Oak Park trustee receives email threats at home and work

After recently telling fellow trustees to 'shut up,' Trustee Susan Buchanan's comments spread on social media

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By Stacey Sheridan

Staff Reporter

Susan Buchanan, an Oak Park village trustee, says she has received threats to her and her family's safety following comments she made at an Oct. 7 board meeting attempting to silence white male trustees during a discussion regarding updates to the village's diversity statement.

Buchanan, in a statement to Wednesday Journal Friday, said, "Both me and my family have received threats on both my village and work accounts. The police departments at my work and in the village are involved."

She said she and her family would not be staying in their home tonight.

Buchanan lit into Trustees Deno Andrews and Dan Moroney, both white males, telling them to "shut up" after they expressed a desire to clarify a term – "systems of oppression" – used in the long delayed diversity statement revision.

"Why are you arguing what is a system of oppression?" Buchanan asked. "You've never experienced one, so shut up!""

She also told Mayor Anan Abu-Taleb, a native of Palestine, that his "skin was white enough," when he tried to intervene.

While many audience members applauded Buchanan for the comments, she has since received vitriolic emails and severe criticism following her comments. Some have even called for Buchanan's resignation.

Video footage of the meeting has made its way across the internet, even being posted on Infowars, a fringe conspiracy website, whose presence has been banned from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

In a written statement to the Journal Friday, Buchanan said she "lost her temper at Monday's board meeting" and "immediately apologized afterwards" to her fellow board members, the village clerk and the village manager. 

"I will do better going forward," the statement read. "The diversity statement agenda item was the culmination of months of discussion about the wording of the statement, and my frustration grew out of that."

Buchanan's statement ended with her affirming her affection for Oak Park: "I love Oak Park and look forward to continuing to work on behalf of the people of this wonderful community."



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Reader Comments

96 Comments - Add Your Comment

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Comment Policy

Joyce Siragusa  

Posted: August 12th, 2020 7:43 AM

Ms. Buchanan - actions have consequences in the real world....own it.

Sean Zilligen  

Posted: August 11th, 2020 6:21 PM

Hey Susan, you should be ashamed of yourself. People, especially your elected peers, have THE RIGHT to express their opinions regardless of the color of their skin. You are a racist and as such are unfit for your position.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: November 21st, 2019 8:18 AM

That it! The board member was under a spell!

Jim Bowman from Chicago  

Posted: October 31st, 2019 11:55 AM

A quibble but I don't think so: Headline should be "Oak Park trustee reports email threats at home and work," to go with the first paragraph.

An Ke from Oak Park  

Posted: October 31st, 2019 9:50 AM

As a South Oak Park resident, a professional, a single mother and an immigrant, I'm disgusted by SB's actions during 10/7/19 board meeting. Her behavior is unacceptable and her comments are shaming to the entire Oak Park community. Oak Park prides itself for diversity and unity. Her comments are by no means inclusive and are profoundly divisive. I firmly support SB's immediate resignation and an apology to our community.

George A Stragalas from Union nj   

Posted: October 29th, 2019 5:50 AM

I highly doubt your claim of death threats, but, if true, that's what being a blatant racist gets you. She is a vile, despicable woman. Would you defend her if she told someone to shut up because she was a black female? No, because liberals are hypocrites. She should be fired on the spot.

Alexander Sternhill  

Posted: October 28th, 2019 1:03 PM

My relatives have lived in Oak Park since '01. This explains why everyone there seems to have a chip on their shoulder every time I visit. No one talks to anyone and seems to have some kind of contention against everything. Business as usual in the Leftist bastion of Commiefornia. Here's a heads up for ya'll living there, normal people don't think like this crazy Susan trustee. Truth is, she's the real racist and the virtue signaling is off the charts insane

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 27th, 2019 5:50 PM

Wow, Jim. Do I have to go back and look at your post? I don't care what adjectives you use, "snide" is one. I certainly got the impression that their comments were demeaning, disrespectful and that being the same as abusive behavior to a woman trustee trying to exercise her right and responsibility to her electorate to participate in the work of local government. Keeping in mind that the devil also uses Scripture for his own purposes, why don't we just put it to Mayor Anan and Trustees Moroney and Andrews to stop that verbal mistreatment of women trustees at the Village Board meeting. I got two calls from other people, unsolicited phone calls when they saw my comment. They both confirmed what I wrote and what I interpreted you to be saying. Typically, they do not want to go public for fear of retribution. Surely the tapes of some meetings could verify that this happened, unless they "muttered" their comments so that they wouldn't be picked up by micorphones. i was not there. I don't know what happened but I think when there are multiple people making these statements, it warrents examination. Trustees behaving badly all around. Not just Buchanan but evidently three others, too.

Gerard Van der Leun  

Posted: October 27th, 2019 12:51 AM

This little smarmy chunklet of race hate has sown her blather like breaking wind and now she whines she has reaped the whirlwind. In truth she a weak and vile person with a lot of fetid hate fuming inside her. Her stench is palpable.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 18th, 2019 1:54 PM

Christine Vernon does not accurately relate that I have witnessed verbal abuse of Trustee Boutet by Trustees Andrews and Moroney. They have never, to my knowledge, addressed her or any other fellow trustees publicly in a rude or condescending manner. I do have an issue with Abu-Taleb muttering snide comments at those who offer a differing opinion or seek to continue a discussion on an issue being debated by the Village board. It is my understanding that, in private meetings, concerns about this behavior have been brought to the attention of Abu-Taleb. Why this has not been detailed by local media requires an answer from those reporting on board meetings? Matthew 7:12 advises that we should treat others how want them to treat you. That should be a guiding principle for all.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 18th, 2019 12:46 AM

