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U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush: Strong black women do not intimidate or threaten me

Rep. Bobby L. Rush speaks at a press conference on gun licensing legislation, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 on August 7, 2018 in Chicago, IL. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

Rep. Bobby L. Rush speaks at a press conference on gun licensing legislation, the Blair Holt Firearm Licensing and Record of Sale Act of 2018 on August 7, 2018 in Chicago, IL. | Colin Boyle/Sun-Times

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

Horrifying killings

I am horrified by the killings at the New Zealand mosques. This was a truly evil act. These kinds of acts are flatly condemned by the Bible that teaches, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18). There are other passages, too, that condemn murders, etc. But this one seems to sum it up the best.

Howard Klopp, Norwood

Organizations need more than one person

Should the latest edition of “Atlas Shrugged” be retitled “Donald Trump Shrugged” or “(Howard) Schultz Shrugged”? Ayn Rand’s novels romanticized and rationalized the narcissism of CEOs, who imagine themselves as largely responsible for their companies’ success. Rand didn’t invent the mythos around “rugged individualism” — Machiavelli got there first — but she certainly popularized it.

No organization succeeds without talent and the exercise of leadership throughout its structure. Howard Schultz and other CEO/owners may be the biggest “profiteers” from their companies’ success, but they are not the leading producers of those profits and success. No single “genius” could be.

“Branding” individuals gave us President Trump. Haven’t we learned our lesson?

Muriel Balla, Kenwood