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In Jesse Jackson Jr.’s South Shore neighborhood, mix of scorn and pity

U.S. Reps. Danny Davis (left) Bobby Rush  |  AP file photo

U.S. Reps. Danny Davis (left) and Bobby Rush | AP file photo

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Updated: December 24, 2012 7:18AM



There was a dash of pity and a lot of scorn in Jesse Jackson Jr.’s South Shore community Wednesday after he resigned as congressman.

“I think he’s sick,” Delphine Brooks, 59, a CPS school nurse, said while walking along the 71st Street business district.

“He doesn’t look well. For him to not appear like he’s been doing,” that’s out of character. “He’s handed out turkeys to folks around here in the past. I just wish him well.”

Down the block, at the B Selfish barber shop, constituents let it fly.

“He had the chance to do good by his people and he didn’t,” said Donyel Walker, 29, looking up momentarily from a head of hair he was trimming.

“He’s more of a super star than a leader. He was only re-re-elected because no one had ever heard of the other guys on the ballot,” Walker said.

“It’s about time he’s gone,” said September Wilson, 50, a community activist, who was also at the barber shop. “He’s set us back, as far as progress in the African-American community.”

Others questioned the sincerity of his health problems.

“He’s been trying to play bipolar and everything but that’s just an excuse to try to buy time to think of his next move,” said Christopher Taylor, a 33-year-old student who previously served eight years in the Army. “His resignation is no surprise.”

Leroy Ricks, who runs a bike repair shop on 71st, said Jackson may have “slipped up” but is “innocent until proven guilty.”

“He won re-election so he’d have more bargaining power, more leverage . . . It’s the way it’s always been done in Chicago politics. Ain’t nothing fair about it. It’s not a question of fair, that don’t even factor into it,” Ricks said.



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