Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has reportedly defended her controversial resolution to grant interview requests solely to minority journalists — calling the variety of non-whites protecting her “unacceptable.”
“I might completely do it once more. I’m unapologetic about it as a result of it spurred an important dialog, a dialog that wanted to occur, that ought to have occurred a very long time in the past,” Lightfoot advised The New York Instances’ “Sway” host Kara Swisher on Monday of the momentary Could declaration.
As she marked her two-year anniversary in workplace in Could, the Democrat — whose metropolis is within the midst of a plague of gun violence and is on observe to surpass final yr’s whole of 48 mass shootings — assailed the “overwhelming whiteness” of the Windy Metropolis’s media and introduced that she’d grant one-on-one interviews solely to minority members, Fox Information reported.
“Right here is the underside line for me, to state the apparent, I’m a black girl mayor. I’m the mayor of the third-largest metropolis within the nation, clearly I’ve a platform, and it’s necessary to me to advocate on issues that I consider are necessary,” Lightfoot advised Swisher.
“Going again to why I ran, to disrupt the established order. The media is critically necessary to our democracy … the media is in a time of unimaginable upheaval and disruption however our Metropolis corridor press corps appears prefer it’s 1950 or 1970,” she added.
Lightfoot urged media retailers to be “targeted on range.”
“In Chicago, we now have an enormous quantity of numerous media expertise. We’ve received colleges which might be of journalism which might be greatest in school throughout the nation, and I might say, actually, the world over,” she mentioned.
“So the absence of journalists of colour, protecting the mayor of the third-largest metropolis in a rustic is completely unacceptable. And so I made a decision to say one thing about it,” the mayor added.
However she additionally famous that politicians shouldn’t get to determine who covers them.
“I simply taught on the College of Chicago. You might have wonderful numerous journalists learning there that I taught. And I agree with the necessity for extra range in media. However politicians don’t get to decide on who covers them,” Swisher mentioned.
“No, it’s not about me selecting who covers me, proper? I gave unique interviews. And we do get to decide on who we speak to in exclusives. I gave unique interviews with journalists of colour, proper?” she mentioned.
“One 24-hour interval and it was like folks’s heads exploded. I had journalists saying, ‘Does the mayor suppose I’m racist?’ No, it’s not about people. It’s about systemic racism,” the mayor added.
Requested if her resolution labored, Lightfoot mentioned she would “completely do it once more.”
“I’m unapologetic about it as a result of it spurred an important dialog, a dialog that wanted to occur, that ought to have occurred a very long time in the past,” she mentioned.
Chicago has recorded 428 homicides as of Sunday, or a 1 % lower from 434 at this level final yr. Some 1,886 shootings have been tallied, an 11 % leap from the identical interval in 2020, police division knowledge reveals.
Extra reporting by Joshua Rhett Miller