Chicago prosecutor Kim Foxx played the race card in an effort to salvage what remains of her career after she inexplicably protected TV personality Jussie Smollett for, wait for it ... playing the race card.
Because it was Smollett who -- according to the mayor and the police superintendent and just about everyone else with a brain -- played to the worst impulses of racial identity politics in making up a fantastical story in which he was the hero.
His whopper about those Trump supporters telling him that Chicago is MAGA country as they beat him up was exposed when they turned out to be Nigerian bodybuilders and acquaintances who, police said, were paid for their part in Jussie's theatrics.
At least Smollett got to keep his tuna fish sandwich after his fake fight, and the fake noose.
What does Foxx keep after playing the race card? Her fake integrity?
As many know by now, Foxx developed epic conflicts of interest for having private communications about the case with a member of the Smollett family and with Tina Tchen, the former chief of staff of Michelle Obama.
At Rainbow/PUSH the other day, Foxx prattled on about how she recused herself because of these conflicts, but that's nonsense. In reality she did no such thing. Her office admitted her so-called "recusal" was only in "the colloquial sense."
The Kim Foxx saga is now half farce, half film noir, like an Elmore Leonard novel about Hollywood hustlers and race, with some Tom Wolfe thrown in.
Though Foxx cutting Smollett loose is inexplicable, her use of the race card can be explained by anyone who has spent five minutes studying big-city Democratic politics:
The race card is how old-timey politicians say hello.
Foxx didn't go to just anybody to play that card. She went to old-time race card hustlers, men with Ph.D.s.
Like U.S. Rep. Bobby Rush, the South Side Democratic congressman who won re-election years ago by fending off a challenge by a young African-American lawyer named Barack Obama.
Rush's message about Obama? That Obama wasn't black enough.
Foxx also sought refuge in the embrace of the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who loathed Budweiser ("This Bud's a Dud!") until, as if by coincidence, his son received a lucrative Chicago Budweiser beer distributorship.
Jackson's political star was eclipsed years ago by the election of the late Mayor Harold Washington. And Jackson became famously and angrily upset when the same thing happened with the election of Obama.
Unwittingly speaking into a hot TV news mic during a broadcast break, he said he wouldn't mind castrating the first African-American president. Foxx might appreciate that Jackson was speaking in the "colloquial" sense.
"I want to cut his nuts out," Jackson said. "Barack, he is talking down to black people."
When it comes to talking down to people, black, white, brown, pink or olive, can anyone beat Kim Foxx?
She appeared at Rainbow/PUSH and made it clear she is the victim of her own Jussie Smollett fiasco. The reason is simple: She's black.
"I have been asking myself for the last two weeks what is this really about," she said. "As someone who has lived in this city, who came up in the projects of this city to serve as the first African-American woman in this role, it is disheartening to me ... that when we get in these positions somehow the goalposts change."
The goalposts change?
I get it, so this isn't about you losing your senses and chatting with Obama celebrity friends about Smollett, and later, weirdly cutting Smollett loose even though your office got a 16-count indictment from a Cook County grand jury for faking a hate crime?
Foxx, Rush, Jackson and other Foxx supporters were at Rainbow/PUSH on Saturday to counter demonstrations by the city's police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, which argued that Foxx should go.
"Then we have the all-white-men FOP looking like the blue klux klan to us in uniform, coming out against the first black state's attorney," said activist Ja'Mal Green.
Rush was reliving his old days, when his brand of hateful racist rhetoric helped kill off black political aspirations after the death of Harold Washington in 1987. And that rhetoric helped usher in the whitest guy in Chicago, Richard M. Daley, as mayor for two decades.
On Saturday, Rush was in fine form.
"The FOP is the sworn enemy of black people," said Rush.
"Let's be clear," he said. "Kim Foxx, her battle is with the FOP and all of their cohorts."
Foxx said nothing. She was silent. And by her silence she demonstrated consent.
Foxx has issues with the FOP, and the FOP has issues with her. These are serious policy arguments: Whether she's eager to prosecute street crime or whether she'd much rather play social justice warrior and avoid prosecuting what she considers minor offenses.
But playing the race card, after giving Smollett a hug? That's cheap.
Remember that during the mayoral campaign, Rush said anyone voting for Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot would have the blood of African-American youths killed by the police on their hands.
What does the rest of Chicago and the country see?
They see the old-timers like Bobby Rush and Jesse Jackson desperate to use Foxx to find relevancy in a city that just a few days ago voted overwhelmingly for change from the past.
A city that voted in a landslide for an African-American woman, Lori Lightfoot, a former federal prosecutor and often a critic of police and police policy. And now these political actors are handing her a racial mess.
This isn't about policy. This is raw racial politics, and everyone involved is playing for their own advantage.
And at whose expense?
Lightfoot's, and the people of Chicago.