Rahm Emanuel is currently the mayor of one of the murder capitals of the world (Chicago) and his brother, Ari Emanuel, is one of the most powerful agents in the history of Hollywood. When not suntanned (see below), both are wealthy, both are powerful, and both grew up in Chicago, Illinois, in relative upper-middle class to upper-class comfort. With a doctor for a father, both boys were afforded opportunities to go to the best schools and enjoy summers in Israel.
Nothing wrong with any of that. Unless, of course, as a middle-aged adult with an eye on a more powerful office, you have your brother spin your biography into something a little more romantic than a childhood of relative privilege.
In the new edition of Vanity Fair we learn, courtesy of brother Ezekiel’s upcoming autobiography, that Rahm (who is Jewish) used to be a poor, black child who faced the terrors of racism.
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.
Here’s the best part (emphasis added):
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 niggers 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.”
You hear that, All Important Black Vote? Rahm is downtown like Leroy Brown with The Struggle.
Exactly how hard scrabble was life at the private primary Jewish day school Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School, Rahm? Or life in idyllic Wilmette? Did the tony New Trier High School accept you on one of those scholarships for impoverished ghetto kids? Who knew Northwestern University even accepted blacks way back when?
Emanuel’s not only a fabulist; he might also be setting himself up for a lawsuit from Steve Martin, who invented this schtick over thirty years ago.
It must be a beautiful thing to be a Democrat. Like Obama did with his bio, you can peddle laughably false spin all year long without the media doing anything other than peddling it with you.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC