Rauner: Black Legislators Not Serving Their Community

Jun 22, 2018

Gov. Bruce Rauner talks to employees of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency in this file photo from 2015.
Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner and black state legislators are escalating a fight that began earlier this week.

It started when Rauner told Chicago radio station WVON-AM that — with his economic and education policies — he had done more for black Illinoisans than any other governor.

After black legislators objected, Rauner doubled down Friday morning on Springfield radio station WTAX-AM, saying he was “not surprised they’re sensitive because the black legislators really have not been serving their community very well.”

Rauner says the black community has been “suffering” under Democratic policies: “High unemployment, high taxes, lack of economic opportunity and lack of educational opportunity.”

State Rep. Juliana Stratton, a Chicago Democrat who is also her party's nominee for lieutenant governor, speaks at a Springfield campaign rally for J.B. Pritzker in 2017.
Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

State Rep. Juliana Stratton, a Democrat from Chicago and her party’s nominee for lieutenant governor, responded by calling a news conference with other black state legislators.

“We know exactly what he means,” Stratton said. “For all of history, we have heard white men, in their privilege, tell every racial and ethnic group that they know better than we do.”

Stratton says that is “offensive” and "wrong.”