December 9, 2008

The Blagojevich-Obama link and the Black Muslims

Everybody knows by now that one big link between the President-Elect and the now-arrested Governor of Illinois is Tony Rezko. What a lot of people still don't know about is that Rezko, who is a white Christian immigrant from Aleppo, Syria, has been intimately tied to the Black Muslims for a quarter of a century. Here's part of my VDARE.com column from 9/1/08, "Obama's Kind of Town, Chicago Is:"

Strikingly, the Nation of Islam in particular and Chicago black politics in general were Rezko's launching pad for his decades-long takeover of quite a bit of the government of the State of Illinois.

James L. Merriner wrote in Chicago magazine in November 2007:

"When Harold Washington was running for mayor of Chicago in 1983, Rezko held a fundraiser after Jabir Herbert Muhammad, who was Muhammad Ali's business manager, urged him to get involved in the campaign. Subsequently, Rezko also joined Ali's entourage, traveling the world with him for five years. Rezko apparently took little interest in boxing—he says he and Ali did watch a few matches together—but he relished putting together business and endorsement deals for the champ."[Mr. Inside Out]

I bet he did. A rich punchdrunk pugilist and Tony Rezko—what could possibly go wrong? In the 1990s, Ali's latest wife forced out both Jabir and Tony.

Strange as it seems, the relationship between Rezko and the Black Muslims is not unique. Chicago-based columnist Ray Hanania of the Arab Writers Group explained:

"Like many Arab Americans, Rezko had close ties to the Nation of Islam, which sympathized with the Palestinian and Arab causes. He became close to the inspiring icons like Muhammad Ali and even young Obama, a little-known state legislator who later rose to stardom."

Rezko is representative of a recent trend in Chicago politics: the rise of Arab wheeler-dealers as corruption catalysts.

The elites of the African-American and Arab communities may tend to agree on foreign policy. But down on the street, relations are hostile. The Arab immigrants, who are best known in Chicago as middle-man merchants operating liquor stores and the like in the ghetto, much like the Koreans in South Central Los Angeles at the time of the 1992 riots, are too hated by black voters to win political power for themselves through the ballot box. Hence their leaders tend to play shadowy roles in Chicago politics.

Rezko kept a sharp eye out for upcoming black political talent who could provide a politically correct front for him. Rezmar offered Obama a job in 1990. He didn't take it, but that was the beginning of a long and mutually beneficial friendship between Rezko and the man who is now the Democratic Presidential nominee. Rezko paid for 15 percent of Obama's first campaign, and Obama looked out in the state senate for Rezko's interests in low-income housing and in packing the state's hospital construction board.

Contract set-asides for minorities provide a lucrative opening for crooks like Rezko. The demand for "diversity" provides an excuse for a thumb on the scales, a justification for diverting the contract from the lowest bidder to a political ally who employs a minority frontman. Most of America's pundit class hasn't figured this out yet, but Rezko grasped how "diversity" works soon after getting off the plane. (Indeed, multicultural America is becoming ever more like the Ottoman Empire, giving an advantage to immigrants from old Ottoman mercantile minorities.)

Chicago explained: "Rezko ran Jabir Muhammad's firm, Crucial Concessions. Under Mayor Washington [remember that fundraiser?], Crucial won the concessions to sell food at city beaches."

Now I know why Chicago beach concession food in the 1980s was so untasty. The municipal hot dog stands were managed by the Nation of Islam and Tony Rezko!

Muhammad and Rezko worked the same minority set-aside scam with several high-grossing Panda Expresses at O'Hare airport. The Chicago Sun-Times reported on March 17, 2005:

"Two restaurants at O'Hare Airport have been allowed to rake in millions of dollars, even though the Daley administration learned back in 2002 that the company running them was probably a phony minority "front" for Panda Express and Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a top fund-raiser for Gov. Blagojevich. Crucial Inc. won the O'Hare concessions in part because it was certified as a minority-owned business. Its largest shareholder was listed as Jabir Herbert Muhammad, son of the late Nation of Islam founder, Elijah Muhammad. … The [Chicago minority contractor] program has been tarred by a relentless string of scandals…"[City ignored possible O'Hare 'front' for years, By Chris Fusco, Fran Spielman And Michael Sneed]

Jabir and Tony also got a $10 million affirmative action contract from SBC, the giant phone company whose president was William Daley, Mayor Richie Daley's brother, to run the payphones at the Cook County jail. Their designated owner-operator was a twofer under the quota of 35 percent of contracts reserved for minority and women-owned businesses: a black woman named Deloris Wade, although she happened to be dead.

