The wealthy Chicago suburb of Oak Park attempted to do something simple enough for a liberal town: Update the village’s diversity statement.
But as many things involving identity politics go, this simple statement caused the town some embarrassment. Mark Glennon, founder of an Illinois online outlet called WirePoints, explained what happened in Oak Park.
The Oak Park village board met and debated the diversity statement, which included the phrase “system of oppression.” As Glennon wrote, this upset some members of the board, who felt the phrase unfairly smeared the local police department.
“That’s when Trustee Susan Buchanan let loose, telling the white males on the board to ‘shut up,’ and much more,” Glennon wrote. “Keep in mind that one of the targets of Buchanan’s comments was the mayor, Anan Abu-Taleb. He’s a Palestinian immigrant born in the Gaza Strip as the second oldest of 13 children and came to the Chicago area at the age of 18 to attend college.”
Buchanan, according to video of the meeting told the white members and Abu-Taleb that they “shouldn’t have an opinion on that.”
“That is the point. Why do you have an opinion on equity? You’ve never experienced oppression so shut up … . Just stop … You are not oppressed … . Enough … You stop it! You are a white male. Your skin is light enough. Stop it,” she said.
Instead of Buchanan losing her job and becoming a political pariah for her comments, she was supported by members of her community. Glennon reported that the “loudest voices” in the town support Buchanan, and have even posted a petition demanding that one of the other village board members resign.
“That’s Dan Moroney, who was among the trustees who questioned the wording of the original diversity statement,” Glennon wrote. “They’ve selected him as scapegoat for the bad press Oak Park got from Buchanan’s words and for the threats she says she and her family received.”
Moroney, according to Buchanan’s supporters, is the one who has to go because he spoke about the situation on a conservative Dan Proft’s radio show. Buchanan’s supporters claim that the neighborhood was “targeted by white supremacists” and that Buchanan was threatened.
But, according to Glennon, Moroney didn’t appear on the radio show until October 18, two weeks after Buchanan’s comments went national and after Buchanan said she had been threatened. Also, the reporting on the incident was not initiated by Moroney.
For what it’s worth, the diversity statement was approved on October 9. The Chicago Tribune reported at the time that the statement was updated after each election.
Despite the statement being approved, protesters showed up at last week’s village board meeting to defend Buchanan. A woman suggested men did need to “shut up,” while another said Buchanan’s critics were “vile and Brett Kavanaugh-like.” The Left believes Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women 30 years ago, even though the available evidence suggests he didn’t. The protester’s reference was likely suggesting that anyone who thought Buchanan’s comments were disrespectful and bigoted was actually a sexual assaulter.