you been?’ I’m not suggesting that Watkins wasn’t trying to get her own war of words going when she made the statement and I can see how it might have pinched one or two of Braun’s nerves. But her response was insensitive. It was inappropriate. Most importantly, it was mean-spirited.
Braun also displayed meanness when she called a Sun-times columnist a wife beater and a drunk, referenced the Bill/Monica scandal because Clinton campaigned for Emanuel, and said Dock Walls did nothing but open the door for the Late Mayor Harold Washington. The common thread in each of these seems to be a carefully selected piece of history that has the potential to humiliate and damage the person’s reputation. This behavior is unacceptable under any circumstances. However, It takes on a completely different meaning when it is the weapon used by someone who seeks to hold the City’s highest office.
Rev. Leon Finney, long-time community activist, former member of the Chicago Plan Commission and Pastor of Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church said he does not understand how we (African-American) can allow wrong to be done to one of our own and be silent. After all, Braun “did not sell the parking meters or bankrupt the city. He’s right. She didn’t do those things. But that’s not what the silence is about. It is about, I’m proud to say, loving thy neighbor as thyself. It is a loud message to Carole that says, it is all right to get mad, feel frustrated and lash out but it is not alright to be mean-spirited