Spend the Money on the Real Problems Directly


Dawn Turner Trice: Trice almost rescues us from Greising et. al., but her column has almost nothing to do with the Olympics.

“Chicago can never truly be a world-class city until it figures out how to save its children.”

If that’s the case, then there isn’t a city on the planet that is world-class.

But at least she’s pointing out that our priorities are askew, right?

If only.

“But Chicago 2016 provides a template for mobilizing the dollars and the will to make something really big happen.”

Yes. The Olympics.

“We know that if Chicago wins the bid, the city’s beautiful skyline
will glow in the spotlight. But maybe getting something so grand would
help us work to realize a city whose true beauty lies within.”


But instead of everyone hoping – desperately – that a few Olympic
crumbs will fall off the table for use on our real problems, why not
just spend the money directly on our real problems?

Short answer: Because there’s no way to get every local news show in town to run with GOING FOR TEACHING BLACK CHILDREN TO READ story every night as opposed to GOING FOR THE GAMES.

There’s no way to make PICKING UP LITTER IN AUSTIN AND ENGLEWOOD quite as sexy as THROW A GIANT PARTY FOR RICH PEOPLE because the interview opportunities suck: They’re all with people who don’t wear suits or have free champagne chilling at all times. And the mayor’s not giving press conferences every day about that because Richie only cleans up the parts of Chicago that Minnesota and Michigan spend time in.

If the Olympics are held in Chicago you’re all welcome to stay on my couch and we’ll have constant parties and it’ll probably be wicked fun. (Not as much fun as the Winter Olympics would be, but we suffer from a lack of mountains for suitable skiiing.) But to blather on about the Games mattering because they’ll just inspire the poor right out of their poverty is the worst kind of pandering to selfishness and watching it every day in our media makes me want to put my fist through something.


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