We were all missing something in this discussion before and that is the fact that it has come to light that our Mayor and Dan Moroney and Deno Andrews have been verbally abusive, to Simone Boutet "reportedly from the first time she came onto the Board, and to other women trustees unnamed as of yet. Jim Coughlin brought it up the first time in these comments and witnessed it. Dan Lauber, respected former Village of Oak Park Planner mentioned this, too. Today a teacher mentioned it to me that has witnessed it first hand in the Council Chambers because that person had read my comment about this questioning Jim Coughlin. Two questions, why did the other trustees stand by and watch that happen? It makes them complicit in the verbal abuse leveled at the women trustees. Why was this not reported in the Journal's coverage of Village Board meetings. It doesn't make Trustee Buchanan's outburst justified, proponents of the equity ordinance still need to bring more citizens into the discussion, and take the atmosphere of contention out of it. Being verbally belittled and harassed at a public board meeting, being demeaned when you were anointed for that job by duly winning the votes, might explain a person becoming unhinged. The way things are going in the United States with the level of constant hostility, enmity, antagonism, strife, quarreling, dissension, friction, feuding....call it what you will. What person in their right mind would want to serve in public office?...unless of course there was some personal gain to be had as they do in Chicago and sometimes it has happened in Oak Park, too. There were some great public servants in the government in the old days, some of them even became president, like the peanut farmer from Georgia, but this work of governing and public service won't appeal to decent people until the atmosphere changes back to where people talk, and listen, to one another respectfully. Anyone on the Board who demeans another person needs to be voted out.

William Dwyer Jr.  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 7:32 PM

Good Lord. References to "risible," and Socrate's child bride Xanthippe in a single post string. Only in Oak Park. Ya know, Winston, there's a reason the word "laughable" came into common usage- most everyone knows what it means.

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 7:12 PM

Mannnnnnnnnnn ol' Winston there has put his collegiate liberal arts/theology/history educations to very good use today. I felt bad enough for being a white guy but now I feel illiterate. Thank god for google. That sermon will last me the rest of my life. Whewwwwww

Victoria Koch  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 3:00 PM

As a mother to a six year old boy who will grow up to be a white man, Oak Park doesn't feel like a very welcoming place to someone like him.

Bruce Kline  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 1:40 PM

Winston. Interesting. I could be wrong - but for what it's worth with regards to your argument - I think Dr Buchanan is in fact married to a black man.

Winston Lorde  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 12:40 PM

It is always interesting, even risible, to me to hear Leftist white women sounding off about the ethical flaws of white men. Why? Because those ethical flaws of white men, like the virtual particles of quantum mechanics, appear to pop into and out of existence according to the needs of those white women. That is, when they are ready to marry and have children, those ethical flaws disappear and those white women rush to marry white men. But after they marry and are engaged in social activism, those flaws magically pop back into existence. Those same women talk about black (and other non-white) men, the "oppressed", in dithyrambic tones reminiscent of Pericles's Funeral Oration. There is the superior virtue of the oppressed as these white women would have it. And yet these white women almost never choose these "virtuous" black men as husbands but opt instead for the white men who are supposed to be irredeemably flawed (Original Sin). Why? Do any of you have the answer to this simultaneous equation?

Winston Lorde  

Posted: October 17th, 2019 12:39 PM

WHITE GUILT AS MORAL COLONIALISM And Socrates had the nerve to complain about his wife, Xanthippe, who had a reputation for being an ill-tempered schrew! He should be here to see Ms. Buchanan. Sit in on a meeting of the Oak Park Trustees. Learn a thing or two about a shrewish, choleric woman in the Big Leagues. Those two white men should not be heard, our neoteric Xanthippe believes, because of what some other white men did in the past. In other words, they are inter-temporal abstractions connected by race to all racist white males past and present (she no doubt would tell me that "racist white male" is an unnecessary repetition, like saying "unmarried bachelor"). This is the Doctrine of Original Sin secularized. And it is no less intellectually and morally vapid than its sectarian counterpart. What Ms. Buchanan is expressing is a selfish white guilt, which is really self-importance. This kind of guilt has no humility -- she knows more about the oppression of racial minorities than her white male counterparts and, therefore, arrogantly demands their silence ("shut up!") -- and seeks an egotistical moral innocence by attempting to distance herself from historic white racism by anointing herself the avenging angel for blacks and other "oppressed" peoples. This amounts to a kind of moral colonialism: Ms. Buchanan and many other white progressives take interest in racial matters in order to extract moral redemption for themselves rather than for any genuine concern for the so-called oppressed. That she feels guilt is for her a Euclidean proof of her innocence and that her white male colleagues will not bow mindlessly to her proposals was, for her, proof of their lack of guilt and, correspondingly, of their continuing racism. Buchanan's screaming at her allegedly racially insensitive colleagues was in her mind a reflection of the "better angels of her nature." It is always interesting, even risible, to me to hear Leftist white women sounding off about the ethical flaws

Leah Falco  

Posted: October 16th, 2019 10:52 PM

... and I'm sure there must be others on the board who are less "privileged' than she. How would she like it if they vomited this nonsense at her??!

Leah Falco  

Posted: October 16th, 2019 10:49 PM

The fact that she apologized, not for the despicable content of her outburst, but simply for the volume and tone, just goes to show how completely blind she is to her own hate-filled character. Shame on her! But of course she is simply a typical example of the intolerant, racist left that has permeated and is poisoning our society.

