Illinois State Senator and mayoral candidate James Meeks came under fire this week for a series of racially charged comments he made during a WVON mayoral debate.
Aside from saying that white women, Asians and Hispanics should not benefit from affirmative action programs, (and are not discriminated against), he also accused political rival Rahm Emanuel of keeping black leaders out of the White House.
"There are no newspaper stories...nobody is going into his days at Freddie Mac or his days in the White House...his days keeping African American leaders from out of the White House," Meeks said on the air. "He had a role in keeping African Americans out of the White House. All of a sudden, he sails into town, into African American communities, with all this great stuff he's going to do for us. He's never done anything for African Americans. Wake up."
Rahm Emanuel's campaign declined to comment on the statement made by Meeks.
The Capitol Fax blog pointed out just how racially charged the entire WVON appearance was:
Also, early in the debate, WVON went to a commercial break and left the video microphones on. It's a bit tough to hear at first, but Meeks privately explains to Carol Moseley Braun about how "When white people were in the [school] system, resources, you name them. Art, music, all of that stuff was going on. When black and brown people are just in the system, they took out everything."
Meeks tried to downplay his comments about how only African Americans should be considered minorities after other candidates--and the public--slammed him for his statements.
"People are making much ado about nothing," Meeks told ABC Chicago. He did maintain that African Americans have been shortchanged by minority front companies.
Still, some think his latest comments killed any hope he had in this race.
"And that'll about do it, folks, for the mayoral aspirations of Mr. Meeks, which were already a bit of a long-shot due to his social conservatism and the presence on the ballot of three other prominent African American candidates. . .," writes Tribune columnist Eric Zorn. ". . . My prediction is he'll drop out. Yours?"
WATCH Meeks discuss Rahm Emanuel here: