by Maze Jackson

The debacle Progressive turned Back Woman Machine President Toni Preckwinkle should be a lesson to Black politicians and Black voters alike. If you pay attention to the White and LGBTQ+ Democratic Committeemen and elected officials who ARE NOT openly supporting Black Woman President Preckwinkle even though she openly courted and supported them and their progressive label, you will understand why we have to think BLACK FIRST politically.

I expressly remember hearing Progressive President Preckwinkle on FB Live pushing Debra Shore, a White LGBTQ+ Woman candidate over Commissioner Kari K. Steele, a Black Woman, for the historic opportunity to become the first Black Woman President of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

At issue was newly elected Commissioner Kimberly Neely DuBuclet, a Black woman, and how she would vote for President of the MWRD. At stake was the opportunity to elect the first Black Woman or the first White LGBTQ+ Woman president of the MWRD. When given the choice between the two, Progressive President Toni Preckwinkle, most likely thinking ahead to the Mayor’s race, assumed she had Black support and threw all of her weight behind the White LGBTQ+Woman Shore.

Not only did Progressive President Preckwinkle push the Black Commissioner DuBuclet to support the White LGBTQ+ Woman Shore against AGAINST Black Commissioner Steele, she even bragged on social media about how she employed White Irish U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, Jewish American U.S. Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Progressive Third Ward Alderman Pat Dowell, and Progressive Fifth Ward Alderman Leslie Hairston to pressure DuBuclet to vote AGAINST the Black Woman Steele FOR the White LGBTQ+ Woman Shore.

I also remember my outrage when I found out a group of White North Side Democratic Committeemen had the audacity to call the Black Woman Commissioner DuBuclet, threatening that she’d better vote for the White LGBTQ+ Woman Shore over the Black Woman Steele or they would attempt to un-slate her in the next election cycle. It appeared that they were already basking in the political returns their support of Progressive President Toni Preckwinkle as Progressive Mayor AND Progressive President of the Cook County Democratic Party would bring when combined with their Progressive White Lakeshore Northside liberal privilege.

It was smart business, but those same Progressive White and LGBTQ+ elected officials were unable to handle their business when they failed deliver their PROGRESSIVE constituents to the now apparently Black Woman Machine President Toni Preckwinkle.

On Election Night, not only did the Progressive White Lakeshore Northside Committeemen not win their own wards for the now Black Woman Machine President Toni Preckwinkle, many of those same Progressive White and LGBTQ+ elected officials didn’t even win their own precincts for Black Woman Machine President Toni Preckwinkle.

And to top it off, the then Progressive President Toni Preckwinkle lost almost every Black Ward, making her a 2nd place finisher to the newly crowned White People’s Progressive Black Woman Lori Lightfoot. Initially considered an also ran in a 14-way race, Lightfoot embarassed Preckwinkle, reducing her to the Black Woman Machine President Preckwinkle in her once coveted Lakeshore liberals.

That night, the now Black Woman Machine President Toni Preckwinkle learned the hard way that the Progressive White People had chosen themselves a new Progressive Black Woman, and she was out. The Jay Z song calls it “Still OJ,” which for those of you unfamiliar with the urban legend, is polite talk for “still a N**GA!”

Now those same big time White and LGBTQ+ elected officials that the once Progressive now Black Woman Machine President Toni “OJ” Preckwinkle fought so hard for are either now endorsing their “new” Black Woman Progressive Lori Lightfoot- some publicly, others cutting deals behind the scenes, or they’ve just become extremely quiet. Just think, Progressive President Toni “OJ” Preckwinkle encouraged the Black community to stick with Governor JB Pritzker even after his infamous secret recordings, discrimination issues, and black face controversy, and he’s staying neutral. Ouch…OJ!

Where is the White LGBTQ+ Woman Debra Shore that she fought so hard for? Shouldn’t she be Black Woman President Toni “OJ” Preckwinkle’s biggest standard bearer in the LGBTQ+ community? Shouldn’t she be standing up for Black Woman President Toni “OJ” Preckwinkle against all the homophobic allegations? Where is she now? Probably hiding, because campaigning for Toni in her community is like bringing OJ to the Goldman’s family reunion. It’s not going to happen!

Why aren’t those White Democratic Committeemen rallying their troops to turn out the vote for Black Woman President Toni Preckwinkle? Because they don’t have troops and they don’t turn out the vote, they ride the wave and wave is against Toni in their wards. But what about Democratic loyalty to the President of the Cook County Democratic Party? Do you know any White People that feel like they need to be loyal to OJ? Exactly!

Because just like then-Progressive President Toni Preckwinkle before her “OJ moment,” White Democrats prioritize a relationship with the LGBTQ+ community over a relationship with the Black community…until they need to use us to get what they want.

Like President Toni “OJ” Preckwinkle does now.






Maze Jackson

Last night, for the first time since Election Night, March 15, 2016 I attended a Democratic fundraiser. While I have not been in hiding, as some would like to think, I had avoided attending some high-profile events because as a true Chicago political operative, I knew it was coming…the jokes about 68%-32% drubbing that my good friend Ken Dunkin received. I knew I would be the target of the jokes, because as many felt, rightfully so, that I had worked for Dunkin behind the scenes.