Greg Shannon  

Posted: October 16th, 2019 10:34 PM

After spewing all that hate, suddenly she wants to be the victim? Typical leftist. That's their MO. They rage and offend then play the victim. I came here to find where this hate-filled city is, just so I can avoid it.

Jennifer Malone from Oak Park   

Posted: October 16th, 2019 3:54 PM

My list of "people I don't want to talk to in Oak Park" just got longer after reading these comments.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 16th, 2019 10:17 AM

Jim, I apologize for referring to you as John and not your given name, Jim. No, I never heard reports of interactions and behavior like you describe by Mayor/Village President Anan Abu-Taleb at Village Board meetings before you wrote about your observations. It IS very disturbing. I do not usually watch the tapes of the meetings, so wouldn't hear muttered snide remarks or anything like that. Like many people in Oak Park, for the most part, I follow the news of the Board meetings in the Journals reporting which is why accurate reporting is so important. The omission of the dynamics you describe is an example of how hard it is to really know what's going on some times. Verbal and/or emotional abuse of trustees is a serious accusation and I would like to hear the confirmation of this dynamic from some of the other people who have witnessed this. I imagine there would be some repercussions if victims of this kind of dynamic spoke out about the experience of being bullied by their Mayor or Village President.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 10:12 PM

For the record,Christine. I am not related to the "Bathhouse John" Coughlin. The notoriously corrupt Chicago alderman has no connection to my family. I was named "James" in honor of my grandfather. "Jim Coughlin" is used to avoid confusion with my oldest son also named James.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 9:11 PM

"Very disturbing" is exactly how I view the attitude displayed by Abu-Taleb towards trustees who seek to engage in a dialogue on matters that impact our community. It is not "slanderous" as you charge to report on what I have witnessed watching board meetings on TV6. Apparently, you may have not been listening closely to hear the snide comments being muttered by the Village President. I have expressed, on this forum and social media, my concerns regarding this behavior. I personally have contacted board members and have not received feedback that disputes what has occurred on numerous occasions. In fact, I learned that there has been private discussions addressing the subject. My intention is certainly not to disparage the Village board or call for the resignation or censure of any board member. I enjoy the televised coverage of meetings since health issues prevent me from attending in-person. There is no reason that civility and mutual respect cannot be demonstrated by all those who sit at the board table as representatives of our community.

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 8:01 PM

Rereading some of the comments - yours, John Coughlin - are very disturbing. At a time when the Board is looking extremely bad, you wrote"President Abu-Taleb is unwilling to refrain from directing verbal jabs at the women who serve as trustees. He mutters snide comments in response to them offering an opinion or even participating in the dialogue. He was especially brutal towards Trustee Boutet during the early months of her tenure:". Why is this the first time we are hraring about this behavior and who else has been privy to this behavior? Are there other people who have witnessed this? You say "Very little resistance or complaint was heard from the other trustees when Abu-Taleb would attempt to bully Boutet. He has continued belittling the women who are the newest board members." The Board's goal now seems to quiet the storm by closing ranks and working things out, but your observations/accusations are very serious.Those damning observations are slanderous unless you can substantiate them. If this is one of the problems of this Board then voters need to clean out The Council Chambers and the elected officials at Village Hall. From how you have described it, if it is true, and what we saw on tape, the outburst by Trustee Buchanan, this is a highly dysfunctional group, unfit to be in office.. We are in deep muck in Oak Park right now. How do we plan to get out of it if this is the reality of the dynamics at Board meetings?

Cormac Majors  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 6:25 PM

This woman is an example of what we get when we allow unchecked Cultural Marxist indoctrination take hold of our university system and create these disgusting Maoists who do not seek actual equality. They seek merely to use their ideology to eat away like vermin at the sinews that hold Western Civilization together. Soon despicable leftists enclaves like Oak Park will find themselves cut off from the rest of the state around them, one day engaged in pitched battles as militias probe its borders...

Tom Leeds  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 4:31 PM

By the way, in the hierarchy of privilege, Susan Buchanan, as a white female, is #2. Anan, may look white enough, but lacks Susan's privilege no matter what she says.

John Brasfort  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 4:29 PM

Nobody deserves death threats, but I don''t believe for one second she is getting them. I think this is an attempt to take the heat off of her. She is deserving of the push back she is getting. Her conduct is an example of her unearned privilege!

Lofi Fisher  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 3:33 PM

@PeterLandau you're proposing a double-standard in suggesting a private apology would suffice. If someone had intimidatingly shouted at Buchanan to shut up because she is a Jewish woman he would've immediately and rightfully lost his job and probably have been visited by law enforcement. I don't see why this symmetry isn't obvious. Will Dr. Buchanan treat her male patients equally, or is she tired of them too? We have to have standards

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 3:21 PM

There has been a deafening silence where she in involved since her bad theatrical performance on the Village Board Meeting and she derailed the discussion on equity. Crickets as they say. So, she did a big disservice to that cause of sudden halt to getting closer if ever to the accomplishment of getting an equity statement. The dust is settling and in the wreckage left by Dr. Buchanan taking leave of her decency in discussions, there is another casualty that is a second wound and a bad example to young people. In addition to the unwarranted verbal tongue lashing she has gave all white males that evening, she did damage to the cause of women being given equal status in the workplace and government a huge disservice. So many women work hard to be a credit to other women, while Dr. Buchanan, with her privilege of an education, has lived up to, and reinforced, the negative stereotype perpetrated for so long, that woman are too emotional, or too irrational, and/or too incompetent to be able to perform competently and responsibly in jobs which were formerly all held by men. One comment called her an "unhinged feminist". She is no feminist, a true feminist makes strides for women, she doesn't set back their cause, the cause of establishing that women in the workplace are a good investment and that they are completely capable to do jobs historically and typically awarded to men. She has been a bad actor, and she has shamed her gender by taking on the role of being 'unhinged'. She can't take that performance back.

