In what has to be the most horrifying op-ed of the year so far, conservative writer and oblivious white woman Kristen McQueary revealed that she prays a natural disaster like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina would devastate the city of Chicago. The reason? It would cleanse the city and transform it into a blank slate, allowing for mass privatization of public institutions. Yup, McQueary, who sits on the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune (hopefully not for much longer), wants to purge a densely populated, majority black city because it just makes good economic sense. Sure, nearly two thousand African-Americans perished in New Orleans floodwaters while many more were displaced and lost their homes and possessions, but think of the blissful white utopia we could have!
Here’s her paean to disaster capitalism which was inexplicably green-lighted by McQueary’s superiors:
Envy isn’t a rational response to the upcoming 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
But with Aug. 29 fast approaching and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu making media rounds, including at the Tribune Editorial Board, I find myself wishing for a storm in Chicago — an unpredictable, haughty, devastating swirl of fury. A dramatic levee break. Geysers bursting through manhole covers. A sleeping city, forced onto the rooftops.
That’s what it took to hit the reset button in New Orleans. Chaos. Tragedy. Heartbreak.
Residents overthrew a corrupt government. A new mayor slashed the city budget, forced unpaid furloughs, cut positions, detonated labor contracts. New Orleans’ City Hall got leaner and more efficient. Dilapidated buildings were torn down. Public housing got rebuilt. Governments were consolidated.
An underperforming public school system saw a complete makeover. A new schools chief, Paul Vallas, designed a school system with the flexibility of an entrepreneur. No restrictive mandates from the city or the state. No demands from teacher unions to abide. Instead, he created the nation’s first free-market education system.
Hurricane Katrina gave a great American city a rebirth.
And after careful study of the levees, it turns out the devastation was not born of natural disaster. It was man-made.
The same could be said of Chicago.
. . .
Chicago is so good at hiding its rot.
Beneath the pretty surface, Chicago faces financial challenges that threaten its future. Decades of overspending and borrowing — practices that continue even as the city and its school system face consistent downgrades in the bond market — tear at its very stability. It is the gravest issue. More than crime. More than education. More than poverty.
You’d never know it by the casual approach of government, both at City Hall and Chicago Public Schools, toward spiraling debt, and our elected officials’ continued practice of the risks that got us here.
. . .
At City Hall, nothing much has changed under four years of Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The candidate in 2011 who promised to make tough decisions on city finances has followed many of the risky practices of his predecessor. The city continues to pass budgets that are unbalanced and rely on borrowing, temporary revenue sources, gimmicky fee hikes and tax increment finance sweeps.
The city borrowed $900 million last year. Another $1.1 billion in June. Emanuel is planning on borrowing yet another $500 million currently. All of the borrowing kicks the can down the road, costs taxpayers hundreds of millions more in interest payments and jeopardizes other worthy programs, under the guise of what? Protecting middle-class taxpayers from a big hit? No, they’re lining us up for a firing squad.
In June, just a month after new City Council members took their seats, only one freshman voted against the borrowing. One.
. . .
So if you think somehow new leadership is going to right the ship, you might want to get your head checked. There is no sense of urgency about the city’s or the schools’ perpetual abyss. Not under Emanuel. Not with a new City Council. Not with a new board at CPS.
That’s why I find myself praying for a storm. OK, a figurative storm, something that will prompt a rebirth in Chicago. I can relate, metaphorically, to the residents of New Orleans climbing onto their rooftops and begging for help and waving their arms and lurching toward rescue helicopters.
Except here, no one responds to the SOS messages painted boldly in the sky. Instead, they double down on their own man-made disaster.
I can already picture her giggling to herself as she typed this heartless bile. It’s like someone praying for a 9/11-style attack on the Willis Tower because it blocks their precious penthouse view. Fuck you, Kristen McQueary. Seriously. Fuck you. And fuck you for trying to do such pathetic damage control on Twitter:
Yeah, right. You said you were “wishing for a #HurricaneKatrina” but you would never “diminish the tragedy of thousands of lives lost.” Right. Do me a favor, Kristen. Go Google images of Hurricane Katrina victims. The starving children. The sickly elderly. The bloated corpses floating along what used to be bustling city streets. The abandoned and destroyed homes. Then think about what you wrote for a very, very long time until you realize what you just said. Until then: Go. Fuck. Your. Self.