Chicago, IL

Mayor Lightfoot's Unapologetic Racist Decision to Exclude White Journalists Shows Contempt for the City of Chicago

Jax Hudur

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Mayor Lori Lightfoot and her wife Amy EshlemanThe Sun

Chicago is a city on fire where in this week alone, three people were killed while 14 others were injured in gun violence that raged for five hours from late Thursday the 20th of May 2021 to the early hours of Friday the 21st of May 2021. On the early morning, Saturday 22nd of May 2021, another man, a 27-year-old, was killed in Chicago while driving on the Eisenhower Expressway. Last week was no different as 48 people were shot in separate incidents between Friday the 14th of May to Sunday the 16th of May, where five people were killed. Among the Injured of last weekend’s shooting incident included two Chicago police officers and six children under 17. The youngest victim of the shooting was a 2-year-old sitting in the back seat of a car hit by a bullet fired from another vehicle.

The Mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, addressing last weekend’s violence, said in a news conference “Let’s pray for peace in our city. We’ve got to put these guns down. We’ve got to stop the flow of illegal guns into our city.” Mayor Lightfoot’s peculiar plea of praying for her city aside, what is quite astonishing is that this mayor whose tenure saw shooting crime in Chicago rose 36% from the same period last year and a 19% rise in homicides. According to the statistics, at least 1244 people were shot in Chicago this year’s homicide rate thus far stands at 244. That’s 244 people killed in Chicago, and we are not even halfway through the year yet.

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Chicago homicide victims for the last 365 daysChicago Tribune

Instead of bringing the city together, Mayor Lori Lightfoot caused division when she announced that she would only be taking interviews and only speak to black and brown journalists regarding her last two years in office. Gregory Pratt is one of the journalists who was honored by the mayor as he was granted an interview.

 Despite the Offer, Mr. Pratt turned down the offer to protest the mayor’s attempt to discriminate against reporters. On his Twitter feed, Mr. Pratt said,

“I am a Latino reporter whose interview request was granted for today. However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully cancelled. Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.”

While many Americans appreciated Mr. Pratt’s integrity, the mayor, in a bid to counter her critics, said,

“If I as the black woman mayor, the first ever, don’t challenge us, the collective us, to do better, to really make sure that in every institution it reflects the diversity, nuance and texture, the (sic) shame on me.”

At a time when Chicago’s beloved residents are dying from Covid 19 while at the same time the city is going through one of the month’s deadliest gun violence, the city cannot afford division, and a mayor hell-bent on dividing Chicagoans along color spectrums.

It’s admirable when a politician takes a stand for a moral cause despite controversies, but when politicians use division to distract residents, not only does it show their ineptitude to lead, but it also shows contempt for those they lead. This is why Mayor Lightfoot’s unapologetic racist decision to exclude white journalists shows contempt for the city of Chicago and should therefore rightly be condemned.

 In of her tirades to defend her indefensible discrimination, the mayor said,

“I’m thinking in this one day when we are looking at the two-year anniversary of my inauguration, as a woman of color, as a lesbian, it’s important to me that diversity is put front in center.”

How the mayor justifies her decision to discriminate against journalists by leveraging her race and sexual orientation while befuddling shows the mayor’s inherent intention is to distract Chicagoans from the reality in the ground.

Political analyst Charles Thomas saw right through mayor Lightfoot when he said,

“This is a distraction. Instead of talking about crime, talking about disarray in her administration, talking about education, talking about city finances, we’re talking about this.”

Mr. Thomas is quite right in his assessment, but will Chicagoans fall for the mayor’s distractions, or will she be made accountable? Time will tell as we’ll have to wait till the next mayoral election to hear Chicagoan’s response to their unhinged mayor.

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I write about history, politics and true crime. Not to mention anything else that takes my fancy or newsworthy. "No special talents. Only passionately curious." Albert Einstein

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