You can’t make this stuff up.
To say that Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s attempt this week at using an analogy to address the lack diversity in America’s corporate power structure fell flat is quite the understatement. The Republican incumbent up for re-election this year somehow thought that it would be a good idea to demonstrate how adding chocolate syrup to a glass of milk is more than just a metaphor for increasing corporate diversity – it’s a solution!
“It’s really, really good. Diversity!” Rauner exclaimed after drinking the chocolate milk.
Rauner’s display of his tone deaf ignorance to how racism actually works was just the latest in a recent disturbing and dizzying trend among political candidates in Illinois seeking election this year. He stood on stage with Hyatt Hotels diversity and inclusion executive Tyronne Stoudemire, a Black man who smiled as he poured chocolate syrup into a glass of white milk for the governor to stir.
In the governor’s case, the optics were damning beyond belief.
The publicity stunt misfired on a number of levels, chief among them being how Rauner and his Black accomplice who acted in na service role reduced the idea of racism to one where Black people can simply be lifted up from the bottom only if a White man chooses to mix them into the larger, whiter environment. As if that wasn’t bands enough, it also didn’t take into account other underserved races, creeds and ethnicities, which are not simply Black and White. The troubling moment allowed the public a glimpse into the mind of someone who clearly underestimates the power of racism and its effects on people who are routinely passed over in favor of their many times lesser-talented White counterparts.
But perhaps the fact that Rauner was seemingly co-signed by a Black man, in Chicago of all places, stings that much more. The only Black person running for governor told NewsOne that practice was par for the political course in the Windy City.
Tito Hardiman was referring to how the leading Democratic candidate, a White man, was openly forgiven by local Black leaders for making disparaging comments about African-Americans when talking to former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is currently serving federal time for trying to auction off President Barack Obama’s vacated U.S. Senate seat. J.B Pritzker recommended filling the position with the “least offensive” Black candidate. The revelation prompted Pritzker to go on an apology tour in there Black community after the FBI-wiretapped conversation from 2008 surfaced earlier this month.
“Black voters support him because the sellout Black preachers and leaders still support J.B.,” Hardiman said during a recent phone call. “All those Black preachers and leaders should apologize to me for not supporting the only Black man in the race.”
That episode followed Republican candidate Jeanne Ives‘s recent political ad that has been described in part as being “racist” against Black people. Ives not only refused to apologize for it, she defiantly kept the ad online and on TV, showing how much she cares about Black voters.
Not to be outdone by any of the above, a White candidate for the Illinois House came under fire on Thursday for repeatedly using the N-word while meeting with a Black rival candidate, according to the Chicago Tribune. Winfield Township GOP Chairman Burt Minor left much to be desired from his half-hearted apology to Erika Harold.
“It was in no way meant to be offensive,” Minor said about reportedly using the N-word with Harold, as if he had never known that word was a racial slur. “I honestly left our meeting unaware that our conversation might have made Erika uncomfortable. My apologies to Erika if she was in any way offended.”
Suffice to say, we don’t believe you, you need more people.
Illinois, is this really the best you can do?