Category Archives: Crisis Communications

Jussie Smollett not the first–or last–to employ race-hustling tactics

Sadly, race hustling, affinity hustling and identity hustling of all kinds are alive and well. It’s vital to be on the look-out for them, and for the ‘enemies from within’ who perpetuate them.

In the Crosshairs of a Critic? Take These 3 Key Steps

In the Crosshairs of a Critic? Take These 3 Key Steps

Not long ago, I provided counsel to an organization subjected to what they believed was a social-media smear campaign. In a nutshell, a former organizational member—terminated about 18 months earlier due to various professional shortcomings—began making allegations that the organization felt consisted of half-truths, distorted depictions, and outright falsehoods. There was a distinctly racial tinge […]

How to undermine your lobbying effort in one (cut-and-paste) step

You are passionate about an issue. You inspire and organize others who are likewise passionate. To spark change, you need to persuade someone else—an individual or a group of people—to see things your way. What do you next? If you confuse “like-minded” with “carbon copy,” you may make the mistake of committing cut-and-paste activism. That’s […]

Our daily shopping choices: a super-simple way to boost local economy amid COVID-19 era

During this COVID-19 era, any trip through the commercial corridors of Oak Park, Illinois—my community along the western border of Chicago—has revealed its potential as a post-apocalyptic movie set. But here in my town—and wherever you are, within your community—there is a simple mathematical principle that empowers us to revise the script: shop locally, as […]

On heels of outrageous outburst, local newspaper nails it: ‘Setting the bar higher’

Above two letters in today’s print edition of the Wednesday Journal of Oak Prk and River Forest was a most apt banner: “Setting the bar higher.” One letter was written by Oak Park Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb, in which he apologized for Trustee Arti Walker-Peddakotla’s libelous public attack last week of a resident in the moments […]

Strange Times in Oak Park: Responding to a Rant Straight Out of the Trumpian Playbook

This was no momentary outburst, but a sustained table-pounding, finger-pointing diatribe that occupied the better part of four minutes. The irony and hypocrisy are thick; the topic was the diversity statement—wherein the board affirms its commitment to, um, a variety of viewpoints, among other lofty aspirations.

Shameful Smollett Plea Deal, Destructive Fall-Out From His Sham Claims

In my latest installment of “As the Jussie Smollett Debacle Turns,” I closed with this thought: If there is sufficient evidence to convict Smollett of these charges, then his sentence should be stiff enough to deter others from trying anything similar. That was one humongous “IF,” as it turns out. Hot on the heels of […]

Setting the (Stilted) Stage: Jussie Smollett Tale Was a Cynical Checklist for Public Outrage

A little over three weeks ago, I had never heard of Jussie Smollett. Same goes for most people, since he was a secondary character in Empire, the Fox series that is filmed in Chicago. That relative obscurity changed in late January, after he alleged that he was the victim of a heinous hate crime in […]

Chicago Mayoral Race Lesson: Details Matter

The list of Chicago mayoral candidates is only slightly longer than the list of those same hopefuls who are so quick to distract and deflect when faced with evidence of their dubious decisions or dealings. (Looking at you, especially, Bill Daley and Toni Preckwinkle.) The latest twist is another candidate, Amara Enyia, who overstated her […]