Peter Landau from Oak Park  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 2:15 PM

Look, I'm willing to bet that many or most of these comments are from outside Oak Park - especially the really strong ones that want nothing short of resignation, prison, total disgrace, or all of the above for Dr. Buchanan. I think this highlights the fact that Oak Park really isn't quite as bad as the bigger world out there. I bet all of the threats she has received have also come from outside and possibly very far away. That is not to say that Dr. Buchanan was not out of line. Dr. Buchanan - please be the bigger person and apologize sincerely. Not necessarily publicly, but hopefully at least privately to your fellow board members and the mayor. And hopefully explain that you represent a very real segment of society that has suffered (whether real or perceived) and continues to feel the effects of horrendous structural racism and inequity and that they deserve to feel embraced and comfortable in our village. But please know that there are so many of us white men who do care and do want a better world, and while we can't fully understand, we live here and generally care about these things as well and it makes no sense to go scorched earth and turn us away. Show us a better way by setting a good example by involving all of us. Kill us with kindness and positivity. Because clearly the results of last week's meeting show that angry outbursts don't work very effectively.

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 1:03 PM

To clarify, he wrote of her behavior as setting "a new low standard of conduct." Based on Buchanan's earlier op-ed piece (Just Pass the Update https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/6-4-2019/Just-pass-the-update/), I'm betting this her tirade won't be an isolated incident.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 1:01 PM

Wow! Somehow Dr. B has accomplished pissing off 98% of Oak Park (across all colors), unite Oak Park around and issue and draw the ire/ attention of right wingers.

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 1:00 PM

Very well written op-ed piece in the Chicago Trib's Oak Leaves as well that sums up what the journalist decried as Buchanan's "low standard of conduct" and that's based on many years of reporting on local govt boards, including Cicero's! Worth a read! https://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/oak-park/ct-oak-letter-tl-1017-20191015-a7wbq5auhnbhxcoh27tvimwvm4-story.html

Joe Ciancio  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 12:56 PM

Tell me how you in the same breath fight for diversity and inclusion while trying to silence and exclude a group of people

Ken Van Spankerswanson  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 9:52 AM

@Ken Clymer, good job big man, attack away. You don't know me but if you did you would know that I don't eat soy. But good try at debasing the conversation. project much? Were you hurt by a woman? And to everyone Village Trustees are elected, not employed. So maybe comment about things in your town and not ours.

Steven Coleman  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 9:00 AM

Why does Oak Park continue to employ this racist?

Ken Clymer  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 8:29 AM

Furthermore! We are a society based on MERIT! I am all for "equality" as in "equality of opportunity", but I will oppose to the death your marxist notion of "equity". Just because there's a difference between racial outcomes, or differences in gender, doesn't mean you're entitled to take from one group and give it to another to achieve your marxist ideal of equality of outcome (equity). Black men get arrested more and achieve less because fewer are academically studious and that is the fault of the PARENTS! When 70% of your children are born out of wedlock, then YOU ARE TO BLAME. Don't you DARE lay it at my feet you stupid , lesbian, sjw, gender studies professors, B%(%!

Ken Clymer  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 8:25 AM

You will get no sympathy from me. I am so sick of the media and SJW professors like "Dr." Susan Buchanan thinking it's acceptable to be racist against white men. Every time you say something ridiculous like "shut up white man", or that other idiot from Drexler University calling for white genocide, you can expect push back and perhaps a little bit of violence. You brought it on yourself, and had you talked to me in that tone of voice, I would have have slapped you!

Vinny Adams from Trenton,NJ  

Posted: October 15th, 2019 2:02 AM

She is a RACIST!!!

Tiberius Smyth from Chicago  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 10:12 PM

Soooo she judges people on the color of their skin and gender... completely trivializing them and their opinions. Vile hypocrisy, weak minded and inflated ego with little control of her emotions and reasoning abilities.

Laurel Al-Meriki from Denver  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 9:15 PM

If any of the white male trustees played the same game- meaning, they told a black, brown, female or other non-white male to shut up in that kind of spiteful, angry and vindictive manner they'd would have resigned or been removed from office in shame and additionally been made permanently unemployable. If your equity statement means anything she should be removed. Fair is fair. White men are learning these new rules and see that they are stacked against them on the basis of their race and gender. Since you have decided to play this game understand that it cuts both ways or not at all.

Santone Gallop  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 8:36 PM

Hey I saw Susan's unhinged screed. Gotta say, that is a sad thig to see, and Ms. Buchanan most certainly does not speak for me of the children of mine that she so forcefully maligned, based purely on the idea SHE holds that SHE can decide who is what and for whatever reason. Persons like Ms. Buchanan should consider stowing her terrible ideas the next time someone has an opinion that she feels conflicts with her world view, as nutty as hers seems.

