What's Happening In Your World

Rahm Emanuel Was Mistaken For African-American, Called the “N” Word, When He Was Young

by Deborah Caldwell

Rahm Emanuel is best known for being the hard nosed, highly disruptive and combative, Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. But US-POLITICS-HOYER-DEMOCRATIC CAUCUSEzekiel Emanuel, biochemist brother of Rahm, writes in his memoir that Rahm and his brother Ari were sometimes mistaken for African-American and harassed by racists:

Ezekiel describes incidents that might be called child neglect today. When Rahm was a baby, their mother left him momentarily in the care of two-year-old Ezekiel and a five-year-old cousin before leaving the room. When the boys were children, she sent them off alone to spend summer days on Chicago’s Foster Avenue Beach, which they reached through a tunnel beneath Lake Shore Drive. After a few days in the sun Ari and Rahm could pass for African-Americans, which led to the occasional dustup on a beach that was segregated in custom and practice. “Certain people—mostly white males between the ages of 10 and 15—made it their business to enforce the unwritten whites-only rule,” Ezekiel writes. “When they called my brothers n*ggers and tried to bully us off the beach, we—naturally—refused to move. Instead, one of us would answer, ‘You can’t make me leave.’” If shouting didn’t work, the Emanuel boys had no qualms about throwing punches. “We were city kids, not anti-war activists.”

The Emanuel brothers – Rahm, Ezekiel, and Ari – are all successful men who come from a successful family. They grew up in an upper middle class neighborhood with a doctor for a father. They may’ve gotten nice tans, but they didn’t live the lives or experience the prejudices that many African-Americans experienced during that period.


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10 comments

  1. “Boyce and Yvette, you can do much better if you spend less time hating on Obama and more time editing these articles.” I thought I was the only one that got that impression when reading articles by them. For someone that is so highly educated, they are certaintly ‘N’s’ and it doesn’t have anything to do with their skin color. Their comments fit the definitation of the ‘N’ word.

  2. Some years ago when I was working as a child welfare caseworker for CNY/HRA. I had a White middle aged supervisior, whom ask me if I was West Indian or if my parents were from The West Indies…???? Puzzled, I ask him why does he think I am West Indian..?? In his racist mind thought, he said, that because I was acticulate and well knowledgeable about politics,history,etc,.That I could not have been raised by Black American parents, because they do not stress education among their children…But West Indians do..! I told him that my mother was an illiterate domestic worker from Charleston, South Carolina…….And that I grew up in a family of 7 brothers and sisters, in a Harlem slum and on welfare…Its not always about race when it come to hating on Black Americans

  3. I don’t think they told the guys they were not black. I believe they just fought. They knew it didn’t really matter anyway because they are jewish. They still would have had to fight.

  4. If I ever come face to face with him I’m going to call him a N and see how he reacts.

    I don’t think he president has ever heard it from a black person, hum, I just might……

  5. Growing up in Chicago I was taught by my Dad that a N***** is not a Black person it’s a ignorant person. So just because you’re Black doesn’t mean you’re a N*****. I am not one because I am not ignorant. We as Black people need to not even accept that as name to be called. I have called other races that name because they were acting like a fool. I will never accept that name as me. I am not ignorant and neither should you. I don’t understand why his brother even had to bring this story to life. I don’t see the relevance. Just remember if someone calls you that word reverse it and call them the same and watch their reaction. It’s actually pretty funny. I will not tolerate that word along with being called a B****.

  6. Growing up in Chicago I was taught by my Dad that a N***** is not a Black person it’s a ignorant person. So just because you’re Black doesn’t mean you’re a N*****. I am not one because I am not ignorant. We as Black people need to not even accept that as name to be called. I have called other races that name because they were acting like a fool. I will never accept that name as me. I am not ignorant and neither should you. I don’t understand why his brother even had to bring this story to life. I don’t see the relevance. Just remember if someone calls you that word reverse it and call them the same and watch their reaction. It’s actually pretty funny. I will not tolerate that word along with being called a B****.

  7. WOW!!! Talk about your “filler material”… Is this is what “Your World” is going to serve up as info vital to our society; especially from someone who is as adept at manipulating info for his own purposes as Rahm Emmanual the same guy who coined the phrase “Don’t ever let a crisis go to waste in advancing our agenda”… YIKES!!!

  8. The childhood experiences of the Emanuel brothers might account for their great understanding of the problems of Black people. I,too, wish Rahm Emanuel had stayed in Washington, working with President Obama.

  9. These articles are often poorly written, lack structure and often times make no common sense. Boyce and Yvette, you can do much better if you spend less time hating in Obama and more time editing these articles.

  10. I’m sorry Rahm Emanuel didn’t stay and work with President Barack Obama. I admire him, he’s intelligent, smart, honest, and takes no wooden nickels.

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