Commentary: Our Hero Wears Baseball Caps with the Number 3


KayCee Shakur,     Bomani Now

When I first heard that Chance The Rapper was going to meet with Gov. Bruce Rauner, I’m going to admit I wasn’t happy. What could the man that snatched millions from my alma mater’s funding have to say about an education budget? Needless to say, I wasn’t a bit shocked when clips of Chance leaving the governor’s office “frustrated” surfaced. “What did he expect?” I thought to myself, but the question that should have been asked was what would he do now? He became the hero. Chance took a no and turned it into a million dollar yes! Within seconds every social media platform was flooded with articles and praises for Chance and his selfless deed. Millennial Chicago natives rejoiced that we finally had some positive national news coming out of our city, and it was one of us that made it happen!

Thursday, Mary Mitchell, a Chicago Sun-Times journalist, penned an article about the court files surrounding the child support case involving Chancellor Bennett and Kirsten Corley, the mother of their 1-year-old daughter. No one is denying that gossip readers may want details of the case, but by no means is this a cover story. The unimportance of the matter is what raises eyebrows. Why did you write this lengthy story, Mary, and why is it your cover, Jim? Chicagoans were not pleased with the article criticizing its hero. Take a look at some of their responses:


  So how could Chicago’s own Sun-Times taint something praised by media outlets across the country? The answer is simple; the media is uncomfortable with portraying Black men as good men. The Sun-Times did in fact have Chance’s face on the cover following the generous donation, but the article was merely a synopsis of the political drama surrounding Illinois state Gov. Bruce Rauner and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, never a cover highlighting the rapper’s million dollar donation.  Many Chicagoans are wondering how the Sun-Times felt a gossip story that hit the Web over a month ago was more of a cover story than a million dollar donation to the budget crisis that has been at the top of Chicago news for years.

    As Gazi Kodzo says, this is a classic case of white power in black face. It was no mistake that Mary Mitchell, a Black woman, was chosen to write this controversial article on the South Side’s golden child. This is a blatant attack on Black joy. Mainstream media is so used to over saturating our news with the dangers of Black men, that it has no clue of how to sing a Black man’s praises, or the need to for that matter. Most days the Sun-Times’ Black readers are satisfied with its reports of how minorities fall short of greatness, but there is a time to let us be great and this was one them. As Black people, we don’t expect much from mainstream platforms because they hardly capture who we really are, but when you interrupt our celebration of each other’s greatness you will hear our voices loud and clear.

    Chance just became a nationally recognized hero, but for us millennial Chicago natives, he’s been a constant reminder of what we have to do when we have the means to give back. He’s been the constant ray of light when our skies are dark, and that is why we will not tolerate the disrespect. We applaud Chance and his many efforts to save his community while our government has abandoned us. We are so proud of our brother; our hero wears baseball caps with the number 3.

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