Jim Coughlin  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 5:36 PM

Examine the dynamics of this Village board and how the debate/discussion at the meeting unfolded and subsequently unraveled. President Abu-Taleb is unwilling to refrain from directing verbal jabs at the women who serve as trustees. He mutters snide comments in response to them offering an opinion or even participating in the dialogue. He was especially brutal towards Trustee Boutet during the early months of he tenure. Very little resistance or complaint was heard from the other trustees when Abu-Taleb would attempt to bully Boutet. He has continued belittling the women who are the newest board members. What happened last Monday can be traced to the decision to hold off until late in the evening a vote on a critical policy statement. No explanation has been provided why this matter was not at the top of the agenda. Trustees were clearly tired and nerves frayed when the presentation of the CRC recommendation was offered. What should have been a thoughtful review of the content and a unanimous approval quickly went off the rails. Wild charges were directed at community members and Village personnel. Abu-Taleb lost control of the meeting and whined about the lateness of the hour. It's time for the board to regroup and focus on addressing issues that impact our community.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 3:27 PM

@ Ken Van S. Enjoyed your comment as well. Think it is really important the Village and OPRF look at this from multiple perspectives. First, there are many families (of all colors) who move to/struggle/sacrifice to be in Oak Park to provide their child their child excellent education. Rather than focusing on closing a gap (which in reality means dropping the bottom of top and raising the top of the bottom), focus on real innovation and excellence. This cannot be addressed at the high school level - again, having spent time at Julian on multiple occasions - there is no way kids who cant read or write are going to transform into honor students .... Rather than fancy statements, focus on making primary schools consistent across the schools and focused on excellence.

Corey Gimbel from Oak Park  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 2:29 PM

@Rich Domovic - The honorable Trustee/Doctor/Professor was obviously rattled when she committed her grammatical errors. We all need to cut her some slack over such things. I mean c'mon she's trying to deal with becoming an overnight, internet celebrity these days and thus not thinkin' right. Anyone who has been the recipient of threats to herself ,and her family, mind you, could commit such mistakes. I regret that her actions have catalyzed such hateful repercussions. Perhaps this will all fade now that "long delayed diversity statement" has been agreed upon. Now the world knows where Oak Park stands on such things, or does it? Perhaps the next time Trustee/Doctor/Professor Buchanan's blood boils she'll think about counting to 10.

Rich Domovic  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 1:07 PM

It should be "my family and I have received threats"

Tom Leeds  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 12:19 PM

Does anyone know the content of the threats? Also, Anan uses the phrase " Diversity of opinion" which people taking her stance generally do not want.

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 11:29 AM

Second, I want to point out to her apologists that this is NOT likely an isolated incident that was prompted by the heat of the moment and a long day. See again this op-ed piece from Buchanan herself, written shortly after she was elected. She calls it "Just Pass the Update" and in her op-ed she shows her very clear disdain for her fellow Trustees and the legislative process, which requires dialogue-- which is enabled by trust and mutual respect. Here's the link to the WJ article to see for yourself: https://www.oakpark.com/News/Articles/6-4-2019/Just-pass-the-update/

Jim Frenkel  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 11:23 AM

I first want to say UNEQUIVOCALLY that nothing she said or did justifies violence or the threat of it. We should not confuse this however with the overwhelmingly negative response to what was disrespectful and inappropriate behavior to others by an elected person and someone who should know better.

Ken Van Spankerswanson  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 11:23 AM

White man writing: Dr. Buchanan has her right to be mad and to point out that there really has been a very long history of white male privilege. Discourse is important and frankly it is the only way to get to comity. Oak Park is a place for everyone. It has been the best place I know of to raise children because of it's diversity. Please no threats to Dr. Buchanan. and i need no apology, as a white male, as a villager for over 20 years. Our Village is a place to be seen and heard as we are, not as we are expected to be by others. *Chris Bell Rocks

Drew Rein  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 10:16 AM

I just need to stop and process the idea that this woman appointed herself the pigmentation police. It is incredible and definitely an Oak Park thing.

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 14th, 2019 8:10 AM

Looking forward to placing a formal complaint with any governing board which controls her doctorship to ascertain the fitness of the person to perform their duties.

Bryan Rekarson from Op  

Posted: October 13th, 2019 10:36 PM

Any deviation in the comments section is a distraction to the subject at hand if it is not directed at the resignation of this woman based on her reprehensible behavior and disgusting comments. Spoke to some friends this weekend who voted for her and are extremely unhappy right now. This is not was they voted for. They feel hoodwinked and are concerned about her mental capacities.

Kevin Peppard from Oak Park  

Posted: October 13th, 2019 12:17 PM

Fine-wording of the Diversity Statement would normally be a tempest in a teapot. It's more about Trustees feeling good about themselves than any call to action. Most of the work of the Board is mundane, concerning sewers and streets, water and garbage, and police and firefighters/paramedics. The only possibility for racially unequal treatment lies with the police, and until recently, we had a Black Police Chief for long years. Most police work is also mundane, even though it can still be dangerous: Domestic battery (often involving alcohol and weapons), drunk driving, stalking/harassing, vandalism, garage burglaries, and the like. Since the Diversity Statement is largely about our own self-promotion as a Village consisting of Social Justice Warriors, it doesn't have much to do with actual Village governance. That is why my friend the late Bernie Abraham.( one of the original seed-capital funders of this newspaper, and later a columnist) was the first and only Trustee to vote "NO" on its re-approval in the late ''90s. He thought it was style without substance., and words about words. As a scientist at Argonne, he was interested in operational statements: Tangible, un-abstract things that could be done now. Somehow, the Village survived his declining to sign the resolution.