Building on these black Chicago roots, Rezko eventually became the statewide power behind the throne when the Democrats swept to victory in the 2002 elections. Chicago Magazine reported:

"Rezko became a virtual one-man headhunting firm for staffing the Blagojevich administration, sending along recommended candidates, many of whom ended up getting appointments. … (The U.S. attorney here has charged that Rezko schemed to pack the government with his cronies so that they could peddle their influence.)"

Diversity sensitivity also provides a convenient justification for corruption. Blagojevich said he sought Rezko's

"advice on recommendations for agency directors for two reasons. Number one, I had every reason to think he was honest and independently successful in business and that he was able to bring us people who were not part of state government before. And he has connections and roots in the African American community, and he could help us with candidates . . . because part of what we wanted to do was to have a diverse administration." [More, in which I explain why Chicago, and thus Obama, is the way it is]

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

19 comments:

koos said...

My impression that the sleaze around Obama should be enough to stop him dead in his tracks. Oh, I forgot, he's an African American Dem.

John of London said...

This is fascinating stuff, Steve. Maybe only fiction could do it full justice. Can you recommend a Chicago equivalent of the late much-lamented George V. Higgins? Sarah Paretsky sometimes involves corruption but doesn't bring out the full richness.
Interesting that the White establishment prefers Arab immigrant middlemen to deal with indigenous Black Americans. Reminds me of some other operation but I can't quite think what.
One point that puzzles me: you repeatly mention when Chicago pols are Black or Arab, but you never refer explicitly to Irish-Americans. I've never been to Chicago, but from what I've read I gather Irish immigrants and their descendents have played a not-insignificant part in corrupt Chicago politics for most of the city's history.

Lawful Neutral said...

You left your best paragraph out of the post, Steve:

"Why don't the voters turn the rascals out? Because no one ethnic group can afford to unilaterally disarm in the struggle for government boodle. Your racial leaders may be pocketing much of what they get in your name, but without their connections and time-tested stratagems, your group would be completely despoiled by the other groups' veteran politicians."

Steve Sailer said...

Right, Irish is the default assumption for the ethnicity of a classic Chicago pol (e.g., the Daleys). The Democratic machine in Chicago was pretty much all Irish up until Mayor Cermak (a Bohemian?) brought in other ethnicities during the Depression. Since then, it's been a one-party Democratic town. The Irish remain something of the natural leaders of Chicago as long as they don't get too greedy.

Richard H said...

I'd personally rather see the taxpayer scammed by losing money to people smart enough to work the system rather than incompetent minorities.

Of course, a society based on competence and merit would be great but that was before the diversity era.

i am the walrus said...

I know that one of Daley's sons died as a toddler. His other son, Patrick, enlisted in the army. He apparently has a conscience and has no desire to become the kind of man it takes to continue the Daley dynasty. Of course, if I'm not mistaken, Mayor Daley has six siblings with offsprng who could help perpuate the dynasty.

airtommy said...

My impression that the sleaze around Obama should be enough to stop him dead in his tracks.

That's the impression your supposed to have when your only source of information is right-wing hit pieces. That's why the right-wing is conmstantly harping on all of this Chicago corruption. They want Obama to be found guilty by association. Do you ever wonder why all of these moralists never wrote about the Bush corruption in Texas? For example, how much do you know about the land deal for Bush's baseball stadium?

In fact, Obama does not have much sleaze around him at all. Remember that.

headache said...

Richard H sed...

"Of course, a society based on competence and merit would be great but that was before the diversity era."

You have a point; however we also have blinkers on. Before the minority era there was the Al Capone era, and from what little I know of US history, it's an old thing that certain ethnics (Irish, Italians, Jews) control particular industries or sectors of large cities. This is just more hidden in previously mono-cultural European countries. There it’s a family or clan thing.

Basically we've moved from “competent and corrupt” to “incompetent and corrupt”. Put another way, diversity has hit the underground.

