A black Chicago clergyman has been targeted with hundreds of death threats and his church has been broken into, vandalized and robbed of thousands of dollars because he openly supported the wrong candidate.
It seems nothing is sacred in the Windy City.
Trouble for Corey Brooks, who is the pastor of Chicago South-Side New Beginnings Church, began when he endorsed Republican Bruce Rauner for governor of Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The death threats seem to be related to Bruce Rauner,” Brooks told the Sun-Times. “They say his name as well as mine and most of the references were in response to me in support of him. So it’s really derogatory, real racial, a lot of homophobic words. It’s real life threatening.”
According to the paper:
Brooks said he received the five phone calls on Friday. He recorded one of them, and provided it to police. In that call, which was played for the Sun-Times, a man’s voice is disguised via a high-pitched filter. He is heard calling Brooks a “token n—–.”
Brooks, in case you haven’t guessed it, is African-American. He moved his family to a temporary residence while police investigate the threats.
“It was enough to want to move my family,” he said. “Any time people threatening your life, and you know if it were just me, I maybe would just say whatever. But when you mention my family, you mention our church. Things like that, I have to take it seriously.”
Although Brooks wasn’t the only black pastor to openly endorse the GOP gubernatorial candidate, he was prominently featured in the ads. According to the Sun-Times:
A group of Chicago area black ministers, including Brooks, announced last month they’d support Rauner in the campaign. Brooks is featured in a Rauner ad which began airing two weeks ago on some channels, including BET. It began airing on network channels on Friday: “I believe it’s really time to change things up in the state of Illinois, especially on the South Side,” Brooks says in the commercial. He says he supports Rauner because he believes the Democratic party has taken advantage of African-Americans and hasn’t provided enough help for impoverished communities.
This weekend, while Brooks and his family were safely ensconced in a house at an undisclosed location, another house–the house of worship he ministers in–was broken into and looted of over $8,000 in cash. These were funds earmarked for a community center to benefit the entire neighborhood. The Sun-Times reported:
Brooks says the burglary isn’t going to stop church services, and the fundraising needed to build the community center. He also said he does not preach about his support for Rauner during his services.
“We’re not going to be deterred,” he vowed. “We’re going to continue to do the things that we’ve done. We’re not going to be intimidated. We’re not going to let the tactics of some people turn us away from supporting Bruce and I’m not going to let the tactics of some people stop us from worshipping.”
So which is it? A case of Chicago-style politics as usual, or an act of desperation by Democrats? I’m thinking a little of both.
Watch the interview, via the Chicago Sun-Times.