Martin Bickle  

Posted: October 13th, 2019 11:32 AM

Unhinged feminists should be pitied, not threatened.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: October 13th, 2019 10:11 AM

The core issue here is Buchanan's lack of judgement. This is a person who will be deciding about government spending that raises your property taxes and rents. She can't even control her emotions. When discussing issues, she does not want to discuss or listen to anyone else. She has her beliefs and that is that. If you support her, her job is to get others to support ideas you like - but her strategy to do that is to insult people, which is not going to work to persuade anyone. So she is a major fail as a politician whether you like her or not. We are stuck with her, but we all need to support the Trustees who do have common sense and we all have to get out the vote so this never happens again.

Lofi Fisher  

Posted: October 13th, 2019 12:57 AM

@LynetteHish She should be sacked for what was an intimidating borderline abusive racist and unprofessional tirade. She is the manifestation of the oppression she thinks she is fighting against. Equality for all means equality for all. The sad thing is that I suspect everyone commenting is looking for this outcome, but this divisive hate speech from a supposed community leader has brought out ugly prejudices. (For example, you questioning others posters ethnicity and gender)

Brian Slowiak  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 11:44 PM

This is all the fault of the white racist white man Roman Catholic Priest Father Michael Pflagher. He must be stopped and silenced.

Teddy Sallad  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 10:00 PM

Lynette- How do YOU know the SKIN COLOR of the PEOPLE posting in this chain? I don't see a single photo of one PERSON in this thread. I see right through the tactic- when truth and logic fail, quote Dr. King to add substance to your banal accusations.

Lynette Hish  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 9:07 PM

Look at all the white people saying we are doing well with equity despite a large number of POC saying the opposite. And look at all the outraged white men who silence woman and POC at those meetings without hesitation. Has anyone demanded an apology from you or posted edited video of you that ended up on info wars? She was angry bc she is enraged like so so many of us watching those meetings - the way the trustees have derailed and obfuscated and thought themselves experts on language describing racism and oppression despite BEING WHITE MEN who have NEVER experienced those things. This is how bias and white supremacy continue. You are playing it out like it has been played out in over and over and over again. Just as Martin Luther King said over and over. I know you post MLK admiration in January...perhaps this is a fitting reminder to you...getting white men to share power and stop oppressive systems does not happen in pearls over tea. It's a fight. "I MUST make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the last few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro's great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom is not the White Citizens Councillor or the Ku Klux Klanner but the white moderate who is more devoted to order than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says, "I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I can't agree with your methods of direct action"; who paternalistically feels that he can set the timetable for another man's freedom; who lives by the myth of time; and who constantly advises the Negro to wait until a "more convenient season." Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more

Carl E Burkeen  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 4:54 PM

I grew up in o.p.,this irrational so called dr was wrong and now shes playing the victim? How about giving a apology to the people who you abused (verbally and mentally)? Zero tolerance for any other views. It makes me wonder what her bedside manner is. I can only imagine if the 2 "white men" had been this way to her. They'd be out of a job. Sad day and age.

Corey Gimbel  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 1:42 PM

I believe that the uproar over Dr./Trustee Buchanan's tantrum/emotional outburst/bad moment has portrayed the people of the Village of Oak Park (HER CONSTITUENTS!!!!) in a way that is the opposite of the way many of us feel. My opinion, of course, but reflected to me by a number of chats with friends and neighbors over the past couple of days. I think she owes an immediate, heartfelt apology to her colleagues, to every white male who observed her outburst and to every person who lives or works in Oak Park. Saying that "Your skin is white enough!" to the Mayor who may have PERSONALLY experienced real oppression was unforgivably ignorant. Telling CBS: "I probably showed more emotion than I should have," is not an apology. It's, at best, obfuscation and at worst, self delusion. I believe that her words under-gird a passionate belief. Unfortunately that belief reveals a deeply held prejudice that is antithetical to her careers and in direct opposition to how our community sees itself. Dr. Buchanan is entitled to her feelings, beliefs and observations. But as a person of privilege; a white woman of some means, a homeowner and parent, a medical professional, a professor, and an elected official the people of Oak Park have a right to expect much more from her. As I stated in a previous comment:"from the perspective of a white guy who is overweight, over-educated, aging, a member of a religious minority, and a person who is OBVIOUSLY excessively privileged (funny I never had that reality driven home to me so vigorously before), I'm insulted." and under-represented by Trustee Buchanan.

Marc Martinez from Oak Park  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 1:20 PM

I am also confused by Mayor Taleb's statement. Is Oak Park a bastion of racism and hate which must be urgently addressed or is it 'welcoming, loving, and inclusive'? And when the board unanimously passes a statement that says "we work to break down systems of oppression, including racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and other forms of bias and hate", then why would he be surprised that people would believe that Oak Park is a divided and intolerant community? The diversity statement seems intended to communicate a striving for a higher plane, while much of the discussion implies we are starting from the depths. I have found Oak Park to be a pretty great place. In 27 years of living here, I have not met a racist hater that was trying to perpetuate a system of oppression. Seeking improvement and disagreeing on priorities and methods is possible among people that are all starting from a good place.

Jenna Brown Russell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 1:18 PM

Thank you Mayor Abu-Taleb for your inspiring comments. We must be united in a common pursuit -a climate of opportunity, excellence, and value for every member of our community. It can not be transferred from one to another, but must be supported for each of us equally. Division will never achieve that important goal.

Owen Oxley  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 12:39 PM

This is the trademark of every coward who wants to deflect form their own behavior. Oh, I'm getting harassed or death threats online, I'm the victim. Ignore my abusive behavior and comments.

Marc Martinez from Oak Park  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 12:16 PM

The article says that Dr. Buchanan gave a written statement to the paper. Where is it? They printed the statement from Mayor Abu-Taleb. I would like to see what she had to say. From the selected quotes she seems to be apologizing for losing her temper, but not for her comments. And did she apologize to her colleagues for being rude or for saying they had no right to an opinion? I would like a better idea of what 'do better going forward' means. It may mean polite disdain and condescension for the inferior beings on the board rather than more angry rudeness.

