On the second anniversary of her inauguration Lori Lightfoot was not shy about putting her true self on display. She decided to offer one-on-one interviews to journalists, but only journalists of color. No white people allowed.
This was spun as a social justice move. Comments were made about how the Chicago press corps is overwhelmingly white. But that is a very thin veneer for what is underneath: racism.
If this had been levied against any other race people would be up in arms. But apparently it is all right to discriminate against white people.
There has been backlash. The Chicago Tribune, whose Latino reporter was granted an interview with the Mayor, asked the Mayor’s office to lift the anti-white restriction. When no response was received they opted to cancel it in protest.
Former U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, accused the Mayor of “anti-white racism” and called for her resignation. “Mayor Lightfoot’s blatant anti-white racism is abhorrent. I call upon President Biden, Kamala Harris, and other leaders of our county — of all races — to join me in calling for Mayor Lightfoot’s resignation. Our leaders must condemn all racism, including anti-white,” Gabbard tweeted. The post quickly made Gabbard trend on the social media platform.
Mary Ann Ahern, who is a white political reporter for NBC 5 Chicago, said “I think it’s outrageous for an elected official to choose who will ask questions. And it’s even more outrageous when it’s based on the color of their skin.”
Fox News personality Tucker Carlson said, “Lori Lightfoot is a monster. Any society that allows politicians to talk like this has a very ugly future ahead. Very ugly.”
Carol Marin, co-director of the Center for Journalism Integrity and Excellence at DePaul University in Chicago, also slammed the mayor for shutting out white journalists. “It’s a very good lesson for our journalism students to learn,” Marin tweeted. “Public officials don’t get to pick their reporters. And reporters need to stand up for fellow reporters.”
Lightfoot responded to the criticism by doubling down. During an unrelated news conference, she was asked whether her decision implies white reporters cannot fairly report on her tenure. She said, “It has nothing to do about you … with due respect, or anybody else. What it has to do about is the facts, and the facts is that when I look at it across this podium as I’m doing now, I don’t see much in the way of diversity.”
People of color have all kinds of positions of power these days. Everywhere you look there are minority business executives, entertainers, sports stars, politicians, and so on. many of them have more money than the average white person will see in a lifetime. So to say that minorities are oppressed is not to state reality.
The Mayor’s actions in the matter are beyond despicable.
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