Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Rahm's Tan Made Him Bully's Target

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    NEWSLETTERS

    For Rahm Emanuel, it was the dark tan he'd get during summers in Israel.  For Miguel del Valle, it was his Hispanic heritage.  Carol Moseley Braun blames her short stature.

    At a candidate forum in front of Mikva Challenge high school students Monday night, three of the four major mayoral candidates spokes of times they were bullied in their youth.

    The fourth -- Gery Chico -- said other kids left him alone after he "knocked out" a boy who was beating up his brother.

    Emanuel said that in 1968 or 1969 he got beat up and had his bike stolen, but ultimately his younger, stronger brother, Ari, stepped in.

    "Kids said some things on a racial basis," Emanuel said.  "That type of bullying happened when I was growing up, because of what I looked like when I got tan, dark."

    Moseley Braun said there was one particular girl in her elementary school that always went after her.

    [She] would beat me up, until I got her. I was smaller than most of the kids in my class and she would just pick on me and pick on me and pick on me, and one day I just kind of went berserk, and she left me alone after that.”

    Del Valle said he took refuge in his school's boiler room because kids used to tease him for being one of the first Hispanic students at the school.

    "I ended up with a lot of bruises," he said.  "And my brothers got it too."

    "Those are experiences that stay with you for the rest of your life, and I take them very, very seriously," he said.

    The revelations were made following a forum that aired Monday evening on WTTW 11.