Chicago has an ATTITUDE. I’m sure every city does. The ATTITUDE, at least for some of us who were born and raised here, and never left, is one of, “OH YEAH? TRY ME.”
That Chicago Attitude is reflected beautifully in Mayor Lori Lightfoot. She’s a perfect representative of the city and what it stands for. She is professional, soft spoken, brilliant, dedicated and composed. And today, when a reporter asked her what she would do if trump sent in the national guard, her arm shot out and she said, more loudly than I’ve ever heard her speak, “That’s NOT going to happen. We already have lawyers working on it and we aren’t even sure he can do it. What does sending in the feds even mean? He likes to bluster.” When the reporter asked, “But what if he does?” Lightfoot said, “It’s not going to happen,” and moved on. I loved her so much, in that moment. She was the city.
trump hates Chicago. When Emanuel was mayor, and trump was coming after undocumented workers, he threatened to ,”Send in the Feds,” and take anyone he wanted. Emanuel, very calmly, but with that Chicago smirk, said, “Try it. This is Chicago. Just try it. And,” he said, “The Feds are already here.”
Chicago is a sanctuary city. trump shut up and that was that. Somewhere, I have the cartoon of Emanuel saying, “Go ahead. Try it.”
Here’s the thing. I’m way too old to actually fight. But I still have the attitude. It’s an in your face attitude. That’s a dangerous combination, age and attitude, but I count on the fact that most people don’t want to hit older women for mouthing off. So far, so good. My ATTITUDE, just seems to fly out of my mouth, whenever it feels like it and my aggressive posture does the same thing. It’s an automatic reflex, which I’m trying to control a little, but I think it’s a losing battle.
When the people who represent the city, don’t back down and scoff at threats from the president, or anyone else, I am SO happy. Chicago is a place that puts it’s money where it’s mouth is. We aren’t afraid to do the right thing. That’s how we grew up. Just because I’m older, doesn’t mean that I’m different. You couldn’t hang around with the kids I did and be afraid. That was unacceptable.
Chicago is a truly GREAT city, even though it has enormous problems. It can be dangerous, brutal and deadly, but it can also bring people together and show off its beauty.
It’s tough. It has that attitude. But we have a reputation for being FRIENDLY, and we are. We are a lot of things. But most importantly, we don’t frighten easily. We stand together, when we have to, and smart government officials, from elsewhere, know to leave us alone.
I’m so very proud of our governor (a man I don’t like) and our mayor, for standing up to trump. I’m so happy to be a Chicagoan. When Lightfoot’s arm shot out and she raised her voice today…it was as if someone had just handed me a hot chocolate lava cake with vanilla bean ice cream. I wanted to say, THIS IS OUR CITY AND IF WE DON’T WANT YOU, YOU CAN’T COME IN.
I know that sounds stupid to many of you. It even sounds stupid to me. But that’s how I grew up. That’s how I feel. This isn’t just the place I’m from, it’s who I am. Those feelings do not diminish over time. The Guardians of the City are doing their job, I’m good with that.
*I do not represent all Chicagoans. No one does. This is my personal point of view. I know you know that, but I wanted to be sure that you did. Attitude depends on a lot of things, where you grew up, who you are, what kind of personality you have, how you interrupt life and the things around you. Some people aren’t attached to the city. They are afraid, or just sit back and relax.
As for me…I could stand on Michigan Avenue, across from the Art Institute and just inhale the exhaust, look at the buildings, The Bean, the people, and charge my batteries. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS PLACE.