News Release

With Senate Hearing Set for Wednesday, Coalition Steps Up Denunciations of Rahm Emanuel Ambassador Nomination

A coalition of organizations has scheduled a news conference in Chicago on Tuesday opposing the nomination of former Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel to be the U.S. ambassador to Japan. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee has scheduled a hearing for Emanuel on Oct. 20 — the anniversary of the notorious killing of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police. A dash camera video of that murder was suppressed for 13 months by Emanuel’s mayoral administration.

The press conference comes after dozens of Chicago-based and national groups have vehemently voiced opposition to President Biden’s pick of Emanuel.

When President Biden hosted the family of George Floyd at the White House in April, he issued a statement about the need to “collectively say enough of the senseless killings.” But Mayor Emanuel helped to deny and hide the realities of senseless killings by police in Chicago. The coalition contends that “no president who is truly serious about stopping brutality and murders by police would nominate Rahm Emanuel for an important government post.”

Congressman Jamaal Bowman wrote: “Black Lives Matter can’t just be a slogan. It has to be reflected in our actions as a government, and as a people. Rewarding Rahm Emanuel’s cover-up of Laquan McDonald’s murder with an ambassadorship is not an act that reflects a value of or respect for Black lives.”

Rahm Emanuel became a symbol of lethal disrespect for African-American lives. The coalition says that making him a U.S. ambassador would make the U.S. government a similar symbol.

RootsAction.org, the organization that has been coordinating national opposition to the Emanuel nomination, says that more than 40,000 individual constituent emails have been sent to senators urging that he be rejected for the diplomatic post.

“Reject Rahm” News Conference Chicago
11 a.m. CT – Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Chicago Police Department HQ
3510 S. Michigan Ave., ChicagoFor further information:
Delmarie Cobb, dlcobb@thepublicityworks.net

Speakers:

Aislinn Pulley, Aislinn@chicagotorturejustice.org (Black Lives Matter, Chicago)
Dorothy Homes (Justice For Families)
Crista Noël, cnoel@thewapb.org (Women’s All Points Bulletin)
Camiella Williams, atruewarrior17@yahoo.com (Adult Advisor to GoodKidsMadCity)
Hatem Abudayyeh, hatem@aaan.org (Arab American Action Network)
Dr. La’Shawn Littrice, lalittrice@gmail.com (Make Noize For Change)
Kina Collins, Kina@kinacollins.com (Candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, Illinois 7th District)
Abeni Trotter, atrotter.smith@gmail.com (Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression)

Statement from the Chicago Westside Branch of the NAACP:
“In accordance with the NAACP President, the Illinois State Conference and the Chicago Westside Branch of the NAACP do not support the appointment of Rahm Emmanuel to any federal office. His past actions and approach to governing are detrimental to the American people.”
— NAACP Chicago Westside Branch contact is Rebecca Cook, Rebecca@cwbnaacp.org, Criminal Justice Chair.

Dorothy Homes, Justice For Families:
“Rahm Emanuel covered up the murder of my son… Rahm Emanuel does not deserve to be the ambassador of anything. Rahm Emanuel belongs behind bars.”

Crista Noël, Women’s All Points Bulletin:
“Clearly the U.S. and Biden’s administration is tone deaf to Chicago’s Black Community’s trauma in regards to the Laquan McDonald murder or they would not have scheduled the [committee] vote on the day of his death. Unless the U.S. plans to deny Rahm the Ambassadorship as poetic justice, Chicago would consider it a slap in the face and would not turn the other cheek in further supporting Biden or his administration.”

Camiella Williams, Adult Advisor to GoodKidsMadCity:
“If Rahm Emmanuel’s appointment as Ambassador for Japan is confirmed, all the organizing efforts put in to remove him as Mayor of Chicago will go in vain! Rahm showed the entire world, he cannot be trusted as a public servant when he concealed the murder tape of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald for his political gain.”

Dr. La’Shawn Littrice, Community Psychologist, Founder “Make Noize for Change”:
“Rahm Emmanuel cannot be trusted as an ambassador due to the fact that he is the source of the cover-up for Laquan McDonald and he did it for selfish, political gain. Any member of the delegation who supports this confirmation is an embarrassment to all those who fought to get justice for Laquan McDonald’s murder; we are therefore calling on each of them to say no, especially those who are rooted in Chicago.”

Hatem Abudayyeh, Executive Director of the Arab American Action Network in Chicago:
 “What’s most disappointing about this decision is that there’s no reason for us to be surprised that the mainstream leadership of the Democratic Party represented by Biden, Harris, Schumer, and Pelosi, not to mention our own Sen. Dick Durbin, would push for such a horrible choice… Party progressives, Latinx and other immigrants, Black people, Arabs, and other oppressed communities were the forces that defeated Trump, but we still get taken for granted by a party and its leaders who seem to have no idea which way the wind is blowing; their own days are numbered as well.”

Kina Collins, Candidate for US House of Representatives, Illinois 7th District:
“For 400 days, Rahm Emanuel tried to cover up the truth of what happened to Laquan McDonald. For 400 days we marched, organized, and protested for the release of the police dashcam footage, because we know that too often, police lie when their own careers are at stake. And for 400 days, that officer escaped justice, because Emanuel was more concerned with his own re-election than he was with justice for a child murdered on his watch. This is a complete slap in the face to Black America.”