Just when Americans were convinced that journalists in America have no integrity whatsoever, along comes a spattering of opposition — albeit weak — to the blatantly racist action seen this week from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
The National Association of Black Journalists being among those taking a position here. Or two.
In marking two years in office, Chicago’s first black mayor and first lesbian mayor openly discriminated against white journalists by declaring, in the name of diversity, that she would only grant one-on-one interviews with black and brown journalists.
As remarkable as that stance is, “reverse racism” is acceptable in woke America, which may not bode well for Caucasians. Lightfoot even defended her position, arguing it is necessary because of the “overwhelming whiteness and maleness” of the city’s media institutions.
One Latino reporter, who qualified as brown, responded by canceling a scheduled interview with the mayor. Chicago Tribune reporter Gregory Pratt tweeted: “Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them.”
I am a Latino reporter @chicagotribune whose interview request was granted for today. However, I asked the mayor’s office to lift its condition on others and when they said no, we respectfully canceled. Politicians don’t get to choose who covers them. https://t.co/YMW8M8ZgJm
— Gregory Pratt (@royalpratt) May 19, 2021
A few black journalists spoke out against Lightfoot and the National Association of Black Journalists has weighed in to say that it “cannot support” the mayor’s bigotry.
But don’t read too much into that because the association is not disagreeing with her reasoning, just her chosen tactic — which it characterized as a “bold move.”
(You are excused if you expected to see “just yet” to follow.)
“It appears to serve to underscore her desire to draw attention to the racial disparities in local newsrooms and political coverage,” the NABJ said in a statement. “The mayor notes that she is disturbed about the overwhelming white Chicago press corps covering city hall.”
But the association was clear that her action “shines a needed spotlight on the call for a greater commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion across the media industry.”
The NABJ went on to say that, doggone it, as much as they’d like to, they just can’t get on board with Lightfoot.
“Although we cannot support the tactic, we applaud the mayor’s sensitivity to the lack of diversity among the people who cover city government,” the association said. “Historically, America’s elite political units have been led by predominantly white reporters and managers. Too often Black journalists are not given the opportunity to join political teams.”
Professing how “right” Lightfoot is in her intentions, the backward-looking NABJ tried to stand on both sides of the fence in a transparent attempt to hold on to some vestige of integrity.
“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,” the release said. “We have members from all races and backgrounds and diversity, equity and inclusion must be universal. However, the mayor is right in pointing to the fact that Black and Brown journalists have been quietly excluded from a number of access points over the years. We know first hand it is painful and unhealthy for our communities.”
But in the eyes of the racist Chicago mayor, what she finds “unacceptable” is that the reporters assigned to cover her are “practically all white.”
“Many of them are smart and hard-working, savvy and skilled. But mostly white, nonetheless,” Lightfoot proclaimed, without a trace of shame. “Indeed, there are only a handful of beat reporters of color in the City Hall press corps. While there are women of color who sometimes cover my administration, there are zero women of color assigned to the City Hall beat. Zero. I find this unacceptable and I hope you do too.”
Should a white mayor have the audacity to take a similar stance to being covered by primarily minority reporters and that person would not make it through the first day remaining in office — just the latest example of how justice in post-Obama America is a two-tiered system that favors the left exponentially.
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