|« The Golden Toilet Strikes Back!||Eye on #OCHI: Aldermanic Puppets and Protests »|
Op-Ed Thu Feb 09 2012
by Bob Quellos
City Clerk Susana Mendoza withdrew 15-year-old Herbie Pulgar's entry into the annual contest to design Chicago's city sticker yesterday after fears that the sticker design contained gang affiliated symbols and threats to the Chicago Police Department. This action and the controversy surrounding Pulgar's design leaves me with some questions and thoughts:
First, Jody Weis is still in Chicago? After a not so glamorous stint as head of the CPD, it seemed like Jody Weis had finally been run out of town. Apparently not. Perhaps Weis put himself forward as head interpreter of the city sticker as a way of letting us know he's still in Chicago where he's been working hard to put together a coloring book about Chicagoland gangs for the Chicago Crime Commission.
How many paranoid conspiracy theorists reside in Chicago's government? Let us pretend for a minute that the winning entry actually has subliminal gang messaging. The string of events that would have occurred to pull this stunt off would look something like this:
Some gang leaders come up with a plan to use one of the gang's members to enter a piece of artwork with subliminal messaging directed at the CPD into the city sticker contest. The artwork on the submission would then be crafted so meticulously that the piece of art actually looks like a 15-year-old who was once saved by a firefighter created it. And the subliminal messaging directed at the CPD would be so well hidden that it doesn't draw anyone's attention. So well hidden in fact that it would require gang experts to decipher the hidden message. The artwork would then be selected as a finalist from 300 total entries. And then finally, the artwork would take first place in a public vote that included over 18,000 participants.
Convinced? Or does that seem like one too many hoops to jump through just to send the CPD a message?
So if the CPD and those at the City Clerk's office are this paranoid about possible gang ties on a city sticker, how does this paranoia translate elsewhere? In other words, if the CPD sees a city sticker as a threat, how does that same police force see the average black or Latino teenage walking in a neighborhood?
Didn't this all start on a blog run by a Chicago cop? It seems to. But you're not going to hear that mentioned by the City Clerk's office because the blog this story originated on is called "Detective Shaved Longcock." Some other blog entries at DSL include "Mayor Emanuel now 'IFFY' about South Side Irish Parade... But Rahm wouldn't have the balls to cancel the Bud Biliken or Gay Fruitcake Parade" and, "Can Chicago ever get a police superintendent that doesn't kiss the asses of inner city blacks?" Why is the City Clerk's office taking their lead from this blog?
Second City Cop (another Chicago police blog) has posted screen captures of 15-year-old Herbie Pulgar's Facebook chats. A quote on this matter from Second City Cop states, "Tell us this kid isn't banging and we'll tell you you're delusional." That's right, the CPD may be deciding which teenagers they believe are guilty of gang activity by perusing their Facebook pages and then rendering their decision via a blog. Does this trouble anyone else?
And lastly. Do Susana Mendoza and Jody Weis also believe that Claddagh rings are gang affiliated? If we use the City Clerk's criteria they seem suspicious. Perhaps this requires an investigation. Jody?