Activist demands apology from Emanuel for obscenity

September 13, 2011 3:49:29 PM PDT
Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis says Mayor Rahm Emanuel made a comment to her that included an obscenity during a heated discussion over lengthening the day at Chicago public schools.

The mayor was asked Tuesday if he saw a need to apologize for using the f-word in that meeting two weeks ago.

"My view is this is a distraction from the major issue which is getting the kids an education and time in class learning," he said.

The mayor has not denied Lewis' claim that he pointed his finger at the union leader while dropping the f-bomb after she suggested the longer school day should not be used for babysitting children.

Activist the Reverend Paul Jakes has written a letter demanding the mayor apologize.

"I know that African-American women have been victims continuously down through the years of disrespect and we as an African-American community will not stand for it," said Rev. Jakes.

But Alderman Emma Mitts said there's nothing racial about it and and who knows what Lewis may have said to Emanuel.

"I know there's two sides to every story, and somtimes three sides to every story. So what really went on," said Mitts.

"If I had been there and used this type of language to any woman, there would not be any quiet, it would not be any acceptance. The town would be in uproar," said Jakes.

Earlier in the day, the mayor called Chicago's reformed City Colleges the perfect host for the $25 million local version of a national Goldman Sachs program to help small business.

"We couldn't literally do this years ago. We can now," said Emanuel.

The mayor also confirmed that he has reduced former Mayor Daley's security detail from six down to three police officers. And Emanuel said two of the three will be assigned to patrol in the neighborhood around the Daley home to assist Mrs. Daley to and from her cancer treatments. Mayor Emanuel said that's the least the city can do to thank Mrs. Daley for 22 years of service as Chicago's first lady.

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