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Mayor-elect Lightfoot meeting with Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi on May 7, 2019. Wikipedia

Mayor of Chicago to accept only interviews with journalists of colour

For her mid-term, the mayor of Chicago will accept only interviews with journalists of colour. To mark her two years as mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot recalled that “diversity and inclusion” must be mandatory, including “in the media”.

Published: May 20, 2021, 11:32 am

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    Chicago

    According to the gay Democratic mayor of Chicago, in the United States, excluding whites is a sign of “inclusion”.

    “I ran to break up the status quo that was failing so many. That isn’t just in City Hall,” Lightfoot tweeted Wednesday morning. “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.” She complained that she had 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”.

    As she will soon be celebrating two years in office, Lori Lightfoot made a point of recalling why she entered the campaign: “Diversity and inclusion is imperative across all institutions including media. In order to progress we must change,” she 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.”

    Lightfoot denounced the racial make-up of the City Hall press corps as “an imbalance that needs to change”. The first black and homosexual mayor of Chicago confirmed this novelty in a statement relayed by the NBC 5 Chicago television channel. She promised: “I will only grant interviews with journalists of colour.” For her supporters on social media the move was praised as “equity”.

    But this decision quickly became problematic. The Mexican-born Latino journalist with the Chicago Tribune, Gregory Pratt, cancelled his meeting with the mayor. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists also condemned the decision in a press release, saying that Lightfoot’s decision “threatened the major pillar of our democracy and First Amendment rights” and was “unacceptable”.

    Incidentally, two of the three WBEZ reporters covering the Chicago City Hall are Hispanic and South Asian women respectively.

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