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Chicago Man Challenges Rahm to Sword Fight

 An artist's depiction of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a sword fight.
An artist's depiction of Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a sword fight.
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Shutterstock; DNAinfo Chicago

CHICAGO — A teenager wants to go medieval on Chicago's mayor.

Local high school student Duncan Ritchie, 18, has challenged Rahm Emanuel to a sword fight. His Facebook event, plainly titled "I Challenge Rahm Emanuel to a Sword Fight," has secured almost 700 RSVPs and nearly 2,000 "interested" people since it was posted to Facebook a few weeks ago.

Ritchie, a West Town resident, said he disagrees with Emanuel on many fronts, particularly his handling of Chicago Public Schools. News of the sword fight challenge, first reported by RedEye, arrives a day before Chicago's teachers plan a one-day strike against the city's school district

But why a sword fight?

"I thought it was kind of cool. We were reading Othello in English class," said Ritchie, a senior at Wells Community Academy High School. "Back in the old days when you disagreed with someone, you said 'I’m going to sword fight you,' and you settled it like that."

In Shakespeare's Othello, antagonist Roderigo says: "I have no great devotion to the deed. And yet he hath given me satisfying reasons," before drawing a sword against his enemy. 

Like Roderigo, Ritchie said he also isn't that devoted to sword fighting. But neither is Emanuel, who's better known for competing in triathlons and studying dance in college. 

"It shouldn't be too bad," Ritchie said. "Once I get my bearings I’d want to be swift and kinda quick."

The Facebook event follows others in the city that began as a joke and ballooned with community support. A series of high-profile Downtown protests last fall against Emanuel and Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez's handling of the Laquan McDonald shooting began as a cheeky Facebook post by a college student. Others, including one man's effort to drink up Lake Michigan and another to push the Trump International Hotel & Tower into the Chicago River, were less successful, but entertaining nonetheless.

An Emanuel spokeswoman did not immediately return a message seeking comment on the sword fight challenge. 

Ritchie said he only expected "maybe like 70" people to notice the event, but he's glad it got attention. If the mayor accepts the challenge, Ritchie said he may need to rethink his future. Right now he's looking at colleges and wants to design video games.

"If we’re going to follow the older traditions, then I get to take his place at the throne" Ritchie said if he wins. "I may not be the best politician, but I catch on fast."

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