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Similar proclamations from the governor’s office in 2004 and 2005 described the Coalition as “an important voice in both the African-American community and the general public”
But Blagojevich, despite his national reputation for corruption, was not unique in pandering to Munir Muhammad. After Blagojevich was gone, Governor Pat Quinn renominated Munir Muhammad to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. The result was a brief debate and a close vote with the Illinois Senate splitting mostly down party lines. Twenty senators voted to reappoint Munir Muhammad and thirty voted against—with only seven Democrats crossing party lines to vote against him. Were Barack Obama still in the Illinois State Senate, it’s quite apparent how he would have voted.
The Illinois State Senate transcript for Munir Muhammad’s original appointment shows that it was carried without a single opposing vote. Obama appeared to be present at the session, which means that he voted to confirm Munir Muhammad.
In 2001, 75,000 dollars was allotted to the Coalition for the purchase of television cameras for its production studios, courtesy of Illinois State Senator Donne E. Trotter. When Gilad Atzmon, a figure so repulsive that even Anti-Israel groups have deemed him too Anti-Semitic to be associated with, appeared on Munir Muhammad’s show, the cameras filming the whole thing may well have been the ones paid for by taxpayer dollars. At the time Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois State Senate and his funding requests appear next to those of Trotter.
It would be nice to think that Munir Muhammad’s success was an individual blind spot in the system, but it wasn’t. Claudette Marie Muhammad, Chief of Protocol in the Nation of Islam, had been appointed to the Illinois Anti-Discrimination Panel. And there was Willie Barrow, the Chairwoman of the Commission on Discrimination and Hate Crimes, an enthusiastic admirer of Farrakhan and one of Obama’s Faith Endorsers. A woman whom Michelle Obama described as “our friend”.
Munir Muhammad has lost his position and his fifty thousand dollar salary, but there is little doubt that Illinois politicians will continue trooping down to the studio to chat with the bigot while sitting opposite his red flag. Corruption is the way things are done in Chicago and that includes turning a blind eye to black racist groups who may believe that white people are the devil, but can be counted on to deliver the votes from Elijah Muhammad’s mothership.
Chicago’s dirt is no longer just the property of that city; it belongs to all of us. And Munir Muhammad also belongs to all of us. The men and women he sat across from are no longer just big wheels in state politics—they run the country. And the Chicago Way has become the American Way.
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