Mayoral challenger James Meeks came under fire Thursday for suggesting that only African-Americans should be eligible for city contracts set aside for minorities and women.Thankfully he realized how racist he appeared and quickly backtracked. Well, sort of.
Meeks made the statement on Wednesday during an interview on WVON Radio.
It happened during a discussion of why African-American businesses got a 7 percent sliver of Chicago’s $1 billion spending pie through Aug. 31, down from 8 percent a year ago.
“The word ‘minority’ from our standpoint should mean African-American. I don’t think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title,” he said. “That’s why our numbers cannot improve — because we use women, Asians and Hispanics who are not people of color, who are not people who have been discriminated against.”
Hours later, Meeks backtracked on his comments, saying he would only exclude white women from set asides if elected mayor. The set-aside program currently earmarks 25 percent of all city contracts for minorities and 5 percent for companies owned by women.Damn white people messing up those cherished racial set-asides. What's this world coming to?
“I don’t believe white women should be considered in that count.… You have white women in the category. They receive contracts. Then, white men receive contracts. Where does that leave everybody else?” he said in an interview with Fox-owned WFLD-Channel 32 news.
This guy makes Rahm Emanuel look palatable.
Of course in a normal world these affirmative action set-asides would be outlawed and the most qualified people would be awarded contracts, but Chicago long ago stopped being sane.