Why White People Are Whining About Lori Lightfoot, Explained

Illustration for article titled Why White People Are Whining About Lori Lightfoot, Explained
Photo: KAMIL KRZACZYNSKI (Getty Images)

For four years, the president of the United States prioritized the WWE of media and the rest of the world had to watch as Republican Only Fans, aka Fox News, was given exclusive access to the most powerful man in the world.

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America had to act like Republican Highlights was doing real journalism. The president even invited America’s favorite honey-baked ham to do an exclusive one-on-one interview with him at the White House.

So now the rabbit has the gun and America is huffing and puffing because a Black gay woman is rooting for everyone Black. Recently, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced that as she approaches the two-year anniversary of her historic win, she’s giving one-on-one interviews to mark the occasion but only to journalists of color.

“I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many. That isn’t just in City Hall,” Lightfoot tweeted Wednesday morning, NBC Chicago reports. “It’s a shame that in 2021, the City Hall press corps is overwhelmingly White in a city where more than half of the city identifies as Black, Latino, AAPI or Native American.”

But this shouldn’t be a problem since the death of Georg Floyd under the knee of a former Minneapolis cop changed the landscape. That’s when everyone started pushing for diversity. You remember, don’t you? The Black Lives Matter tweets and the announcements that a Black person had been hired in a position that had never been held by someone Black. So Lightfoot is calling out the obvious: that Chicago journalism is overwhelmingly white and she’s looking to shake things up.

And white people hate it.

Tucker Carlson, white America’s favorite soiled boat shoe, likened the move to Nazi ethnic cleansing.

To [Chicago Mayor] Lori Lightfoot, all that matters is the fact they’re white, because all white people are the same. They are entirely defined by the color of their skin. You can see how this makes life a little easier for Lori Lightfoot. She knows who to hate just by looking at them.

If someday the Chicago police round up the entire population of the city, Lori Lightfoot would have no trouble pulling the right ones out of line for punishment. By the way, in case you’re wondering, yes, that was a Nazi reference. It was deserved. Lori Lightfoot is a monster. Any society that allows politicians to talk like this has a very ugly future ahead. Very ugly.

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Carlson is an extremist and an asshole. The funny thing is Trump, a frequent guest on Republican SpankBang, which employees Carlson, would actually do this but I don’t remember Carlson complaining then.

“Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions including media. In order to progress we must change,” Lightfoot continued. “This is exactly why I’m being intentional about prioritizing media requests from POC reporters on the occasion of the two-year anniversary of my inauguration as mayor of this great city.”

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Lightfoot called the racial makeup of the City Hall press corps “an imbalance that needs to change,” adding that Chicago’s local media “should reflect the multiple cultures that comprise it.”

Is it an extreme way to combat an racial imbalance? Of course it is. But how else do you stop a systematic imbalance? White men were built into the fabric of journalism. There has never been a shortage of white men in journalism. So sometimes the only way to balance out the scales is to tip them in your favor. I see nothing wrong with Lightfoot’s insistence that journalists look like the city they cover.

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Not everyone agrees with me.

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

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But isn’t that exactly what President Trump just did?

Maybe Lightfoot said the quiet part out loud. Maybe she shouldn’t have shared her thoughts publicly so that places like the Chicago Tribune could have had enough cover to hide. I don’t remember them taking such a bold stance with Trump but maybe I missed the column where they announced that they wouldn’t be going to the White House events until the president’s lily white interview list became more inclusive.

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Lightfoot tried to explain to news outlets the “thinking behind that decision.”

“In the time since I was elected, our country has faced an historic reckoning around systemic racism,” Lightfoot wrote. “In looking at the absence of diversity across the City Hall press corps and other newsrooms, sadly it does not appear that many of the media institutions in Chicago have caught on and truly have not embraced this moment.”

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Lightfoot added that she has been “struck” by the “overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically.

“I am issuing a challenge to you,” Lightfoot wrote in her letter. “Hire reporters of color — and especially women of color — to cover Chicago politics, and City Hall in particular.”

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Lightfoot is one Black woman in a position of power and she’s using that leverage as best she can. But I know, America hates when Black people try to make things right. It’s a biblical kind of hate that America has for Black women. But we don’t want to address that. We’d rather make this about white exclusion rather than people of color inclusion. But go off, sis.

Lightfoot issued a challenge to news outlets asking that they look inside their newsroom and see if they are overlooking people of color to cover City Hall. She asked that they ask themselves, why are white men still the voice of a city that isn’t white? She asked if outlets had looked at their own coverage and identified and rooted out implicit bias, the same way Black folks have asked the police force to do.

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“If the answer to these questions is no, be advised that I will continue to press for that to change,” Lightfoot wrote.

And I stand with her.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.

DISCUSSION

mwilliamc
MWC

You are losing the argument when the response is “Well Trump did it”. Now Trump is the standard for analyzing a free press?