Source: Sister Toldjah
On Tuesday, multiple Chicago area reporters took to the Twitter machine to alert readers that Mayor Lori Lightfoot was implementing what could only be described as a racist policy on who she would allow to interview her on the topic of her two-year anniversary as mayor of the Windy City.
“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,” NBC Chicago’s Mary Ann Ahern tweeted at the time.
Understandably, Lightfoot’s move sparked outrage, and the backlash was so strong that she wrote a Twitter thread the following day to try and paint herself as a woke and courageous city leader doing her part to correct what she says is a diversity problem within Chicago’s establishment media.
While Lightfoot didn’t explain how her plan for “diversity and inclusion” could be achieved in the Chicago press by excluding certain journalists based on race, one Chicago-based Latino reporter announced that though he was one of the ones Lightfoot okayed for an interview, he canceled after her office declined to reverse course on her “POC reporters only” policy:
The National Association of Black Journalists, while saying they appreciated Lightfoot highlighting media access issues for minority reporters, noted in a statement that they opposed her actions to exclude white press members from interviews:
While the mayor has every right to decide how her press efforts will be handled on her anniversary, we must state again, for the record, that NABJ’s history of advocacy does not support excluding any bona fide journalists from one-on-one interviews with newsmakers, even if it is for one day and in support of activism. We have members from all races and backgrounds and diversity, equity and inclusion must be universal.
Ironically – and on a more hilarious note, some minority news outlets in Chicago pointed out that sometimes the problem with black and Hispanic journalists getting access to the mayor’s office comes as a result of the mayor’s office itself. Here’s what South Side Weekly editor-in-chief Jacqueline Serrato had to say Wednesday in response to Lightfoot’s announcement:
“The Triibe” (digital publication) editor-in-chief Tiffany Walden explained that she supported what Lightfoot was doing only because her reporters had long had trouble getting interview requests granted by her office to begin with:
Walden challenged Lightfoot to uphold her promise for supporting diversity in media by prioritizing access for Black and Latino-run media outlets just as much as for legacy media. She said her outlet has struggled to get timely responses from the Lightfoot administration and been excluded from press calls. Wednesday’s interview was the first one-on-one meeting with the mayor for a Triibe staffer, she said.
LOL. So what we’ve learned from Lightfoot’s virtue signaling stunt is two things: Solidarity among journalists of all colors against her move (which is good), and – hilariously – that one of the biggest hurdles facing black and Hispanic journalists in the Chicago press corps is Lightfoot’s own office (even better).
You literally cannot make this stuff up. You simply can’t. Talk about backfiring! Is it wrong of me to suggest that this could not be happening to a more deserving person? If so, I’m totally okay with not being right, at least in this instance. 😉