Chic N said...

Richard H said...
I'd personally rather see the taxpayer scammed by losing money to people smart enough to work the system rather than incompetent minorities
SHM
I am speechless!
And we wonder why Europeans think Americans are idiots.
How about not wanting any group to rob taxpayers.

Chic N said...

What a lot of people still don't know about is that Rezko, who is a white Christian immigrant from Aleppo, Syria

The last name is a dead give away that Rezko is not an Anglo Saxon, the white part we can see. America's kiss method when it comes to race makes it so easy.

Steve, Middle Easterners by definition are Caucasian. I don't think Middle Easterners, at least those from Syria, are included in the list of minorities who qualify for affirmative action.

Anonymous said...


"One of Obama’s donors is the former Iraqi Electricity Minister Aiham Alsammarae, who broke out of prison in the Baghdad Green Zone where he was locked up for stealing hundreds of millions. Alsammarae now lives in the Chicago area, where he put up $2.8 million to help bail Rezko out of jail."

Wow. Just wow.

Anonymous said...

John of London wrote:

Interesting that the White establishment prefers Arab immigrant middlemen to deal with indigenous Black Americans.

John, I think that due to your political correctness, you misunderstood this a bit. A certain portion of the White establishment created the affirmative action system in order to screw up rival White groups, including rival White establishments. Think of this as intra-White competition. The system thus created is inherently corrupt. It provides opportunities for hustlers of all sorts. Some of the people who took those opportunities in Chicago happened to be Arabs. In other places other groups are more prominent.

In your comment you implied that there is a unified White establishment and that it made a conscious decision to employ Arabs in this way. I think that's very different from what actually occurred.

That whole minority set-aside thing, for example, is a glaring opportunity to be corrupt. It cries out for someone to set up phony fronts. By the way, the dead twofer story is pure gold. If Rezko didn't use that opportunity, there was a 100% chance that someone else would have used it. While Rezko IS a crook and deserves to be in jail, the real crime was the creation of that opportunity to be corrupt. And that was done for reasons that had nothing to do with Rezko in particular or with Arabs in general.

Blode032222 said...

This sort of thing is absolutely the international standard for affirmative action programs. The only difference is the names the programs go by. Read Thomas Sowell on the subject if you don't believe Steve Sailer. You can bring up Sowell's writing in idle conversation with leftists if you want - since they haven't heard of him (or probably anything with "An Empirical Study" in the title, most likely), they'll assume he's whitey = bad. After they've committed themselves to dismissing him on that basis, show them his picture. And hand them a hanky.

Anonymous said...

"That's the impression your supposed to have when your only source of information is right-wing hit pieces. That's why the right-wing is conmstantly harping on all of this Chicago corruption. They want Obama to be found guilty by association."

Holding the president blameless for crimes he didn't actually commit, only connived in, seems to be what led us into the spiral of amorality that happened during Watergate. Once Obama becomes President, then what? It won't just be his "friends" any more, it will be people who serve at his pleasure doing this stuff. I hope he changes his moral standards radically, and soon.

anony-mouse said...

The situation in 1970's SF was even more interesting with the NOI first opposing then supporting Jim Jones who was also supported by Harvey Milk (haven't seen the movie but I doubt this aspect was dealt with much), who spoke in favor of Jones even after the Jonestown massacre.

Strange, er, bedfellows all around.

Truth said...

"My impression that the sleaze around Obama should be enough to stop him dead in his tracks. Oh, I forgot, he's an African American Dem."

Apparently, so is G.W Bush.

"I'd personally rather see the taxpayer scammed by losing money to people smart enough to work the system rather than incompetent minorities."

Well, you got your wish last month to the tune of 700 billion (now 3 trillion) dollars. You should be turning cartwheels with joy!

Richard H said...

"Well, you got your wish last month to the tune of 700 billion (now 3 trillion) dollars. You should be turning cartwheels with joy!"

::puts head down in shame::

To be fair, incompetent NAMs had a part.

headache said...

Richard H,
I'm a white from Africa. Truth's comments would be a little more believable if it were not for the catastrophic track records of ALL African governments. And I mean catastrophic in the real sense.

Richard H said...

headache,

Where did you get the impression that I would disagree with that?