Dunkin was ultimately crushed by the sheer weight of the entire Democratic Party putting every available resource against him, but he did not go down without a fight. And when he was given the resources, party leaders were clearly concerned that Dunkin could still win the election, so concerned that they even called in the leader of the free world. That’s right, even President Obama weighed in on the election, at which point I faced the reality that the Democratic Party was willing to do ANYTHING to ensure Dunkin’s defeat. It was a tough loss and I knew they would come for me afterwards.

But walking into that fundraiser and hearing fellow Black political operatives laugh about how they “Kicked my butt!” stung a little. Then when a committeeman that I have known, supported, and respected shouted out in front of a table of strangers, “WE KICKED YOUR ASS!” it stung A LOT. It stung because so many times, I had been on the other side, laughing at those idealistic political wannabees, whose hopes we laughed at, as we mercilessly kicked their butts at the ballot.

It stung because as a Black political operative, I know that there are two different “WE’s.” As a Democratic political operative any win against the opposition is cause for celebration. But “WE” for Black Democratic political operatives usually means working as the “field” director, while inexperienced young White Democratic political operatives handle jobs like media director, communications director, campaign manager, and fundraiser.


“WE” to Black Democratic political operatives means that you get a small raise or promotion, while White Democratic political operatives get lucrative contracts or new business clients. “WE” to Black Democratic political operatives means a win bonus that may pay for a weekend in Wisconsin, while it means buying a vacation home in Michigan for a White Democratic political operative.

I was content being a Black Democratic political operative until I went to Springfield and saw what it meant to be a White Democratic political operative. I saw all of those young twenty and thirty something hustling around the Capitol in their fancy suits, with big contracts, representing corporate America working 3 days a week, six months per year. I saw them taking multiple family vacations, living in big houses in (847) area codes, and driving fancy cars on the weekend. Their outcomes looked nothing like those of the Black Democratic political operatives I know.


The top Black Democratic political operatives I know are the people behind the desks at your local ward office. You may see them walking around city hall, or they may be sitting in the back of the room at your local block club meeting. They know what to do, who to talk to, and where to be in their communities. Black political operatives are experts in their communities. It’s generally who the White Democratic political operatives rely on for success when they are dispatched to Black communities.

But few if none of them will ever be millionaires like the White Democratic political operatives that they work along side during election season. As a political operative, I understand that when the boss sends you on a mission, your only goals are to destroy the competition and win. But as a Black Democratic political operative, I know we are rarely if ever allowed to control the budgets, make decisions, or be part of the strategy team. They will let us handle the “ground game” and “visibility” which is cool, but we won’t ever retire millionaires like the White Democratic political operatives.


Going against the Party in the Dunkin race may not have been the smartest thing for my political or professional career, and I admit that. I’ll even admit I did get my butt kicked. But while that Black Democratic political operative was at the same event with me on a cold dreary March night, laughing, the White Democratic political operative that needed him to win, was chilling on a beach with his family. When I reminded him of that,  things weren’t so Democratic or funny anymore.


Why Every White Person that Attends a Black Church Should be Patted Down



Black people are quick to forgive White atrocities against us.

This past Saturday, as I was preparing to go shopping with my kids, the news segment about Sandra Bland’s funeral caught my attention.  So I watched the story, jotted down the address, put on my Black suit, and headed to the DuPage A.M.E. Church in Lisle, Illinois.  When I arrived in Lisle, I was greeted by smiling police officers and community service workers who were pleasantly directing traffic.

“Right this way sir.”
“Let me stop traffic for you.”
“Have a nice day!”

“Where the hell am I?” I wondered aloud.  “I must be  in Bizzarro world, where all of a sudden cops are now friendly to Black people.”  I also found it ironic that I was at a funeral for a beautiful Black sister who they say died while in police custody (I say at the hands of murderous racist cops) and now these police officers want to act all nice.  “Miss me with the BS, Mr. Officer Sir,” I thought to myself.  I wouldn’t dare say it out loud for fear of being accused of mouthing off, getting murdered, and people saying I committed suicide.  I also added a Mr. and Sir in my mind, just in case the police have some new mind reading device and they find a way to use my thoughts to kill me for “being mouthy.”

As I entered the church I was pleasantly surprised to see a different look on the faces of the Black people in that church.  It was not a look of “kumbayaa” or forgiveness, but more a look of resolve to deal with the unfinished business of Sandra Bland’s murder.  I was even more please when the preacher got up and explained that Sandy’s “end was just the beginning of the fight.”  I almost lost it when the preacher said, “You done stepped on the wrong cat’s tail.  Some cats scream, some scratch and claw.  We got some scratching and clawing to do!

“Finally!” I though to myself, Black people are finally pissed enough that we are going to do SOMETHING different so these White folks know they can’t keep killing us with no consequence!  The famous Bernie Mac statement kept going through my head, “I ain’t scared of you…”  I was on fire.  Then I saw them…White People.  And the reality of the situation hit me.