Lofi Fisher  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 11:11 AM

If Anan Abu-Taleb had made the same comments to her and that she shouldn't be listened to because of her ethnicity and gender, he would no longer be in office. If Oak Park truly care about Equity the she would have lost her job too. When will people wake up to this growing racism in society?

Eric Molas  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 10:32 AM

I understand experiencing oppression directly carries a gravity that intellectually considering it does not. However, if we took Ms. Buchanan's view, then a person not be able to voice an opinion on anything in which they do not have personal experience, which would severely limit expression. My father directly experienced systems of oppression , genocide to his family, and racism in both Europe and the US. He was called a "DP", a displaced person here in the USA. He related all of these details and many, many more to me, who has not directly experienced any oppression in my lifetime. However, i learned from him, and think i can offer an opinion on the subject of systems of oppression. That being said, i'm aware that the context of this discussion is our diversity statement, specifically the rights our minorities in our community. I just believe that everyone's input on a subject should be valued, whether or not they have direct experience, as long as are trying to understand and give weight to those that have experienced something directly.

Jeff Schroeder from Oak Park  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 10:24 AM

There are many decisions that our Village has to make that involve spending, taxes, staff salaries, grants to non-profit organizations, etc. These issues require cool and calm consideration of what is best for our community. When raw emotions and political agendas get injected into these deliberations it could lead to hasty and rash decisions that are regretted later. Our Village Board members need to act like mature adults and do what is best for this community, including its citizens and stakeholders for the long run, with consideration of equity issues and also with an understanding that we already pay some of the highest property taxes in the country. (Notice that I didn't use "but").

Teddy Sallad  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 9:48 AM

Buchanan is quite the card player- race card, sex card, and now the victim card.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 9:31 AM

@ Christine - great point and I assume there is serious contrition and heart felt apology is on the way. Almost all of us on this thread have interest or care ...(otherwise would never engage). Towns go thru peaks and valleys on many levels - OP is no different. Everyone is trying to solve for equation that perhaps is not solvable given current tools/strategies. America to me successful brought all of the ugly elements to table with zero solutions or recongintion for blacks who are doing well. I get it, every good drama needs a villain - but not sure we are addressing the right one..

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 9:17 AM

We can always count on Tom McMillan for a good comment. Christopher Bell, your point of view is good, too. But there would need to be a heartfelt apology to ALL before Buchanan had any chance of regaining the respect and confidence that put her her into office. By the way, she is not the only one in this thread with a mixed race family. That is no excuse.

Frank Murphy  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 8:00 AM

This is just another example of the widespread and open hostility towards white people and white men in particular.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 7:17 AM

The interesting and meaningful questions are the "why" not the "what". What - she was unprofessional and disrespectful and rude etc. but why did she say that and what is the real meaning. Here is my humble option ....mr James America to me exposed or created / opened some deep wounds ....Oprf and oak park are trying to deal with it ..... guilt anger resentment are all easy but unproductive .... we need to really engage around these tough conversations (I know what she did was not helpful) but perhaps in her own mind she was pushing things forward. Again - not saying the way she did was right or correct given her role. However, she did sign up to help (again could never pay me enough to deal with this crap) but she is trying to make a difference

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 7:08 AM

@ Tom great point. I am only encouraging deeper thought into root cause and underlying issues over equity (perceived or real. ) .... bad behavior for sure ... completely out of left field given current culture - no.

Tom MacMillan from Oak Park  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 7:02 AM

A small cadre attending the meeting to clap at bad behavior is not to be confused with support by the overall town. Hard working tax payers are too tired to attend these meetings and made the mistake of not voting last election, allowing fringe candidates to get in. The Trustee's racist crazy actions caught on video should get more people in town to vote next time, so we do not have Trustees with puny vote totals in the future doing things we find unacceptable. The apology was not an apology, it was a weak excuse for bad behavior.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 6:14 AM

Has anyone stopped to think that the reason she was acting Bat Sh-t crazy is because she has been drinking the Oak Park Kool aid some of the very people on this site have enabled? Again, I am shocked that people are shocked .... you heard all the applause from the crowd...

Marcos Mackie from London  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 5:15 AM

If Oak Park aspires to be tolerant and inclusive, then after making flagrant racist and sexist comments at a trustee meeting surely Susan has to be fired immediately. What kind of institution turns a blind eye to flagrant racism like this??

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 12th, 2019 3:38 AM

Up early to get to work ... clearly the women is NOT racist. She is married to African American and has a black child. By no means excusing the crazy but perhaps she was coming from a place as a parent of child - and has seen the pain/issues that are unique to our (black kids). Again, not justifying - but in some way she might have felt so passionately because she feels others don't get it. Not playing victim - just providing possible context ..

Darrell Thompson  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 10:37 PM


Darrell Thompson  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 10:34 PM

she obviously a racist but should be threatened. ppl with this type of no self control should not be in any position of power. oak park should vote her out. Next time her anger might get violent.

Kisha Elle Williamson from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 10:31 PM

I stand with you Dr. Buchanan!

