20 January 2017| By: Kevin Trieu
Happy Inauguration day! I wanted to give you guys snippets of 3 local Chicago stories today. They don’t have anything to do with substance use, but they do have to do with the neighborhood that we work with.
Chinatown, Roseland, and Englewood are all competing for CPS to open a new high school in their neighborhood. CPS has indicated that they wanted to build a new high school on the Southside, with a $75 Million budget. The location has not been revealed which is why the locations are competing for it as organizers are moving quickly to lobby CPS to come and build in their neighborhood.
A Chinatown high school has been in the talks for a very long time, and many Chinatown community members have expressed interest in having one here, as the closest community high school that we have would be Kelly High School in Brighton Park. Several organizations, such as the Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) have already started organizing around it. If you are interested in helping out, please contact CBCAC for more information.
Healy Elementary will offer free English language classes starting on January 23rd and will run until May 4th. the classes run from 8-10 AM Monday-Thursday. Registration will be open today, Friday 20 January. Applicants must take a placement exam and must bring identification and a piece of mail to verify address.
Located in Bridgeport, Healy is a very ideal situation for a program like this, with its immigrant Latino and Chinese Population. I am excited to see turnout for a program like this.
So, I wanted to include this last story because we are located in Chicago’s Chinatown and because the title caught my attention. Back in the day of old-school Chicago politics, where it was a lot more about who you know, than what you know, Political insiders would ask “Who’s your Chinaman?” to ask who was the person you knew that got you this job, as a form of local slang. While the term is offensive most definitely, its theoretical origins are not, apparently. There are 3 theories as to why this term was used. 1. The term was a metaphor for the neighborhood of Bridgeport which was the place with a lot of political muscle back in the day. Because Bridgeport was near Chinatown, it served as a way to be discreet about who was your benefactor. 2. In the Chicago Police world the term was in reference to the 1962 Film The Manchurian Candidate, where Chinese Leaders brainwashed captured american soldiers and were able to mind-control them with a snap of a finger. 3. Influential First Ward Alderman, Michael “Hinky-Dink” Kenna used to set up meeting with people in buildings where the Original Chinatown used to be.
If you want to find out more of the origins of this slang, click here.
What do you think of any of the stories? Comment down below!