Chris Kennedy, a Democratic Illinois gubernatorial candidate and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, claimed on Thursday that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has a plan to kick African-Americans out of the city on Thursday.
“I believe that black people are being pushed out of Chicago intentionally by a strategy that involves disinvestment in communities being implemented by the city administration. I believe Rahm Emanuel is the head of the city administration and therefore needs to be held responsible for those outcomes,” Kennedy said at a news conference, according to the Chicago Tribune.
“This is involuntary,” he continued. “That we’re cutting off funding for schools, cutting off funding for police, allowing people to be forced to live in food deserts, closing hospitals, closing access to mental health facilities. What choice do people have but to move, to leave? And I think that’s part of a strategic gentrification plan being implemented by the city of Chicago to push people of color out of the city. The city is becoming smaller, and as it becomes smaller, it’s become whiter.”
Emanuel’s office responded in kind, attempting to connect Kennedy to President Donald Trump and Illinois’ Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
“It’s sad to see Chris Kennedy joining President Trump and Gov. Rauner in using cynical, politically motivated attacks about Chicago’s communities for his own personal gain,” Emanuel spokesman Matt McGrath told the Tribune. “His divisive comments today are a direct assault on one of this city’s greatest strengths — our diversity.”
Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson criticized Kennedy’s comments, saying the candidate has no idea what police are doing to cut violent crime in the infamously violent city.
“I’ve never heard from Chris Kennedy. I’ve never even met him. He’s never visited a police station or asked me or my team for any kind of briefing on what we are doing in Chicago to address the gang violence and ongoing infusion of illegal guns on our streets,” Johnson told Fox News. “I’m not a politician, but I do take issue with the hard work our men and women are doing to beat back this violence is used to score political points.”
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