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 8:53 PM

Connie, talk about "self-righteous talk", you apparently have all the answers, so everyone else should refrain from freedom of expression as you suggest. You say, "People want equity. Not decorum." Did it ever occur to you that people want both. This discussion has been primarily about the conduct of an elected official on a governmental body. Unless it is part of her political strategy to be "a disrupter", of a meeting, it would behoove Dr. Buchanan to conduct herself with dignity and respect for her colleagues and the public who do follow these meetings. Great loyalty on your part to stand with Dr. Buchanan but then, right now, you both stand on shakey ground. She verbally expressed racism to her colleagues and hostility to all white men which met with applause in the Council Chambers. You think this is good government? You think a person who behaves like that in an official capacity should be given a pass so quickly and easily? In the Woman's March in Chicago, there was a sign, a great reminder of the audience of all things done publicly ~ "The Children Are Watching" ~ You bet. You state it like this, "We are all paying very close attention." like you are the dreaded "Big Brother" of the totalitarian state in the novel Nineteen Eighty-four. We are watching this, too, and young people are watching it, too. This derailment is a major setback for all the people who have devoted their time to working out an official statement. Susan Buchanan said, ""This mayor and this board are obviously not willing to face history. It is time for this community to face equity." How wrong she is! When the discussion goes off the rails to a verbal racist tongue lashing of a particular demographic like Dr. Buchanan did this week and there is applause, the people and the whole process lose credibility and what progress they have made, completely. That is in no one's best interest.

Tom Davis from San Diego  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 8:37 PM

How can somebody make so many outrageous statements and judgments based on skin color and not be called a racist?

Connie Moreland from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 7:47 PM

Please get back to work. Enough with the distraction and self righteous talk. I personally do not believe that any of the board members are above reproach. People want equity. Not decorum. The lack of passion for this is issue is likely because the cool calm collected personalities just do not care to move this issue towards a conclusion. Making this a "story" is just another political strategy to deny and to delay. Who has actually been exposed? We are all paying very close attention.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 7:22 PM

The deep irony here is equity is actually one of the things Oak Park does well. It had deep in meaning policy issues - growth of pop due to new development and implications on schools /infrastructure, crowding out caused by tax burden, continued slow decline in quality of schools etc. This is important - yes, having a statement but there are existential questions OP needs to address ASAP.

David Rothstein  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 7:15 PM

Clearly this woman is suffering from some kind of mental illness and should be shown compassion during these difficult times.

Katina Smith  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:53 PM

I pray safety for Dr Buchanan and her family no one should ever be threatened for their viewpoint and I stand with Dr Buchanan. She has my support and vote. God bless our village I pray that we as a people of Oak Park can accept her apology about the deliverance of message. We've all had moments where we've had to ask forgiveness and I hope we show her grace in this moment.

Christopher Bell  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:48 PM

Leave this woman alone ... yes, she was rude and aggressive in her behavior but who has not been emotional and said or done things we regret. Clearly she is drinking the OP kool aid and cares (god only know why subject yourself to being on the board). Perhaps we practice some of those good ole Christian values we discuss. Like her, I once went on a tirade with a sports program in OP (about lack of diversity on board). They did everything possible to hurt me and my kids .. The cold hard reality is there were elements of truth in what she said. Until you have been spit on, punch, call the N word, had people lock doors when you walk by etc. you will never know what it means to be black. You can empathize certainly but it is not the same... lets move on before she becomes bitter and angry with the very village she is trying to help.

Tommy McCoy  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:25 PM

Dr. Buchanan, I do not believe anyone in Oak Park, would send you any threat's. It is most likely people who get pleasure out of this sick type of behavior just like hackers who enjoy stirring fear. No comment on Wednesday Journal gave any threat. This is the problem with social media platforms that people can offend other's never saying it face to face. I understand what the Mayor is writing although before sweeping quickly past this, it should be clear how the board should move forward so there are reasonable guidelines to follow. As for Oak Park getting media attention, good or bad, that is the business of media and not all media outlets practice responsible journalism. That is why it is so important when you are in a position of power to take the position responsibly. This is a time for the board to come together and not use social media to communicate with each other. Meet in person as a group and have an open discussion with each other. This is how we use to do it, and it worked

Greg Major  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:20 PM

You know what they say about everything after the word "but"

Christine Vernon  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:01 PM

Me, too, Kitty. I am very sorry to read that it has all taken this ugly turn. At the same time, being a daughter of a good white father, and citizen, a WWII veteran; wounded and awarded a Purple Heart and other medals; wife of a white man, a Viet Nam Veteran; a sister of six white brothers, mother of two white sons.... I was utterly devastated to read about and, see with my own eyes, and hear with my own ears on tape, Dr. Buchanan's utter disregard of, and prejudice toward, white men. I voted for her with great hopes for her contribution to the Village. We have seen this kind of hatefulness become so prevalent in society in the U.S. with extremists on both sides. I never expected it from someone on the Village Board. I hope Dr. Buchanan be instrumental in repairing the damage of her words spoken. And I hope the people who have threatened her and her family's safety come to understand that they are misguided, that their behavior is as damaging and wrong as anything she said. Hate is supposed to have no home in Oak Park. I see the signs everywhere, now it's time to live it.

Kevin Schultz  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 6:01 PM

No one deserves threats but when you use the language ("shut up!) and attitude ("white enough") of Trump, you invited the Trump-like vitriol and attitude into our discourse. Shame on her. She lost my vote.

Klara Gabor  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 5:43 PM

I certainly wish her no harm or her family but, could this be an attempt at sympathy after her performance? You have to be stupid to send threats. I can believe there are some stupid enough to do it but, it seems a bit dramatic to me.

Kitty Conklin from Oak Park  

Posted: October 11th, 2019 4:49 PM

I am so sorry to read this. I wish complete safety for Dr. Buchanan and her family.

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