T Dog’s Think Tank: Disrespect of Chicago’s South Side continues

White Sox celebrates the city’s last World Series Championship on October 26, 2005. (Chicago Tribune)

Despite White Sox World Series Championship in 2005 and native son President Obama making history as first African-American in the White House, the city’s South Side continues to disrespected by the national media

Ever since Chicagoan Barack Obama announced he was running for President of the United States in 2006, the Windy City has been under the national spotlight.

Mostly, the negative spotlight.

From Jon Stewart to Rachel Shteir from Spike Lee (Chiraq) to CNN’s Chicagoland, the city’s image has been taking a beating – and no one has taken a beating more than the South Side.

Case in point: Since the Chicago Cubs advanced to the World Series Saturday, the media has forgotten Chicago’s other baseball team – the Chicago White Sox – who play at Comiskey Park on the South Side at 35th and Shields. In the last 48 hours, the White Sox have been ignored by the mainstream media when it comes to sports achievements – their 1959 American League Pennant and 2005 World Series Championship have been overlooked by CBS News, the Washington Post, and ESPN when discussing Chicago’s sports achievements – yes, the same ESPN who came to town two months ago to the YMCA on 63rd and Stony Island to discuss Chicago’s violence epidemic.

ESPN's segment from Monday on Chicago's and Cleveland's Championships. Notice no White Sox. (ESPN/Awful Announcing)
ESPN’s segment from Monday on Chicago’s and Cleveland’s Championships. Notice no White Sox. (ESPN/Awful Announcing)

And while detailing the number of championships in a ridiculous segment, the geniuses also omitted the Chicago Fire’s 1998 MLS Championship and the Chicago Wolves’ Turner Cup and Calder Cup championships.

Two other media outlets- the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune in an editorial – also omitted the White Sox’s achievements while mentioning other teams.

Omitting the White Sox is strange given it is also President Obama’s hometown team – but then again, President Obama has always been dissed by the media since he took office – particularly from the right side of the aisle.

Given both Obama and the White Sox are both from the South Side, the snubs and disrespect isn’t surprising. For the last few years, Chicago’s South Side – and the entire city in fact – has drawn more attention for its homicide epidemic. The national media (Fox News and CNN in particular) – and Presidential candidate Donald Trump have taken the “murder capital of the nation” mantra and ran with it like a track star at the Olympics.

In recent debates against Hilary Clinton, Trump used Chicago as a metaphor to describe what’s wrong with the country. He used racist lingo to describe inner-cities as “hell” and urged “The African-Americans” (which make up the majority of South Siders) to vote for him and he’ll “solve it”, which we all know is a bunch of bullshit.

He also used Chicago as a code word for minorities, never mind the Chicago area is only the fourth-largest African American market in the country, behind New York, Washington D.C., and Atlanta. And this from a man who owns a skyscraper on Wabash Avenue with the words “Trump” on it (and yours truly had to look at that ugly eyesore for the last eight years when I worked across the street.)

CBS later acknowledged the goofup.

This is more than just a White Sox snub. As I said in this space before, the media coverage of Chicago – the city’s South Side in particular – has been appalling, one-sided, unfair, and at times, racist. And this what happens when a large percentage of media outlets are controlled by a few companies, brought on by years and years of consolidation – something I have railed against on this blog for a decade. The White Sox errors are an indirect result of that.

In 2008, I wrote a column about the place I called home, and if you haven’t already I urge you to read it. In it I call the media (both local and national) “The Ministers of Misinformation”, and I said:

“What the media doesn’t tell you (or won’t tell you) is that Chicago’s South Side is filled with hard working and decent people who are trying to get by day after day in this game we call life. Many have strong, solid family values – as well as faith that keep them going, even through the toughest of times. They work to make their community and the world – a better place.”

This is something First Lady Michelle Obama recently alluded to when she was asked to describe how Trump felt about African-Americans.

Then I said:

“But Big Media doesn’t care about that. The ministers of misinformation continue to stick it to minority communities, not only in Chicago, but across the country, by focusing on only the bad people who live there.”

Sadly, this is more prominent in 2016- not only from the media but also from Trump and other conservative politicians and Republicans.

How odd Donald Trump and his idiot supporters are now railing against the media, using the same complaints we South Siders have used for years. But don’t expect sympathy from us – as far as we South Siders are concerned, Trump, his supporters, and the media all deserve one another.

Unfortunately, we continue to be known for crime, dysfunction, gun violence, and homicides, and the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship or Barack Obama’s ascension to the White House hasn’t changed this perception, thanks to the constant media spotlight.

The media already ignored the White Sox’s achievement. You wonder if they’ll also ignore Obama’s achievement – the first African-American elected as President. Because to the media and Donald Trump, the South Side of Chicago doesn’t matter.