Lightfoot Defends Only Speaking to Black Reporters, Cites 'Overwhelming Whiteness'
Chicago Mayor faces more backlash for racist comments
Democratic Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot responded to the backlash following the news she only gives interviews to journalists of color, saying it was because of the "overwhelming whiteness and maleness" of the Chicago media institution.
White journalists were told by Lightfoot's press office they could not interview her one-on-one purely because of their skin color.
In a two-page letter, Lightfoot blasted the "white" media for adequately addressing "institutionalized racism" in their ranks.
She also praised her own 2019 election for "breaking barriers."
The Chicago Mayor then said her decision to only speak to Black and Brown reporters was part of a lifelong battle to fight for diversity and inclusion.
Isn't that the opposite of what she claims she is fighting for?
"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," she wrote.
"I have been struck since my first day on the campaign trail back in 2018 by the overwhelming whiteness and maleness of Chicago media outlets, editorial boards, the political press corps, and yes, the City Hall press corps specifically."
Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions including media. In order to progress we must change.— Mayor Lori Lightfoot (@chicagosmayor) May 19, 2021
Lightfoot also blasted the diversity of the city's leadership, including its "majority Black and Latinx City Council," calling it "unacceptable" that reporters covering City Hall were mostly White.
"Many of them are smart and hard-working, savvy and skilled. But mostly white, nonetheless," she wrote.
But Lightfoot faced massive backlash for banning White reporters from speaking with her.
Latino Chicago Tribune reporter said he canceled his scheduled interview with her in protest.
"Fact is, elected officials, candidates, celebrities, athletes etc., choose who they want to interview them all the time," the Washington Post's Paul Farhi tweeted.
"They just don't do so on the basis of race or gender. Or at least they don't admit they do."
Fact is, elected officials, candidates, celebrities, athletes etc. choose who they want to interview them all the time. They just don't do so on the basis of race or gender. Or at least they don't admit they do. https://t.co/VJpXrJTkPV— Paul Farhi (@farhip) May 19, 2021
Lightfoot claimed she received a concern that media coverage was biased in some form.
"This isn't my job. It shouldn't be," she wrote.
"I don't have time for it. But as with so many festering problems, it has only gotten worse with time."
"So here I am, like so many other Black women before me, having to call your attention to this problem."