Chicago,IL The mid-term election in Chicago usually is a cakewalk for incumbent Democrats. Many candidates go unchallenged in the heavy blue Cook County. The race for US House in the 1st district is gathering a lot of buzz after a video of the Rep. Bobby Rush apologizing for his support of the Clinton Crime Bill went viral.
The video brought into question the former Black Panther legislative record when it comes to crime and policing. This spring, Glen Ford of the Black Agenda Report (BAR) wrote that Rep. Rush was among the “three out of every four members of the Black Caucus in the U.S. House [that] voted to make assaults on police officers a federal hate crime.” This came as a surprise to many voter's as his record also included supporting a militarized police force.
When Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.)introduced an amendment to halt the Pentagon's 1033 program, which distributes hundreds of millions of dollars of military-grade weapons and equipment to local police annually. The amendment overwhelmingly failed, and just seven out of 41 voting members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) supported it. Rush did not vote and has remained silent on the matter.
Charles Wilkes, who lives in Englewood, say he is “shocked by all this.” He was joined by other young men at a local barbershop watching the video online. “It's bad enough that you don't really see Bobby Rush or know what he is really doing in Washington, but to hear him apologizing for this Crime Bill and not voting against arming the police like the military is just sad.”
Reginald Crawford agreed. “I use to look up to Bobby Rush, his time has passed. We really need someone who is not afraid to speak up. Our young people Google everything and my son showed me this video and told me about his police votes.”
BAR continued “When 80 percent of Black Democrats in the U.S. House vote for continued militarization of local police forces, and then four years later 75 percent of these same Black Democrats give “protected class” status to cops, then we must conclude that the intervening period of “Black Lives Matter” agitation had no effect on Black Democratic Party politics -- and further, that the Caucus is wholly and brazenly unaccountable to its constituents.”
Jimmy Lee Tillman, II, who is running to unseat Rush say “Any of Chicago's Black leaders that are still supporting Rep. Bobby Rush has blood on their hands.”