U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush: Strong black women do not intimidate or threaten me
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The recent opinion piece by Laura Washington is confounding in that it is an inane canard to highlight a stereotypical division between black men and women (“Two black women running for mayor? For some black men, that’s a nightmare” — March 3).
The question is: Why introduce this red herring during this historic race, where two black women are vying to become the first black woman to be elected mayor of Chicago?
I was raised, nurtured, and inspired by my mother, Cora Rush, a strong black woman. Strong black women do not intimidate me, nor do they threaten me.
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My support of strong black women for elected office is long, beginning as a member of the Illinois Chapter of the Black Panther Party. I led the support for Brenetta Howell Barrett, a candidate for Congress running in what is now the 7th Congressional District of Illinois in 1964. I supported Anna R. Langford in her election for Alderman of the 16th Ward in 1971.
The list of other black women who I have enthusiastically supported includes, Lovana “Lou” Jones, Illinois state representative for the 23rd District; Alice Palmer, Illinois state senator for the 13th District; Carol Moseley Braun in her campaign for Cook County recorder of deeds, her race where she became the first African-American female U.S. senator in our nation’s history, and her efforts to become mayor of Chicago; Mattie Hunter, Illinois state senator for the 3rd District; Jacqueline Collins, Illinois state senator for the 16th District; and Toni Preckwinkle in her reelection efforts for Cook County Board president.
I have over a 50-year history of supporting black women in politics and I will not have my distinguished track record sullied to fit into a boneheaded and divisive narrative.
I will be extremely proud to see a black woman lead Chicago. Because a black woman making history is not a nightmare for this black man.
U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, 2nd Congressional District
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