You see it was less than two months ago that a racist White supremacist, Dylan Roof, walked into a Black church, attended service, and then proceeded to murder everyone there except one witness to tell the story.   And here I was, in a BLACK A.M.E. CHURCH, with no security, no pat down, no nothing.

As every one of those White people walked past me, I did a quick mental, “Does this dude look like he would kill everybody here?”

Jordan Roof looked like a typical White teen, just like the White attendees at Sandra Bland’s funeral. How can we tell the difference?

“Nope, ok, next!” I thought in my head as I stared at every White person who walked through the door.

They kept coming, so I couldn’t keep up, but every time one those White people stood behind me, twitched, or made a sudden move I got nervous.  Damn A.M.E. Church…you are just going to let them walk through here without even going through metal detector?

People think that it is harsh but the facts are clear…in the last two months, 10 members of the A.M.E. church have been murdered, BY WHITE PEOPLE, and Black churches are still not patting White people down?  Really…why not?  Because it would make those same White people feel uncomfortable or unwelcome?  Well what about the Black people at the Black church like me that were nervous or uncomfortable?  Forget about us, just make sure the White folks feel comfortable and at home.  NOT!!!!

Black people are under assault and there is no holy bulletproof vest that automatically  covers us when we walk into our places of worship.  So unless we really want to be “washed in the blood” pat those White people down before they enter our Black churches!

Black People Need to Get the F#%! Off of Bill Cosby


Maze Jackson

Cosby and his alleged victims (photo courtesy of The Wrap)
Cosby and his alleged victims (photo courtesy of The Wrap)

Let me begin this post with the fact that I think rape is wrong, no means no, and we should not blame victims of rape.  You are right, a woman should have the right to go to a man’s hotel room, butt naked, at 3 am in the morning, to talk and SHOULD have be able to go home in one piece.  As a matter of fact she should be able to walk naked through that room and no one should assume that she is there for sex.  There, I’ve gotten that out of the way.  La La land requirements fulfilled, now to the reality of LIFE.

Let me also say that somewhere in these sordid tales, I believe some rape did occur, but I also believe there were some willing participants as well.  I believe it because I heard the “Spanish Fly” skit, but I also heard a lot of people laughing and clapping. Because the skit was recorded in 1969, during an era of free love, I assume that putting drugs in drinks was common practice for the time period.  Am I saying everyone did it?  No, but I am saying that some people did it and it was part of the celebrity, Hollywood lifestyle of the time period that was marked by the phrase “sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.”  I honestly believe that early on in Bill’s career, he was introduced to and rolled with a crew that participated in that lifestyle.

I also think drugged up girls was his “thing,”  like S&M or other fetishes people have, and it became a regular part of his sexual routine.  Initially, it probably began as a party thing, but eventually became the norm.  Over time, I think Cosby got arrogant and lazy.  By arrogance I mean that he assumed that he was “The Great Cosby” and anyone would give it to him, which is why we hear so many people say, “he didn’t have to take it,” but that’s all the more reason he may have actually taken advantage of some women.  So many said yes, he probably could not fathom anyone telling him “no.”  As far as lazy, I believe it went hand and hand with his arrogance, pills were part of his version of foreplay, he just stopped asking and assumed that everyone wanted pills.  It sort of like when the man used to spend time getting a woman worked up, but now he just goes straight for the sex.

Do I think 90% of those women would have given Cosby the a$$ if he asked?  I certainly do…but like most men, once he got used to getting the a$$ on the regular, he skipped the foreplay and went straight for the cookies!  My bet is that he got away with it for all of those years because the women went to his room for some exchange, but they did not get the exchange the way they wanted it (which was their choice as women) so they settles to avoid the embarrassment of having to explain why they went to his room, knowing he was married, at obscene times of night.  They took the checks and made it all go away.  Was Cosby wrong? NO doubt, no excuse…just pay for what you want how you want and be done.  There are no shortage of women who would have happily participated for much less with no drama.

Bill Cosby is going to catch hell for the rest of his life deservedly so.  White people are going to pick his bones clean, so my question is, why do Black people need to participate?  Right now they are trying to remove Bill Cosby’s legacy, but if they do where will that leave us a people?  You see White American can’t afford to let Bill Cosby get another run in our living rooms.  The last time he did that, he had all of America viewing itself through the lens of a successful Black family.  HE had White people wanting to be Black.

Bill Cosby made the entire country recognize that #blacklivesmatter before there was a such thing as a hashtag.  During the era of the Cosby Show, White people would have envisioned Trayvon Martin as Theo Huxtable.  It would not have been so easy to dismiss his murder.  Bill Cosby made the Black family human.  Not to mention all the money, resources, and inspiration he has provided for Black people.  Think about how many of us saw ourselves in college because of A different World.  Cosby created A Different World for Black people in America.  Remember that before you join the lynch mob.

Bill Cosby has done wrong, and he will pay for it…but he has given so much to Black America, do we need to stand in line for a pound of flesh too?