Judge Orders Lori Lightfoot to Explain Why She Banned White People from Interviews
Chicago mayor under fire for racist policies
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has been ordered by a judge to make a declaration on her 'racist' policy where she essentially banned white journalists from interviews.
An injunction was requested against Lightfoot’s policy by conservative watchdog Judicial Watch, saying it was unconstitutional.
But Lightfoot’s attorneys said the policy was not in effect and the request was unnecessary.
Judicial Watch then filed a lawsuit against Lightfoot, alleging she violated white reporter Thomas Catenacci’s equal rights protection under the Fourteenth Amendment.
In May, Lightfoot announced she would only grant interviews to “Black or Brown journalists."
Local NBC 5 reporter Mary Ann Ahern first reported the news, writing on Twitter:
“As @chicagosmayor reaches her two-year midway point as mayor, her spokeswoman says Lightfoot is granting 1 on 1 interviews – only to Black or Brown journalists.”
Chicago PBS news anchor Paris Schultz responded:
“I was told the same thing.” Chicago PBS political reporter Heather Cherone said that she could “confirm” what Ahern was alleging.
Lightfoot responded to the backlash in a two-page letter:
"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."
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
"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.
"Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions, including media.
"In order to progress, we must change.
"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.
"This is an imbalance that needs to change.
"Chicago is a world-class city.
"Our local media should reflect the multiple cultures that comprise it.
"We must be intentional about doing better.
"I believed that when running for office. I stand on this belief now.
"It’s time for the newsrooms to do better and build teams that reflect the make-up of our city."